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My MINDFULNESS experience by Mickey Freund

My MINDFULNESS experience by Mickey Freund

My MINDFULNESS experience by Mickey Freund with Life and Mindful Coach Suzie McGarvie

We all have issues and stuff that we have brought through with us from our past that we know we have to sort through whether it be with a psychologist, hypnotherapist, Life and Mindful coach, Reiki Master, NLP Practitioner or even your good old family GP. We are not sure whom to go to, we do not have enough information on any of these disciplines, we do not have the money right now and so it goes. However, Mindfulness helps you in the interim (and long term) to deal with your stresses, whether they are current and/or attached to past events. Mindfulness paves the way for a much happier and more content you.

We all have an idea in our own way what mindfulness means. Here are some definitions to clarify:

Mindfulness is a practice which requires an ongoing conscious endeavour to remain present to the moment and to be non-judgemental curios of the ongoing stream of internal and external stimuli.

It is being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it was different enjoying, the pleasant without holding on when it changes, which it will, being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way, which it won’t.

Mickey Freund

Mickey Freund

During my sessions I learnt about the physiology of the brain and how it changes according to a whole host of things. How this influences ones thinking and reactions to situations, especially stressful situations. What happens to our bodies during this time. I learnt about the vital importance of meditation and practicing compassion for self and others, how to self-regulate ourselves and re-perceive situations that better serve us.

So how has learning about being MINDFUL made changes to my every daylife? I will site typical examples of everyday life and occurrences.

1) A promise of a business deal that I was excited about was reneged upon in person.

A) Old Behaviour
I would have kept quite seething with disappointment and mostly anger. Returned home and written a scathing e-mail as to this persons business practices. (This person has done this to me before). I would have spent the night tossing and turning about confronting him in person and what I would say and how to respond depending on what he would say. The story changed and grew, became nastier as the night turned to dawn.

B) New Behaviour
I won’t lie and say that I was not disappointed or angry, but the feelings did not remain with me for long. And yes, I did think about the situation and as quickly as the thoughts came they went. I made the decision not to do business with him again and let it go.

When you are in the midst of storytelling in your head your body reacts and feels the stress which affects all sorts of things in the brain and body as if it were real. Harping on the situation is not going to change it in anyway and one would be wasting precious energy rather than focussing on something constructive and productive, ie earmarking new business associates.

2) Worry about money. One of my main motivations for doing the workshop with Suzie.

A) Old behaviour
Lack of money was constantly in the foreground of my mind, probably one of my biggest stresses. Am I going to be able to pay rent? What am I going to do if we lose the house or car? What if I cannot put food on the table? What am I going to do to bring in more money before the end of the month. And so on. I was in a constant state of stress mentally and physically. Mybulen was a staple in my bedside drawer.

B) New Behaviour
Lack of money is still very much an issue and a concern, BUT how I react to it is very different. I no longer see my bank balance going down but rather up. I remind myself that I have never gone without and why should I now. And, should it happen for any reason I will deal with it then. I no longer worry days and days before month end. Worry has turned to positive, constructive and creative thoughts. And not only towards month end but every day.

Over the last few days I our freezer and pantry were almost depleted. My daughter asked me why I was not worried, which I was not, and amazingly so. I told her that we are using up the old and thereby making room for the new. Old behaviour – panic, new behaviour – calm. What a pleasure!

3) Living in the NOW

A) Old Behaviour
I had thoughts of what if I had done this and what should I be doing. Past and future. We tend to always swing between the two without giving much attention to today. We constantly rush from home to work, to the gym, to the supermarket, into the kitchen to make dinner, wolf it down in front of the TV. Rush, rush, rush!

B) New Behaviour
I have slowed down and have taken note of my surroundings that I see, but did not see, every day. And not only surroundings, but people too. We see some of the same people every day, but when last have we really noticed them? I am not going to lie and say that we no longer eat in front of the TV, however I have become much more mindful of my food. When I think about the past or the future I bring myself back to the Now and enjoy with gratitude what I have today.

This is not to say that we must disregard our past experiences, learning’s and future plans, goals and possibilities.

4) Compassionate Living
Mindful compassion is not just about compassion for family, friends, colleagues and ones groups. It is for all beings, creatures and nature on earth.

A) Old behaviour
I have always considered myself as a compassionate, kind and caring person. But extending this beyond my immediate circle was not on my compassion agenda. I was caught short the other morning when I drove past 40 odd people on the side of the road pleading for work. I was immediately irritated and judgemental. A very small handful of people who were not wanting work but just hanging out clouded (in fact destroyed) all my thoughts of compassion for the people who were genuine.

B) New behaviour
I am very aware of not allowing a small minority to take away from the majority. Being compassionate about these unemployed does not mean rushing off to find employment for them if it is not in your means. What it means is to hold them with compassionate thought. At first I found it a little tough as I had so conditioned myself to this old behaviour, but after a while it became easier. My thought patterns had changed and the compassion that I felt for these people was very different.

5) Compassion for Self

A) Old behaviour
Zero compassion for self. I was always very quick to berate myself for making mistakes, making the wrong decision, saying the wrong thing and so on. Taking care of myself was not on my to do list. I took care of others.

B) New Behaviour
I am now much more aware of self compassion. Besides, if I do not look after myself, how can I be of full benefit to others? I no longer berate myself and if the thought does enter my mind it is gone as quick as it came. And I do this with compassion in my heart for me.

In one of my very recent exercises Suzie asked me how mindfulness and compassion have influenced my values. This was my answer:

Mindfulness makes me more aware of my values, thereby strengthening them especially in a negative or hostile situation. It allows me to stop and breathe and approach the situation in a more positive and compassionate frame of mind. Compassion gives more weight and strength to my other values. For example, you can be kind, but adding compassion to the mix makes the kinder so much more kind. You can feign tolerance but with compassion tolerance takes on a whole new meaning. Discipline with compassion for self results in a much smoother road ahead. Being mindful of my values in everyday situations adds strength and makes them much stronger and more meaningful over time.”

I normally spend the weekends saying I have to clean my car, I have to clean out the fridge, I have to, I have to, I have to. I have now changed that to I would like to. It changes everything from drudge to looking forward to.

On a beautiful day there is so much that I want to fit in, ie clean pool, work in my pots, clean car, etc.
Now, I do what I would like to do and enjoy every minute of it. When that is done I tackle what I would like to do next and not what I think I have to do next. If it does not all get done today, well there is another day.

Chores turn into magical moments.

Over a very short space of time, 6 weeks to be exact, mindfulness has become a very big part of my life. And with mindful practice and daily meditation it has become almost second nature. All the stresses that I have experienced for so long are no longer first on the list to show up in my mind and body. The situations that have caused my stress and anxiety are much better managed and controlled with MINDFULNESS. It has allowed me to think much more clearly thereby resulting in a positive outcome with very little or no stress. Remember – a little stress is good for one.

Susan McGarvie

Susan McGarvie

In conclusion, the first question that Suzie asked me was what I wanted out of this session, I said, I want to be happy. I can truly say that I am happy. Nothing has changed in the last 6 weeks other than being mindful. I have not made more money, met new friends or joined a club. Mindfulness has brought peace and calm.

To find out more about mindfulness and how the practice could help you, or to book your spot at a workshop; please contact Susie McGarvie:
Cell: 082 574 7556

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