I began my mindfulness training in 2010 when I attended a Workshop with David Elias entitled ‘Mindfulness for Therapists’. Since then I have attended a Breathworks 8-week stress-reduction course, attended a conference led by Jon Kabat-Zin and in 2013 I completed a mindfulness teacher-training certificate course with Mindflow Soultions. Because of my own mindfulness practice I believe that mindfulness can make a real difference to the way we deal with stress and it also helps us to appreciate the moment-by-moment experience of our everyday lives.
Since 2011, I have been co-facilitating Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8-week courses at Mind in Salford. Feedback from the course has shown that participants have reduced their stress levels by almost half by attending the course and practising mindfulness at home during the 8 weeks. I have also run an MBSR course for the NHS in Central Manchester – as well as several ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ workshops in Chorlton’s Counselling Rooms. I am currently studying for my Mindfulness Accredited Teacher Training qualification with Mind in Salford, which I hope to complete this year.
As well as training groups, I offer one-to-one mindfulness sessions (of 60 minutes), which follow the 8-week MBSR courses in structure, so people can learn about mindfulness in a practical and experiential way. This can be ideal for someone who’d rather not learn in a group – or who simply can’t commit to a course for 2-3 hours a week for 2 months. It can also be a flexible solution for someone who would prefer bespoke sessions, tailored to their own pace and learning style.
I’m also interested in Mindful photography – and have written a blog for a couple of years now, as well as this, I’ve run mindful photography workshops for some voluntary agencies in Manchester. I offer one-to-one mindful photography sessions, to enable people to learn how to receive images by truly being in the moment, which can lead to them really seeing what is in front of them in a different way. It can also help people learn how to celebrate the beauty in everyday objects and scenery which we might normally pass by without noticing. These sessions can run for up to 8 sessions, and will be practiced outdoors in nature.
If you’d like to try a short mindfulness practice – here is a 10-minute one by Andy Puddicombe of Headspace: