An Introduction to Mindfulness

mindfulness, mindfulness summit, depression, Mark WilliamsThe Mindfulness Summit: Day 1

Professor Mark Williams is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at Oxford and was also the Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre until his retirement in 2013.

Professor Williams, along with colleagues John Teasdale (Cambridge) and Zindel Segal (Toronto), developed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for prevention of relapse and recurrence in major depression. He is also co-author of the best selling book ‘Mindfulness: Finding Peace In A Frantic World.’

In this interview Mark elegantly answers the question ‘what is mindfulness?’ He also leads 2 simple introductory practices for beginners and talks about why mindfulness is so effective for the treatment of depression relapse.

IN THIS INTERVIEW YOU’LL ALSO DISCOVER…

  • The difference between mindlessness and mindfulness.
  • Why mindlessness often gets us into so much trouble.
  • The cutting edge research on mindfulness for depression (Mark is one of the world premiere researchers in this field).
  • The ‘breathing space’ mindfulness practice, which is great to use in times of stress and difficult emotions
  • How to use ‘habit releasers’ to bring more mindfulness into daily life.
  • An experience of the ‘body scan’ mindfulness practice.

To watch, listen and download this interview, register FREE for The Mindfulness Summit HERE or click one of the banners in this article.
mindfulness, mindfulness summit, depression, Mark Williams

You may also like this short video of Mark reading “Hokusai Says“. I certainly enjoyed it after listening to the interview.

 

21 Amazing Lessons You Will Learn With Mindfulness

mindfulness summit, meditation

Through my study of the world wisdom traditions and my journey into mindful living, I have learned many valuable lessons which have brought me greater peace, joy and fulfillment.

Here are 21 of the greatest spiritual lessons I’ve learned:

1. The world’s wisdom traditions have one central message that I have learned to live and know to be true. Happiness (and when I say happiness I mean a deep and lasting contentment, a sense of being at peace and at ease within and feeling a deep connectedness with life (a happiness that words could never fully capture)) cannot be found in external factors but can only be found within. Happiness comes from abiding in our natural state.

2. Thoughts are not facts.

3. I’m not who I think I am.

4. The moment I leave the present moment I leave myself. The moment I leave myself, I leave the source of all true fulfillment. Nothing ‘out there’ in the world can bring that sense of fulfillment back… but in a heartbeat I can choose to return to myself and the present moment.

5. Everything is alive. Everything is connected. I am a part of an incredible, vast, outrageously magnificent and mysterious evolving cosmos.

6. There is nothing neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.

7. When I drop desires and expectations about how people should be, about how life should be, about how I should be, all things are wonderful as they are.

8. Love, compassion and reverence arise naturally when I am fully present with any person, place or thing.

9. Taking care of myself is a gesture of love and kindness towards all life.

10. All fears ultimately come down to the fear of death. We don’t need to get rid of this fear but we do need to acknowledge it and extend compassion and understanding towards it. We also need to develop courage and vulnerability in the face of fear so we can live our lives authentically.

11. All that arises passes away. Observing and accepting this from the still, silent, changeless depths of my being, peace rushes forth.

12. What other people think of me is none of my business.

13. Our  minds are the bottom line for how we feel, what we think and how we act. Change our minds and we change our whole lives from the inside out.

mindfulness, peace14. Trying to change the world without changing myself is futile.

15. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

16. Resistance is futile.

17. Gratification comes and goes, contentment stays with you forever.

18. Beliefs shape our perceptions, just like sunglasses color what we see. Mindfulness lifts the glasses off our face so we can see things as they really are.

19. What makes a human being most unhappy is mind wandering. What makes a human being most happy is being fully present in the moment. Therefore the most intelligent thing to focus on (once survival needs are met) is being fully present in the moment.

20. There is no such thing as a mundane moment. Only mundane states of mind.

21. The only thing that keeps us from being at peace is the stories we tell ourselves about why we’re not at peace. Without the story there is only peace.

Do you have some of your own spiritual lessons to share with us? Share your own wisdom in the comments section below.

mindfulness summit, meditation

Is Your Food Hurting You?

