The verb to be ‘mindful’ was apparently first used in 14th century, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, so it is not a new word by any means. The simple definition is to be ‘Aware’ of a thought, feeling, emotion, situation etc. The implication is that the awareness has a sharper focus than you would normally give to whatever is passing through your mind, or happening in the present moment. Some special effort is required.
In 1979 John Kabat-Zinn adopted the word to describe his new Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programme which was developed as a clinically verifiable antidote to the stresses and focus of modern living. His work has resulted in a huge growth in the ‘mindfulness industry’ which has tried to blend ancient eastern practices of meditation, self awareness, morality and philosophy with western science and existing psycho therapeutic techniques like cognitive behavioural therapy. Mindfulness has now become a way of life for many. Meditation is part of mindfulness, but there are many other immediate, less time consuming techniques and practices available.
The Oxford Dictionaries Online now define it as ‘A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique’. Mindfulness can be self learned, as well as part of a mentoring programme. I help you to focus on enhancing your self awareness, awareness of others and builds your relationship skills. Where possible I will always give examples of what the latest research has proven about the benefits of mindfulness. NICE the Body that oversees medical practices and treatments in the UK has recently recommended that Mindfulness should be the preferred way of treating long term depression, after reviewing many clinical trials.
I strive to make mindfulness modern, practical and relevant for you. I create a framework that can enhance your existing skill sets and quickly demonstrate its value to you, as you feel the benefits and potential it has to offer. How far you take it, how much you wish to learn and how much time you wish to give it will depend on you. Focusing on what works for you is essential and that is why having an experienced mentor is so important.