With my daughter, I paused more frequently to take it all in; to imprint the memories. Appreciating those small moments seemed to lessen the grip of the trying times; a little, at least. There could be something to this mindfulness thing after all.
As travellers always seeking those little moments of appreciation, we noticed that we regularly pack a few small things, to help coax out those instances of calm. Here are just a few, that help us pause, stop and take a moment to appreciate the adventure we are on.
I've always been a firm believer that in order to practice yoga all you need is yourself, your mat, and the willingness to begin. No props, no fancy clothes, not even any music. That has certainly changed over the years and in experimenting with my own self-practice!
Millions of adults spend their hard earned money and time to read books and participate in seminars to develop life skills to create more success, happiness and fulfillment in their lives. However, one may ask, "Why wait!?". Shouldn't we be learning the basic skills of communication, goal-setting and planning from a young age?
Wrapped up in almost complete darkness with only the blue-white glow of the moon giving off light and for the first time in my life I'm not afraid of the dark. Alone in my little cabin in the woods I breathe in the night and tumble effortlessly into sleep to visit the dream world.
Okay I understand that most people can't become a yoga instructor and make a good living. And beanie hats are rarely going to pay the mortgage. But what about instead of plotting an escape we think about how to work differently in our current jobs?
When it comes to making the most of meditation, finding the right environment is a big part of the process. While we all have our own idea of the perfect place to meditate, there are many common aspects of the perfect mediation environment.
We are taking relaxation more and more seriously in our work as guides and entrepreneurs. Not just as a way of letting go at the end of the day, or as leisure or luxury, but as a guiding beacon to life. We see relaxation as a fuel inside us; a conduit for relationships; as DNA to how we might live and work.
Conversations I have had in the past about the difference between relaxation, self-hypnosis and meditation have always been slightly perplexing. As the universal benefits of all three: reduction in stress, anxiety and low blood pressure were all cited as the reasons pregnant women should choose one discipline over another.
We all get caught up in what we put in to our bodies, what will benefit us, what will help us function in a physical capacity in a more effective way, and that's fantastic... I really believe a healthy body is a happy body. Yet we neglect the most important and empowering part of ourselves, our mind.
I had been recovering from posttraumatic stress disorder, a result of my work as a clinical and forensic psychologist when a stroke hit me out-of-the-blue. Any thoughts I'd entertained of resurrecting my career as a practising psychologist were blown away.
With more and more research showing that mental health is worsening in our schools and that this problem poses serious long-term costs of as much as £105billion a year, then now is the time to be innovative, look at what's working and act. It's time to start piloting mindfulness in our schools, and measure its success.
I have never worried about my children watching too much television. In fact rightly or not, I have always considered a certain amount of TV as beneficial. My daughter loves watching DVDs and CBeebies but I have noticed - she self regulates.
Figures indicate nearly a third of antidepressants are prescribed for non-depressive or off-label uses, such as anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Even so, studies suggest that antidepressants are ineffective in nearly 30-50% of depressed patients, suggesting a lack of specificity in targeting the underlying biological mechanisms of depression.
If Britain's MPs started meditating, what would happen? And what if doing that became contagious among professionals, corporate leaders, health worker...
People often say that the reason they don't practice mindfulness is that they don't have the time. This is understandable; our modern lives are indeed busy. But just as brushing our teeth is important to keep our teeth clean and just as exercising a couple of times a week keeps our bodies in form, a daily mindfulness practice is important for taking care of our mental well-being.