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Posts from the ‘mindfulness & compassion’ Category

Art, Nature and Mindfulness Day- November 26th @016

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Art, Nature and Mindfulness Day

p1130136loPlease join me of a truly special day exploring both our inner and outer landscape…on Saturday 26th November 2016

Held at Wormingford Community Education Centre, a former primary school located in the peace and tranquility of the rolling Stour Valley- an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The day will start with a short intro and taster to mindfulness practice and how it can enhance our creativity and response to what we see, feel and sense followed by getting outside (in all weathers!) to experience the local landscape.

We will then take this experience back to the Centre for you to work and develop your own piece of work/s as a response.

To make the most of the Autumn light the day will run from 9.30-4pm. £65

The day is limited to 8 places. Tea and Coffee facilities are provided but please bring your own lunch, art materials and suitable walking gear for all weathers. A suggested list of what to bring will be sent closer to the day.

Heather is a colourist, painting expressive nature based paintings inspired by a mindful sense of place. She is a mindfulness practitioner, a coach and learning and development consultant; running mindfulness courses on the Essex/Suffolk Border. www.heatherrachel.co.uk

Mindfulness Course Participant Testimonials

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Having previously run successful Mindfulness courses at the Colchester Institute you may recognise some of these testimonials…Participants come from all walks of life and include stay at home mums, electricians, Doctors, school teachers, counsellors, social workers, pastoral leads and various business professionals!

 

It has given me strength of mind and i will use and adapt what i have been learning into my everyday life

Course Participant

I feel that the course has been very good for me at a time when things are and have been difficult in my work and home life. 

Cathy

Not at all ” wee-woo” ! My partner says I’m happier and calmer. 

This course is to be recommended for people with a chronic illness. Connecting the mind and body and facilitates health and self care.

Course Participant

I really enjoyed it,  nice subject, nice people and nice experience. Its made me aware of me, what i do and what i am. 

Donna

It has helped me to meditate without fear of not doing it right!

Adrian

Even entrenched bad habits can be broken! Give it a go! These courses can help bring a more balanced and calm attitude to life and may help you break lifelong bad habits.

Jean

Very useful and practical and has helped me awaken my creative and curious personality. Thank you Heather!! 

I would highly recommend this course to everyone, as even the most practical person still can use time to be more mindfully aware in giving your grey matter some time out for a workout.

Debbie

This mindfulness course has really opened up my path of self development and brings about a more positive way of being in the World

Cath

This course was just what I needed at this point in my life. It has been enlightening and life changing and helped me focus and learn what being mindful really means. The course has helped me get to know myself and be kind and compassionate to myself

Much needed in a stressful world. A way of finding yourself and staying sane.

Elizabeth

A valuable journey of self discovery. I am less stressed, have less back pain, have more acknowledgement/understanding of self, more time for self and the here and now is what matters

Karen

I have really enjoyed  coming to the course and practicing with others and being lead. It has made me allocate time to press the ‘reset’ button!

Alex

Has helped me to ‘untangle’ my brain! Am more aware of when i am on autopilot or not fully in the present- better able to change this

Marion ( Hospital Doctor)

I would definitely recommend to others and would say it is essential in looking after oneself in a nourishing way. Helps to cope with the stresses of life. 

Maggie (Counsellor)

The course has offered the real opportunity for me to think about myself, learn about myself and take care of myself. The course has supported me to  start to break down the barriers that i have built up over the years as a false protection of myself

Deb

Some further comments on Heather’s facilitation style in the mindfulness sessions:

Very concise, useful course in the way it was delivered. Given in a way that did not overload or overwhelm when embarking on a personal course. Also delivered very creatively, Thank you.

 Heather, you hold the space during the sessions wonderfully. You bring a very calm open approach to each session which aids learning about oneself

Thankyou for being kind, non judgemental, warm and empathetic. A satisfying learning environment that has allowed me the space to grow.

Well paced, 4 sessions works well despite being designed as eight sessions. Felt we were all given time to have our say

Really enjoyed your welcoming non-judgemental approach.

Found Heather, relaxing, supportive and knowledgeable. Already believing in what she does.

Heather really gave all that she could whilst facilitating the course, including all of us in the group.

CDs are excellent. Heather is a very patient, reflective person. Managed the class with kindness.

I have enjoyed everything Heather has done on the course giving me space to notice in my own time and way.

What a lovely soothing voice. Went at a good pace. Running over more weeks has almost certainly helped to embed it.

Her teaching is very clear. She has a compassionate authority. Her advice about breaking rules and doing what feels personally ok has really helped me during the course and will encourage me in the future

Heather was always non-judgemental and was able to capture and share difficult experiences that we may have been having.

Navigating mindfulness

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New course for January 2018 here

Mindfulness is very much ‘in vogue’ at the moment and it can be difficult to decide what course or method is right for you; or if you are an Organisation which provider might be the best fit. In this post I wanted to highlight a few things to help you make your choices clearer.

