I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to carry on the great work Jane has been doing for the Mindfulness Association. My job share buddy will be joining us in January. Whilst really looking forward to supporting the team and its members, taking over from Jane is no mean feat. She has done an incredible job and will be missed. Mixed feelings are arising about taking over the role of Communications Manager from her. Working for this incredible organisation fills me with feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, awe and trepidation.
Working closely with Mindfulness Association members will be part of my responsibility. I am looking forward to learning about you all. Likewise, here’s some information about my background.
In what seems like a past life, I was senior communications and creative manager for a large global corporation for 15 years. Since leaving that role, I deepened my journey into mindfulness and trained to teach mindfulness and compassion. Furthermore I completed the MSc Studies in Mindfulness with the University of Aberdeen.
Having graduated in June this year I was delighted to be invited to contribute a chapter to the forthcoming book from the Mindfulness Association and the Everyone project, called ‘Mindful Heroes‘. The dissertation and the chapter focus on family carers and ‘turning empathic distress into compassion’. My research revealed that family carers suffer from symptoms of compassion fatigue. In addition they suffer stress, grief, role engulfment and guilt. Neuroscientist Tania Singer suggests that compassion fatigue should be renamed ‘empathic distress fatigue’ as a result of in-depth studies on compassion. This finding led me to base my study on her work. I provided a group of family carers with an 8 week MBLC with compassion and mindful movement. Following the course their symptoms had significantly reduced. I found that their stress levels had improved. In addition, their resilience, self-compassion and flourishing had increased. They were all seen to experience a greater sense of self and wellbeing.
Mindful movement and mindfully wild
I’ve held a lifelong fascination with the benefits of Eastern health practices. As a result I have completed 10 years of training courses in Tai Chi, Qigong and Chi Yoga. For the past 5 years I have been combining mindfulness, compassion and mindful movement in courses, workshops and retreats.
More recently I have developed an interest in wildlife and landscape photography. I am planning to share some of my ‘mindfully wild’ photos with you. Over the coming weeks we will be continuing mindful moments in nature. We would just love it if you were able to share some of your special mindful moments in nature photos. You can send these to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. With your agreement, we will select photos to share on our Facebook page.
Deepening mindfulness practice
Contemplating on these new challenges Jane and I face in taking on our new roles, this week’s challenge is to reflect on a moment when there was an ending or new beginning in your life. Take notice how the thought makes you feel in this moment. Be aware of how it feels in the body and if there are any emotions triggered. Then notice how you feel about how you feel. This practice called ‘hifawif’ occurs in the Level 3, Seeing Deeply Course, which you might wish to consider if you haven’t already completed it.
Deepening our practice involves ‘starting where we are’. Wherever you are in your mindfulness practice you might want to consolidate your practice with our free online course, Living with Presence. Also, the new Mindfulness Based Living Course book is due out on Friday 30th November. Now might be a good time to order your copy for some mindful reading over Christmas. Moreover, it would also be a great gift to help a friend begin their mindfulness journey.