In my Stress Management practice, which I ran for over 20 years, I taught predominately meditation techniques based on the traditional Indian practices. There were no qualifications or accreditations available to attain back then (it was Australia in the early 80's) so I embarked on several years of learning, testing and trying every method of meditation I could find. Of course, being the 'dark ages' prior to the internet making everything so readily available, I had to actually enrol in classes and be physically (and mentally) present. I did classes and went to group meditations for years!
At the time, Australia was awash with Meditation and Yoga Centres based on the Indian traditions of following a Guru in order to meditate and become enlightened. Being a somewhat sheltered Aussie from the country, this wasn't something I felt too comfortable with I admit, but nevertheless, in my mission to learn, and later teach meditation and relaxation, I embarked on the journey with an open mind and a commitment to discovery and learning. And learn I certainly did.
The meditations I learnt and later taught, were valuable in many ways, primarily for taking time out from a busy world and getting into a state of deep relaxation, which is always beneficial. I practiced Tai Chi diligently for around nine years before becoming an Accredited Teacher. I love Tai Chi and QiGong and find them to be powerful tools for good health and well being.
However, several years ago I enrolled in a Mindfulness class as I'd not explored this before and had heard much about it, so I wanted to find out what the difference was between the meditations I was using and Mindfulness.
I was amazed, to say the least!
Mindfulness opened up a whole new journey for me (and for my husband who later took up the practice as well) and the benefits I've experienced have been nothing short of wonderful.
The main difference if I could sum it up in a few words? Mindfulness is about learning to be present in each moment, bringing a much improved ability to regulate emotions faster and in a wiser manner. I've learnt to bring non judgemental awareness to my feelings, allow them to be and enable a gentle transition to curiosity and relaxation rather than an out of control reaction. This allows me to feel and respond to a situation in a way that's not unkind to myself or others. I used to be a hot head with a fiery temper and now I'm much better to be around and I like myself more.
Through my Mindfulness Practice I've learnt much about Loving Kindness, towards myself and others. I was never too good at that and pushed and judged myself harshly for much of my life, even when I was meditating daily and keeping up my Tai Chi practices. I've found Mindfulness to be the most powerful form of learning to stop judging myself and be more accepting of who I am and to be kind to myself above all. It wasn't easy at first, but with practice I'm getting better every day.
Embarking on a Mindfulness journey will help anyone to feel better, deal with life and all it's challenges with enhanced clarity and focus, more calmness and a deep and genuine knowing that everything is ok and life is unfolding beautifully.
Every Day Definitely Gets Better.