A Place to Reflect

What is Mindfulness

mindfulness ˈmʌɪn(d)f(ʊ)lnəs/ noun

  1. 1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. 2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

    When practising Mindfulness you are in the here and now, you are not lost in thought, or being distracted or being overwhelmed by difficult emotions. It is a form of meditation where you are aware of your surroundings.  

We spend a lot of our time being lost in thought, and a lot of those thoughts can be negative making us unhappy. Why do we spend so much time doing something that is potentially harmful to our mental well-being?   It can take as little as 10 minutes per day to make an impact on our lives. Just 10 minutes of mindfulness to give our minds a rest and help it become more clear, to keep us in the present moment and to learn how to deal with the negativity and unhappiness in our lives.  

When you are not acting in a mindfulness way your mind is trapped on categories drawn in the past and characterized  by reliance on distinctions. You see things in a single perspective and are insensitive to context.   

Do you frequently make silly mistakes, even at the most basic level, perhaps you forget to put your teabag in your cup when making a cup of tea? This is a state of mindlessness where you are letting your thoughts override your actions, when you are not in the present moment and thinking about what you are doing but relying on past routine.  

People who are not mindful get trapped by their past thoughts and emotions and find it difficult to move on. They are either thinking about the past or the future so much that they forget about the present. You need to be in the present more for a healthier way of dealing with past and future emotions.   

When you are mindful you are situated in the present and are sensitive to context and perspective. You are guided by rules and routine but not governed by them. You will experience engagement.   It is a fact that most of our suffering, both psychological and physical is a direct or indirect effect of mindlessness.  

By challenging mindlessness we can become more aware of the present and change the way we react to social and cultural cues.We can change ingrained behaviours that sap health, creativity, optimism and vitality from our lives.  

So, how do we become more mindful?

  You need to start with yourself. Ask yourself how people see you and then how you see yourself. Then challenge the differences. Work out exactly what is most important to you in your life right now, write a list, then whittle it down. Once you are more aware of who you are and what you want you can begin to become more mindful.  

To practice mindfulness you need to spend more time in the present, in the here and now. Stop letting thoughts and worries control the way you behave. The more you think about something the more worrying it becomes. It’s like a toothache, your tooth hurts and you become aware of it, so you think about it more, then you rub your poorly tooth with your tongue and there it is again, the pain. It hurts, so you think about it more and the more you think about it the more it hurts. It’s definitely not easy to stop thinking about it, or prodding it with your tongue, but if you become distracted by something else isn’t it a fact that it hurts less, or you forget that it hurts?  

Mindfulness is like that, you know you have problems and worries but you have to spend a little time not letting them dominate your thoughts so you can forget about the pain they cause you for a while.    You need only subtle shift in your thinking, your language and your expectations to begin to change ingrained behaviours.  

How to practice Mindfulness.

  In just 10 minutes a day you can begin to transform your life and learn to spend more time in the present.   This is done by meditation, but don’t worry, you don’t have to get your carpet out and burn the incense. You don’t need to clear your mind and think of nothing. You don’t need to fill your mind with chanting . There is nothing wrong with these methods of meditation but most people find it really difficult, I know I do.   

Mindfulness meditation means putting yourself in the present. You need to spend 10 minutes a day just being in the here and now.   Do nothing for 10 minutes.Switch off your phone and any other distractions.  Maybe go out and sit on a bench somewhere, or stand in the park. Then simply listen and observe and be in the present. Don’t think, don’t talk, don’t plan, don’t judge. Take in your surroundings. If you feel a thought coming up then accept then let it go. Witness your thoughts and emotions coming and going without judgement but with a relaxed calm mind.   It’s not an easy thing to do, but just try it regularly and with time it should get easier.  

The Benefits of Becoming More Mindful.

  Being more mindful means you can stop doing things governed by rules and routine and make less mistakes by being more aware of where you are and what you are doing. You will be able to change ingrained behaviours and learn how to deal with things differently. You will be able to challenge the limits that you assume are real and transform your life. You will have a greater sense of focus, calm and clarity in your life.    All you have to do is spend some time in the present and understand that your thoughts do not control you because you can control them.     

  If you are interested in finding out more about Mindfulness there are lots of books to choose from.    

Mindfulness for Health: A practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing
The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace (MBS Little book of…)
Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world
A Year of Mindfulness – Challenge yourself to be more mindful for a whole year!
You Are Not Your Thoughts: The Secret Magic of Mindfulness
Twin Mummy and Daddy
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A Place to Read

What I’ve been Reading lately

The title of this post should really be what I’ve been listening to lately, but I do love my audio books. In this post I’ll include links to both Audio and Book versions.

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

The Blurb

84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she considers the charming new resident who looks exactly like a man she once knew – a man who died sixty years ago. His arrival has stirred distant memories she and Elsie thought they’d laid to rest. Lying prone in the front room, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light …

Audible version

Amazon version

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved this book and didn’t want to put it down. The characters are beautifully described and the story gently told. There are twists and turns, some of them easy to work out, but the end still leaves you guessing a little. Can you work out what the third thing about Elsie is?

