All posts by Pirispirit

Mindfulness Finding the Time

We find ourselves saying and are aware of “spending” our time wisely - the idea of spending donates here, the idea of this as an important commodity. Whilst we may remember this it is through Mindfulness practise that we really engage with what it is that we spend our time on. I hear often whilst teaching that lives are so busy that there is no time for Meditation and Mindfulness and it is something we all struggle with, although arguable “at times” . Often when these practises are neglected is exactly when are needed most. The Difficulty can be balanced by the Joy of learning to live a life more full, of us being present in it. 
We have always the breath, an anchor, a tool for us - an awareness  of checking in with ourselves.  Our breath is always there,  always available, even in our super busy times. We can build a daily practise whereby - the habit to practise is refreshed regularly and we then miss it when we don’t. Always with compassion and kindness if we miss one meditation, we can still be Mindful, bringing attention to that busyness, to our activities. By doing so we acknowledge being drawn away from Mindful focus and this is part of many meditations, firmly but gently refocusing after a distraction. This can be the meditation. So on the really busy days remind ourselves to be present, to check in and Breathe, to be with Mindfulness of our being busy. 
- any other thoughts comments appreciated.

Mindfulness Autumn

I am reminded yet again how the Seasons come and go anew. Each one with its own weather pattern. Now Autumn rolling in again. With some lovely sunshine days and emptier beaches.

The gratitude here in the Algarve as the bulk of tourists leave us too to the sweet rain, rainbows scattered as the sun and rain meet, after the dry heat of the summer that is full of tickling all our senses. The Smell of damp earth, the Sound of busy musical tweets of birds, the Sight of the returning green of nature as if by magic as the first rain drops fall, the Taste of chestnuts on the snug indoor fire and the Touch of warmer clothes on our skin. These and more all combine to remind us of the beauty that surrounds us, if we just slow down a little to notice it and settle it in our memory banks.

Lovely Mindful Morning sessions, many new faces amongst the returning ones and bookings taken for more formal courses for early next year.  This is a time of mindful gratitude, of feeling alive with sensations of now, openness and curiosity to what comes next…Best Wishes to all for the season and a small reminder to slow down to the beauty that is all around us here and now.

Sofia

Welcome New Mindfulness Algarve Team Member

 

A bit about mindfulness, and me…

Hi I’m Susie, a mum of two boys who made the move from the UK to the Western Algarve last year. I’m really delighted to be embellishing life’s tapestry by working with Mindfulness Algarve!

I was introduced to mindfulness a few years ago and have found that it has both enriched my everyday life as well as helping me through some difficult times.

Some of the boxes that mindfulness ticks for me is that it’s suitable for virtually everyone; requires no special equipment, facilities or experience; it is not a religious or spirituality dependent approach and its principles, methods and effects are supported by solid scientific psychology and neuroscience research – the body of which is rapidly increasing. Practicing mindfulness can lead us to being more contented and fulfilled by everyday activities, and help us to deal with stress and difficulty more wisely which is always handy!

It’s taught me techniques to cope with the daily challenges and pressures of parenting; enabled me to make the most of my time with my Mum as her life came towards its end and to grieve as freely and fully as possible for both my parents; it’s given me the acceptance to deal with stepping back from my career and work life which I felt had defined me for so long;  to let go of past events and mistakes; to make bold moves to change my life; to accept the person I am and to know myself better.

Mindfulness is also really fascinating and, I believe, a much-needed antidote to some of the stresses and speed of modern life. I decided to train as a mindfulness teacher to extend and deepen my own knowledge and practice, and to start being able to share with others the many benefits which are wide ranging with many supported by recent studies including clinical research. Neuro-science studies are now starting to look into actual physical changes to the brain following periods of practicing mindfulness meditation. It is gaining more and more momentum as a useful and beneficial tool within schools, healthcare, and business.

There is published scientific evidence that mindfulness can assist with:

Stress reduction, clarity and focus

Sleep enhancement, improved health, well being and ability to relax

Greater resilience and enhanced creativity

Improved relationships and improved concentration

Pain reduction, reduced anxiety and depression

Greater work satisfaction and improved work-life balance

Mindfulness is indeed a wonderful way to learn how to relax and can help with a wide range of physical and emotional challenges. As a well being approach with learnt and practiced techniques, mindfulness will hopefully become intrinsically part of your daily routine for the rest of your life. It is an active process and in order to bring about change in your life and to reap the benefits, it requires a deliberate engagement on your part. No one can do it for you! That said, Jon Kabat Zinn, considered to be a founder of

modern secular mindfulness said “You don’t have to enjoy it, you just have to do it!” and there are benefits to be had just by sticking with a regular daily practice, it is suggested for a minimum period of 8 weeks.

