take the first Step into a Journey and explore what
it means to be in the moment with mindfulness.
Dear Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness Community,
Thank You, And A Very Merry Christmas To You!
Recently Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness applied to the Aviva Community Fund to support our free of charge courses, which we run so that anyone can attend without barrier of cost. Unfortunately, amid intense competition, our application wasn't successful this time. Fortunately, however, we have received kind donations towards costs from many of you who have attended the courses, and we are grateful for every penny.
At the moment, it is only your donations, and the time freely donated by our tutors, that enables us to keep running the courses free of charge.
We applied to the Aviva Community Fund to help give more sustainable funding support to our courses. With the help of the video testimonies several of you kindly provided, we got through to the Public Voting Round and the voting began. So many of you supported us with votes and, by sharing with family and friends, together we gained well over 2500 votes! Your support was fantastic, and we are so deeply grateful.
Not even that number of votes was enough to get us through to the final round. We were up against nearly 500 other projects and just 10% of applications with the highest number of votes went through.
We are continuing to make further grant applications and to generate fund-raising ideas. It is very important that we continue our mission to provide courses free of charge, so that anyone who wishes to do so can benefit from mindfulness, without barrier of cost.
Thank you, our wonderful supporters: our Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness community. We are very grateful for your kindness, for your presence, and for your enthusiasm for the mission of Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness to help share the benefits of mindfulness with everyone.
What a wonderful encouragement you give to all of us: a beautiful message of the season: your support, votes and donations showing a wish to offer kindness and the gift of mindfulness to all.
Thank you, Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness Community, for being who you are. We are deeply grateful.
A Very Merry Christmas To You,
With warmest wishes,
On behalf of the Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness Directors, Tutors and Volunteers.
Stress Awareness Day was set aside as time to be aware of the stress in our lives and how it affects us.
Stress can be a real killer, both in the workplace and in our day to day lives. Stress does serve a solid purpose in human biology, but our modern lives have brought about a surplus of causes that haunt us from day to day. When we are faced with a challenge, or a threat to our well-being, the body experiences stress. Whether you’re dealing with a job that puts you under tremendous pressure, or face struggles in your life or relationship that leave you in a state of constant worry, stress can be a real killer.
The best way to take part in Stress Awareness Day is to take the opportunity to remove the stress from your life for the day.
Here are some One-Minute-Mindfulness-Moments you can try out anywhere and at any time that suits you as you go through your day. Mindfulness can be used in your everyday life and doesn’t have to take a lot of effort or time. You can practise mindfulness in just one minute!
Below, we describe various one-minute mindfulness practices so that you can try it yourself anywhere and at any time that suits you.
This is a chance for you to step out of the daily grind and to allow time to be present with yourself; that is, being present with yourself, and with whatever arises in your mind and body. Taking a minute to observe your breathing. Breathing in and out as you normally would: noticing the time between each inhalation and exhalation; noticing your lungs expanding. Noticing when your mind wanders, and gently bringing your attention back to your breath.
It can often feel like we’re an observer of our own body caught up in our heads. Try spending one mindful minute bringing awareness to your body and your body’s sensations. Close the eyes gently and begin scanning your body with your mind. Starting with the feet, and then slowly bring your awareness upwards in your body until you reach your hands. What sensations do you feel? Heaviness in the legs? Strain in the back? Perhaps no sensations at all. Now move your focus out from the hands and become aware of your environment and the space all around you.
Mindful walking is something you can practise at any time as you go about your day. It’s good to try it slowly at first, but once you’re used to it, you can practise it at any pace – even when you’re rushing.
Start by walking slowly: become aware of the sensations in the soles of your feet as they make contact with the floor, and any sensations in the muscles of the legs. There’s no need to look down at the feet. When your mind wanders, use the contact of the feet on the floor as an anchor to bring your awareness back into the present moment. Without judgement, just take a minute to focus on the sensations generated in the body by walking.
Eating mindfully can take us out of autopilot, helping us appreciate and enjoy the experience more.
The next time you eat, stop to observe your food. Give it your full attention. Notice the texture: really see it, feel it, smell it, take a bite into it – noticing the taste and texture in the mouth – continue to chew slowly, bringing your full attention to the taste of it.
By taking this time out to tune in to your environment and listen to what it tells you, it will help you to bring mindfulness into the rest of your life – bringing your awareness as you move through the day. Take a minute to listen to the sounds in your environment. You don’t need to try and determine the origin or type of sounds you hear, just listen and absorb the experience of their quality and how they resonates with you. If you recognise a sound then label it and move on, allowing your ears to catch new sounds.
Thank you for reading this Blog. Perhaps you might now like to share it with someone you care about.
Feel free to take another moment to contact Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness to find out more about how to bring peace and calm to your life and the life of those you care about. You can do that HERE.
May you be calm happy and at ease as you go through your Stress Awareness Day.
The mission of Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness CIC Ltd is to provide free of charge, high quality Mindfulness courses to adults in the Scottish Borders region who may not have the financial means to be able to obtain the benefits a mindfulness course can provide.
With your vote we will have an opportunity to receive a financial grant from the Aviva Community Fund which will ensure the provision of our free mindfulness courses in the community during 2019.
The aim of the Mindfulness Living Courses delivered by Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness CIC is to enable and nurture a growing community of secular mindfulness practitioners from all walks of life by inspiring people to live and work according to mindfulness principles, for the sustained well-being of the Scottish Borders and society as a whole.