Is your food hurting you?

is your food hurting you, food addiction, chemicals in foodI realised why I have had a PROPER chocolate binge day today – because I stopped drinking cows milk several days ago.

The body will often crave things which we give up, especially if they are not good for us, because it has become ADDICTED to the bad stuff and chemicals in it, in the case of cows milk all the vaccines and antibiotics that are pumped into the cows.

I have noticed, even in a few days of not drinking cows milk, the eczema on my hands clearing up, which I have long suspected is caused by dairy. To me, eczema or any other manifestation on the outside is only the outspill of not good stuff on the inside. And goodness knows what’s going on on the inside.

I have suspected dairy for quite a long time, in fact I had fairly strong evidence to support my suspicion. However, I have struggled to find a suitable alternative. There are alternatives out there, but I tried several of them and found I didn’t like them in a cup of tea, or on cereal. You can get soya, almond, hazelnut, rice milk etc. but I think I have found one that satisfies my needs and taste buds in coconut milk.

If you have health issues, listen to your body, question its cravings and addictions, what you think you love to eat could be the very thing that’s hurting you. It could be anything from chinese food to soda drinks to chewing gum.

Common culprits are things like MSG, used to enhance the flavour of food, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, and many more.

Start checking your labels. The less chemicals in a food, the better it will be for you.

If you really crave a food, you can bet your bottom dollar it has something in it that’s not very good for you. After all, when was anyone addicted to an apple or an avocado? By the way, they would be exceptionally good things to try and become addicted to!

It can be difficult to give up food we think we enjoy eating, but if we make a conscious decision to love our bodies, we can ask ourselves “Do I really want to give my lovely body this thing which will hurt it?”.

Would you do that to a loved one? Why do it to yourself?

Is your food hurting you?

Happy Birthday Dr. Wayne Dyer

Happy Birthday Dr. Wayne Dyer

wayne dyer birthday, free gift, free audio downloadI saw this on Louise Hay’s Facebook wall, and just had to quickly share it with you before I pop off to bed, as it’s not available for long.

Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer!

Hay House is celebrating Wayne’s birthday with a special gift for all of you–a free download of his audio book, “10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace,” today and tomorrow until midnight, Pacific Time. Enjoy this special gift, and enjoy your birthday, Wayne!

Here is the link to receive your free download:
http://www.hayhouse.com/10-secrets-for-success-and-inner-peace-4

I have downloaded it. This is not just a preview. It is a full-length audiobook, 1hr 49mins long. What a wonderful treat from such a great man. I just love to listen to his calming voice and his wise philosophy.

Happy Birthday Dr. Wayne Dyer

366 Days of Kindness

366 Days of Kindness

I went to see a show last night, and what a wonderful show it was!

Bernadette Russell, as a result of seeing the devastation of the London riots in August 2011, decided to do an act of kindness every single day for a full year, and as 2012 was a leap year, this was going to be 366 days.

Bernadette decided to keep a diary of what she did every day. As time went on, she had to come up with some very creative ways of being kind, things that were as personal as she could make them to the receiver, that made them feel very special, and also things that were fun enough to keep Russell entertained and motivated to keep going, as she admitted was needed at times.

I expected the show to be quite a straightforward, if uplifting, lists of kindnesses, but it turned out to be a comedy extravaganza, performed by Russell and her partner Gareth.

Some examples from her diary:

Day 36: Left a fiver on the bus seat, but I wrote on the fiver explaining, in the  hope it gets passed around and spreads the word! This fiver did come back to me, months later, via Twitter, from a man who was given it in change in Nottingham and kindly posted a picture for me.

kindness, 366 days of kindnessDay 52: Left jar of sweets saying eat me at house near me. Rang bell, ran away.

Day 161: met this lovely man outside Waterloo station collecting for veterans. I gave him the scripscraps from my purse. Him: “Thanks” Me: “You’re welcome. Can I take a photo of you?” Him: “I’ll probably break your camera” Me: “No you won’t, a handsome man like you” Him: “oo *blushes* er.. ok.. thanks”. It got me thinking, I don’t give enough compliments. They don’t cost anything etc. Gonna do more.

