Posts tagged #mindfullness

Mindfulness techniques for you

I am passionate about mindfulness and see how it enhances both my own and my client's lives. It can however be difficult to begin incorporating mindfulness into our lives. It is often true that the busy doing aspect of life just gets in the way. In this blog I am sharing a couple of techniques that can help you to begin to use mindfulness daily, developing your "just being" mind, regardless of how busy you may be.

The first technique is known as the RAIN method.  This enables you to focus your attention on the moment in a structured way. As your mindfulness develops you will probably move away from the structre but it is helpful to start with.

RAIN 

R - Recognise

A - Allowing

I - Investigating

N - Natural awareness

RAIN technique, Mindfulness Meditation

RAIN technique, Mindfulness Meditation

R   -  RECOGNISE WHAT IS HAPPENING

You can awaken mindful awareness simply by asking yourself: “What is happening inside me right now?” Call on your natural curiosity as you focus inward. Try to let go of any preconceived ideas.

A - ALLOW LIFE TO BE JUST AS IT IS

Allowing means, “Letting be”, the thoughts, emotions, feelings, or sensations you discover. You may naturally feel a sense of aversion to any difficult feelings or sensations that arise.  Wanting unpleasant feelings to go away is a response which has become a habit for most of us.  However, with some practise, you will become more willing to be present with, 'What is', and a different quality of attention will emerge.

Allowing is intrinsic to healing, and realising this can give rise to a conscious intention to “let be.” 

I - INVESTIGATE INNER EXPERIENCE WITH KINDNESS

Investigation means calling on your natural interest.  Simply pausing to ask, “What is happening inside me?”, might initiate recognition, but with investigation, you engage in a more active, pointed, line of enquiry.   You might ask yourself:

“What most wants attention?” “How am I experiencing this in my body?” “What does this feeling want from me?”

We need to offer a gentle welcome to whatever surfaces. Avoid the natural habit of wanting to change thinks or find solutions, just be with the answers that arise. Investigating with open non-judgental curiosity.  

N - NATURAL AWARENESS

The first three steps of RAIN require some intentional activity. The ’N’ of RAIN, expresses the result; a liberating realisation of your Natural awareness. There’s nothing to do for this last part of RAIN.   Realisation arises spontaneously on its own.  We simply rest in Natural awareness. Not trying to get anywhere and not trying to change anything, just "being" with whatever you have discovered.

Sixty seconds meditation

Sixty seconds meditation

The second technique requires just sixty sessions.  It can be practised whenever you are in a situation which does not require your full attention ( so not when driving a car for example!!)  If you have a timer on your phone then set it for sixty seconds, close your eyes and focus solely on your breath. Bring your attention to the movement of the breath as it travels in from the mouth or nose all the way down to the chest. Then follow the exhale in the same way.  There is no need to breath in any special way.  When your attention wanders simply escort it back to the breath.

This may sound very easy, just 1 minute concentrating on one thing. Or you may be thinking that your mind is far too busy to focus on something you normally pay no attention to?  Whatever your initial thoughts try to enter the meditation with an open mind and see what you discover.  By meditating in this way you allow yourself to insert a pause into your day; a moment to just be with your breath and see what develops. Taking time to allow yourself to take a  break from your "doing" mind in this structured way will help you to develop a mindfulness approach to many aspects of your life.

I know it may see like a contradiction to learn techniques which allow you to develop mindfulness when the practise itself is about non-doing rather than doing techniques and exercises!   We do, however, need guidance to develop our own mindfulness and techniques can really help.  Most importantly remember to be kind to yourself and know that you do not need to strive to be good at any technique, just doing them is the key.

If you would like more information please take a look at mindfulness meditation

Posted on September 6, 2017 and filed under mindfulness, stress management.

Why Breathe?

My reflexology and hypno birthing clients often ask me why I chose the business name “Breathe Holistic Therapy”.

A number of things have popped up this week making it seem apt to take this opportunity to write here and explain the name. I use this blog to share information that may benefit my reflexology and hypnosis for birth clients or fellow therapists, I shy away from writing very personal blogs and only occasionally do. This entry however does go along a more personal path, lets hope it’s still a useful and interesting post!


