Tools For Mindful Living
I’ve put together a collection of tools for mindful living, structured into a self-study process you can follow over 3 weeks. This mini-programme will give you a taster of my approach to mindful living (or a refresher if you already have a practice). All the material is freely available on this website, at no cost.
Please be aware that this mini-programme is not intended to replace a standard and comprehensive ‘8-week mindfulness course’ that is widely available elsewhere; the material I offer here is a very small starting point, as an introduction to the coaching-based method via which I teach mindfulness.
There is also the option to book a Reflection Session with me, if you would find it helpful (charged at my usual session rate, only available if you are in the UK – see info below).
Each week focusses on a particular theme, via these self-study elements:
Introductory reading – just a paragraph or so!
Short video exploring that week’s theme – around 10 minutes long. I would suggest watching the video at the start of the week, before beginning any of the home practice (which consists of a reflection prompt and a daily 1-minute mindfulness practice).
Reflection prompt – an idea you can explore via journaling, or just through personal reflection if you prefer. You may find it helpful to make some notes about your reflections for future reference.
‘1-minute mindfulness’ practice – a simple way to bring some mindful awareness into each day. These practices are outlined in another short video.
If you want to do some meditation, there are also suggestions for guided recordings – but if you don’t feel ready for sitting practice, there’s no need to pressure yourself.
All of the resources and practices are laid out week-by-week at the linked pages below. I would suggest working through the weeks in order. That said, learning to choose the resources that feel the most supportive is an important part of developing a mindfulness practice, and so you might customise the programme to emphasise the elements that feel most helpful to you right now, and leave some of them to revisit later.
Before you start – please ensure you have read the guidance note below.
IMPORTANT GUIDANCE NOTE
My approach and the material offered here may be helpful for stress, but it is not intended to support those currently experiencing a debilitating mental health condition, or severe emotional distress. It is also for use by adults only (18yrs+). You can read a bit more about suitability at the About page. If you are unsure if my approach is suitable for you, I’m happy to arrange a short chat via Zoom or Skype.
THE MINI-PROGRAMME is structured as follows, with links to each week’s page:
Intro – warm up by reading the Mindful Living Outline (available further down this page)
Optional Reflection Session – this is a 45-minute 1-to-1 session via Zoom (or Skype), if you would like to consolidate your learning from the free resources. It’s a guided conversation where I give you the space to reflect on what has been helpful, where you would like to develop further, and possible next steps. At the end of the session, we can also discuss the programmes I offer, and other options for learning mindfulness. Please note that I am currently only able to accept session bookings from people who are in the UK. Also, I only accept clients for progammes when it seems that my approach would be a good fit. When this is not the case, I can usually suggest other options that may be more suitable.
If you would like to book a Reflection Session – please only do so if you have engaged with the Mini-Programme material (so that you have something to reflect on!), and then see the main Coaching page for details of costs, booking and practicalities etc
Mindful Living Outline
Before you start the programme, here’s a bit more about what I mean by Mindful Living.
WHAT IS MINDFUL LIVING?
If I had to define it, I’d say that Mindful Living is about transforming your life into an expression of what really matters most to you.
Before I discovered the practice of mindfulness 12 years ago, I was chasing a life that someone else had designed, centred around career ambition and material achievements. And it made me thoroughly miserable, because it turns out that isn’t the life that feels meaningful to me. I felt like a robot putting in time at a lifeless ‘success’ factory. I constantly felt I needed to prove myself, or pretend to be who I thought I should be. It was exhausting and soul-destroying. But things are very different now. These days, all my time and energy is put into things that are important to me. Life is slower, simpler, much less stressful and a lot happier. I feel properly alive. I feel comfortable just being human, and being who I really am.
Many people decide to try mindfulness for similar reasons. But there can be a difference between learning mindfulness and actually living it – especially in our quick-fix culture. We may have a lot to unlearn and let go of, as we bring mindful awareness into the whole of our life. Mindfulness is very powerful, but it’s pretty useless if it doesn’t transfer from your ‘meditation’ time into your day-to-day life. Instead of viewing it as a technique to master, I believe it’s a way of inhabiting this human life, moment to moment, even when what’s happening is challenging.
Mindful living offers us a way to experience greater wellbeing in a sustainable, long-term way. As one of my clients puts it: “Life is easier, more fun and less stressful.” Meditation can be a valuable part of the path, but it’s not mandatory. Some of us start off with other mindfulness practices that we weave into our day, and come to sitting meditation later. With hindsight, perhaps this is why mindful living was such an integral part of my own journey: I needed time to slow down my pace and adjust my minsdset before I was ready to start a regular sitting practice.
With this in mind, I share a range of tools and ideas drawn from coaching, mindfulness and self-kindness. These practices foster greater awareness, and support three key aspects which I feel contribute to mindful living, explored within the mini-programme. These 3 key areas aren’t intended as a rigid definition – it’s just my take on what a mindful life looks like, informed by more than a decade of my personal mindfulness practice, plus a number of years running workshops and classes on mindful living. You can read more about my own journey and qualifications at the About page.
If you’re ready to start the Mini-Programme, go to the Week 1 page.