One of the mindfulness tools that I find really helpful is a daily 10 minute meditation. I use either a guided meditation on my phone through an app called Headspace, from Charlotte’s recorded voice or otherwise just silence and focusing on the breath and doing a body scan. I try do it religiously everyday, although there are some weeks that go by where I slack off and don’t do it at all. Those are the weeks that make me aware of how important meditation is for my well being. I start to notice unhelpful and repetitive thoughts creeping up on me. But a huge positive is that I can now NOTICE these negative thoughts, and nip them in the bud before they fester and get me down for days at a time. I can now notice negative thoughts as just that - thoughts. They come and go and are not me. That is a result of mindfulness training and a huge reason why I meditate. When I’m really in the groove and feeling good I’m doing it morning and night.
When I was about 20, I was fortunate to attend one of Charlotte’s mindfulness retreats in Bali. She took 8 of us from all parts of the world, all different people living different lives, yet with the common ground of wanting to add mindfulness into our lives to help with our own struggles. We went into the retreat feeling defeated and drained and walked away with practiced and proven tools which left us feeling hopeful about things. We also left with confidence and excitement to add them into our lives back home.
I now check in with Charlotte every few months or so, not that I have much to talk or report on these days. But it’s so reassuring that I’ve got her there with so much knowledge and understanding, whenever I need it.
At the end of last year while I was travelling in India and Sri Lanka, I did a 10 day Vipassana - a 10 day silent meditation course. It was the most challenging thing I have ever done, but it was hugely important to my mental development and my journey. The biggest lesson I learnt was that no one else is responsible for my happiness but me. Every day I can wake up and choose to be happy or not. I also learnt that the most reliable thing is the body, not the mind. The body is the context for everything.