If you’re a regular around Write of the Middle you’d know that I’ve long had an interest in the subject of Mindfulness. In fact, I’ve written many blog posts on the subject, though not for a while.
My interest was sparked back in 2012 when I was suffering chronic stress and walked away from my job and career (a little more about that can be read on my ‘About‘ page). There were struggles with depression and a shocking amount of anxiety that followed. My identity and purpose had been shattered. I was lost and feeling broken.
All these years down the track, and after so much reading and research on perimenopause and menopause and their symptoms, I do believe at least the increase in anxiety was tied in with my age and change in hormones. Regardless of the cause, I was keen to find ways to help myself.
There is that saying that ‘from adversity comes opportunity’. For me the opportunity was to learn. I learnt many things, including these two things:
- I had neglected and lost myself in the process of trying to please and be everything to everyone else; and
- I had a wonderful opportunity now to learn about who Min is and design a life that is better suited to her and her happiness.
I don’t believe that taking a myriad of drugs is the answer for me, though on occasion I tried that route but soon learnt I was right in the first place. Ultimately, I wanted a natural way to help myself. I stumbled across an article about Hailey Bartholemew, the practice of gratitude, and in particular the 365 Grateful Project. It seemed like a good idea, so I did a 365 Grateful Project and found that it really helped shift my focus and perspective into a more positive one and resulted in me becoming more present. I learnt that I liked to write and I created my first blog. I learnt that I enjoyed photography, that it helped to slow down my busy mind as I focused on my subject and composition, so I studied photography. I found that walking and getting out in nature calmed me and elevated my mood. I discovered that I liked time alone, but too much and I would get lonely. The discoveries continue today. One other very important and life changing thing I discovered along the way was ‘Mindfulness’. It fascinated me and as I said earlier, I wrote quite a bit about it.
I used to do meditations now and then and practice being mindful during my days, but over time those habits fell by the wayside. Slowly my anxiety levels increased and my coping abilities started to decrease. My practice never was perfect, but some Mindfulness practice is far better than none!
Recently, I became aware of Mindful in May – founded by Elise Bialylew. Mindful in May is a transformative one month online mindfulness program which brings together the world’s best meditation teachers, wellbeing experts and neuroscientists to teach you the tools to transform your mind towards greater well
I signed up for Mindful in May and it began on 1 May. So, though I squeezed in one post on May 3 as part of my The Gorgeous 50’s series, there will be a break from posting on that series for the remainder of May as I switch focus and share some little ‘gold nugget learnings’ that I gain from each week of my participation in Mindful in May. My ‘Mindful in May – Week 1’ wrap up post will be published on Thursday. In the meantime, if you’re interested in doing Mindful in May, here is a video of Elise telling you all about it. Registration didn’t close on May 1st as Elise states in this video, it has been extended! I’m not sure when the cut off date is, but if you are too late for this year, perhaps you might consider participating next year.
Do you have an interest in Mindfulness? Ever done a Mindfulness meditation? Please do check back for my weekly Mindful in May wrap up posts. There might be even just one little nugget there that could be of help to you. You never know!
Ciao for now
Linking up with Denyse Whelan Blogs for #LifeThisWeek
Hi Min, how are you finding Mindful in May? I’m struggling to listen to the interviews but have at least managed the guided meditation. I’m looking forward to your take on the challenge and we can compare notes in our blog posts. Such a great cause and I read this morning they have raised $65,000 – fabulous. Have a beautiful week and this Wednesday I’m publishing your interview with me for Wellness Wednesday. xx
I’m enjoying Mindful in May, Sue! The interviews are quite lengthy so I’m finding I’ve needed to put aside quite a bit of time each day in order to listen and take it all in. I’m finding the interviews very interesting! I’m loving the relaxing meditations but not so fussed on the couple of informative ones we’ve had this week. They are interesting and informative but I prefer meditation to not be about taking in more information. Overall really enjoying MiM so far though! I’m looking forward to comparing notes too. Also looking forward to seeing your Wellness Wednesday post coming up! 😉 xo
Hi Min, Glad to hear that you’ve found ways to overcome your past challenges that affected your health. I’ve been practicing meditation for some time . This year one of my wellness goals is to do meditation fifteen minutes daily. It definitely sharpens my focus in the morning and calms my mind at night. Enjoy you MiM. Look forward to you joining us on May 9 Wellness Wednesday. It’s a monthly link up so please feel free to join any month.