I love that even old people can have adventures, as well as skeletons in the closet. The story moved at a good pace despite the over use of flowery descriptions. There were so many things I read that I would love to quote…probably too many as I can’t remember any! But it didn’t distract from the story which had everything you need for a good read.

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

The Blurb

Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her.

With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?

Audible Version

Amazon Version

My Thoughts

Another story about an old person with secrets, I guess if anything it makes me feel younger 🙂

This is another great story if a little weird. The main character obviously has some sort of psychic gift, or she’s just a little bonkers. No matter, I found her guardians entertaining.

The story has some great twists and secrets to discover, and it’s another page turner. The old man has a certain charm despite him hiding it well. There were parts that made me laugh, some that made me tense and others that even made a lump in my throat.

Great read if you like something a little different from the normal thriller.

The Ex-Wife by Jess Ryder

The Blurb

Newly married Natasha has the perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl called Emily. She’d have it all if it wasn’t for Jen, her husband’s ex-wife who just won’t leave them alone …

Then Natasha returns home one day to find her husband and Emily gone without trace. Desperate to get her daughter back, Natasha will do anything even if it means accepting an offer of help from Jen. But can she trust her? And do either of them really know the man they married?


Audible Version

Amazon Version

My Thoughts

This is a fast paced book with lots of twists and turns. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who’s side you’re on. Then a certain character reveals their true colours which makes you wonder why any of the other characters have survived at all.

I really enjoyed the way the characters developed and the story line was strong. There was a couple of twists I really didn’t expect. The story flips from Now to Then and for a while you are not really sure of the relationship between the characters in the different time scales.

There were one or two things which I felt were a little far fetched but they added to the suspense and gave explanations as to why the characters acted the way they did.

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A Place to Enjoy, Crochet

Crochet Projects

I love to crochet, it’s so relaxing and I love it when something comes together and I can say I made this.

Last year I joined a CAL with Simply Crochet magazine and each month I learned a new stitch to make a block for a beautiful blanket.

The blanket came with two options, one was Stonewashed, the other Colour Crafter. I chose the colour crafter and it turned out like this.

Colour Crafter Blanket CAL

Not only have I made a lovely, soft, cosy and colourful blanket, but I’ve learnt a lot of new stitches. Some of them I struggled with, but mostly it was straight forward.

Now for the good news, if you would like to try to can find the details over on the Simply Crochet Magazine site

There are even You Tube videos which can help you with the more trickier stitches. But it’s not as difficult as it looks. I still consider myself a beginner and I managed to make one.

If you fancy trying out Simply Crochet magazine please click the banner below for a great offer.

Post Comment Love
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A Place to Enjoy, Shopping

Mother’s Day Gift List

Mother’s Day 2019 is on March 31st.

Here is a comprehensive list of gifts to please all sorts of Mum’s. I’ve spent hours compiling this list for you and the links are all affiliate links. It will not cost you any extra to click through these links but if you go on to purchase something I will earn a few extra pennies for my new wheelchair fund. So, a big thank you from me x

Thorntons

Thorntons are a great place to start, you can have your chocolate personalised if you wish to make it extra special. Here are just 3 of the gifts available, two are under £10 so perfect for the kiddies to buy!

Thorntons chocolate heart £8
Thortons Box of Chocolates £7
Thorntons yellow roses and chocolates £50

Cadburys

Cadburys offer some lovely selections especially for Mum, priced at £10, £20 and £30…perfect for every budget.

Cadburys Treasure Box £10
Cadburys chocolate Hamper and Fizz £30
Cadburys Mothers Day Chocolate £20

Pressy Box

Looking for something a little different or special, then Pressy Box has literally hundreds of fabulous products to choose from. You’ll be sure to find something that your Mum would love. Here are a small pick of my favourites.

From You to Me Book £11.99
Gin and Tonic Bathing Gel £8.99
Eyezone Massager £9.99
Collagin £34.95

Candles

I love candles, they add atmosphere as well as a beautiful scent to your home. I could have a hundred candles and it still wouldn’t be enough. Candles Direct are the place to go for all things candle and they have some great prices too.

Yankee Candle, Floral Candy -large £19.99
Gold and Peal Wax Burner £14.24

Etsy

You Can’t beat a look around Etsy if you want to find something really special for your Mum, from handmade to personalised and a whole lot more.

wooden box personalised
Personalised Mother’s Day Memory Box £34.95
Mum’s Knitting Bag £12.95
Bath Salt Pamper Basket £23.00
Sunshine Drop Ear rings £20

John Lewis

John Lewis have a lovely selection of gifts, including things you wouldn’t normally think of.

Gin Gift Box £50
Strictly Come Dancing Board Game £15.99
a shopper bag with flowers
Ted Baker Annacon Elegant Print Shopper Bag £30
an orange purse decorated with zebras
Sara Miller Zebra Purse £12.00

Flowers

How about sending Mum a gorgeous bunch of flowers through the post. You can even add chocolates or teddy bears as well as other gifts and cards.

Roses with chocolates £22.99
Spring Supreme with Chocolates £19

I hope you have enjoyed my list and found it useful. Let me know in the comments what you would like to buy your Mum for Mother’s Day, or what you would like to receive yourself.

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