Mind how you go – Mindfulness


Mindfulness is a willingness to be curious about the present moment – however it is.

On Life and Automatic Pilot . . .

As the saying goes – This Life is not a Rehearsal. So why do we stumble through our everyday existence as if it were? At best, life can be a scramble to fit all commitments into the day, or else we are sleepwalking on the treadmill of habit to one extent or another. Sometimes it can seem as if we are just tolerating the job, the partner, the aches and pains that may form part or all of our daily lives; at worst living a life we never envisaged living.

Due to the magnificent ability of our minds, our lives today are almost literally a roller coaster of events, and information overload via the vast array of social media at our disposal. Choosing how to respond to the myriad of choices open to you moment to moment can be overwhelming. So what do we do? Our brains are in fact much older than the new technology we battle to control. In evolutionary terms our brains are ancient and it is therefore natural that we resort to habitual methods when going about our daily business.

A natural and indeed evolutionary successful ploy – the key to our success as a species, is the ability to ‘park’ conscious thought processes and perform many mundane tasks on automatic pilot! A remnant of the reptilian brain, which makes us able to perform so many different tasks automatically whilst focusing on those requiring conscious attention – like driving a car while paying conscious attention to the possible hazards on the road, automatic pilot is essential for our limited capacity processor – our brain.

You only have to reflect on driving your car on the same route to work, and on some days wondering how you got there, with no recollection of the journey itself to understand how this works. Our brains are magical computers designed to take over habitual repetitive tasks, to free the conscious decision making part of the brain for unusual or more crucial decisions.

A wonderful functional ability allows us success as a species but in today’s “enlightened” world it can have its downsides in that it is quite possible to sleep walk your way through most of your life. Many of us would recognise the feeling of getting to the end of the week and wondering where it went (and for those of us who are older, it does appear that life accelerates so that years can pass at frightening speed!). There are times where there is the sense that everything is ok really, but not great, not as fulfilling as you imagined it could have been.

Indeed it sometimes takes a crisis of health or the loss of a job, financial status, a spouse, a beloved friend/family member to wake us up with a jolt. It is only when this crisis jolts us out of our reverie that you realise life has slipped by. This is what is often meant by the mid-life crisis. However, it can occur at any time, and when is mid-life anyway? We would need to know how long we have on this planet before we could map that point!

If you want to feel more fulfilled deep within your being; to be alive to the possibilities and thrills that this life has to offer then it is up to you to make the changes. From within. In this cheap quick fix world, the only worthwhile work is the work you undertake with and for yourself. You may think that undertaking internal work for yourself is selfish. There is a cliché about glasses being half full or half empty. However, whatever your belief, if your glass is completely empty you cannot give of yourself to others because you are depleted and exhausted. This is what happens to many of us when we do not tune in to our body’s signals. Mindfulness practice allows you to tune in and tune up the greatest gift you have – that of your being.

Mindfulness courses offer you the opportunity to ‘fall awake’ into your best Life.

We offer mindfulness for

Building Resilience for teachers, students and the wider community
» School communities

Separate courses aimed at parents and children. Courses for parents and carers, for teens and for children 5–11 years
» Families and teens

8 week MBSR and beyond. MBSR 8 week course, extending practice, drop-ins and taster seminars
» Wellbeing for all

For further information email us at mindfulness@mindhowyougo.info