my qualifications...

I trained with the UK College of Mindfulness Meditation on their Mindfulness Now Teacher Training Course. The Mindfulness Now Programme is a fusion of mindfulness based approaches including elements from two of the most well known evidence based Mindfulness Programmes - the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat – Zinn at Massachusetts University & the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy programme developed by Dr Mark Williams at Oxford University & the Oxford Mindfulness centre. I  teach groups, one to one, with adults, children, teenagers & within a corporate setting. I also have a Combined Honours Degree in Education Studies & Drama.

from sceptic to teacher - my story...

I have been practising mindfulness for a few years now and it all started as a last minute decision to help me with my Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I have struggled with chronic IBS for as long as I can remember, officially diagnosed with it in high school. I have also always been a chronic worrier.

A few years ago I was having a particularly stressful time. I worked in a school as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, alongside several other posts I chose to do in the same school, for extra income and to help out. I loved the school and what I was doing but I had taken on too much, didn’t realise it at the time, and my body was telling me so via my IBS. I was also worrying about anything and everything.

I had always been sceptical and dismissive of meditation, I didn’t get it and I didn’t think it was really for me.  Mindfulness was also becoming a fad and trendy which made me even more wary of it.

I’ve always been able to manage my IBS. I’d worked out ways over the years to help ride out the episodes, and I refused to let it get in the way. However my IBS and stress were at peak crazy, nothing I would normally do to help was helping. I was on stronger prescription meds, instead of my normal over the counter ones, I’d done a FODMAP diet twice, culminating in the dietician saying my triggers were probably more stress based at the moment. I was at the end of my rope. Cue the ‘Book People’ arriving at work with a book on mindfulness in their little box of joy. I thought “Sack it. There’s no harm in trying it I suppose”.

And that’s where I started using Mindful meditation. From there I started seeing improvements in my mood and IBS, I started to read and research more. It also spurred me on to use hypnobirthing, which has a lot of mindfulness elements in it, when I had my son, which worked wonders. Through my Mindfulness practise and being pregnant I realised I had been doing too much and dropped some of my extra responsibilities at work.

The more I practised mindfulness, the happier I felt and the more of my life I was appreciating and experiencing in the moment, without my mind being perpetually somewhere else. I became incredibly passionate about it and I wanted to share Mindfulness with anyone who would listen. I left my job to focus on raising my son and decided that I wanted to learn to teach Mindfulness,  in the hopes that I could help others with Mindfulness the way Mindfulness helps me.

Now a few years into my mindfulness journey my chronic IBS pain, that would flair up at least weekly, now only occasionally flairs up here and there and my mind is the calmest it has ever been! It isn’t constantly elsewhere. And if it does start to wander, I can spot it going and know exactly what to do to bring it back. Mindfulness has also helped me to manage my workload better and has helped release my creative side which I felt had become a bit stagnant over the years.

Mindfulness has helped me in various ways such as with IBS pain, acid reflux symptoms, back pain, stress, sleeping and dealing with phobia. It also helps me to appreciate life in its entirety, the good and the bad.

This was just my story. Everyone’s is different. What will yours be?

Emma x