by Debbie Horton

As I stepped into the New Year, I made a conscious decision that I needed to do something that would help me cope with big, personal changes that lay ahead.   As we all know – we don’t know what’s around the corner.  I wanted the help to have long lasting positivity, to make a good investment in myself.  For this I chose Mindfulness and Meditation.

I had begun the journey as a lot of people do – by reading a couple of books and listening to CD’s.  Alongside this I had, by chance come across Mindpsace from picking up a flyer on my travels. 

I had a look at the website and it felt right to choose this organisation to give it all a go with, so I signed up to the free online Mindspace 14 Day Challenge – this involves receiving one email each day for 14 days which contained a short guided meditation.

This was all very new but I welcomed the freshness of it all.  I am not going to say it was easy – because it wasn’t – to create the time in the already busy day and the challenge of just sitting there with worry and lots of stress,  just to focus on one thing, to let everything go for that short space of time.  However I stuck at it, as I knew it was beneficial for me.

This is a really great online programme for new people to help kick-start your practice and keep you on track for a set period of time.  It was an approach that I could work with. 

From this I decided to give the live beginner Mindful classes a go.

The classes are over eight-weeks and a different topic is taught each week.  This was a commitment I realistically could achieve and it didn’t feel like I was putting too much pressure on myself.

On the day of the first class it had been a relative’s funeral, so with the emotion and the experience of the day I went along to the class, heading into the unknown, not knowing anybody and unsure what to expect.

Throughout the eight-weeks I was amazed by the things I learnt.

With the course, there is also the opportunity to attend to a half-day retreat, which was a great opportunity to gather in a group and meet new people, some newbies and some who have been practicing for a while!

All is great for giving you the confidence and appreciation of a new approach to thoughts, emotions, situations in daily life.  All broken down into simple practices.

To see things from a different perspective was key to moving forward in a positive way.

I began to build in a small daily meditation practice in the morning. I could really see the benefit as my days began to have calmness, clarity and I felt I could start to face challenges that arose from a different angle.

I felt the need to let all that I had learned and been practicing, settle with me for a time.

As my confidence grew slowly I wanted to gain more knowledge at a deeper level so I enrolled on a Mindspace+ course and booked on a one-day silent and a weekend retreat.  All of which have taken things to a new level for me

From all of this I can say that I feel more alive!  To be more mindful and be present – in the here and now.

Adam Dacey’s approach is both gentle, yet direct and he brings a certain humour to the class which helps when you are new to it all.

He is rich with experience and knowledge that can help all levels and encourages you to have the confidence with your practice and allows for acknowledgment of where you are in life and that we have to start somewhere.

So for anybody who is unsure, nervous, apprehensive, scared, hesitant, skeptical I would encourage you to give it a go!

It could just be one of the healthiest habit’s that you do, helping you to grow as a person.

To be awakened is a most precious gift, that I cannot be more thankful for.

Write for Mindspace here.

This article was written by Debbie Horton who lives in Wolverhampton, working in the Health & Social Care Sector. She is a fan of romantic films, enjoys meeting new people and learning new things that help her to be a better person.