“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
We live in an unrelentingly future-focused world and while we’re counting down to the weekend the littles are growing up and we can’t remember what we did last week. And yet, do you find yourself still chewing over something from last year — or maybe even further back? I know I do. Our heads are so full of the past and the future we’re missing out on our lives as they are happening. We’ve lost touch with NOW.
Practicing mindfulness is the antidote.
Mindfulness is about deliberately bringing your attention to the present moment and noticing what’s happening inside you and around you. You don’t need to go anywhere to do it and you don’t necessarily need to DO anything other than open your eyes to what’s right in front of you. It’s as simple (and as difficult) as that.
Mindfulness is a way to momentarily press pause on your life so you can slow down and catch your breath. It helps us manage our emotions, lessen our anxiety, increase focus and calm, and ultimately be more accepting of ourselves and others. Mindfulness brings us back to ourselves and luckily we don’t have to retreat up a mountain to find a pocket of peace in our day — it’s available whenever we stop and notice.
In Open Your Eyes we’re going to explore different ways to practice mindfulness in our busy lives. We’ll bring our attention to our home, our routines, the outside world and our relationships, including the most important one of all — the one we have with ourselves. We’ll disentangle ourselves from the constant pull of social media and experiment with ways to bring stillness to even the most stressful situations. As photography has been hugely instrumental in my own mindfulness practice we’ll be exploring how we can use our cameras and smartphones to get back INTO the present moment (not out of it!).
You don’t need any special skills to do this course, simply a willingness to slow down for five minutes each day, open your eyes and see what happens. If you’ve ever thought mindfulness sounded like a good idea but you “just don’t have time to do it”, this course is especially for you!
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Questions and Answers
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO THIS COURSE?
An email address + a computer or tablet (or phone!). Headphones if you want to listen to the audios on the go. A journal and a pen to record any insights that come up. OPTIONAL: a Facebook account if you’d like to join our private Facebook group (not compulsory but definitely worth doing!)
HOW DOES THE COURSE WORK?
You’ll get an email from me every day for four weeks — 28 consecutive days in total. Each email will contain that day’s mindfulness exercise in both written and audio format. On the last day of class you’ll receive a beautifully-designed ebook containing all the exercises to download and keep forever — there’ll also be links to the audios.
DO I HAVE TO BE IN CLASS AT CERTAIN TIMES?
No, there are no set times you have to be in class. All the course content will be emailed direct to your inbox. You could read the day’s email the moment it arrives or save them all up for the weekend. I’ll be hanging out in the Facebook group every day but you don’t have to if you don’t have time. Expect to spend no more than about 20 minutes on the course each day. Gift yourself this time but don’t worry about "falling behind" — make this work for YOU and your schedule.
IF WE’RE DISENTANGLING FROM SOCIAL MEDIA WHY DO WE HAVE A FACEBOOK GROUP?
Good question! For this first run of the course I’ve decided it would be beneficial to have a group where we can all share our experiences. Yes, that means you’ll have to be on Facebook to join in but I’m looking forward to exploring how we can use our time there more mindfully. I have some ideas! :-)
WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF THE COURSE?
If all goes to plan you’re going to get your life back. Not in some magical shazam way but by practicing techniques and exercises that will teach your mind and body how to exist in the present moment. Some of the exercises will feel natural to you, others might not appeal as much, and that’s okay! We’re going to try lots of different things so that by the end of the 28 days you’ll have experienced real moments of mindfulness and will know what works most effectively for you to practice on your own going forward.
THE COURSE FEES ARE IN BRITISH POUNDS – DO YOU ACCEPT PAYMENT IN DOLLARS/EUROS?
Yes! Your currency is automatically converted when you check out using either a credit card or Paypal. To check the current exchange rate, visit this useful online currency converter.