De-clutter Your Mind, Simplify Your Life, Find Time to 'Be'
The course will be structured around developing body awareness so you can feel more comfortable in your own skin; working with thoughts and emotions so you can turn down the internal radio; and learning how to be kinder to yourself and others.
I’ll include bits of Claire’s diary that feature in the ‘Mindfulness for Women’ book. Claire hadn’t meditated before we worked on this project so she gamely kept a diary of her efforts which are accessible, often hilarious, and moving. Here’s her diary of her first attempt to meditate:
Claire’s Diary Week One: Body Scan
It’s 9.30 on a dark early-spring evening. My husband Stuart is away and I’ve finally got Amelie, six, to go to bed (she will take any opportunity to delay bedtime, and an absent parent is as good an excuse as any). On a normal weekday I’d be starting to think about bed myself (early bedtimes are the only way I cope with the hectic pace of my life), but tonight I’m a bit wired, and also secretly relishing the quiet in the house. I think guiltily of my promise to Vidyamala to start my mindfulness journey, but quickly push the thought away. I sit down in front of the TV and am suddenly filled with resolve (plus, I won’t lie, there’s nothing on telly and the idea of lying down is very appealing). I decamp upstairs to my bed and press play on my meditation recording, and Vidyamala’s calm, gently lilting voice fills the room.
I immediately feel myself relax. This isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be . . . I listen for a few more seconds and then get distracted by a noise in the garden. It’s a cat, by the sounds of it, climbing up the side of the shed. I resist the urge to get up and look. But it makes me wonder if I’ve locked up properly outside, and it’s a couple of moments before I can pull myself back to the meditation.
I cringe a bit at the mention of my belly. I hate this word and, like many women, hate focusing on my tummy at all. But as I feel my breath echo in my pelvic floor and my lower back, I begin to feel like a star pupil. I can do this! To say I’m pleased with myself is an understatement. I hear another noise outside, in the front this time, and I tense up again and wonder what it is.
Vidyamala is now asking me to relax my face. Oops! My face is very tense. Like, really tense. I relax it: my jaw, my teeth, the set of my mouth. As soon as I relax one part of it, another tenses up again. I get distracted thinking about the irony of having to work harder at being relaxed. I make myself laugh, then realise I’ve missed the next few moments of the meditation. Must do better next time.
Afterwards, I decide I should go to bed. I notice how much more relaxed I am. Despite Stuart being away, which normally makes me edgy, I sleep like a baby.
The course won’t take up much of your time – the meditations are only ten minutes long and I’ll be suggesting lots of ways to integrate mindfulness and kindness into your daily life. My aim is to give you loads of easily accessible tips to take some of the stress out of your life. And if you haven’t got much stress, the course will help you feel even more chilled!
The course structure is an email a day with links to eight different meditations over the month, and the opportunity to chat to me and ask questions over the month.
March 8th sees International Women’s Day which I blogged about last year. I love that there is a day where women can celebrate all we have achieved as well as face up to some of the issues we face in the modern world. I blogged about some of these issues after the global Women’s Marches just a few week’s ago. The uprising of women’s voices all over the world was astonishing and I’d love this Mindfulness for Women course to be a way we can keep the momentum going as we stand up in the world and fulfill our potential, individually and collectively.
You can hear a radio interview I did on Mindfulness for Women with Brian Kelly on Coast FM, NZ here:
You can read an extract from the first chapter here
If you are a Mum then this is an extract for you
Here are some other blogs re the book:
I really hope you’ll join me for this fun challenge. Tell your friends and let’s get together to change our minds to change the world!