Day 186: I got the homeless man sitting outside tescos a sandwich and rolos. He said he sleeps out. Blimey. In this. I couldn’t do one night.

kindness, 366 days of kindness, pound fairyDay 239: Left a little message and a pound coin on a park bench in Deptford.

There were so many examples of little kindnesses, that cost very little money, or no money at all, but put huge smiles on people’s faces.

What I especially liked were the personal connections made with strangers, people we wouldn’t normally come into contact with. In fact, as Bernadette demonstrated, it can be easy to approach someone who looks rather friendly, but how about someone who looks grumpy, or someone who is dressed in a similar style to a ‘London rioter’: Russell paid for a stamp in a Post Office for a young lad wearing a hoodie pulled up around his head, and his eyes down, he was very grateful for the help.

Often the people who don’t ‘look’ happy or look like negative stereotypes formed by society, are the ones who need the kindness, acceptance and inclusion, shown even more.

“If someone doesn’t have a smile, give them one of yours”

Kindness doesn’t have to involve giving money; in fact, it often means more without giving money:

  • Helping a pensioner lifting shopping into a car
  • Making homemade cards or positive messages, and leaving them in random places for people to find
  • Sitting with a homeless person, hearing their story, it’s often a powerful one, rather than throwing a fiver at them and walking away.

It reminded me of the homeless lady I gave my gloves to, because it was the middle of winter and I noticed, after giving her a cup of hot chocolate, how she wrapped her bare hands around the cup to warm them.

I would like to add here that I myself received an act of kindness, as I was gifted my ticket to the show. I was going to go anyway, and hadn’t bought my ticket yet, when somebody who had already paid found they couldn’t go, so gave me their ticket. I am very thankful.

Russell’s message is that if everybody does a small act of kindness every day, we will be living in a very different world. This movement is sweeping across the planet in a very powerful way. If we can teach our children this, the entire world can be improved within a generation.

Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy, kindness, 366 days of kindnessI bought a copy of Russell’s children’s book ‘Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy’, at the show, and it was lovely to speak with her personally and she signed the book for my 7-year-old niece. I got home and read it, and decided I need to buy another – for MYSELF!

It has such beautiful suggestions for very simple things that children, and adults as it turns out, can do every day. This is not a little paperback of lists. It is a large book, bigger than A4 size, with fully illustrated, and funny, pages and exercises to do, written in language that will engage children of all ages. It is a book that children will want to return to time and time again.

Buy ‘Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy’ at Amazon.co.uk

Buy ‘Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy’ at Amazon.com

The 366 Days of Kindness tour has only a couple more shows running:

Brighton, England – 19th & 20th May 2014

Cardiff, Wales – 28th May 2014

Details HERE – I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Please join the Kindness Revolution yourself, and help change the world, one kindness at a time.

www.366daysofkindness.com

Twitter: @betterussell #366daysofkindness

Facebook: #366 Days of Kindness

366 Days of Kindness

No such thing as a small act of kindness

No such thing as a small act of kindness

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
Scott Adams, Creator Of Dilbert Comic Strip

kindness, plato, be kind, patience, love

“In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.”
Brian Tracy, Motivational Author

 

“The best portion of a good man’s life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
William Wordsworth, Poet

No such thing as a small act of kindness

Forgive, let go and be free

Forgive, let go and be free

forgive, let go and be free

 

Too often, we carry around those things from our past that hurt us the most.

Don’t let past pain rob you of your present happiness.

You had to live through it in the past, and that cannot be changed, but if the only place it lives today is in your mind, then forgive, let go, and be free.

~Doe Zantamata

What are you carrying around that you could let go of today? Who are you feeling bitter towards? Forgiveness does not mean you have to have the person who wronged you in your life, just that you learned a hard lesson and can move on from it without remaining attached to the emotional pain. The beauty of it is, when you free them, you free yourself.

Forgive, let go and be free

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

In this speech, Kamal Ravikant shares some wisdom on why self-love is really what truly matters in life. He then goes on to talk about the importance of truly loving yourself.

