Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice that is now widely used as a therapeutic technique in the West. In simple terms, it’s a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
Life is busy and full of distractions, so it’s easy to lose touch with ourselves and become trapped in a never-ending cycle of automatic thinking and doing. Mindfulness helps us break out of this pattern and focus our attention more deeply on the here and now.
At State Of Liberty, we believe wellbeing can be found in the smallest interactions with all that surrounds you. A sense of calm can arise from the simple act of being present. Seemingly inconsequential actions, like a deep breath or a loving touch, can have enormous benefits when we slow down and take a moment to appreciate the experience.
Mindfulness connects each of the different elements included in our online wellbeing retreats and each element is greatly enhanced when approached mindfully. Research shows there is a direct correlation between mindfulness and relief from high blood pressure, stress reduction, improved sleep, improved immunity and the relief and reduction of pain. We’ll be sharing simple techniques to help you integrate this important practice into your everyday lives.
Walk With Me
Thich Nhat Hanh, world famous spiritual teacher, poet and peace activist, is widely credited with introducing the concept of mindfulness to the western world.
‘Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.’ – Thich Nhat Hanh
Walk With Me is a beautiful documentary film about the community of Buddhist monks and nuns at Plum Village in France where Thich Nhat Hanh lives and devotes himself to the art of mindful living. I saw the film recently while travelling through Germany and left the cinema feeling calm and inspired. It will be showing in cinemas here in the UK from January 5th 2018.
Introducing Gemma David
We’re thrilled to have mindfulness expert Gemma David joining us as part of the SOL team. Through her wellbeing business, The Quiet Heart, Gemma creates events, works in schools, gives talks and runs a private practice where she uses mindfulness, Traditional Chinese Medicine, mental health skills and seasonal living guidance to gently encourage a state of balance between the body and mind.
Gemma believes that by practising and applying mindfulness, we can improve our relationships, cultivate creativity, increase quality of sleep, encourage openness to learning and nurture general feelings of happiness.
‘My overall intention is to help the people I work with feel a sense of peace, clarity and connection to their body; to hear what feels right. The more I practise, the more mindful I become, but this habit has taken time to cultivate. I’ve learned enough skills now that I can use mindfulness while driving, walking or in the supermarket. Mindfulness has helped me navigate major life events and I am more appreciative and attentive in my daily life.’
Later today, we’ll share a simple mindfulness technique you can use anytime. We’ll also be revealing more about Gemma and her unique wellbeing story in Friday’s Long Read.
To stay up-to-date with news of our launch and receive an email when a blog post goes live, sign up for our newsletter here.
Do you practise mindfulness? if so, tell us in the comments below.
Love Lizzie xx