Mindfulness and Meditation Q&A - meet Janelle

Mindfulness and Meditation Q&A – meet Janelle

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Meet Janelle-The aim of mindfulness and Meditation is to be non-judgemental

 

How were you introduced to meditation?

Many years ago when I was working in a corporate job I met someone who was doing meditation classes and I signed up with the same teacher. I had been curious about learning to meditate but it wasn’t as popular back then, actually it was probably thought of as a bit ‘hippy’. 12+ years later I’m still going!

 

How do you feel that it has benefited you over the years?

Meditation has been one of the best skills I’ve learnt. It has helped me to be more calm and relaxed, and also to be more energised; I’d say that I probably didn’t realise how calm I wasn’t!

It has benefited me across many aspects of life, from work to friends and family, it has especially helped my children to grow in a calmer and happier environment. I’m more focussed, less distracted, more positive about myself and my life. It’s allowed me to hear my intuition clearer, to learn more about myself, about others and how we impact the world around us.

I’d say it’s helped me to generally feel better, to view life with more joy, and continually work at being a better version of myself.

 

What is the most challenging part of meditation for you?

Forcing myself to be still and not ‘do’ anything. To let go of my over-busy mind, unhelpful feelings and internal monologue is also a continual challenge.

 

Favourite thing about teaching meditating?

My favourite things about providing meditations is working out which visualisation will suit the individual, we are all so different and one meditation may not work for the next person. It also teaches me to be calmer and closer to my inner self for my own development as well as helping with facilitating effective sessions for others.

 

Is meditation for anyone, or is it best left to monks?

It’s true that meditation has been practiced in many forms for centuries by people of religious or spiritual persuasion however in the 1970s it was adapted and brought to the West, particularly for stress management, pain management and general therapeutic benefits.

So no, it’s no longer just used by hippies or monks. It is used by people in high achieving sports and corporate environments, as well as people wanting to find a way to relax and also develop themselves inwardly and find a more satisfying life. Maintaining a healthy mind is another element to include in your wellbeing routine – along with eating well, exercising, and improving sleep. Our minds and emotions are, after all, a very important asset for living well.

It is also possible to develop yourself spiritually, whereby you not only focus on self awareness but also align yourself with an inner place of greater balance and harmony, aiming to go deeper and relate to a higher truth.

Note: Some people find that the stillness within meditation can bring up traumatic emotions, and for those individuals it is best to carry out private meditation sessions in consultation with an experienced teacher, medical professional &/or psychologist. And caution is also advised for those who have been diagnosed with (or have suspected) mental illnesses, such as post traumatic stress disorder etc.

 

If someone is super busy or thinks they cannot meditate, what would you advise they do to get the benefits in the smallest amount of time?

I’d recommend starting small. By committing to mindful moments 5-10mins daily, you would aim to work up to twice a day. From simply listening to your breath, walking on the grass with bare feet, saying a mantra, or sipping a cup of tea – whatever you choose, make that be all that you do. A Harvard study has shown that half of the time we are thinking of something other than what we’re doing.

By starting with the foundations, you are simply aiming to be aware of your breath and notice how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally in a moment. Over time and with practice many people find it less difficult, and start to notice that they are getting used to feeling calmer, and feel better for it.

The aim of mindfulness is to be non-judgemental, which in itself is very challenging, so although this is the aim I would simply recommend you let it be as it is. And it’s even better to include a smile; learning to calmly enjoy the moment whatever occurs.

I’ve written an online 3 step mindfulness meditation guide that can be a good start for beginners: http://goldenpathguidedvisualisations.com/mindfulness-breath-meditation-in-3-easy-steps/

 

If someone wants to develop mindfulness into deeper meditation, what can they do?

It’s a bit like finding a sport or exercise that suits you, we are all different and respond to some practices more than others.

Firstly, get a good teacher who can help you with emotions that arise and make recommendations around anything else that comes up along the way. You can also join groups for support and motivation, complementing your private daily meditation practice.

Finding a way to sit within meditation and calmly be with your thoughts and emotions, letting them come and go, takes time. As they say practice, patience, and persistence breeds success.

 

How have you seen others benefit from your meditations?

I find that initially people just get over the nervousness of doing meditation or the feeling like they cannot do it properly. Then they feel relaxed and it can act like a release, they also work on being more calm and aware of their emotions and reactions in day-to-day life. Sleeping better, feeling less ’emotional’ and more positive, and feeling more confident that they know how to deal with negative events and emotions. My meditations are not only relaxing but insightful, and encourage uplifting feelings – clients usually feel better, lighter, and feel that it’s time well spent.

 

Because you do meditation for a job, does that mean that you are really chilled all the time?

I can be as annoyed or low as the next person! Some days are easier than others, and although we are more likely to remember the tough times I don’t stay in that state for long. I have the tools to let it go, so I appreciate the saying that we choose how we feel.

 

What are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just started an Aussie thriller for bookclub called The Dry (Aaron Falk) by Jane Harper. I’ve always got a few books on rotation though – the Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the 14th Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and I’m often dipping back into The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

Besides being a mum to two young girls, which pretty much takes up much of my time, I enjoy yoga for mindful movement and exercise. I also do the occasional fashion styling session where I enjoy helping people use their existing clothes and new pieces to feel good about themselves, and creatively bring out their personalities.

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