When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so?
I am a new convert, enthusiast and practitioner of mindfulness. I took my first eight-week workshop starting at the end of this past March.
I recently decided (after 20 years) that anti-depressant medications were not helping me, and I was motivated to find tools to help me combat, deal with and stave off the crippling bouts of depression I have experienced for more than 40 years.
Did you take a class? If so, what sort of a class did you take?
I took a “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy” workshop presented by InSightLA and taught by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., and Roger Nolan, M.A.
How has mindfulness made a difference in your life?
I am at the beginning of what I hope to be a long and fulfilling practice of mindfulness. I have seen in the few short months of using several different meditations to determine which ones are most effective for me: a lessening of the anxiety that can paralyze my life; the realization that there really is a space between action and reaction that can give me room to make better choices for my life; a hopefulness that comes now with the depression because I feel the depression will surely pass; a physical feeling that more space has been created between my ribs to allow more air and light into my body (even when I feel I am shutting down); a new and ever growing collection of natural “antidepressants” in the form of healing breaths, thoughts and actions that I can take.
What do you do for your livelihood (e.g., homemaker, teacher, firefighter) and does your practice of mindfulness affect that?
I am a social entrepreneur who is creating wellness programs for companies and individuals. My practice makes it possible for me to stay more focused on my work, plus it has given me another tool that I want to include in the wellness programs I am putting together.
Is there anything else you would want people to know about mindfulness and you?
I came to my first workshop with a lot of skepticism and misconceptions about practicing mindfulness. I have learned that, for me, it is a powerful “vitamin” that if I “take it” every day, the effects are cumulative and I am developing greater emotional flexibility and resilience. Just like vitamins, I can’t always “see” the results right away, but I feel them. Now it is my job to figure out what dosage my body needs.