Guidebook – 4 Week Series
Introduction – You’re breathing anyway…
Time! Time! Time! What happens for you when you read or hear the word time? Did you react? Was there a physical response? How often have you thought “I wish I had more time”? When I have time, I’ll slow down and smell the roses”. “I know I should be taking more time to relax but I’m too exhausted after I finish work and look after everyone else”. Do any of these statements sound familiar? Throughout the years as a health care professional in a variety of settings, I have made suggestions to people to help them manage their condition or set of circumstances. Again and again I hear “Yes, I know I should be doing that but I don’t have time”.
Currently as a therapist, I am witness to emotional and psychological suffering. There is no magic to fix this. We are all individuals with unique life experiences. If your leg is broken, a cast is put on to immobilize the leg. In time healing occurs and the cast is removed; rehabilitation exercises are done and you move on with your life. When life or life’s circumstances becomes too overwhelming for us, we become unbalanced and find it difficult to find clarity around issues, options and choices. There is no cast to put on or prescribed regime to follow.
To find balance, internal and external awareness is required to make choices regarding the options that fit for oneself and one’s circumstances. How do we develop this awareness? How do we learn to move toward greater balance and stability? The most powerful technique is with us all the time – the breath. The power of breathing connects us with our bodies which, in turn, helps to slow down the mind. In slowing down the mind we become more aware of what is happening in the present, — the here and now. Initially, when I suggest learning how to breath from the belly, most people believe that it is too simple. But, after learning and practicing belly breathing, resistance turns into amazement of how the simple act of breathing becomes an empowering experience to manage their distress. This technique of belly breathing helps to shift perspective and thoughts that are reinforcing the distress.
If you want to learn how to use your mind and body to live a healthier and more enriching engaged life, read on. Read on, take a breather because you are breathing anyway!
When I created this guidebook my intention is to help people with busy lives to learn skills and techniques that can be integrated into day to day living. One of the biggest challenges for people living in today’s culture is to learn how to manage all the external demands that flood our lives. Technology and information do not come with instructions to help us distinguish between information and wisdom. To sort through this ongoing external bombardment to our senses, we need to learn how to take a breather to create some space to reflect, to make conscious choices of how we want to live and be in this world.
Approach and Design
The Guidebook is divided into 4 units with a systematic step by step experiential approach. Each unit consists of: information, mindfulness practice exercises with or without the CD, weekly planner, weekly feedback questions to learn from your experience.
The Guidebook may be approached by yourself or with a group and a group facilitator.