Meditation stopped me feeling unlovable and unloved, and like an embarrassing failure, to truly finding my self-confidence, figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, questioning my negativity, and meeting a brand new partner, helping me become happier than I ever dared imagine.
Have you ever come back from shopping with a lot more than you intended? Tempted by the sale, the colours, shape and taste of the products, you bag loads on a whim?! Some of those items, after second thoughts, you will return to the shops and get refunded
I travelled from my home in Glasgow last week to see my parents in Northern Ireland. This was the first visit home without my husband or kids for years. Having the opportunity to press pause on our hectic family life for just a couple of days felt like such a precious gift
Meditation is certainly not some "cure" that will change your entire life after a couple of simple five-minute sessions, and it will certainly not make all your problems go away; but what it will do is allow you to have a more positive "in the moment" outlook on life, which will positively affect yourself and those around you.
I used to get anxious all the time and my breathing was shallow. In any breathing exercise I'd notice it was shallow, get more stressed and consequently more anxious! Mission definitely not accomplished. With mindfulness it's different. All you have to do is take a few breaths, notice that they're shallow, accept them fully as they are and keep on breathing.
Mindfulness is everywhere these days. At least many more people talk about it then when I started researching and teaching mindfulness five years ago. But how can you really make it happen at work?
A recent convert to mindful living I've been slowly trying to change my life. So far I've made some significant steps to a better existence. My attitude to work is the biggest change. Instead of mindlessly driving myself into the ground trying to do a great job, I'm still doing my job well but with a few simple tweaks.
It's hard to motivate yourself to go outside in grotty weather, but we are group creatures. Socialising lifts the spirits. Invite friends round to watch comedy shows on TV. Or tap into your inner child by going as a group - male as well as female - to a shopping centre or department store to have free makeovers at the beauty counters.
So someone ticks you off. You get the wrong milk in your Starbucks' latte. Your boss berates you during a meeting. A jerk cuts the queue when you're already late. It rains on your new suede shoes (I've been there, and feel your pain).
September can be a challenging time. Many of us feel a sense of disjunction after the relative relaxation of summer -- coming back to the busyness of work or studying, perhaps after a break in the countryside or by the sea, where we settled into a different pace.