" Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point"

So this week saw day one of my eight week mindfulness class. Leading me through a process which I hope will help to embed  practice of being more mindful. It's a secular process aimed at increasing well being and reducing stress. Me stressed? I know, such a preposterous suggestion:/).

Our first week involved going around the room and describing our expectations and challenges currently. As I described my expectations and current challenges I found a strange sadness settle on me. I often talk about my experience of cancer but I usually bat it off with skill. I did say to the group I am well now but hoping mindfulness will help me achieve better balance at this stage of transition. But something in the admission to a group of strangers made it so much more real and it flattened me. I am mindfully aware of it now and just accepting it. ( ha!)

I know I am going to love the reflective and participative nature of this course. Mindfulness is paying attention non-judgmentally and with kindness. We learn it may also be called be called heartfulness. And this came back to me at a meeting  later in the week. We were describing what really good health and social care look like. Considering lots of examples that illustrated what made it excellent care was fascinating. And what became obvious was, importantly alongside evidenced based support and treatment, it was also care delivered with heart. 

And it struck me that the way to embed it in the system of health and social care is also about leadership;to lead with heart too. So freeing the leaders and practitioners to do what they instinctively know to be right and engage them with kindness and respect. What was shocking was some people, when asked, could not think of a good example of health or social care. So it needs to change urgently. We can agonise on what has brought us here in western culture but what's more important is that we need to bring the heart back. Mindfulness is one route, but only one.

Over the years the leaders, mentors, teachers,  healthcare professionals who have inspired me always demonstrated  impressive knowledge , wisdom and worked with their hearts.And it's what I aspire to! And yes i think it probably does cost but the returns are so rewarding for all concerned. More importantly too, is can we afford not to?

Reasons to be cheerful.
The dual therapy of mindfulness and puppy mayhem are keeping me on track. But as the image above suggests, I can probably learn to be more in the moment from Cara the mad pup!Both weeks ,so far ,of the mindfulness taster class and day one I have had to go straight from work. Being stressed going to a Mindfulness class, feels a little ironic....it's a busy week ahead so wish me luck. After this a family birthday party is coming up and then a holiday. Woo hoo!...Oh and is it just me but is the cats "bum" looking big(ger) in this?


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