Monday, December 10, 2012

Mind full? Mindful!

Hi. Welcome to this blog about a mindful life.

So, who am I?

I'm a girl in my mid twenties originally from Brisbane, Australia and I recently returned home from overseas only to find myself at a crossroads. Instead of my usual freak out about too many choices, I'm now ready to tackle whatever I make the future hold for me.

And why? Well, while traveling I 'discovered' mindfulness for myself and it's been life changing so far, so it's here that I'm going to share my experience with you.

I first heard of mindfulness about a year ago when a psychologist friend began running some short courses on mindfulness and meditation and I must admit, at first I didn't really get it. OK, truthfully I didn't just 'not get it' I thought it was stupid as hell and in no way was I going to try it. I heard these same friends talk about how it was a way to manage anxiety, stress and other life dramas but, being me (stubborn/also sometimes ignorant) I knew it wouldn't work for me. My method for getting rid of anxiety (booze, exercise, distraction) was working just fine. But yeah it also totally wasn't. Plus there's the whole "Toughen up, everyone else is going through what you are and they're doing fine." Right? Also no, but we'll get to that later.

Oh, and did I mention I'm stubborn as fuck and headstrong so if anyone is going to do anything for me I'm going to come up with it? So I ignored mindfulness for a while and continued to quietly self-distruct. Nothing major - just wasn't getting anywhere. I kept repeating the same cycles and getting frustrated - thus digging the hole further.

In my teenage years and early 20s I struggled with the standard issues: no idea what to do after school,  dabbling in anti-social 'activities' to avoid responsibility, some standard (and not so standard) relationship dramas, aimless fluffing about, etc. I had good friends and plenty of good times, I traveled a fair bit and lived in a couple of different countries but I always wanted to do something more. I had a niggling feeling of letting myself down but I had no idea what I wanted to do or be and was always plagued by head talk, head talk, head talk.

It became so frustrating at times as I was also fighting with a pesky eating disorder that would pop up whenever I became stressed. This cycle continued right up until about two months ago when I was in Berlin and finally decided to say fuck it and start meditating. I had nothing better to do.

And how did it go? Damn if they weren't right all along. Life changing.

But even with meditating being helpful, it was only when I bought a book called The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris that I understood the theory. It's based on ACT which is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I began meditating along with reading the book and saw that I was less anxious and more able to 'deal with my mind' almost straight away. Instant results, which appealed to my flippancy.

So why blog about it? Well, I was blogging about my life and travel on another blog and I began writing about my mindfulness experiences there.

After a couple of posts I realized that I wanted to be able to document my mindful progress, setbacks and experiences in the one exclusive place and I also realised that if I could benefit why not share it with others who could follow along and learn with me.

I'll be posting meditations, exercises, tips, advice and techniques as and when I use and experience them and will be as honest as I can.

It'll be cool if others join in and and tell me how they're progressing and what they do. I'm not a registered psychologist and I'm writing this blog as a personal project.

Me being super mindful

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