"Breathe. You’re going to be okay. Breathe and remember that you’ve been in this place before. You’ve been this uncomfortable and anxious and scared, and you’ve survived. Breathe and know that you can survive this too. These feelings can’t break you. They’re painful and debilitating, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon, they are going to fade and when they do, you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience. I know it feels unbearable right now, but keep breathing, again and again. This will pass. I promise it will pass."
— Daniell Koepke

I was browsing pinterest a couple of days ago, I don’t tend to spend too much time on social media but I love skipping through the images, especially as I’m looking for inspiration for my new home in Kidderminster. I do get lots of quotes in my feed and one titled “Breathe” unsuprisingly jumped out at me.  This really summed up for me one of the reasons I chose breathe as a title for my work. I wanted to express how powerful breath is as a constant in our lives. How sometimes when life feels intolerable there are moments when all we need to do is breathe, when just breathing seems to be all we can do and that is enough.  

Hand in hand with this is my belief that taking time out to simply breathe when we are busy with our lives has benefits far beyond brief relaxation. When I started Breathe Holistic Therapy I was passionate about providing my clients with time and space to enjoy and embrace the experience of taking time out: time to breathe.


Many years ago I realised that I needed to be kinder to myself, and allowing myself to simply stop sometimes was key to that. I have always been goal driven, as so many of us are, and constantly searching for some form of perfection. I wrote a few words maybe 25 year ago that for me express this clearly and strongly, and while packing up for the house move I found them again.  It can be odd sometimes can't in when a number of things turn up that all get you thinking along the same lines!

joanne marie poem

Slow down, I need to breathe… taste the present… In those lines I hear myself talking about my desire to discover exactly what mindfulness meditation gives us. It took me another 20 years to discover mindfulness but the idea had certainly taken seed. I now find the three minute breathing space meditation incredibly valuable for myself and my clients. This short meditation provides for me the foundation of that wish to slow down and taste the present.

All the therapies I work with aim to fulfill my goal to give people time to breathe, to be present in their lives and to find resilience in that presence. Reflexology and mindfulness combined are for me especially key to this intention. Hypnosis for childbirth training also has the power of breathing at its core.  As my work grows and develops I am even more sure that Breathe was the right name for me!

For more information on anything here please do contact me.

 

Kidderminster Mindfulness Fundraising Day

Charity Day Kidderminster

At Breathe Therapy, Kidderminster’s hypnotherapy practice I am using my Mindfulness training skills to raise funds to support local carers.  Worcestershire Association of Carers (WAC) gives vital support for adults providing unpaid care for their relatives or friends.

Worcestershire Association of Carers is a registered charity. They act as an independent source of information, advice and support for carers.  The charity provides many services such as carers groups, help lines and training.  I was able to meet the Stourport Carers group last week and learned of the value of the meetings, both practical and emotional.

There are at least 63,000 unpaid carers in Worcestershire, as a therapist and volunteer at a local hospice I see both the value of caring but also the difficulties experienced by carers and their families.  Many carers experience high levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness can encourage a sense of calmness and resilience, giving individuals some peace in a frantic world.

I will be holding a fundraising day on Saturday October 17 at Breathe Holistic Therapies Kidderminster Treatment room.  Individual “Introduction to Mindfulness” sessions will be available and all donations will go towards WAC’s valuable work.  Those attending will be able to find out about how mindfulness can help them and experience a mindfulness meditation.  After the Introduction to mindfulness everyone who attends will have access to a series of meditations to make it easy to use mindfulness in everyday life.

If you feel meditation is not for you because you have a busy, hectic mind then the session will help to dispel those concerns. Meditation really can be enjoyed even by people with the most anxious, worrying minds. The benefits can include increased feelings of calm, improved resilience, well being and happiness.  There are many myths about meditation and the introduction to mindfulness will help to explore these.

You don’t need to be a carer to take part, the fundraising day is open to everyone.

If you would like to know more please please contact me :  e-mail or call 07531121199

More on mindfulness and hypnotherapy

 

 

 

Posted on September 21, 2015 and filed under mindfulness, stress management.

Breathe Kidderminster's Chosen Charity for 2015:

I am planning a Mindfulness fundraising day at Breathe Kidderminster later this year to raise funds for the Worcestershire Association of Carers.  This fantastic charity work tirelessly to support carers all across the county.  I attended their annual conference this week to learn more about the work of this local charity and most importantly to meet the people whose hard work makes it all possible.