A central principle of mindfulness is cultivating the ability to be present, paying attention to our experience as it happens as opposed to effectively missing our present lives – by being stuck in our heads, thinking about the past or the future, remembering, imagining, or listening to the chatter of the inner critic most of us have.

Practicing mindfulness includes formal mindful meditation carried out in designated space and time, usually seated on a chair, as well as the informal practice of ‘being mindful’ within day to day activities. There are many exercises to help us to achieve the latter, and in time it becomes a blissful ‘healthy habit’.

I’m really looking forward to working with Sofia and Mindfulness Algarve to deliver a series of sessions – ‘Mindful Mornings’ – at my treasured space The Hideaway, a tranquil spot near Luz and Burgau in the Western Algarve. Maybe you can join us? Sofia and I will be here on Thursday mornings in November from 10.30am, exploring different themes within mindfulness and practicing meditation together. You are most welcome to join us, for one session or all of them (see event info on mindfulnessalgarve.com or our Facebook pages)

Our upcoming sessions will be informal, insightful and most of all useful for you. Both trained and accredited in the UK, Sofia and I each bring our knowledge of and passion for mindfulness, as well as our experiences of personal practice.

Within our sessions, guided meditations are used and these help to ‘train the mind muscle’ or to hone the focus of attention. Most people not used to meditating find this practice simple, though not always easy!

The best thing is there is no right or wrong way to do it, and people tend to feel comfortable and au fait with doing it after just a few days. Mindful meditation helps us slow down, and allows a gentle awareness of our present experience, our sensations, thoughts and emotions. We also use exercises, examples, and discussion to help us see how these affect our habits, reactions and view of reality, and how we can change these for the better. There is no requirement or pressure for anyone to share any information or feelings – mindfulness is a personal practice, although some people simply find it useful to reflect and discuss their experiences of the meditations or exercises, and this is welcomed.

Susie Keenan

Qualified ‘Mindfulness Now’ Teacher

Trained by UK College for Mindfulness, British Psychological Society Accredited

The Hideaway see Facebook @hideawayluzlagos

Mindfulness Algarve see www.mindfulnessalgarve.com

Mindfulness – Daily Practise Will I ever learn to do it ?

Many students ask will I ever begin to practise Daily Meditation and Mindfulness Practice. For me the answer is most often the same – a resounding Yes and more, here a smile, you will miss if it you don’t.

It is at the core of a Mindfulness Invitation, particularly if engaging with a course, to become more mindful in our lives. Part of the enthusiasm for this “Is” to become more Mindful and wether it is finding time to practice a meditation, or simply to notice your breath as it comes and goes, to check in with your mental and physical weather pattern, each practise, each day, like baby steps opens us up to living a more Mindful life.

Becoming aware of this with practices within awareness of Compassion, Kindness and Non-Judgementalism are not always easy but so too they are not always difficult. So whilst we may all find ourselves asking the question all we need to do is to realise we do it every day and recognise it. The emotions associated with this may come and go but the Daily Practice remains. 

Gratitude – Spring has Sprung

       Here, now it feels

….after such a cold winter, that at last the days have been getting warmer and the evening light longer. Blossom adorning the Algarvian Almond trees grown originally, the mythology says, by a Portuguese Prince for his Swedish Princess so she would not feel “Suadades” – an un-translatable  word for longing or homesickness for her native snow. New shoots fresh green leaves and velvet fields, leading to the high spring tides on our sandy beaches.

Gratitude is in abundance at the new shoots and heat in the air. Mindfulness quotes posted on Social Media too reminding us of the growth of lovely ideas and people practicing and sharing. A growth of spring loveliness that can but grow a gentle lifting of the ears into a smile of #gratitude and happiness for now.

Hello to all and Thank yous for inspiring ideas and reminders of why and how to Practice daily Mindful meditations and movement as we live this “our wild and precious life.

by Sofia

The breathing space – take it

 

A Reflection on the importance of The Breathing Space Practice and how wonderful a tool it is. Our Breath is an anchor – one that is continually there for us. As we slow down and feel the sensations of our breath for its full duration in and its full duration out, we can practice mindfulness of breath.

In this space we are able to simply following it, we can notice if our mind has wandered and gently bring it back. We can  be aware of the sensations in our body, of the movements, moment by moment, as we inhale and exhale.

