This was the week when our mindfulness work got back into something like full swing. Our two Foundations for a Fulfilled Life - Teacher Training programme got going on Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening respectively, both via webinar. Our two new groups are wonderful to work with and I'm sure we will all mutually nurture and inspire one another to a much greater depth and richness of mindfulness in our lives. So I'm really looking forward to Tuesday and Wednesday for our next installments.
Tuesday evening was my usual weekly class at UWS Lanarkshire campus in High Blantyre. Lots of new people there. As usual we started with a short practice to settle people into the right frame of mind after their long days. Then a talk on what mindfulness really is, followed by a longer practice, after which I felt beautifully rested, mellow and clear-minded - so it works well for me and I hope it did for everyone else :-)
I was at a North Lanarkshire Council locality office in Seafar, Cumbernauld on Wednesday, an informal, relaxing introductory talk and practice for staff there. The subject of peace of mind came up when we were doing a Q&A at the last part of the session, and most people said they "never" or "hardly ever" feel peace. I find this absolutely everywhere I speak and it's tragic and sad, because peace is such a strong, uplifting feeling, and is attainable.
On Thursday I moved onto week two of an eight week programme for NHS Lanarkshire staff, with the class being held in the lovely Sanctuary at Wishaw General Hospital. Again, wonderful people to work with, and a joy to teach. Last week the theme was Be Present but as much of the time was spent exploring how the participants found trying to be mindful at work and home in between Weeks 1 and 2 of the programme. Many people found themselves sleeping much better, some using nature more consciously to glean as much from walks as possible, effortlessly allowing the beneficial results of the countryside to soak in by osmosis. Others became more aware of their default rushing mindset, and managed at times to let it settle down. So positive differences already taking effect for these people whose work is so important for all of us.
Earlier that day I recorded the sixth of maybe twenty podcasts, not about mindfulness as such, though it does of course feature. Rather it is about my lifelong experiences of being involved in family businesses, with an emphasis on what listeners can learn from my experiences. The man who interviews me each time, Russ Haworth, is brilliant at getting the most from me, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Hopefully we'll have produced a book as well as the podcasts by the end of the interviews.
On Thursday and again on Friday I met individuals at Chatelherault for one-to-one meetings. It's so good to hold meetings at places that encourage mindfulness. The first was with someone with whom I am collaborating on a book. More details when we've developed it further. On Friday I met with someone doing great volunteer work for victims of strokes, so I'm looking at possible ways I can help a Lanarkshire group. Again I'll keep you in touch with any developments.
Finally as the working week gave way to this weekend, I took my daughter Katie to Glasgow Airport on Saturday, where she is flying to Panama, via Dublin, with two friends. I'm sure they'll have a ball. Today, Sunday, I visited my Aunt Frances, now five months short of her 101st birthday and looking more than ready to go well past that mark! She is the last remaining sibling of my mother, a remarkable family who were raised in Cambuslang through the 1920s to 1950s and beyond.
Looking forward to the rest of my day today, and to next week, but most of all, this being about mindfulness after all, I'm now going to enjoy my present moment, hopefully as much as I've enjoyed writing this post for you.
Have a lovely happy, peaceful day.