Thanks Natalie. It’s good to hear you’ve been meditating for some time and that you’re finding it a helpful part of your life. I’m really enjoying MiM so far. Love the science of the brain – fascinating stuff, also very much enjoying the daily meditations. I’d love to link up with your Wellness Wednesdays – my only problem is that I’m just barely managing two posts/week at the moment but will see how I go! xo
I’m not so good at mindfulness, as I mentioned recently, but I probably need to try a bit harder…
It takes practice Lydia. Even the ‘experts’ aren’t perfect at it. 🙂
You are mindful each time you notice the light, eat a beautiful meal and bask in the senses, see a comedy show and laugh… you are on your way! Denyse x
I think it’s great that you and Sue are challenging yourselves with this. Mindfulness is something we can all benefit from and the ironic thing is that it’s busyness that stops me from taking on something like this! I’m looking forward to hearing all the benefits the two of you receive from focusing on being in the moment and removing yourselves from things that bring stress with them.
I am fascinated with these things Leanne. The power of the mind! How we think can affect everything! You took on the A-Z challenge – that’s quite enough for now. You’d need a break. I don’t know how Sue has managed to the April A-Z challenge and now MiM. She is a powerhouse! xo
I’ll be keeping an eye on these posts with interest. I think I’ve come back from France with a different attitude to some things, but we’ll see just how long that lasts lol.
Welcome back Jo! What a wonderful trip you had. Truly beautiful photographs you shared. Travelling vicariously with you was nice but I think I’d much prefer the real thing! It’s sad it’s over but the bonus for you is you have returned to the beautiful beaches of the Sunshine Coast – hooray for that! I hope you enjoy my MiM posts. Now what’s this different attitude you’ve come back with? A chilled out rural France attitude perhaps? lol
Thanks for updating us on Mindful in May, Min. I’m in need of a rework of my frame of mind and I think being more mindful will bring about positive change.
I know it can seem a bit ‘woo woo’ to some but this stuff really does work. Mindfulness and gratitude – they really help you live more in the present, slow down a busy mind, increase calm & reduce stress, and get your priorities straight. I’m really enjoying MiM so far – the science of the brain is fascinating! 🙂 xo
Oooh, I did Mindful in May a couple of years ago and I found it really useful. I’ve been thinking about weaning off some medication lately, but the last time I tried, I was back on 18 months later. I think it’s fantastic that you’ve been able to help yourself through gratitude and mindfulness!
That’s so good to hear that you’ve done Mindful in May before and found it helpful, Katherine! All the very best with weaning off the medication. Take it slow and steady. xo
I’m sure there will be more than one nugget from you Min. I haven’t done any specific mindfulness work but I do think about it from time to time, particularly when eating as I sometimes find myself inhaling rather than tasting my food,.
OMG – there is most certainly more than one nugget Jan. My Week 1 post is not as succinct as I had hoped I could have it. There’s just too much interesting stuff to share. Eating is a good time to practice mindfulness. It’s about really noticing the sensations when you eat. The feel of the food on your tongue. The texture of the food. Chew the food for longer. Put down your cutlery between bites and take longer to enjoy the food. Sit at a nicely set table & eat from a beautiful plate, etc etc.
I got carried away answering Lydia and forgot to respond to you! I am glad you are being more Mindful In May. Your ventures reminded me I still had an unfinished mindfulness paid program with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield so I have been continuing that and enjoying the change from my Headspace meditation (I do that still). Ten minutes is enough for me. Trying to force yourself for longer does not make you a better meditator I have found!! Thank you so much for linking up – always welcome on or off prompt #lifethisweek 19/52. Next week’s optional prompt is #shareyoursnaps4. Denyse
Meditation would be so helpful for you right now Denyse. It’s great that you’re keeping up the 10 minutes a day! xo