Mindful in May
I’m participating in Mindful in May this year and thought I’d share a little about it, in case you might like to do it too!
Mindful in May is an online mindfulness program created by Australian psychiatrist, social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, Elise Bialylew. The program states that,
“Mindful in May is a one month global, online mindfulness meditation challenge that brings the benefits of meditation together with an opportunity to contribute to bringing clean, safe drinking water to those living in the developing world. It’s just ten minutes a day of guided meditation from the 1st of May. The program, created by founder Dr Elise Bialylew, includes weekly audio meditation downloads, exclusive interviews with leading experts in the field of meditation, wellbeing, and wisdom and cutting edge science to keep you connected to your challenge.”
Throughout the month of May, the program offers daily guided meditations and talks by world leaders in the field of meditation, mindfulness and neuroscience. Experts such as Tara Brach, Dan Siegel, Stephen Porges, Chris Germer and Rick Hanson share their knowledge in daily audio snippets.
Visit Mindful In May to find out more.
What Is Mindfulness?
Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson’s definition of mindfulness is, sustained, present moment awareness, applied to both our inner and outer worlds. Rick explains that mindfulness is neutral – it doesn’t evaluate or judge.
Mindfulness brings our attention and focus back to the present moment. It is here, in this moment, that we experience our world. Rick says, “Mindfulness allows us to be aware of what’s happening around us, and our reaction to it.”
Clinical psychologist and internationally renowned meditation teacher, Tara Brach describes mindfulness as, “…a way of paying attention moment-to-moment to what’s happening within and around us without judgment.”
What does Mindfulness Look Like?
Mindfulness is really anything that involves consciously being aware of our experience, in the moment. Paying attention to our breath is a mindful act – feeling the air as it passes in through your nostrils and travels down through your respiratory tract, into your lungs and back out again, noticing the way your chest and abdomen rise and fall.
Mindfulness is sitting in a familiar room and really seeing what is around you. Noticing the exact colour of your couch, the details in your furniture, the little dent in the coffee table and the images in the artwork.
Mindfulness is recognising you feel anxious and then paying even closer attention. Noticing that your jaw, forehead, neck and shoulders are tight. Noticing your breath is short and shallow and your heart is beating faster. Paying attention to your thoughts, as if listening to someone else speak. Noticing, without judging.
When you become mindful of your experience, you may then choose to do something different. For example, if you notice you are anxious, you are then in the position to consciously breathe slower and deeper and ask yourself, “what would support me best in this moment?” However, if you are not aware of your current experience of anxiety, or you have become caught up in its wave, you are less likely to be able to find ways to support yourself.
Benefits of Mindfulness
According to international experts such as Psychiatrist Dan Siegel, Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, Psychologist Daniel Goleman, Neuroscientist Sara Lazar and Neuroscientist Stephen Porges, a regular mindfulness practice has a significant impact on the wellbeing of our mind, body and brain.
Some of the benefits of mindfulness include:
- Greater ability to remain calm in a crisis
- A greater sense of gratitude
- Decreased anxiety
- A greater ability to stay focused
- Increased productivity
- A greater sense of general wellbeing
- A greater ability to manage emotions
- Better able to deal with pain
- A greater sense of self-compassion
- Increased creativity
- More connected relationships
- A positive impact on physical health
- Less stress
- Decreased depression
- Decreased insomnia
I first came across mindfulness 18 years ago, when I completed a 10 day vipassana meditation retreat in southern Thailand.
As a mental health professional with now many years experience in mindfulness, I am very aware of the benefits both personally and professionally. My professional training is in gestalt psychotherapy, which is a mindfulness-based therapy. I regularly share mindfulness with my clients.
If it is change you are looking for, the first step is to be fully aware of how things are right now. Mindfulness is the key.
Contact Toni Jackson to make an appointment
Toni is a Psychotherapist and Counsellor in Fremantle, Western Australia. She also works in Mundaring, Perth, Western Australia, and provides Online Counselling sessions to urban and remote women around the world.
Toni specialises in working with women around the issues of self-worth, anxiety, trauma, burnout, body image and personal power. She is a certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, with a BA Psychology and a Grad. Dip. Women’s Studies. Toni is a verified HAES practitioner.
If you would like to book an appointment, please contact Toni Jackson.
Phone: 0439 995 302 (Australia only for phone calls)
Disclaimer: Toni Jackson is not affiliated in any way with the Mindful In May program. She just thinks it’s a fabulous opportunity.