Read more

Strengthening your mindfulness practice- silent retreat

March 29th, 2016

Heather Johnston

photo[2]Already completed an 8 week MBSR or MBCT course? I will be running a silent retreat on Saturday 18th March 2017  at Wormingford Community Education Centre between 9.30am and 3.30pm. The cost is £60. Tea and Coffee facilities are available and you will need to bring your own lunch (which will be in silence).

The day will incorporate practices learnt on your MBSR/MBCT course and include some new meditations to strengthen your practice and cultivate further a sense of mindful presence. The day will be held mostly in silence and we will intersperse sitting meditations with movement based meditation and make the most of the beautiful countryside nearby. If the weather is kind to us we will take some of the practice outside so bring sunscreen and a hat!

To apply and book please contact Heather direct at 07801 246113 or via email enquiries@mindtrip.co.uk

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Mindfulness Courses for 2018

January 15th, 2016

Heather Johnston

Would you like to generate feelings of greater peace in your life? To feel happier, more resilient and more in control?

Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment so that we become more aware and fully present, noticing what is unfolding moment by moment with a sense of spaciousness, curiosity, acceptance and love. Mindfulness is a practice to nourish our minds rather like what we do for our bodies. By spending time training our minds, we can notice where our attention is and with kindness bring our focus back to where we would like it to be. Mindfulness is in effect a workout for our minds.

There are many scientific research studies into the benefits of mindfulness, with more and more research conducted each year. Scientifically validated studies into mindfulness meditation, specifically MBSR and MBCT have found:

  • Increases in positive emotions and contentment and decrease in anxiety and stress
  • Decrease in pain and inflammation
  • Increased mental stamina and resilience
  • Increased focus, attention and memory improvement
  • Increased creativity, empathy and compassion

Finding Peace in a Frantic World

NEXT CLASSES START  : I am currently focusing on delivering courses within organisations, if you would like to bring mindfulness to your workplace do contact me 

This course is based on the best selling book: Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. The course runs over 8 sessions with guided group meditations and exercises that introduce you to the foundations of mindfulness. Each week you will be invited to undertake some home practise which helps you to build a mindfulness practice and build resilience in everyday life. Participants will need to buy the book which is available at bookstores and online.

BOOK HERE

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81% people who took my mindfulness courses to date felt less stressed, 83% feel less anxious, 95% are more aware and 82% feel better about themselves

Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment so that we become more aware and fully present, noticing what is unfolding moment by moment with a sense of spaciousness, curiosity, acceptance and love. Mindfulness is a practice to nourish our minds rather like what we do for our bodies. By spending time training our minds, we can notice where our attention is and with kindness bring our focus back to where we would like it to be. Mindfulness is in effect a workout for our minds.

 

This course is for the general public and is based on the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course developed by Dr Mark Williams and colleagues at the University of Oxford.

On the course, you will learn practices such as the Body Scan, Mindful Movement and Sitting Meditations with the aim of taking what you learn in these practices and applying them in your everyday life.

The course focuses on eight key themes outlined in the best selling book Finding Peace in a Frantic World, all interlinking and building each week through home practice.

Home practise is an integral part of the course, as it enables you to establish the skills that you are learning and apply them and see the benefits in your daily life. Each participant is encouraged to undertake approximately 10-20 minutes daily practice, six days per week, between each class. This at times can be a challenge to fit in and participants are encouraged to be kind with themselves in finding a way to make mindfulness practise work for them. The longer time given to practise the greater the benefits!

The course is most effective if you can try to attend all sessions as each session builds on the previous session. Attendance certificates are given to those that attend 7 or more sessions.

For those interested in training as a mindfulness teacher in schools, this course fulfils one of the prerequisites.

See what previous course participants have said here and here

Who should attend mindfulness courses?

Mindfulness is generally available to most people, however for some it may be best to be trained by someone with a specific clinical qualification (such as those with an acute mental health condition).
For some people challenges can arise while meditating for a number of different reasons. While each of us is different, If you are going through a major life event (such as having been recently bereaved or divorced) or suffering from mental ill health (eg acute depression) have a learning disability or have just been diagnosed with an upsetting physical illness (eg cancer) it is best to wait and leave attending a course until life is a little more settled for you or find a course that is more specialised to your particular needs. This can be discussed with your course leader and it is for this reason why we ask everyone to fill in a course screening form so that we can best support your needs or help you to find someone who can.
The course is not designed to discuss any current or past personal problems not related to the practises and If necessary, these should be pursued through individual work with a counsellor or other appropriate support.

Already completed an 8 week MBSR or MBCT course? I will be running A day of silence/retreat  this SUMMER on August 8th at The Granary SUDBURY (free parking) between 9.30am and 3.30pm. The cost is £60. Tea and Coffee facilities are available and you will need to bring your own lunch (which will be in silence).

The day will incorporate practices learnt on your MBSR/MBCT course and include some new meditations to strengthen your practice and cultivate further a sense of mindful presence. The day will be held mostly in silence and we will intersperse sitting meditations with movement based meditation and make the most of the beautiful countryside nearby. If the weather is kind to us we will take some of the practice outside so bring sunscreen and a hat!

