You would think I’d be the last person to consider meditating. I’m not known for sitting still: I’m an action girl – get up-go-give is my motto – but I was persuaded to stop and think after seeing, first-hand, how a group of sports coaches use a form of daily meditation, to great effect, to enhance their own performance and that of their athletes. They introduced me to mindfulness via www.headspace.co.uk and now I am hooked. It has become an essential tool for building my resilience and, if I don’t get my daily fix of 10 minutes of mindfulness, I feel robbed. Now, following the lead of those coaches, I too like to throw a stone into the pond and watch what happens when the ripple reaches others. During my coaching and workshop sessions I am frequently asked – why do you meditate? To see the ripples is my answer.
· Meditation helps by calming me and clarifying my thought process. I slow down – sometimes come to a halt – during meditation and, when I resume action, I find that I have more focused energy to get more done.
· It’s also contagious: my happiness and optimism infects others. Mindfulness makes me generally a ‘nicer’ person and this can rub off on others, changing their mood and enhancing their positive outlooks.
· Experiencing this encourages them, in turn, to help others, and so the ripple spreads to the edge of my pond. From there, I hope, stones are picked up and thrown into other people’s ponds.
If you want to try out a bit of mindfulness – as recommended by me and many others – go to the website or app www.headspace.co.uk and a couple of other apps stopbreathethink & smilingmind. And I’ve had fun and success with teenagers recently using mindful colouring sheets.
I have also enjoyed and learnt a lot from a couple of books – Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are (Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life) and Martyn Newman’s The Mindfulness Book (Practical Ways to Lead a More Mindful Life).
I love it when things take a life of their own, go viral – in a good way, of course. Let’s go and start some more ripples.
Rachel is a business & educational psychologist. After working for many years in and advising SMEs her current work relates to issues of communication, personal development, team building and motivation. Over the past seven years Rachel has extended her work into the educational field.