What is mindfulness?
The term ‘Mindfulness’ is all around us and there are many opportunities to engage in mindfulness of one sort or another. Evolve Mindfulness offers Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction as well as other courses which are deeply rooted in evidence and research.
These Mindfulness-based Approaches (MBA’s) are a beautiful collision of modern psychology with ancient wisdom. They mobilise our capacity to heal and thrive, whilst honouring our individual differences. Rather than trying to change or ‘fix’ a person they gently work to allow each individual to practice getting to know themselves – to cultivate a new relationship with themselves that is infused with non-judgment, kindness and compassion. They have successfully supported people living with a variety of mental and physical health challenges including stress, anxiety, depression, illness and chronic pain. More recently MBA’s have evolved to provide support with parenting, education and workplace stress, as well as with young people and the specific challenges that they face in the twenty first century. MBA’s have been recognised by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and courses are offered by the NHS. MBA’s work through a unique blend of formal and informal mindfulness practices, as well as through cultivating key attitudes fundamental to a mindful way of living.
- The formal practices make up 70% of a mindfulness courses.
- There is no requirement for any previous mindfulness experience and the courses are suitable for complete beginners (except where stated otherwise).
- Each participant is skilfully guided and supported through the mindfulness meditations by their teacher.
- The courses offered to children and young people also consist of formal mindfulness practices, although they are shorter in duration.
- Almost without exception (including children) participants are pleased and surprised at their capacity to come into stillness, to sit or lie for a period of time with themselves, for themselves.
- The adult courses also offer an opportunity to experience a ‘Day Long Silent Retreat’. These retreats are held at beautiful locations throughout the Southwest. Participants are supported and eased into, and out of, silence with expertise and compassion.
- Informal practice refers to bringing present moment awareness into day to day activities such as eating, walking, working, exercising and communicating.
- Through the mindfulness courses and 1:1 sessions there is much discussion and inquiry around how to be more present in our daily lives. This includes being more present for those with whom we share our lives.
- There is an emphasis on mindful communication and interpersonal mindfulness skills, which have been received particularly well by parents and work colleagues on the parenting and workplace mindfulness courses.
- Our Mindful Leadership program also has mindful communication at its core.
A New Way of Being
- Mindfulness is not just about being still and meditating, it is also about the cultivation of some key attitudes which lay the foundation for a more mindful way of living.
- Woven throughout the courses and 1:1 sessions are opportunities to experience meeting yourself and others with these attitudes, they include patience, kindness and compassion.
- The invitation to bring kindness and compassion to ourselves can often invoke feelings of resistance – primarily because we are unsure of how to do this. Mindfulness training plants the seeds of self care and appreciation, whilst gently and carefully teaching you how to nurture them until they flourish.