Mindfulness & Self-Compassion Practice Community:
Tuning into Soul (holding lightly worry mind/perfectionist mind)
Our minds are often churning out thoughts that go around and around like a hamster wheel, planning, worrying, ruminating, catastrophising, seeing the world in black and white, convinced that the story we are telling ourselves is true, focusing on the negative, putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect, beating ourselves up with internal criticism, viewing everyone else’s life as better than ours….AND all this can go on in our minds before we hop out of bed!
The noise, the hamster wheel of thinking in our mind, can become so loud and affect our stress/anxiety/mood so much, that we can then become absorbed in trying to distract or numb ourselves from our thinking….this distraction/numbing works for a little while, although it can also distract us from being present in our life, and then just like pushing a beach ball under water, when we relax, all of those thoughts bob up to the surface, sometimes even louder! Often just as we try to go to sleep or in the middle of the night!
I have been on my own healing journey and worked with people long enough now to know that everyone’s human mind creates these difficulties to some extent. We either get caught so completely in our thoughts (brood) or we get caught trying to avoid thinking all together (bottle) and we cycle through these two strategies feeling the effects of it in our heart (feelings) and our bodies (sensations).
So what can we do about the hamster wheel of our mind? Many ancient spiritual practices and philosophies have been trying to answer this question for 1000’s of years and now neuroscience and the study of the brain are confirming that these ancient traditions can change our brain and the way we think and feel!
The fairly simple answer (which is oh not so easy to do) is to allow our thinking mind to be in awareness but not to let it take over our whole life. We need to find ways to focus in on the present moment, to choose to focus on slightly more positive, realistic thinking, to focus on our core values, to bring in the essence of self-compassion and compassion for others and over time and with practice we begin to be less ruled by planning mind or worry mind and more ruled by a wise mind, or some people would say by our heart and soul.
As humans we have these surface thoughts and habitual ways of thinking, yet underneath that we have the essence of us, the part of us that is never changing and that feels interconnected with all beings (life the blue expansive sky that is always there, even on a cloudy day)….some people call that never-changing essence of us soul, or spirit, or heart or essence… In Internal Family Systems we call it the Wise Self Energy…the part of us that is curious, caring, compassionate, connected, calm, courageous & confident. In my eyes it doesn’t matter what we call it, but it is deeply important to cultivate our connection with this wise self/soul if we are to live a rich, full & meaningful life in line with our values.
So how do we tune in to our soul/wise self? And let soul/wise self drive this life, not worry mind or perfectionist mind? There are many strategies out there, and my personal opinion is we all need as many strategies as we can possibly find… THE most important part of the process is PRACTICE… Neurons that fire together wire together… If it has taken a lifetime to strengthen the way a worry/perfectionist brain works, it will take a long time of practice to create new pathways in the brain. Research shows that 8 weeks of daily practice in the MBSR program demonstrates changes in the brain’s pathways and participants feel better AND in my experience it takes a lifetime of practice to keep cultivating the connection with our wise self/soul.
The purpose of this practice community is to try out many practices as possible, to find out what suits you, and when we practice in community and have the chance to share and reflect on our practice it can deepen our practice, deepen the changes we notice and deepen our commitment to keep practicing!
We will practice a series of mindfulness and self compassion practices each time we meet (including the modalities of mindfulness, visualisation, mindful movement, journalling, reflection and sharing) to be aware of worry mind/perfectionist mind, while cultivating our ability to tune in to and strengthen our connection to our soul/wise self.
I hope you can join me 🙂 If the weather is nice we will gather around a campfire to be immersed in the elements, if the weather is a little unpleasant we’ll be indoors in the peaceful Deep Heart Wisdom Studio in Shelly Beach. Joining live online is also available and recordings made available if you can’t make it to one evening.
Thursday evenings: 6:00pm-7:30pm, 1st September (4 weeks).
Cost is a sliding scale of $80-120 depending on your financial circumstance for 4 x 90 minute sessions over 4 weeks.
Please email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or to find out payment details etc…
Further Information / Resources:
Two of my favourite mindfulness & self-compassion practices are described in more detail here: https://deepheartwisdom.com/…/two-short-mindfulness…/
Find out more about why mindfulness & self-compassion are so key to wellbeing: https://deepheartwisdom.com/…/why-are-mindfulness-self…/
If you wish to develop more of a mindfulness & self-compassion practice please join our Facebook community where we share share what works for each of us and resources in a safe and welcoming space: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindfulnessandselfcompassionpractice