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Posted on 5:06pm Wednesday 22nd May 2013
Listed under: Tips and Resources
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness in its simplest terms means getting out of your head and into your life. It means paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment, free from judging thoughts that say it's good or bad, right or wrong. As long as you live in thought, you really are missing out on the precious present moment experience.
Modern life is full of distractions. Many people have so much on their minds in any given moment that they run on autopilot. They are busy planning the future or reviewing the past. We are constantly thinking about the next thing we need to do. With hand-held technology it is a common sight to see people with their heads down staring at their phones.
Mindfulness itself is a way of being in the moment with pure awareness. Being in the moment means you are not void of thoughts, it means you just notice that thoughts come and go but they have no real impact on you missing out on what you can experience through your senses right now. We are all born mindful, but we lose the capacity to pay attention in a purposeful way. Mindfulness is something you can practice until it's something you are.
Mindfulness is about teaching yourself to be more aware of your body, your emotions, your mind and the environment. It is about being right here, right now with focus and the ability to make better decisions about where you place your attention. It brings the mind and the body in synch with each other and allows you to be more accepting and compassionate towards yourself and other people.
If you struggle with a concern, mindfulness can help you cope better with a range of conditions including chronic pain, stress, depression and anxiety so instead of being overwhelmed by our thoughts or emotions, we can manage them better. The practices and exercises are simple to learn and can become part of everyday activities such as eating and breathing.
The techniques draw on the breathing exercises commonly used in meditation and yoga but differ in intention of the practice. It is not a new age or hippie in nature to practice mindfulness. It's not about 'spacing-out', vegetating or going into an altered state either. It is about pure awareness of what is happening right now, independent of your thoughts and judgement and it takes practice to make the distinction. It doesn't mean we cannot achieve things, in fact, being mindful means you can achieve more without depleting precious mental energy on worrisome or stressful thoughts.
In fact, the US military offers marines mindfulness training before they are deployed, in recognition that it is an effective form of mental discipline. The principles and practice of “mindful leadership” are taught at Harvard, while Oxford University’s dedicated Mindfulness Centre is carrying out research into its clinical and general health benefits. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance for the NHS has recommended Mindfulness therapies for recurrent depression since 2004, but is not widely available through the NHS.
As we move into more of a frantic world with the pressures of modern living and multi-tasking, mindfulness can provide you with a the space to become more balanced to meet the demands. For more information about Mindfulness based courses in the West Midlands, contact Brenda Bentley, certified mindfulness teacher at the Midlands Mindfulness Centre based in Leamington Spa. Website http://www.bemindfuluk.com or telephone +44 (0) 1527 853 424 or +44 (0) 794 880 1229.
Posted on 7:55am Wednesday 27th Mar 2013
Listed under: Tips and Resources
Sandra Peachey – Business Coach and Author blogs about why Blogging is good for business! She shares her tips on how to get started and how to improve your blogging for business.
In February 2012 I started a personal blog called Peachey Letters… A year later my blog has had 1000s of hits from 26 countries and has been turned into a book, giving me publicity and recognition that I could never even of dreamt of when I started!
Why Blog in the first place?
Blogging tells the world that you are an ‘Expert’ in what you do - the services and products you provide. Used well you can gain the interest of potential customers and encourage them to buy more of your products. With blogging people can get to know and trust you – spending ‘time’ with you before they buy. And it also gives you have the perfect opportunity to keep reminding people about what you do and being in their consciousness, so that when the time comes to buy, they think of you…
The great thing about blogging is that it requires no financial outlay to get started. It beefs up your business credentials and if used cleverly, can be re-used and recycled – posted on social media, on other people’s blogs and in your newsletters – maximizing your time and effort.
How do I get started?
Check to see if your website has blogging functionality – most do. Even without a website you can get started quickly – Blogger and Wordpress both offer free platforms and then you are also part of a blogging community which can give you global exposure. If getting stuck on the technology is what is preventing you from getting started, then get some help – Laura Morris – Co-Owner of Networking Mummies can help you, or find a friend or colleague who has already set up their own blog.
How and what do I write?
Be wary of selling! Always be of a mindset that you are sharing useful tips, strategies and information. Never be afraid of sharing some of your ‘trade secrets’ – this means that you stay on your toes and will consistently provide better services for your clients.
For subject matter - think of the time of the year, issues that are in the news, new products and services that you are offering. Maybe there is something that doesn’t seem related to your business that you are passionate about – all good! Blog about it – this will make you different from the people that share your marketplace. If you are happy to share things going on in your life – people love the ‘soap opera’ saga of someone else’s life and course – always make the connection back to your products and services.
The simplest and most useful tip I can give you to structure and give subject matter to any blog is to answer 1-3 questions. Sometimes you can make it as obvious as how I have structured this blog, or simply use this thought process as a way to write your piece.
Finally, make the offer!
Never be afraid to be bold or controversial – again it makes you stand out. Then, when you have shared your tips and strategies, then you can lead people to what you currently have to offer your reader. As my example, I am currently giving one to one blog checks for beginners and improvers to Networking Mummies subscribers for just £10! We will get your started, motivated and inspired to get your message out into your market place. If you already have a blog then I will audit it and show you how get it even more effective, get more hits and more selling exposure. Just click here to find out more and book your blogging session:
Sandra Peachey works with businesses to ensure they turn passion into profits and achieve their market goals. Her first book Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life was published in February 2013, has been featured in local and national press, including Psychologies and The Lady magazine; and is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Peachey-Letters-Love-Life/dp/1908746718/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364294476&sr=8-1