The impact of the project will be to empower under-served individuals through learning mindfulness skills. This will bring them increased self-awareness, confidence, stress reduction and emotional resilience, leading to an increased likelihood of sustained well-being. Because mindfulness encourages healthy lifestyles, it helps build community and family cohesion. Mindfulness can support the ability to cope and respond in a more beneficial way in communication, relationships, and stressful situations.
Testimonial from 'N' in Hawick - "The 8-week Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness course provided me with a safe place to learn to be with stressful thoughts and emotions by living in the present moment instead of anxiously worrying about things in my life. I have now successfully returned to full time employment and am enjoying life as a mum for the first time"
Please vote HERE now and help us continue bringing mindfulness to your community.
Thank you. We are very grateful for your support.
I make an intention to meditate (in silence) each morning among nature and most days I am joined at my side by my horse or the local wildlife (pigeon, yellowhammer, butterfly, mole).
Today it was a Bee who joined me and who felt so safe in the energy of my meditation place that it decided it could take the time to have a 'mindful' pollen meal.
Bees are incredibly intelligent and complex creatures, and we, as humans, can learn much from spending time with them.
Interacting with bees is a humbling experience - as you watch them you begin to really understand what a 'sense of community' is in a whole new way.
They are an excellent model for our communal relationships; where individuals work together to serve a single unit of communal consciousness for the benefit of all beings.
Bees also respond greatly to the energies that we put out. As any seasoned beekeeper will tell you, if you have positive thoughts and intentions, the bees will find a harmony with you - and you with them.
This is the purpose of practicing mindfulness in your life - to find a natural balance and harmony with all of nature, and the human world around you.
Can you make an intention to 'Bee' Mindful in your life this weekend?
As Dalai Lama XIV once said, “Since we desire the true happiness that is brought about by a calm mind, and such peace of mind arises only from having a compassionate attitude, we need to make a concerted effort to develop compassion.”
The sages of mindfulness all talk of three core elements of mindfulness; teaching gleaned from the wisdom of their heart, and shared in hope of us obtaining freedom from suffering for all living beings:
Being patient is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one we have in mind.
Part of having a healthy relationship with ourselves means being patient through our inevitable and unavoidable phases of growth and personal evolution. Getting what we think we need right away doesn’t always help us grow as much as learning to trust and wait for good things to happen in their natural time.
Everything comes to us in the right moment. Remember that sometimes not getting what we want is a wonderful stroke of luck.
Kindness does not have to mean life-changing actions of charity or selflessness – instead, we can adopt a humble spirit of helpfulness in each small action that we do. Simply considering the needs of others as we move through the world can make a huge difference in our lives.
When we realise how deeply our lives are connected to those around us, we also realise that our happiness is not dependent on ourselves alone, but rather on a shared, positive, and healthy bond with everyone we interact with each day.
So, if we want to be happy, we can practice compassion and, if we want others to be happy, we can practice compassion.
Question for today - Can we allow further growth in our lives to emerge through learning to be more patient, compassionate and kind to ourselves, and to others?
One way of practicing mindfulness is to pay attention to the activity of walking, and to turn this into a mindfulness practice or meditation.
Mindfulness walking is a practice of presence that you can bring alive in all kinds of settings and activities.
Mindfulness walking meditation can be particularly valuable for helping you to cultivate an awareness of the embodied experience in each moment, allowing you to bring the body, heart, and mind together as you move through life.
When we practice mindfulness walking meditation, we do not need to be going anywhere, and it can be helpful to let go of any sense of a destination or a purpose to the walking.
The intention of walking meditation is just to walk!
When practicing mindfulness walking meditation we practice bringing awareness to the whole experience of walking: the lifting and placing of the feet, the sensations of the soles of the feet touching the ground, with shifting sensations of pressure and touch; the shift in balance of the body from one side to the next; the movements throughout the whole body as we move; the flowing of the breath.
There will also be awareness of the space in which we move, the varying surfaces upon which we step, the touch of the air on our skin, the changing views and sounds and smells coming through our senses: moment to moment experiences, constantly flowing and changing.
There will be moments when we will noticing that our mind has wandered into thinking, perhaps distracted by some of the sense experiences, or by some inner thought activities.
Just as we would in the other mindfulness practices, we bring awareness to the fact that we are distracted, and gently bring our awareness back to the walking: lifting and placing; lifting and placing; breathing in and breathing out.
We can let our body do the walking, trusting that the body knows what to do – we do not need to guide it with the mind.
We can just allow the mind to observe and the gently noticing the changing flow of experience.
We can simply enjoy our walking.
Mindfulness walking meditation can be practiced slowly and purposefully, and can involve choosing a path where we may walk back and forth or in a circle where we can bring awareness to the most subtle movements involved in walking.
It can also be practiced at a natural pace where we can bring more awareness to a sense of movement in space and the energy of the body as we move.
There may be other times when we can choose to bring awareness to walking when we are simply going about our lives: walking down the corridors in our place of work; walking through the car park; walking to our terminal at the airport; walking though a busy high street or down the aisles in the supermarket.
We can help ourselves to stay present in the mundane aspects of our lives which we may otherwise regard as uninteresting or frustrating.
Mindfulness walking meditation is a key mindfulness practice which helps us to engage fully with our lives.
It is a practice which connects us to ourselves, to nature, to each other and to all of life.
People usually consider walking on water, or on thin air a miracle. But the real miracle is not to walk either on water, or in thin air, but to walk on earth.
Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All this is a miracle.
Peer 2 Peer Mindfulness regularly organises mindfulness walks in the beautiful Scottish Borders. You can find out the dates of our mindfulness walks and book a place on one by visiting our events calendar.