Paying Attention, Moment to Moment
to the Unfolding of Experience – Without Judgement
Every one of us already has the seeds of mindfulness. The practice is to cultivate it ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.
Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.
Click on the link below to watch the short video below “You Are Not Your Thoughts” from Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the research-backed stress-reduction program Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), explains how mindfulness lights up parts of our brains that aren’t normally activated when we’re mindlessly running on autopilot.
Who should practice Mindfulness?
Anyone can do mindfulness practice. There are no barriers. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your physical ability is, if you’re religious or not…
Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic. It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names.
We all already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. But we can cultivate these innate qualities with simple practices that are scientifically demonstrated to benefit us in many ways.
How do I practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is available to us in every moment, whether through meditations and body scans, or mindful moment practices like taking time to pause and breathe when the phone rings instead of rushing to answer it.
The Basics of Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses. Here’s how to tune into mindfulness throughout the day:
- Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills—but you do need to set aside some time and space.
- Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgment. Easier said than done, we know.
- Let your judgments roll by.When we notice judgments arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass.
- Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
- Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.
That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.
Learn Mindfulness in Sessions
In all my sessions I teach mindfulness both by example, by being present with you and also by helping you with your reactions, and breaking down your conditioned responses. The more you practice mindfulness, it will become a natural way of how you respond to all of your internal and external experiences.
I am always open about my thought process and the approaches I use because I consider the work to be collaboration.
Here are some of the issues I work with:
- Emerging from depression
- Becoming less anxious, more relaxed, more confident
- Healing traumatic memories that may be inhibiting or upsetting you in the present
- Improving your relationship with yourself
- Improving your relationship with others
- Taming a harsh inner critic
- Mastering panic attacks
- Overcoming phobias
- Grieving in a healthy way
- And other issues as well
Regardless of the issues, my overall goal is to provide a place that is welcoming and confidential where you can engage with a skilled psychotherapist to create positive changes in your life.
My Unique Approaches
I don’t confine myself to any single theoretical orientation. I utilize a variety of approaches favouring brief solution focused (BSF) methods. My goal is to ensure you get the changes you want both effectively and quickly.
My practice is influenced by Positive psychology, Human Givens psychology, Internal Family Systems, Focusing, Emotional Intelligence, Positive NeuroPlasticity Therapies and Hypnosis.
It's All About You
I may have a favorite theory or therapeutic technique that I tend to use more often or fall back on, but I am always willing to and often use all that are available to me.
After all, the key here is to help the client as quickly and as effectively as possible ~ Not to pigeon-hole them into some set way of looking at all people, whether it works for them or not.
Contact me if you could benefit from a therapist who will work with you to find the solutions that YOU want, efficiently and effectively.