Leading the way: The UK and mindfulness

Just now, in October 2015, the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG) in the UK published a ground-breaking report, entitled “Mindful Nation UK”. In it, it states that: “Our long-term vision is of the UK as a group of mindful nations, an international pioneer of a National Mental Health Service which has, at its heart, a deep understanding of how best to support human flourishing and thereby the prosperity of the country. “ For this to happen, the report recommends governmental action in four particular sectors:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Workplace
  • Criminal Justice System

Having been in the Netherlands recently, I see the same trend forward; schools are training teachers in mindfulness as well as their pupils, trainers and consultants are proposing courses, workshops and interventions. I truly have never seen so many people familiar with and active in mindfulness.

I will definitely bring these great thoughts and projects back to French speaking Switzerland, where I currently live, to try and raise awareness and openness towards new and innovative methods that have proven their worth. Mindful Communication, Mindful Leadership and regular mindfulness courses for adults, teachers and children is what I have to offer. Contact me to learn more!




Teaching Mindfulness

… is like guiding people in a very humble way for a short while on their very personal journey.

20121221-222218.jpgHaving been accepted on the teacher training pathway of the Center for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University in the UK, I have now led my first face-2-face session within an 8-weeks course that I am teaching. I feel grateful and at the same time very moved about the openness and trust that the participants are showing me. Through teaching, I also deepen my own practice which of course brings me even more insights and personal growth. I am happy that I have chosen this path a couple of years ago as I feel very much centered, creative and alive!

In fact, a central aspect around mindfulness is to learn how to be more fully aware and present in each moment of life. This makes it more interesting, vivid and fulfilling. On the other hand, it also means facing what is present even when it is unpleasant or difficult.

I can now also appreciate fully, why one cannot simply read a book about mindfulness in order to teach it and why one need to practice a long time before actually being able to introduce a mindful approach into communications and leadership as well as broader diversity topics.

Let me close with a poem that I found on this wonderful site which I hope will get to you as much as it does to me:

Walk Slowly (Danna Faulds)

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.


How to get started with Mindfulness

SchieneLately I got asked by a friend how you actually start with mindfulness meditation or practice. Starting with something new always requires some special commitment and guidance until you feel the benefits of the new activity on your own.

Well, from my experience, reading and informing yourself about something is already a very good start! You familiarize yourself with the idea of getting involved into something new and your inhibition threshold might even become lower or disappear completely. Like with all other activities, mindfulness meditation or practice can be started in many different ways…

For me, the way that worked was to actually attend an 8 weeks MBSR course or better, to do the eight sessions at my own pace with a coach given my personal circumstances. I decided that if I was going to do this, it had to fit in into my life as otherwise it would certainly not work for me and sustain itself.

Once, this decision was made, I had to find an adequate coach/teacher; one would think: easy! But depending on where you live the offer might not be as vast as you would have imagined. I would definitely look for a professional association in your country of residence[1] and get in touch with some people there, in order to find a suitable person. At least you will be sure that your teacher/coach has the required pre-requisites and is not just calling himself/herself “mindfulness teacher” as it seems to be quite “in” nowadays and a good selling point.

Once you have found somebody not too far from you, you might want to meet that person before registering for any type of course or sessions. I personally have to feel comfortable with my teacher/coach. If I don’t feel understood and supported and/or if my gut feeling tells me that this is not the right type of person for me, I would rather look for somebody else. Establishing a relationship of trust is absolutely necessary for me in order to be able to work with somebody.

Finally, when you have found the course and the person that is right for you, give it a try… the 8 weeks course is designed to give you all the tools you need to start practicing on your own. From there you see where your path goes; it will definitely change you somehow, maybe in a very subtle way but once you start practicing and applying the principles to your daily life, you might find a ‘new you’ on the way!

If you have good resources in different countries, please share them with me, so that I can establish a reference list for interested and like-minded people! Thanks and an excellent week! Jenny

[1] In Switzerland for example, it would be this address : http://www.mbsr-verband.ch/index.php/home/willkommen/