Final Mindful In May Reflections

1. What is something new you have discovered about mindfulness meditation or being mindful since starting MIM?

The Loving Kindness meditation is new to me and I am really enjoying it. It really connects me to a warmth and love for others that I can feel flows in me after the meditation and hopefully the energy is received by those I’ve mindfully held in meditation.

Other aspects of being mindful that I’ve strongly connected with and would enjoy to practise more of are mindful listening (to use the CONVERSATION acronym) and enjoying mindful meals. I will be hosting my first mindful meal this week with some friends and I would like to incorporate the mindful meal principles into our regular family meals at home.

2. Have you noticed any benefits, big or small, since starting the challenge? Share what you’ve noticed.

There have definitely been a number of benefits. One is actually meditating each day!! The support of emails and guided meditations is so helpful when you are a beginner working at forming a new habit. I have found if I wake in the night I meditate and it helps me to go back to sleep.

Overall my levels of anxiety and stress have been reduced. I am feeling calmer and more clear-headed which I think is also reflected in the way my children are behaving, which is a lot calmer too, especially at bedtimes.

I think I have been placing less expectations or demands on myself and being prepared to go to bed early some nights and not feel like I have to make progress with some project or goal.  I am being more kind to myself and also more attuned to my energy levels and adjust what I’m doing accordingly. So if I’m tired, I tell myself its ok to rest. If I’m feeling energised and motivated I get stuck into something I want to do and enjoy the feeling of progress.

I have been more conscious of being grateful each day and encourage the children to share 3 things from their day that they were happy about, or even something that didn’t go as well as they would have liked. It offers the opportunity to connect with each other and share about things that really matter to them.

3. What are some challenges you’ve experienced so far with respect to meditation or mindfulness practice?

One of my challenges is to keep holding the space for meditation each day. My preference is to meditate just when I wake but it’s not always possible as my children might wake needing my assistance. Sometimes I only manage to meditate at night and might drift to sleep whilst meditating. So I’d like to be more regularly able to sit and meditate without being really drowsy. Also, it’s a challenge with keeping my focus during the meditation, so I like the gentle reminders to return back to the breath to reconnect me to being mindful and present.
Distraction from our busy, cluttered world!! It is a challenge to detach from the way we currently live. I believe that mindfulness practice and meditation is a starting point to find space in all the clutter. I am hopeful that it will extrapolate to the material world so I can more easily let go of the clutter of stuff in our home. I’m sure we’d have much more time for wonderful experiences if we weren’t busy trying to create order in all the mess of stuff around us.

4. Why do you meditate?

My initial and main motivation is to manage stress, anxiety and depression. However, I am also very interested in the health benefits meditation offers for mind and body, for clarity of mind, and for greater self-awareness and trust through noticing the physical cues in my body, feelings and identifying the needs and values that are alive in me. My hope is that it will contribute to greater ease in living into my truth, assist in decision making in life and help me detach from unhelpful thought patterns and material possessions. I am longing to simplify life and more easily have the clarity to prioritise how I choose to spend my time so it is contributing to my feeling of joy and giving to others to make our experience in the world more wonderful.

5. Anything else you would like to share about your experience so far?

It’s been a wonderful learning curve so far and I look forward to a lifetime of meditation and mindfulness. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to participate in Mindful in May and for the incredible support it has provided in nurturing this beginner in meditation and mindfulness.
By Veronika O’Brien

1. What is something new you have discovered about mindfulness meditation or being mindful since starting MIM?

Something new I have discovered about being mindful is that I can step back in my day-to-day happenings, take a pause, and remove the stressful feelings around a situation when it arises. I stop, I tune into the speed of my heart beating, I listen to my breath, I can almost see the thoughts as words passing before my eyes, and I let them wash past me. The tension in my body disappears. I feel clear.

2. Have you noticed any benefits, big or small, since starting the challenge? Share what you’ve noticed.

Not only have I noticed that I can handle negative emotion much easier, I have been able to reach a point of stillness and relaxation much quicker, and interruptions don’t phase me, as I can go back where I was with ease.

I have also noticed that I am mindful when I run. I zone into the breath, and the pace of my feet, and the pain and discomfort I used to focus on and how far I had to go doesn’t hinder me. I am enjoying it more than I ever did 🙂

3. What are some challenges you’ve experienced so far with respect to meditation or mindfulness practice?

A challenge I have found with being mindful and getting in my mindful practice is that I have to choose a ten-minute time frame where I am unlikely to be needed by my two small children. Some days I have been lucky to find the baby napping in the day and the other at school, but a lot of the time, I have had to wait until all in bed and my day is over. The challenge then is not to wander off and fall asleep in my meditation 😉

4. Why do you meditate?

I meditate because I believe that emptying my mind for a small amount of time each day is beneficial to my health. Like my physical body, it needs exercise and rest too. By taking on this challenge I have been accountable to do my mindful practice every day, something I may not have made time to do normally. I also love that by joining this challenge I helped myself and others. I hope I have inspired my friends to try mindfulness and hopefully join in the challenge next May.

5. Anything else you would like to share about your experience so far?

I have loved this challenge so much. Each day I look forward to my ten minutes of pure me time.

I have loved my daily email and looked forward to each meditation. I have experimented with sitting up, lying down, day time, night time, in the sunlight, in the moonlight (gorgeous full moon last two nights to bathe in:) ) inside, outside.

I especially loved the compassion meditation.

My most favourite thing of all is the bell sound at the end of the meditations. It is the most Divine sound! It is like an amazing massage for my brain. It’s frequency resonates through me like a warm hug. I just adore that sound 🙂
Is it just me or do other people go crazy for the bell sound?
By Carly Owen

1. What is something new you have discovered about mindfulness meditation or being mindful since starting MIM?

One great thing I’ve learned about the practice of meditation is it shouldn’t just be an isolated “moment” or “time” during your day, but rather a mindset…mindful mediation has really helped me with my schoolwork, my connections with friends, and even how I eat meals, I love utilising meditation as another perspective on life.

2. Have you noticed any benefits, big or small, since starting the challenge? Share what you’ve noticed.

I’ve noticed I’m calmer and more careful about my body language, word choice, and simply how I perceive everything around me…all fairly subtle changes, but impactful nonetheless.

3. What are some challenges you’ve experienced so far with respect to meditation or mindfulness practice?

Focusing on the breath and letting go of my thoughts has been challenging at times (I love the analogy of watching your thoughts go by on a movie screen), but I’d say continual mindfulness throughout the day has been the most difficult aspect. When I’m with friends, in class, etc I often forget about all the meditation I did the night before, but the more reflection I do, the easier it’ll be.

4. Why do you meditate?

I meditate to lose myself, to detach from my thoughts, habits, plans, everything. I’m only 21, but I’ve never felt the sense of peace and serenity I get after opening my eyes from a meditation session…I can tell why it’s literally an art form with seemingly endless benefits! I’ve relatively new at this but I guarantee I will practice mediation and mindfulness for the rest of my life.

5. Anything else you would like to share about your experience so far?

I’ve recently discovered a passion for global health and I was so excited to see charity:water having a partnership with a meditation group…I knew it would be some of the best money I’ve spent in a while and I’m so thankful for all of you who set up this month of self-reflection and growth. You Aussies know how to live life!

Ben D.

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"If we wish to be healthy, happy and clear-minded, we need to upgrade our “inner technology”of attention to meet the demands of our increasingly complex world. That's where mindfulness comes in.."




Elise Bialylew is the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Plan, and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign.

A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project.

Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and on Australian Television. She was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence.

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