It was only just before leaving last night that I read the welcome pack and discovered that homework was involved, an hour of mindfulness each day for eight weeks. "You won't do it" my hubbie said with the certainty he is entitled to have after nearly 30 years of marriage. "I will" I thought which I am entitled to say after nearly sixty years of being contrary and argumentative.
In a blind panic just before leaving for the course and after discovering the extent of the homework I exchanged a few messages with an NLP friend who ventured to suggest that doing new things was good and that I should approach it with a curious mind. "I'll be thinking of you 😤 and laughing just a little bit. It really might be good for you. You never know. Good to try new things." Another NLP colleague who was staying with us this week for a local course pointed out that I probably use mindfulness for my writing and that more practice could really be beneficial.
So, in a state of curiosity and thinking about benefits rather than problems, I set off for the first session willing to 'go with the flow'. Our leader, Gayle Creasey was the epitomy of calm and gentleness and we went into a mindfulness exercise almost immediately, connecting with our intentions for the course and it was clear that our small group of six, all wished for an inner peace and acceptance of who we are and where we are right now in our life. The next exercise involved considering a raisin that she placed carefully in the palm of our hand. We had to look at it, smell it and taste it before we could sink our teeth into it and experience the eating of it. She encouraged us to do that with the first forkful of every meal.
The Body Scan exercise took a long time and that's the one we have to repeat each day now for eight weeks. We had to lay down and consider each part of our body going from the big toe on our left foot up the left leg, down the right one and then up the torso to our head. We had to make contact with each part, notice it and accept whatever we noticed. Then we had to breathe all the way up from top to toe and back the other way. I found myself following her instruction each time but then my mind drifted off. I'm not sure where to but it did come back. When we discussed what we each experienced she explained that this noticing was the important part and that when we found our mind wandering off we had to gently ask it back. Basically it was all about the noticing, not about getting it right.
I think this could be a great learning for me. Watch this space.........