As human beings we have a tremendous capacity to respond positively and purposefully in the face of challenge. We have the ability to act on our goals and commitments even when we don't feel like it.
So, I've spent the best part of four months unpicking my life, my personality, what I 'know' and how I think, and trying to absorb new mindful ways to manage whatever out of life's toolbox of suffering will fly at me next and in fact I don't feel any better equipped; I feel weakened, worried and considerably worse about myself.
Bathroom time is the only "me" time (most of the time) so when there is someone else with the children, like your partner or a friend, you spend a long time peeing. Not only that, just so that you can have a guilt-free stay in the bathroom, you end up making yourself do a second pee after the first has stopped.
The Dalai Lama - who's busier than you or I - finds time to meditate. Apparently he sits for two hours every day, unless he is really busy - when he sits for FOUR hours. But where are we, less enlightened mortals, supposed to find the time when are days are full of stuff that's clamouring for our attention?
You hear that song. The notes feel like they are inside you, coursing through your blood stream straight to the heart, pumped round and round again, syncing with the sound of your own heart beat. You feel different.
Unless you have somehow managed to survive underneath a stone, in a vacuum or staked out on a remote island, surely you've heard some version of the inspirational quote: 'Live for today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come'.
Lesson 2: You don't have to be happy all the time and everyone has a right to feel what they damn well want to feel. Excuse my language, but sometimes the middle child needs to make more of a exclamation to be heard.
Am I saying I don't believe in happiness? No. I'm saying that mindfulness practice has helped me to discover a different definition of contentment, one which isn't so limited. Here are three ways we can use mindfulness to help us re-frame happiness, and find a little more of it right now.
When it comes to aims and ambitions in life, most people admit that their main aim in life is to be happy. This will mean different things for different people, but when you feel happy, you are relaxed, you are content and you are more confident.
To yoga or Pilates: that is the question. Or it was with me at least. You see I'd always thought of it as a preference. You either do one or the other - right? Never both. They're just too different.
I try to eat a balanced diet. I eat fruit and vegetables every day. I eat meat every other day. I'm aware of the need for legumes and nuts and avocado as my fat. But I just don't have the time or headspace to focus on food full time.
For weary Londoners in need of some TLC, it's a no-brainer, with trains taking a scant 90 minutes to spirit cynical city souls through some stunning countryside to the heart of this splendid ancient city for some sumptuous R&R. And The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa is the perfect location.
Not only does your brain benefit from all that concentration practice your mental health and well-being are boosted too. Music has the power to break down barriers and join a group of people as one entity.
So much has been said recently about how food intolerance testing is causing massive hikes in people believing that they have a food allergy and thus eliminating foods out of their diet that they don't need to.
Therapy, like life, is a journey (sorry!). Unfortunately the relationship between you investing in your psychological and emotional health and the progress you make towards happiness isn't always linear...
Our mind is always 'flitting'. It's a leftover from the old days when our lives depended on it. Back then if we didn't keep flitting our focus in all directions, something with large teeth would have come up behind us and had us for lunch.