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MOOD BOOSTING CHALLENGE : WEEK 1 – MINDFULNESS

Welcome to the #moodboostingchallenge.

Every week I will share a post with some inspiration to boost your mood with resources to support you.

Tag me @experiencemindfulness and include hashtag #moodboostingchallenge to share your mood boosting story and you have the chance to win a free session or workshop with me.

Your mood boosting story can include the challenge or anything that lifts you up you want to share.

#MOODBOOSTINGCHALLENGE WEEK 1 – MINDFULNESS  

Happy Monday! Today is day 1 of the Mood Boosting Challenge 😊

And we begin with the beginning of course : MINDFULNESS

Feeling good, living a full and thriving life begins by showing up fully for all its gifts : BEING PRESENT which is often easier said than done, it is practice! Any positive change begins by paying attention which our minds often need a little nudge with.

So the #moodboostingchallenge of the week is to practice mindfulness EVERY DAY if you aren’t already.

Don’t forget to share your journey or send me a photo of where you meditate, mention @experiencemindfulness and hashtag #moodboostingchallenge, inspire others and win a chance to attend a free workshop, coaching session or circle with me (value between 25 and 100 euros) .

 

 

 

Resources

  • Tune into my free meditations. The 10 minute breath awareness one is a perfect place to start and the 3-step breathing space is great to integrate in your day when your heads get busy and you need to pause and center. Note : I will add new meditation resources in the upcoming weeks to keep you motivated but it is great to start with the basics.
  • If you are relatively new to the practice and need some help de-mystifying mindfulness, tune in to my podcast
  • 8-week mindfulness course : If you want to start or deepen your mindfulness practice and are looking for more personalised and continuous support, join my next course starting 26 November
  • Community: Join the Mindful Circle starting Tuesday 24 November, email me at marjorie@experiencemindfulness.nl
  • Book: Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Danny Penman & Mark Williams. This way for plenty more book recommendations. This books offers simple & straightforward form of mindfulness meditation that can be done by anyone and only take 10/20 minutes a day for full benefits to be experienced.

If you already have a daily practice, share your experience of what has helped you achieve this and how it benefits you with mention @experiencemindfulness and hashtag #moodboostingchallenge to take part in the prize draw.

How is this going to boost my mood?

Mindfulness is a strongly-evidence based practice. There has been tons of research demonstrating that mindfulness improves mood allowing a significant decrease in anxiety, depression, insomnia and irritability as well as indicators of chronic stress. Not only does mindfulness support mental health but it also benefits our physical health, boosting the immune system, fighting off flu, colds and other diseases (we can all use that right now), reducing the impact of serious health conditions such as cancer or chronic pain and favouring longevity. Our concentration, memory and creativity improves as does our overall happiness and overall well-being. Worth a try?

Why is mindfulness important? 

When we are present we step into our full potential. Instead of bringing 10% of ourselves in the moment, being half-heartedly there or somewhere else in our head, we bring 100% to each moment. This makes life experience richer and fuller with more possibilities because we are not living from our unconscious, habitual mind which always leads us to similar places. The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness or a state we call the automatic pilot, this is when our body is here but our mind is completely somewhere else, as if we were sleepwalking through our life. Yep I’ve spent a number of years sleepwalking through life before being mindful …

We all have this amazing capacity to observe our experience and consciously choose what will allow us to thrive. It sounds crazy but nowadays many human beings have lost touch with this ability to be mindful so we need to train our minds so that our wonderful minds can actually serve us rather than enslaving us. Whatever we practice grows.

Mood Boosting Challenge

Join the #moodboostingchallenge

These are strange and sometimes tough times and we could all do with some positive energy so I got your back for the weeks to come.

I am starting a #moodboostingchallenge on November 16 for us to lift one another up and I’d love for you to join in.

Watch my video to find out more about this challenge or read below

Every Monday, I will share a post with some inspiration to support you to improve your mood and well-being.

This post will include links to resources to support you: meditations, interviews, practices.

And every month we’ll come together as a community in the Mindful Circle to practice together and share what lights us up.

Tag me @experiencemindfulness and include hashtag #moodboostingchallenge to share your mood boosting story.

Every time you share you lift others up as well and have the chance to earn a free session or workshop with me.

Stay well and happy ❤️

#mindfulness #experiencemindfulness #mindfulcircle #moodboostingchallenge #inthistogether2020 #community #wellbeing

8 foundational attitudes of mindfulness …and life really:)

Mindfulness is not just about paying attention but how we pay attention, with what qualities of mind.

