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Mindfulness

“Mindfulness is a state of awareness that enables us to make better choices about how we respond to our experiences even in difficult circumstances” Vidyamala Burch of Breathworks

What is mindfulness?

We all know about how it is to be on autopilot, to be “mindless” – it includes: Rushing through activities without being attentive to them Forgetting a person’s name almost as soon as we have heard it Doing one thing and worrying about another Eating without tasting or noticing what we are eating Having driven some distance and not being able to remember the journey

Mindfulness is the opposite of autopilot living.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, often described as the grandfather of the western mindfulness- based stress reduction movement, defines mindfulness as: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally” You can see Jon discuss mindfullness in more detail by clicking the video below Vidyamala Burch of Breathworks adds: “Mindfulness is a state of awareness that enables us to make better choice about how we respond to our experiences even in difficult circumstances”

What mindfulness is not:

It is not about learning to relax It is not about religion It is not about making your mind blank or empty It is not something you can be good or bad at It is not about sitting in the lotus position.. It is not about saying ummmm

So how does one be “Mindful”?

Mindfulness is about a noticing, in a compassionate and curious way, the whole of one’s experiencing of the present moment, of the feeling of what is going on right now. This includes: body sensations such as my breathing, muscle tensions, gurgling tummy etc., taking in how my body is experiencing the environment – what I am seeing/hearing/smelling etc.; how am I feeling emotionally? what thoughts/plans/images are going on inside my head It is a witnessing of all this – and very quickly one can find one gets distracted by something such as a thought or an ache in a foot and so one loses this witnessing connection but the “art of Mindfulness” is just in the noticing this loss and in so doing one is then automatically back to the witnessing again, to being Mindful.

Mindfulness is about befriending our

self and our own inner world. 

It is about learning how to be with our inner experience, both the pleasant and the painful, by being present with any aspect of our experience, including our thoughts, memories, life situations, emotions, physical sensations and gut feelings by: By regularly taking the time, to choose to deliberately to pay attention to and be present with one’s whole life experience, we develop and deepen our mindfulness practice. This, in turn, leads to a gradual transformation of the very core of how we perceive and experience situations, thus changing how we can live life. And so we can learn how to be with any feelings or situations, no matter how difficult, in a way that is not overwhelming so that we do not feel we are “drowning” in these emotions or experiences. Rather, by being alongside these experiences, but not “lost in them” we can develop a way of being with them that is caring, compassionately curious and interested. So we learn how to listen to ourselves as we would listen to and care for another person who is suffering that we wish to support. As we can learn to be our own best friend, even to those parts of ourselves we feel ashamed of or hate, we learn how to identify old patterns of stress-based behaviour and transform these. In this way we increase our inner resilience; we can discover within ourselves new perspectives and approaches to old situations and emotions in which we previously would have felt stuck or even imprisoned. This enables us to build our inner sense of calmness and wellbeing. “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf” Jon Kabat-Zinn
Client Comment... “It’s helping me to help myself to build and to strengthen, to revitalise and to believe in myself…” Zena Client Comment... “I have been undertaking  sessions with Cathy ..... I  find her calm approach and dedicated quiet space  helpful in getting myself  into the right frame of mind. After our sessions I  always feel more peaceful and more able to be aware of and appreciative of  the  here and now…” Maria Mindfulness Mindfulness