To apply and book please contact Heather direct at 07801 246113 or via email enquiries@mindtrip.co.uk

 

Interested in mindfulness classes and coaching in the workplace?

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Interested in mindfulness in the workplace?

After a stimulating and enjoyable teachers training retreat with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (University of Bangor) I am now actively incorporating mindfulness thinking into a number of areas of my work:  Read more

What have you done to help others lately?

November 4th, 2013

Heather Johnston

Why do I ask? Because it may just help you too…At the end of October, I attended the empathy and compassion conference in society and was transported into a truly inspiring atmosphere of the latest research and thinking around ways to help improve our individual and collective resilience, so as to build a more compassionate society.

We as human beings are naturally programmed to help others, you only need to look at acts of bravery and courage (both big and small) to see how much they are rooted in putting other people before ourselves.

Taking a secular view on thinking from Buddhist meditation practices, researchers have found that those that meditate regularly develop an ability to self soothe themselves when times get tough, maintain perspective and once they get themselves balanced have a greater ability to act compassionately towards others without getting burnout.

The key? Is self compassion. When things gets tough in our ‘threat and drive’ based work organisations we all have a tendency to be our biggest internal critic and this then leeches out into a wider culture of the survival of the strongest with potentially devastating impact on people’s wellbeing, cooperation, productivity and society as a whole.

Through starting to be kinder to ourselves and being a bit more self compassionate, we naturally will start to act more compassionately towards others and this can impact up to 3 degrees of separation from ourselves, as well as increase our own wellbeing and happiness. Benefits to work organisations? Researchers have shown this is good for business too..those that start to develop more balanced work cultures that value acts of giving towards others see increased staff loyalty, increased customer service and reduced turnover as well as a reduced health bill from the impact of stress.

Want to find out where to start? Have a look at the links through this article and all it takes to get going is just 7 minutes meditation a day to take a deep breath, stop and be still. Spending time becoming aware of our own mind is a first step towards helping yourself and helping others.

 

Mindfulness and Heartfulness

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Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment so that we become more aware and fully present, noticing what is unfolding moment by moment with a sense of spaciousness, curiosity, acceptance and love. Mindfulness is a practice to nourish our minds rather like what we do for our bodies. By spending time training our minds, we can notice where our attention is and with kindness bring our focus back to where we would like it to be. Mindfulness is in effect a workout for our minds.

 What I offer

I run mindfulness for health and wellbeing (based on the pioneering MBSR/MBCT) 4 and 8 session workshops, Finding peace in a frantic world workshops and mindfulness in schools project .dotb-Foundations and pawsb (7-11 years old) courses. Tailored taster sessions available for Schools and businesses.

81% people who took my mindfulness courses to date felt less stressed, 83% feel less anxious, 95% are more aware and 82% feel better about themselves

The Benefits

There are many scientific research studies into the benefits of mindfulness, with more and more research conducted each year. Scientifically validated studies into mindfulness meditation, specifically MBSR and MBCT have found:

  • Increases in positive emotions and contentment and decrease in anxiety and stress
  • Decrease in pain and inflammation
  • Increased mental stamina and resilience
  • Increased focus, attention and memory improvement
  • Increased creativity, empathy and compassion

Interested to read more or watch some short videos – take a look here

My training

Heather has undertaken two MBSR/MBCT teacher training retreats (TTR 1&2) with the Centre for mindfulness and research practice at the University of Bangor, one of the leaders in the field for mindfulness in the UK, along with advanced mindfulness training course in mindfulness based compassionate living and further training in deep listening. Some of the people that have trained Heather include: Michael Chaskalson, Trish Bartley, Jody Mardula, Sarah Silverton, Erik van den Brink, Ros Oliver, Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter. She has also attended masterclasses with: Profs Paul Gilbert, Tania Singer and Associate Professor Kristin Neff. See my bio here.
 
Who should attend mindfulness courses?

Mindfulness is generally available to most people, however for some it may be best to be trained by someone with a specific clinical qualification (such as those with an acute mental health condition).

For some people challenges can arise while meditating for a number of different reasons. While each of us is different, If you are going through a major life event (such as having been recently bereaved or divorced) or suffering from mental ill health (eg acute depression) have a learning disability or have just been diagnosed with an upsetting physical illness (eg cancer) it is best to wait and leave attending a course until life is a little more settled for you or find a course that is more specialised to your particular needs. Why? Mindfulness is about bringing awareness to all that life throws at us. As we tune in to this it is helpful to do so when we are relatively stable so we don’t get overwhelmed. As time passes our practice can then bolster us when we hit the rapids! As Jon Kabat Zinn has said- don’t start weaving the parachute when you are about to jump!

My courses are psycho- educational and suitable for delivery in the workplace. They are not designed to discuss any current or past personal problems not related to the practises and if necessary, these should be pursued through individual work with a counsellor or other appropriate support.

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