Facilitator The Development Company Limited
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Mindfulness for trainers: noticing everyday experiences mindfully

In part nine of this content series on how to become a mindful trainer, Kay Buckby, facilitator at The Development Company, explains how noticing seemingly small everyday experiences can have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing and performance.
9th Sep 2019
Smiling woman looking in window having work break
iStock/fizkes

This month, I am sharing a technique that has enriched my life, and my training practice.

Sitting practice is powerful, but I love the Mindfulness for Life approach of bringing mindful awareness to everyday tasks, such as driving, washing up, and walking (I’ll cover mindful walking in a later blog).

This month, I am sharing the practice of bringing attention through noticing everyday informal mindful movements.

Yoga is formal mindful movement. What I mean about everyday (informal) mindful movement, it is about noticing when you walk to place rubbish in the bin, lift a file off a desk, or load dishes into the dishwasher, for example.

The practice is about noticing my experience through attending to my breath and body, as they work together. I may have the intention to notice:

  • How is my body feeling at this moment?
  • How is my breath? Is it laboured, or easy and flowing?
  • How is my mental state today?

The practice is about raising awareness of our mind and body through attending to our movement.

You can do this during most tasks – for example, you could be pulling on a T shirt, cutting tomatoes for a sandwich, or unloading shopping from the carrier bags and stocking the cupboards with the tins, packs and fresh food.

What I find is that I attend to my state of being at any time. I notice tension, ease, and whatever is in my experience – all are welcomed.

I can, through the process of noticing, then bring softness and care into my experience.

Mindfulness in the office

As trainers, we have office days. I am typing this blog, as this is an admin day for me. What follows is my experience. You could say I am ‘typing out loud’ and noticing things like:

  • The movement of my fingers across the keys.
  • The ease in which my arms are moving, the small gap or distance between my arms and my body.
  • My posture in the chair.
  • How my shoulders are feeling.
  • The weight of my feet on the floor.
  • The texture of the carpet under my feet.
  • The sounds of the office around me.
  • A distant sound from outside in the lane.
  • My breath, as I breathe with ease.
  • My jaw, and a slight tightness present.
  • My tongue pressed against my bottom teeth.

Taking a moment to notice the everyday actions is a snapshot of me in this moment of being.

When we notice, we are experiencing a moment’s mindfulness, which is a delicious thing. It is a moment that will never return.

Noticing when I am training

The practice of noticing informal everyday movements is something I use on training days, too.

When I pick up a flipchart pen – I feel the weight of the pen in my hand, the ease of my hand writing on the flipchart paper, the smell of the ink and the paper, the weight of my feet on the floor, the flow of my breath.

The practice of noticing every day movement gives me choice – I can relax and bring ease into times when my energy may be low, or my body may be stiff, or my mind may be sluggish or buzzing.

Through awareness, I had the opportunity to be kind to myself, and bring softness into my experience.

I was with a group recently in a room far too small for the numbers of attendees. I realised through noticing everyday mindful movement, that I was compensating for this lack of space myself, as my body was hunched and tense.

Through gently softening my shoulders, I eased my body and mind with my breath.

As I returned to the practice when handing out handouts, or pulling sheets of flipchart paper, I noticed the tension of the lack of space was again affecting my breath.

Every time I practiced, and softened, and noticed the moment unfold gently.

In years gone by, not having enough space would have affected mind and body, so much that I would have been tense, stiff and uneasy. It would have affected my training.

Through awareness, I had the opportunity to be kind to myself, and bring softness into my experience.

Add everyday noticing of mindful movements to your life, and see what emerges. 

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