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