As a qualified mindfulness teacher, I have been teaching students and staff at Woldingham School in Surrey since 2017. I find it rewarding to teach mindfulness to students and also enjoy taking sessions for adults only. Having coached adults in my earlier career, I decided to develop Mindful Surrey in 2018 to contribute to adults and children in a range of settings, including companies and schools, in and around Reigate and Dorking, Surrey.
I am writing this mid March, as the coronavirus is changing everyone's lives and we are all trying to accept certain new realities. I taught two final sessions of the MBSR course as live online classes this week from home; although we are all new to the technology, they went surprisingly well. I have written more about the benefits from doing mindfulness training online in the Courses section.
I am hopeful that our planned 'Drama and Mindfulness' classes for children will be able to take place later in the year. Besides mindfulness, I am also an experienced drama teacher, and drama can help young people explore how mindful awareness can help them deal with difficult situations. Children of an increasingly young age are struggling with stress and it is great that mindfulness is now taught in so many schools. I am planning to create a page specifially for children, with activities they can do at home to help with their mental wellbeing at this challenging time, and will do this in April once all the online courses for adults are underway.
Registered UK Charity
Mindful Surrey is a registered charity whose aims are to provide mindfulness training to all, regardless of income, throughout Surrey. We are hoping to raise funds so that we can offer our classes to schools and individuals at a subsidised rate. We have three trustees who work to ensure we operate in an efficient, informed and legal manner: Pauline Saxby, Diana Davies and Eleanore Hargreaves. I am very grateful to them for their support and wisdom.
I chose this gratitude symbol as a logo for Mindful Surrey because it is an aspect of mindfulness that I particularly like. We can get so caught up in things that are not as we would like, it is easy to forget the things we could appreciate; not to diminish the unpleasant aspects of our lives, but to be aware of the pleasant ones as well.
In my early career, I led self-development courses in London, increasing my understanding of human behaviour and exploring ancient and new ideas about how to live well. I enjoyed supporting people in achieving their goals and expressing themselves. I started practising Yoga and trained in Dramatherapy at Roehampton Institute. During this time, I was also working as a professional theatre director and drama school teacher, developing leadership and teaching skillls. I went on to coach children with special needs at the same time as bringing up a family. I was leading quite a hectic life and it was a memorable moment when, in 2012, I discovered 'modern' mindfulness in a workshop. As I walked along a warm, white rug, feeling its softness between my toes, I felt a strong sense of relief and wonder, resting in the present. I had not realised that through all the 'busyness' of bringing up a family and teaching drama, I was forgetting to savour the present moment. Modern mindfulness resonated with so many ideas I had discovered and taught in my twenties, it felt like coming home.
In 2013 I took my first MBSR course, found it profoundly useful and have been meditating regularly ever since. I went on to train with MiSP (Mindfulness in Schools Project) to become a mindfulness teacher. I am fortunate to work in a school where mindfulness is on the curriculum and I currently teach staff and students on a weekly basis. I trained to teach the MBSR course to adults at The Mindful Academy in Spain, which is at the forefront of mindfulness training in Europe. I have also taken training to teach the MBSR course online. To find out more about my training, please follow this link, I follow the Good Practice Guidelines for teaching mindfulness of the UK Network of Mindfulness Teachers.
I have found mindfulness profoundly useful over the years. Not only has it helped me appreciate the present moment more, but it has also enabled me to experience events such as bereavement and other challenging situations with calm and confidence. At this particular time with the coronavirus, I am immensely grateful to have my mindfulness practice and to be able to meditate with others via various online platforms - I am currently starting every weekday by doing a meditation with friends in the Spanish mountains which is very helpful. I am motivated by the way that mindfulness has changed and enriched my own life and by the evidence that it has the potential to do the same for everyone. I am committed to sharing what I have learnt so as to empower and inspire others.
Do get in touch if you would like to know more.