I attended last Saturday's Practice Session as a participant with Nina Dhiman and found it incredibly helpful and supportive.
I have been going through some of my own difficulties over the last couple weeks (being a Mindfulness teacher alas does not exempt you from this sort of stuff!) where there was a lot more self-judgement, a lot more being caught up in thoughts and worries and a marked lack of kindness towards myself than I had experienced for some time. Such difficulties are part of life, part of our shared human vulnerability and something we will never get away from entirely. But there are things that help though when we get caught up in such a storm it's so easy to forget what we know is more helpful to support our own wellbeing and just as importantly those around us.
There were several things that helped...doing some exercise, talking to my wife......and attending last Saturday's session too with a group of like minded people to practice some things that I knew might be helpful. These were things that I was very aware and knowledgeable of,through having attended my own 8 week Mindfulness course a few years back, practised regularly and taught Mindfulness too. But even for an expert (!) like me these lessons were somehow more elusive when I was in the midst of all this stuff.
How helpful then to be reminded of the value and importance of intentionally pausing when everything is telling you to get busier, how helpful to be reminded of the importance of kindness to oneself when that has been in short supply, how helpful to be reminded of the value of appreciation as a means of resourcing ourselves, and to be reminded of that crucial lesson that everything changes and that "This too will pass".
We are living through this strange world where the sense of community and alienation co-exist in many different ways. The wearing of face masks is a gesture of kindness to protect those more vulnerable in our communities and yet engenders a sense of separation and disconnect. One day we will be able to meet face to face but till then we at least have the online space...not the same but something to be grateful for nevertheless. We are social beings and the importance of connection and community is something that we all need, especially a community where we share the same values such as the desire to learn what best supports our own wellbeing and those around us.
Tenterden Mindfulness Group is one such community and from August we will be changing our online Practice sessions to more regular times:
Saturday mornings, 08.30 - 09.30
Wednesdays evenings, 18.30 - 19.30
I turned up this Saturday morning to join in and realised there wasn't a session on! Routine is helpful in maintaining anything you want to stick at which was one reason for the change.
We are fortunate to have a variety of excellent teachers who can offer something to all of us, whether you've been teaching Mindfulness for years or have only just completed your first 8 week course, whether you practise every day or haven't practised at all since your last course. You are already part of this community, and by reading this far you've already shown to yourself that this stuff is of value to you...or you'd have stopped reading long ago! Why not take the next step and make some time for yourself to come along to a session and see whether it's worth it. It's only an hour, but as I found it can make a profound difference to your whole day or maybe even longer.
It's so easy to forget what is good for us, so a reminder is often what is needed to get back on track. And you can only do that here, and Now.
"The most important thing is remembering the most important thing."
The first new time session is on Saturday August 1st at 8.30am and I hope some of you will be able to join me--details on how to join on the weekly emails.