An inspiring way to better your mindset.

Last week I went to a Mindfulness and Meditation class at Move Your Frame, Shoreditch. I didn’t really know what to expect from the two hour class but it definitely exceeded any expectations I had.

As a beginner in meditation, I struggled with a number of things but actually the final meditation went so well that I plan on practicing daily as much as I possibly can.

The teacher, Holiday Phillips, was so inspirational and real that she grasped my attention from the get go. As soon as she said “we all fuck up sometimes”, I immediately knew she was the teacher for me.

I don’t really remember the last time (before meditation) that I have been really, ACTUALLY in the moment. I always have had something going through my mind, and it’s always been something that is so unnecessary. Like, shit, did I get the chicken out? I wonder if T has clean shirts for the week? Shall I cut my hair short again? It’s really bloody hard to be in stillness, completely clear and open to sounds and feelings ONLY.

Anyway, so I rocked up a little bit awkward mainly because I suffer from social anxiety. New things, especially on my own, would normally trigger me to feel worse and that’s never ideal given that you pay for things, get ready for things and want to DO things. Social anxiety needs an entire blog for itself as there’s so much to discuss – so keep an eye out for that.

I always get to places a little bit earlier than needed because that’s one thing that really increases my stress levels and causes me to panic if I think I am going to be late. So, to avoid that as much as possible, I make sure I have at least 10 minutes to spare after arriving. In this time, I found myself looking around to see if people were professionals at this (I mean, how can I? What am I possibly looking for?!). I knew for a fact that I was nervous when this began. However, luckily Frame is where I go for Reformer Pilates so I knew I was in a comfortable place with some familiar faces around. That, at least, prevented the panic becoming an attack!!!

Calm

We went into the room and it was full of mats and those cushion things (still not a pro…). Holiday lit an incense stick and that was it. I was in my element. I felt relaxed and really zen all of a sudden – I think maybe I had just finally chilled the fuck out and realised I was there for me and doing it off the back of my own choice, for me.

Initially, I really struggled with keeping my eyes closed. They do this weird thing where they keep moving around under my lids and it ends up giving me a massive headache from the strain. That did happen but I managed to ignore it for the majority. Actually, after speaking about that in the small group conversation and realising I wasn’t alone, it started to stop.

We learnt such valuable practices including self compassion break which we practiced and I took away to look further into and do in my own time. It’s like treating yourself like you would a friend. For example, if your friend said she was struggling with the pressure at work, you’d take her for a glass of wine and tell her not to worry, she’s got this, she’s the boss. SO TREAT YOURSELF LIKE THIS! Don’t succumb to the pressure and punish yourself for it. Give yourself that hug and motivational speech instead. This for me was just what I needed. I care so much about people I love that I would most definitely put their needs before my own and sometimes I have to learn to do that for myself.

We finished up with the lie down meditation which was amazing. I felt as though I was in the room all on my own, SO chilled, absolutely nothing but me, the room, the sounds of wind outside and my little Ben working his butt off upstairs!! We learnt how to focus in on one sound at a time and that’s the one thing I actually came out successful!!

Since then, because I felt so zen afterwards even after the shocking England rugby match, I took up Holiday’s 5 minute daily meditation for 30 days. I haven’t been able to do it everyday, but I have completed 5 out of the 7. I don’t think that’s bad for the first week! Why don’t you take up the challenge? You don’t need to punish yourself for missing a day or two, just try the following day. Love from, Amber x

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