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  • Francine Russell

Learning To Pause

Back in the noughties I was invited to a Mindful Life retreat, this was back in the day when we were a community interest company and offered face to face weekend retreats to give folk space for reflection, focus and time to breathe, away from the stresses of day to day life.

My first response, I say sheepishly now, was “I don’t have time for this malarkey.”

I truly believed I did not.

I had visions of groups of people chanting and playing drums in a room, a prejudice and a story that has some connection with having had an older sister who used to drag me to hippy retreats when I was young, not an experience I relished. I had an idea that this weekend would be similar. I went and it certainly was not.

I arrived at lovely venue in Dorset with a group of people, who just like me, soon found a space to leave their busyness at the door, giving themselves permission to pause and reflect, while being gently guided on different mindful approaches of living and managing in a busy world.

Fast forward 10 years and I feel grateful to have been introduced to a practice that has become part of my daily routine, and I love it! I am appreciative of the community I am part of and happy to be of service in my role with carers. I enjoy spreading the love (the mindfulness that is!) J

I have experienced the positive impact mindfulness has had on pretty much every aspect of my health and wellbeing, it’s been a game changer for me. My experiences of lockdown and the pandemic were both manageable even though tough at times, as well as a source of ongoing learning in the development of a more resilient mind set. I have found this crucial in times of uncertainty.

So… my learning from way back. Remember to pause, remember to drop the judgement and don’t create a story that really isn’t there! I am so glad I moved beyond my thoughts prior to that weekend. The Mindful Life has been a big part of my learning, my lifestyle and continues to be.

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