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In the book, Stress, Anxiety and the Battle for Your Sanity I emphasise oneMindfulness Attitude for Change as primary. Being gentle on yourself is more than words. It is an attitude you can feel. It is a gateway to healthier Mindfulness, and links into (in my opinion the starting-point for) acceptance, compassion and self-love. Being gentle opens the door to healing and insights. Without it, people can get trapped in a quagmire created by a mind dealing with the stress chemicals in their brain*. Once this happens, you can easily find yourself feeling anxious, fearful or depressed. * As described in the book.
How do you do, being gentle?
Think for a moment about a friend in a crisis. You want to say soothing words of encouragement that acknowledges how they feel, and generally have a supportive attitude. It is the same gentleness, but toward your pain, negativity and worries.
I dislike the meme of “You can always choose your thoughts” because when someone has chronic stress & anxiety, it’s hard for the mind to sustain positive thoughts. (I offer the Melt Stress in Minutes protocol – a super-fast method to reduce the overload – chiefly because of this stress-induced problem of non-helpful thinking.)
There is one way to get into this which is notchoosing thoughts. When a friend is feeling bad, one of the things I do to support them is to have an attitude and energetic environment where rest, or time-out, is available.
You can do the same for you! No need for any words. Decide to relax. Relax about the situation for a moment. Relax away from the negative thinking for a moment, and relax into a gentle, supportive manner. Relaxing can be the first step toward an attitude of gentleness.
Being gentle can start with a decision to relax – which is more accessible than determining how you must think. Then choose to be gentle (as if with a friend). This immediately starts the process of creating a better environment in your brain and body.
The book mentioned is the first in the series, Mindfulness: Stop the Struggle. They are Kindle books, but you get access to additional resources, including a PDF and epub (better for mobiles and small tablets if you don’t want Kindle versions of the book. They are under £2 on Amazon, and the Royalties (author’s pay) goes to a local charity in N/E, UK.
Many people have an abundance of thoughts that seem never to shut up. They believe there is no-way meditation will achieve (for them) the calmness that reports say is a benefit of meditation. They may have tried – unsuccessfully – to subdue their thoughts with a meditation; proving they are unable to meditate.
If you have a busy mind, you will have to do a meditation designed to calm the mind. Not all meditations are designed to do that. It is best to do this under competent guidance because although the instructions seem straightforward, there are many nuances to navigate. A body relaxation then single-pointed-focus on the breath can calm your mind and get you into that deeply peaceful space. BUT, to expect your thoughts to become still will create tension. This expectation is where the nuances start: trying to stop your thoughts will add additional stress, therefore making it worse!
When you take away the emphasis on calming and stopping your thoughts, meditation becomes more natural to do. It is a practice you can develop; so you end up with experiencing peace and calm without trying to make it happen. A better target is to work on sitting down to meditate, then focusing your attention (but not too rigidly), and exploring your experience. I’ll get into all that In future posts (and on my courses).
A busy mind can be a symptom of stress. I have a non-meditation process I use with clients to help them get beyond their Busy Mind so they can quickly take advantage of meditation – without the painful struggle. Get the instructions so you too can use the Melt-Stress Within Minutes Protocol (Use this link for 30% OFF the usual price).
New to Meditation?
I have a slideshow which takes you through the 3 DNA components of meditation to further your understanding. Find it in the FREE course (link below). If you already meditate, feel free to share it. The next post is on another myth of meditation. By the way, one of the myths is about meditation postures, as illustrated by the image on this page :-)
If you have any questions or comments feel free to join my list for updates because, apart from finding out when the next blog posts go up, you can also contact me by replying to my newsletter/emails.
1st July 2019: 6 week online coaching Experience the benefits of meditation:
Reduced stress & worry
More focus, creativity & happiness
Better health & sleep
NOW is the time to get this for YOU
Student numbers are limited so you get an intimate feel from the class. You will be guided all the way from zero meditation experience to very quickly being able to meditate and then on to being more knowledgable than many who have been meditating for years.
Easy, step-by-step instruction
Gentle pace and LOTS of practise
Practical – no theory, no religion, no science, no psychic stuff – just the bare-bones ‘How To’.
Fresh approach – born from experience (a Dr called it “Inspired“)
Comprehensive – go beyond ‘beginner’
Your questions answered in sessions:
How do I stop my incessant mind?
How do I sit? (hint: you do NOT need to sit cross-legged)
How do I find the time?
