So something new has entered my life and I wanted to tell you about it. Feel free to turn the page, ignore, cut this out and throw darts at it but don’t come running to me next time you can’t cope. I’ve completed a course in mindfulness meditation. (I can feel I’ve lost a few of you already). For those that stayed, thank you. Let me tell you all about it.
So I first became interested in this last year. A friend of mine had tried it after suffering quite badly from anxiety and depression and I thought as I’d suffered from the same problems previously, this could be a good thing for me. At the same time, Ruby Wax was touring her show dedicated to mindfulness and good mental health and after seeing this and reading her book, I became even more intrigued.
My biggest problem is that I find it very hard to relax. I’ve had to pull back from being a full blown workaholic and I was starting to crave some serious ‘me time.’ After a search, I decided to sign up for the ten-week course at the Buddhist Centre in the North Laines, a place where I regularly do my yoga and blag free tea (albeit herbal).
The course itself has no religious references (refreshing) despite the venue it was being held in but its core beliefs and principles are closer to Buddhism than any other religion and I was happy with that (never really got on with that Jesus fella). It encourages you to let go of the past, forget about the future and just enjoy the moment, because if you think about it, the moment is all you really have. This in itself, I found very comforting and relaxing. Imagine letting go of your story and what how you think your story will go next? What a relief.
‘It’s quite cold without my clothes on.’
There’s a lot of homework involved but it’s far more interesting and beneficial than anything I brought back from school and you won’t get detention if you don’t do it. It was very relaxed and informal but people were sharing some very personal and intimate details in the class, which brought us even closer together. One person would share the ‘crazy’ thoughts in their head and then realise we were all thinking the same thing.
Anyway after much battling with finding the time to do thirty minutes meditation every day and explaining to my son why I was ‘asleep’ but sat upright in a chair at the bottom of the garden, mindfulness has become a part of my everyday life. Not just when I meditate but in all aspects of my life.
And do you know where I’ve noticed this most in my life? Football. I used to get so stressed out before, during and after a game (if we lost), that I started to question the point of following a football team. Now, since completing my course, I just try and enjoy the moment a bit more and relinquish any thoughts that I can control the game, from shouting at the telly with a beer in my hand. Acceptance is also a big part of mindfulness and I’ve managed to accept my football team is a bit shit sometimes.
So there you go. Get mindful, enjoy football. Enjoy life.