The conference was both informative and incredibly moving. Speakers included Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, Clare Marchant, Chief Executive, Worcester County Council and Sarah Dugan, Chief Executive, Worcester Health and Care Trust. All three speakers explored a different perspective of caring but the resounding theme for me was that carers save the country millions of pounds while caring can have rewards but also immeasurable costs for those involved.  

I was shocked to learn that "Carers save the UK economy 119 billion every year" ( State of Caring report 2015) and even more shocked to learn that this figure is higher than the total spend on the National Health Service.  The financial impact of carers on the national and local economy was far beyond my appreciation.

More significant than any of these figures was the opportunity to hear first hand  personal experiences of caring. 'The Value of Caring' film launch clearly portrayed the reality of caring and without making any efforts to pull at the heart strings it still bought tears to the eyes of many in the room. I will hopefully be able to share this film with you on a later blog post.

If you are caring for a relative or friend, even if you do not consider yourself as a carer, please do take a look at the Worcestershire Association of Carers as they may well have something to offer you and your family. I will let you know when I have planned the fundraising day where I will be offering one-to-one sessions of Mindfulness Meditation at my Kidderminster treatment room.  You can learn more about mindfulness here.

 

Coping with Challenges using Reflexology and Hypnotherapy

My clients often say I must be the most chilled out relaxed person as I have so many techniques at my fingertips. In some ways that is true, I am far more relaxed than I was before I began to use complementary therapies, but life still throws challenges at even the calmest people!

During the last few weeks I have taken on a number of challenges, some by choice and others have arrived uninvited! I have to admit despite my love for holistic therapies my knee jerk reaction is often panic and fear just as it always has been. The difference is now I can eventually take a step back and use some of the wonderful techniques open to me.

My first challenges was updating my website to ensure it was compatible with mobile devices. I am not a techy person so my first reaction when I learnt I needed to do this was panic and anxiety. I had a very sleepless night before I took a moment to step back and calm down. I often talk to my clients about using the support networks around them, so many of us believe we have to cope alone. After getting advice from some techy friends I felt my website mountain was not such an impossible climb. I also took time out to use some confidence boosting self hypnosis and some mindfulness to encourage  kindness to myself. Gradually I began to enjoy the challenge and although there are still some things to iron out I am proud of myself for rising to the challenge. 

The next challenge was one I had chosen to embark on. Last year I tried twice to complete a 'leap of faith', this entails climbing up a tall post, standing on a small platform and jumping off ( you have safety equipment on of course!). I was so frustrated that twice i had reached the top and twice I had failed to stand up. I was determined to succeed this time. I used EFT to prepare myself for the task along with using the power of my imagination to really see myself succeeding. These both helped me to believe I could do it. And i did it!  The pride I felt was immense and I hope I've saved that feeling firmly in my memory to call on whenever I need a boost.

Leap of Faith at Condover Hall 2014...I couldn't stand up on the platform.

Leap of Faith at Condover Hall 2014...I couldn't stand up on the platform.

My third challenge was not something I chose at all. With a simple sneeze I damaged my back and have spent a frustrating week with little mobility and a fair dose of pain. As usual I spent the first day or so completely forgetting about the resources I have to help myself. After getting checked by my GP to ensure I hadn't seriously damaged any nerves etc I began using reflexology to help myself. Reaching my feet was hard at first so I just enjoyed some relaxing warm foot soaks with calming essential oils. Once I could finally get my hands on my feet I was shocked by how much tenderness I found. My spine and hip reflexes were all very painful but I did feel the discomfort was worth it.  I felt an improvement in my movement although I am still a long way off full mobility.  I also tackled my frustration with daily mindfulness meditation. This really has kept me grounded and held my annoyance at bay.

Challenges can be chosen or land in your laps when you least expect them. I wanted to share how a therapist copes with difficulties because I believe it is important for my clients to know two things 

  1. I am human just like them and I can be completely daunted by life's difficulties and feel that I do not have the ability to rise to the challenge
  2. After my panic passes I do practice what I preach because I believe truly in all the therapies I provide.