What app do I need? (hint: you need nothing but you)
And many more…
Resources for Students
Pay what you can afford. The value is estimated at least £120 but if you do not know how awesome the teacher is, pay half (or less if you are skint) and your satisfaction will be guaranteed.
6 sessions. One session per week over 4 weeks, starting on 1st July. Then a break while you practise. The last 2 weeks starts on 12th August.
All sessions are recorded & made available to you for lifetime access.
What is the next step for you if you are a regular meditator? Can you relate to the Blissful Beauty of Tranquility?
This one-day retreat is for regular meditators so you can go deeper into peace and explore its beauty while feeling blissful states.
Connecting with peace opens the door to your True Nature – incl. spaciousness, bliss and love (beauty). Experience it yourself…
If you can connect to the calmness, the stillness within, it is easier to recognise the aspects of your True Nature normally clouded by the stress of life.
For some, this retreat will be their 1st step toward the blissful beauty of Tranquil Abiding. How close you get depends upon how much meditation you do regularly and how much stress you are carrying.
Single-pointed-focus on the breath is a simple & safe vehicle to take you through the 9 abidings toward peaceful tranquility. On attaining Tranquil Abiding, you release the last of the underlying stress your body is carrying and are enveloped in bliss. You have also trained your mind. There are so many huge benefits to Tranquil Abiding…
This retreat will take you to level 3-4 (or higher) of the 9 abidings. Attaining moments of peace and noticing how this makes it easy to access joy and beauty (your True Nature) is expected.
The release of stress is also going to happen, so expect moments of odd feelings and angst (shadows of stress as it goes), typically followed by a deeper level of peace. For more guidance on meditation and what to expect, LIKE & FOLLOW Colin’s author page on Facebook @QCEllis
Normal Retreat rules apply. no talking, no touching, no eye-contact, no devices (phones, tablets, etc), no missing the meditation sessions, and no OTHER meditation – until 3pm.
The meditation teacher is Colin Ellis. He has been on several 6+ month Buddhist meditation retreats. He is an Amazon author – with the pen-name QC Ellis ( a1p.uk/book )
With your deposit (non-refundable), you will gain access to online resources to help you. Get access ASAP so you gain full benefit from the retreat day. Places are limited :)
What will you gain from this new £1.99 Kindle book?
Understand the plight of people who are the casualties of long-term stress
Why can’t people who are anxious be positive?
Why is it so hard to overcome anxiety?
Why does mindfulness succeed in STOPPING the internal fight?
These are just some of the questions answered by this book.
100% of the royalties go to charity
QC Ellis is donating 100% of all royalties (that’s the bit of profit the author gets as their pay) to a local charity in the North East of England dealing with mental health issues.Anxious Minds is an award-winning, young charity with a global reach via its website (and radio to be launched this year).
Mindfulness: Stop The Struggle
The book is a part of a series of SHORT books designed to take you through the journey from stressed and depressed to happy and free from anxiety. The series was one big book but the feedback from people who have anxiety was that it’s too comprehensive (read, overwhelming) to get it all in one book. The series covers:
Stress and anxiety and a different way of looking at the problem.
Why most remedies don’t work – including, problem solving or being positive.
What is Mindfulness and how to develop a Mindfulness Practice.
What is Mindfulness Meditation and how to develop a practice.
What are the Mindfulness Attitudes For Change and how to integrate this secret sauce into your Mindfulness Practice.
Access to an Eight Week Mindfulness Challenge (free access to the online course*), with audio of guided meditations and other resources.
This, first book in the series, focuses on the first two of the above, plus why mindfulness can help. It is meant to not only be informative but also motivational – there IS a way out!
Why Is This Different?
There are plenty of books that tell you the same old story about stress, anxiety and also mindfulness. Colin has read some of them but his approach is different because he comes from the perspective of someone who has actually experienced the things he talks about. Right from the start, you are presented with original ideas. Again, when he discusses mindfulness and meditation, he comes at it from his own experience. For decades, he studied under Buddhist Monks (and Nuns) from various traditions, as well as MBSR & MBCT**.
His insights have led him to develop new ways of approaching stress and using mindfulness.
The breadth and depth of knowledge provided means you get to understand more deeply what the problem is and exactly how to tackle it. You gain the depth of insight of an expert very quickly while finding the answers to your questions when your mindfulness practice doesn’t seem to be working in the way most books say it should.
FREE access to the online Eight Week Mindfulness Challenge*
* Available once you have read the series (or the full-version book).
You can practise using what you’ve learned, get guided meditations, other resources and access to the author to ask questions.