Cultivating certain attitudes of mind is helpful in training mindfulness and can help you get the most out of your practice, giving some touch-points to refer to when obstacles arise. Each of these attitudes relies on the others, so working on one enhances them all. These attitudes provide a kind of compass with which to approach mindfulness, holding them in mind, reflecting upon them, and cultivating them will nourish, support and strengthen your practice and gradually change your life.

  1. Non-judging

We are constantly generating judgments about our experiences, labeling them as good, bad or neutral dependent on the way they make us feel. Non-judging invites us to become aware of the constant stream of judging in our minds, and not get caught up in it, learning to take a step back to become an impartial witness to our experience.

 

  1. Patience

Not rushing the present, being open and accepting of each moment, allowing oneself room to have the experience that is unfolding at any given moment, understanding that sometimes things cannot be forced and will happen in their own time. We don’t have to fill up our moments with activity and more thinking to make them richer.

  1. Beginner’s mind.

The quality of a beginner’s mind, meaning a mind willing to see everything as if for the very first time, is very important to bring to the practice. Regardless of how many times we have experienced something or someone or a meditation, we need to free ourselves of our past experiences and understand that no moment is the same, every moment is unique and filled with unique possibilities.

  1. Trust

Learning to trust one’s feelings and intuition rather than looking to outside world for guidance is another key pillar of mindfulness practice.

  1. Non-Striving

Non-striving is about embracing ‘non-doing’ and not being focused on achieving specific goals through meditation. This is difficult as human nature is to do things for a purpose, to get somewhere but during meditation this can be an obstacle. It is common to think that by letting go of striving, we may be losing our “edge”, yet when we can relax into things as they are this change in attitude actually enhances openness, creativity and happiness. There is no goal other than to be fully oneself.

  1. Letting go or ‘’non-attachment’’

As we meditate, we learn to avoid our impulse to grasp pleasant thoughts and push away unpleasant thoughts, just by watching them and letting them be without getting caught up in them.

  1. Acceptance

Acceptance is a willingness to see things as they actually are in the present moment. In meditation practice this means being with each moment fully, trying not to impose our ideas about what we should be feeling or thinking on our experience but just being open and accepting to what is rather than wanting things to be different. We sometimes tune out from negative feelings as a way to defend ourselves (“experiential avoidance”) which may be helpful in short term but over time these bounce back at us. We should not ignore, resist or fight negative. Our experiences are here to teach us something. We are cultivating trying to observe all experiences, whether negative or positive.

  1. Kindness

Mindfulness practice is ultimately about kindness, towards ourselves and others. The quality of kindness is cultivated as an antidote to the difficult mind-states such as anger, fear, envy, greed, judgment, etc. Kindness allows to dissolve fears, guilty feelings, anxieties and stresses that lead to exhaustion and chronic discontent. We cultivate kindness over and over moving in the direction of greater compassion and acceptance. Kindness is not only a good quality in itself that leads to more peace and well-being for ourselves and others, it also leads us to clearer thinking and a better, more productive way of living and working.,

In addition to these attitudes, a strong commitment to work on oneself and enough self-discipline to persevere in the process are essential to developing a strong meditation practice and a high degree of mindfulness.

A personal vision

Finally, practicing alone isn’t sufficient, one needs to have a personal vision of what they want for themselves. Many people meditate to attain peace of mind, happiness. This is probably what most reasonable human beings desire for themselves. However we probably all have different visions of what that means, how that translates, what one believes is most important to be their best self, at peace with oneself.

Love, Vulnerability & Strength are at the heart of our humanity!

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of hosting a meditation evening at the Amsterdam Mindfulness Centre. I guided a number of self-compassion practices which seemed to be exactly what was needed. We ended the evening with a guided reflection around values and uncovering meaning. Participants shared what qualities or attributes they valued in someone they admired. Interestingly the person they admired was either their mother or best friend and had been through very significant hardship. Read for yourself the list below (apologies for the sloppy handwriting…) : it is all about LOVE, VULNERABILITY and STRENGTH. They come together and at the end of the day are really what matters most!

 

Keep an open mind and a fresh perspective – Cultivate a Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s Mind is a very important aspect of mindfulness, a mind free of expectations and judgments. Beginner’s mind invites us to look at things as if we were seeing them for the first time, as a small child, full of curiosity and wonder and amazement. Recall the Socratic conception of wisdom: knowing that one doesn’t know. If we have the answer already, then there is no need for us to look; we stay stuck in the same mind-set, reacting to things as always, nothing ever changes. Living as if we always “know” keeps us out of the present, and living in the past. It doesn’t allow us anything new, no surprises, no insights, no discoveries, it keeps us frozen in the judgments of the past. Beginner’s mind can help us to see things in a new light and open us to the unique potential of every moment of our life.