In our busy lives this is a simple gift given freely that we do not always take. A space possibly labeled as something that we do as we, catch a breath, hold our breath, feeling the pain in our neck, tension rising in our shoulders and more….Take a breath…As we practice simply to be with what is here…

The Mindful Practice of the Breathing Space is drawn from many beautiful sources. It is a great meditation to make your own, use your own words, translate it to your own language make it yours – A lovely one to learn and practice daily – to check in with yourself. To offer to yourself an act of kindness.

It is simple in this – breath in – breath out – notice the sensations that are here. A tool to anchor us in the present.

So why not! Be kind and compassionate to yourself and practice this often. 🙂

My intention is to offer a version here as free meditation guided to start you off – sorting upload issues first!

 

 

(more information in franticworld.com – originators of this Mindfulness course)

by Sofia

 

 

 

 

Breathing – Review of MasterClass with Danny Penham – Mindfulness for Creativity

mcoxdannyplus

Now returned from UK and a fabulous masterclass at Oxford Mindfulness Centre ( http://www.oxfordmindfulness.org) which I attended with my friend Maggie Cregan from http://www.mindfulnessnow.co.uk. I met such lovely and interesting people and learned such a lot about teaching mindfulness, Mindfulness for Creativity in particular & exploring ideas, exchange of information, with other participants. Danny Penham was better than I could have imagined and although he comes from a more wordsmith background his observations and introductions to the creativity Course were both insightful and inspiring. With space for questions and answers – discussion and meditation.

Dannys new book was not available on the day but I am Loving dipping into it now and thought that it might be a lovely Xmas present so here a link

The Art of Breathing

By (author)  Dr. Danny Penman The secret to living mindfully. Just don’t breathe a word of it…You breathe 22,000 times every day. How many are you really aware of? International bestselling and award-winning author Dr Danny Penman provides a concise guide to letting go and finding peace in a messy world, simply by taking the time to breathe. Known side effects: You will start to smile more. You will worry less. Life won’t bother you so much. Dissolve anxiety, stress and unhappiness, enhance your mind and unleash your creativity with these simple exercises. And with each little moment of mindfulness, discover a happier, calmer you. It really is as easy as breathing…Now translated into five languages
.

The Masterclass, as is often the way, went far to quickly as many good things appear to and I would happilyg and highly recommended this Masterclass and this event in a lovely location.

Thank yous to ALL 🙂

Wishing you Happy Winter time Days ahead

Sofia

mindfulnessalgarve.com

Serendipity – Easy Progress

With the new clock change I am reminded of the importance of Daily Mindfulness Practice and the gratitude of the serendipity that often accompanies this. You know those moments when as you come to pinkskymindfulness mcpinkskytxtthink of something or someone there they are. It bring “Happiness” as it helps make progress feel easy.

It feels the right time for a change here in the Algarve, moving to cooler days with more energy to move, more water in wells and the first rains and occasional rainbows for ages. The air smells fresh , the joy of walking and seeing white blooms grow again  on my piripiri plant. Joy in the changing season breathing it in, in the here and now.

The beaches and favourite haunts are more empty and the sun shine often still warm, with cool nights feeling cosy again. There is much to enjoy and I wish you all well with the coming changes in your seasonal landscapes.

After The Retreat

11057752_10153752262829129_1591250577828580011_nI am Just back from an amazing Mindfulness for Creativity & Yoga 

A Holiday/Retreat in the Eastern Algarve.  with Maggie Cregan from ( http://www.mindfulnessnow.co.uk ) and Estella Ramos from Yoga Buddies

( https://www.facebook.com/estella.ramos1 )

What a Perfect Combination. I now really understand how Yoga is the practice of the body in preparation for Meditation. There were many smiles, laughter & some tears but 11 of us, mostly strangers came together and held each other through all these passing sensations. It really was a Joy and an affirmation for the practise of Mindfulness & Yoga. We attempted to spell Yoga 2016 on the beach as evidenced here. Thought we might add Mindfulness script as clouds in the blue sky. 🙂yogaattempt16Not sooo bad, We practised guided sessions at least twice a day, drank beautiful fresh made Juices, ate locally sourced fresh food. Visited a few local sites including the beach but we were generally happy to stay at the Villa and enjoy the pool, sessions & interesting company and get Creative.  Gratitude to all & Inspired for next week start of 5 week Mindfulness for Creativity Course here in West Algarve.

Roll on the next one. Sad not to be going to India with Maggie & Estella in December but as said I am inspired a refreshed and ready to share this happy place with new adventures for Autumn Gratitude Love Kindness & Compassion with best wishes to all you who should pass this way

🙂 <3 X

Sofia

mindfulnessalgarve.com