Facilitator The Development Company Limited
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Mindfulness for trainers: the value of kindness

In the final part of this content series on how to become a mindful trainer, Kay Buckby, facilitator at The Development Company discusses the power and value of kindness, particularly in a workplace setting. 

2nd Dec 2019
Facilitator The Development Company Limited
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Sharing Love and Heart red color on women hand in valentine's day vintage color tone
iStock/coffeekai

Thanks for joining me for my last blog for The Mindful Trainer series. It has been wonderful to hear how much these articles are making a difference, and your stories and messages have inspired me. Mindfulness has transformed my life, and I am overjoyed that the appetite for it is growing.

The journey we have shared during 2019

I qualified to facilitate mindfulness in 2018, and 2019 has been a surprisingly busy one for me. I have facilitated my first 8 week ‘Mindfulness for Life’ course, and led retreats ranging from ½ day to 1 day in duration. I have spoken at events for trainers about Mindfulness, and really appreciated the feedback I have had from everyone. Mindfulness has transformed my life, and I am overjoyed that the appetite for it is growing.  

I hope you’ve enjoyed my stories, hints and tips to incorporate mindfulness into your training events, and your life. I have shared present moment awareness to soften your posture, mindful eating, to daily mindful movement. The more embodied we can be, the less likely we are to reside in our head space.

That is why embodiment is a foundation for mindfulness. At a conference, a Monk answered the question posed ‘What does mindfulness mean?’ by saying ‘You are present, in your body.’. The body only knows the present moment, so get into the habit of breathing and knowing you are breathing. It will transform your life.

Trainers' notes, being one step ahead, anticipating, planning…these are all head and cognition activities. If you can get into one habit as a result of this series, apply the Stop-Look-Listen technique. Those minutes stopping will enable your energy to settle, and calm. Resting is another skill I shared, vital to stop burn out 

Living kindness

As the festive season is approaching, I thought I would share a little about heart-based mindfulness with you. At Christmas, we are encouraged to be kinder. In fact, kindness is a good habit to get into every day of the year – especially for those of us in the training profession.

Sometimes, learners gang up on the solitary trainer, either intentionally or unintentionally. Sometimes delegates behave cruelly, or use cruel words. As a trainer, it can be tempting to ‘toughen up’, ‘put a shell around you’, or ‘harden your heart’ to avoid the pain of harsh words.

When we soften our own hurt, and send kindness to others, it softens and eases our own heart. 

I remember a delegate coming into a session, coughing and full of cold, and he chose to sit right by me, actually coughing in my face at times, choosing to cough away from the rest of the group, his colleagues. When I said “should you be at work today?” to him, his words cut into my heart. “It doesn’t matter if you get the flu, you don’t raise funds for our charity”.

I was so hurt I nearly cried. It affected me that day – my ability to work in the here and now, and my feelings of positivity towards all in the room (why did no-one challenge what he had said?). The more the day went on, the more negative I felt towards the world. I hardened my external feelings towards him, and it affected my heart badly. When we harden our hearts to others, the person we are really damaging is ourselves.

Did you know that our heart sends twice as many messages to the brain, as the brain sends to the heart? This is the research of the heart math institute.  

Sending kindness

When faced with situations like these, what we can do is send our kindness to those we perceive as hurting us. The delegate who said those words to me didn’t hurt me; I hurt me.

When I chose to get hurt, it was words and concepts that hurt – my ego chose the hurt.

When we soften our own hurt, and send kindness to others, it softens and eases our own heart. Often known as a ‘metta’, or loving kindness, meditation, this is how to do it:

  • Think of a person you hardly know – they might serve you in a coffee shop, or they deliver to your office or home, or are a neighbour you know by sight, but not by name.
  • Think of a person you would like to send loving kindness to; a person you know very well.
  • Think of a person you are struggling with at the moment.

Look at the instructions in an earlier blog for how to ground into your breath, and your body.

As you breathe, picture the person you hardly know, their face right in front of yours. Continuing breathing, send them your loving kindness, thinking:

  • May you be well.
  • May you be happy.
  • May you be safe, and free from pain and suffering.

Do this at least twice.

As you breathe, picture the person you know very well, their face right in front of yours. Continuing breathing, send them your loving kindness with these thoughts:

  • {Their name} May you be well.
  • {Their name} May you be happy.
  • {Their name} May you be safe, and free from pain and suffering.

As you breathe, picture the person you are struggling with at the moment, their face right in front of yours. Continuing breathing, send them your loving kindness, thinking:

  • {Their name} May you be well.
  • {Their name} May you be happy.
  • {Their name} May you be safe, and free from pain and suffering.

Do this at least twice.

Finally, wish all living beings:

  • May you be well.
  • May you be happy.
  • May you be safe, and free from pain and suffering.

Do this at least twice.

With this, you will reframe your thoughts and by sending positivity out into the world, you will start to feel more positive too.

At these moments, I like to think of a quote from 14th Dalai Lama, who said: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible”. Wise words indeed.

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By Heather Rayfield
04th Dec 2019 09:36

Excellent article. I will be working on my kindness. Thank you.

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