This is a raw, honest, 20-minute video summary of how a highly successful entrepreneur and investor was forced to re-evaluate his life. Kamal beautifully connects the left-brained world of Silicon Valley, with the world of the heart.

love yourself, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, kamal ravikantIn his book, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, Kamal talks about how not loving yourself causes crippling depression, even if the outside world sees someone successful. Kamal goes on to teach how to reconnect with your authentic self, realising what is truly important in life, and how being true to yourself can bring you back to unbreakable success.

Find Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

Abraham-Hicks coming to London! Places running out fast!

Abraham-Hicks coming to London!

Abraham-Hicks coming to LondonWhoop whoop! I’m so excited!

I have been a student of Abraham-Hicks teachings for a few years now. They have been a huge influence in leading me to live a more positive life. It has been a dream of mine to see them live in person, and now I am going to!

Esther Hicks will be performing an Abraham workshop in London on September 20, 2014.

I have my ticket and will be travelling to the event, and staying in London for a couple of nights, with 4 girlfriends from North East England, all of whom I have met through Abe, and am so looking forward to meeting so many more Abe friends when we get there. The positive energy when ‘Abrahamsters’ gather together is unreal.

It would be my ultimate dream to go on one of their cruises, which I wanted to do a couple of years ago, but tickets sold out so quickly. For this event, I was not going to miss my ticket so bought it immediately on their release, thankfully as out of 2,400 tickets, in only 2 days there are only around 200 left.

You can grab one of the last remaining tickets HERE but be quick, they’re going FAST. And do introduce yourself if you see me at the event.

Their flagship bestselling book Ask and It Is Given (UK) has improved mine and many others’ lives greatly.

A SYNOPSIS OF ABRAHAM-HICKS’ TEACHINGS

1. YOU ARE A PHYSICAL EXTENSION OF THAT WHICH IS NON-PHYSICAL.

2. YOU ARE HERE IN THIS BODY BECAUSE YOU CHOSE TO BE HERE.

3. THE BASIS OF YOUR LIFE IS FREEDOM; THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE IS JOY.

4. YOU ARE A CREATOR; YOU CREATE WITH YOUR EVERY THOUGHT.

5. ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE IS YOURS TO BE OR DO OR HAVE.

6. AS YOU ARE CHOOSING YOUR THOUGHTS, YOUR EMOTIONS ARE GUIDING YOU.

7. THE UNIVERSE ADORES YOU FOR IT KNOWS YOUR BROADEST INTENTIONS.

8. RELAX INTO YOUR NATURAL WELL-BEING. ALL IS WELL. (REALLY IT IS!)

9. YOU ARE A CREATOR OF THOUGHTWAYS ON YOUR UNIQUE PATH OF JOY.

10. ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN AND POSSESSIONS TO BE EXCHANGED ARE BY-PRODUCTS OF YOUR FOCUS ON JOY.

11. YOU MAY APPROPRIATELY DEPART YOUR BODY WITHOUT ILLNESS OR PAIN.

12. YOU CAN NOT DIE; YOU ARE EVERLASTING LIFE.

You can learn more about Abraham-Hicks HERE.

To find Abraham-Hicks materials in the US click HERE.

To find Abraham-Hicks materials in the UK click HERE.

I couldn’t leave this post without adding in a little video as an example. It’s so difficult to choose my favourite, there are so many, so I posted the first one that struck me as I wanted to get posted before tickets run out.

Abraham-Hicks coming to London!

Addicted to thinking: how do we break the habit?

Addicted to thinking: how do we break the habit?

addicted to thinking
Image courtesy of www.facebook.com/ZenToZany

A bird in a tree is talking to a dog on the ground. The bird is really upset and flustered. The dog asks, “What’s wrong?”. The bird flaps it’s wings and says, “Well I’m thinking about what happened yesterday and I’m worried about the future. What should I do?”. The dog replies, “Stop thinking!”.

It is not the situation that causes our pain, it is our thinking about it.

Eckhart Tolle teaches how to be present in the moment in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (UK). He has recently released his new book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (UK).

Addicted to thinking: how do we break the habit?