Mindful Living with Natasha Rix – Mindfulness Course Night Five

joe campbellPre-Mindfulness 6 week Course in Tauranga
I have intended to participate in one of Natasha and Grant Rix’s introductory classes for the past 5 years (since we moved back home to Tauranga and I saw a flyer for their mindfulness courses at Playcentre). A generous handful of my closest local friends have completed the course and LOVED it. They’ve talked gently to me about how it’s positively influenced their lives.

Some say these courses on mindfulness with the Rix duo have saved their marriage. Some say it helps them be the calm, peaceful, loving person they want to be around their children. Others say Natasha (Mindful Living) provides a ‘How to’ to lead a happy life.

Stay tuned for a weekly update of my experience with Natasha and the mindfulness for well-being course (an introduction to meditation) in our bountiful Bay of Plenty.

Post Night 5
Before i share about Night 5 i have been desiring to add a link to an article i found on one of my fave publications ‘Dumbo Feather‘. I’m secretly hoping husband will get me a membership for Christmas. I first found out about it when one of my bridesmaid’s gave it to us as a wedding present. That and the Joseph Campbell CDs from cousin Chris were gold! Here’s that link to: Why Entrepreneurs need Mindfulness and it’s not too shabby for everyone else too.

joe campbell 2I’m on a bit of a roll with watching you tube atm. London Real is replacing my Ted Talk visits. And School of Life has recently got my vote too. It’s all coming out of Melbourne (for today’s post). Here’s a story suggesting 10 situations to apply mindfulness to from School of Life (started by UK philosopher Alain de Botton) – the Melbourne branch. Here’s a School of Life vid i’ve got queued up:

Night 5 was our smallest congregation. Were there 6 of the 16? The small group allowed Tash to invite us all to share something of our ‘mindful’ experience.

We began with ‘a sit’ (meditation). For those frightened of the stilling still part of mindfulness i’ll let you know it felt like 5 minutes maybe 10 tops. One woman shared her frustration that her mind was wandering. Tash asked for greater specificity, “Have you identified whether the mind is going to what’s happening in the future (scattered or busy) or revisiting what’s in the past (dull or unclear)?”

I observed my breathing was ‘happening’ with less stress or concern – there was progress from Night 1. I’ll admit to not having practiced the meditation aspect of this 6-week Mindfulness Course with Tash, and yet the other mindfulness practices especially COAL and going slower and focusing on my sensory experience are helping me feel more calm, happy and able to navigate through stress of time pressures.

In fact i had an insight around time this week. I realise(d) time is irrelevant when i’m in flow. Here’s what wikipedia says about Mihaly Csikszentmihályi’s flow:

In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. Named byMihály Csíkszentmihályi, the concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields (and has an especially big recognition inoccupational therapy), though has existed for thousands of years under other guises, notably in some Eastern religions.

According to Csikszentmihályi, flow is completely focusedmotivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate experience in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task,[2] although flow is also described (below) as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one’s emotions.

joeI’ll be honest. I’m in flow when i write. I’m in flow when i create events. I’m in flow when i eat. I’m in flow when i’m at Mindfulness Course, and have been in flow during other workshops. I’m in flow watching a film or reading something that ‘grabs’ me. I’m in flow sharing a conversation with a like-minded person.

I’m just wondering whether i’m in flow as a Mumma? If not why not? Is it the reality of the experience of ‘serving’ 3 different people’s needs simultaneously?

I wonder if flow must have a perceived beginning and end, an intention and an activity?

Could i also be in flow having a conversation with an un-like-minded-person? Interesting.

Nearly school bell time again.

We looked at the 5 hindrances to well-being and nourishing supportive practices. I could look again at this – i felt unsure of how to adopt a new habit in this regard.

We looked more at the definitions of mindfulness. One co-mindfulness student suggested it’s mindlessness, because ‘mindfulness’ is getting away from the bust, wandering mind and becoming more attuned to the physical experience of the NOW.

Tash reminded us Mindfulness ‘looks different’ for each one of us. Each of us will adopt the mindfulness practices that best resonate with us. Each of us will aspire to a quality an experience through Mindfulness which is different to another’s.

“Mindfulness is taking notice,” she said.

Mindfulness could be about becoming more flexible and resilient.

She invited us to look at our life the; conditions; habits; practices; activities; relationships of our life…and to ask:

What is supportive of my well-being and what’s not?

’twas another night of intrigue and opening up my mind and body to greater joy. Tash is a great mix of professional, researched, kind, warm and direct. She is authentic – another quality i’m exploring.

If you’d like to check out Mindful Living and the courses they have on offer, click here for their facebook page.
Their website is: http://www.mindfulliving.co.nz/

Mindful Living is based in the Bay of Plenty and is a husband wife dynamic duo.
This is what their About Page says:

Our vision for Mindful Living is to provide individuals, workplaces and organisations with practical mindfulness skills and strategies for increased wellbeing in our daily lives.

We have been studying and practicing mindfulness and meditation since 1999. We have been teaching in Tauranga since 2008, giving classes that are relaxed and inclusive, encouraging enquiry and personal growth.

We are graduates of a unique three-year mindfulness teacher training study and meditation programme, run through the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre under the guidance of our principal teacher Tarchin Hearn (a master of mindfulness with over 40 years experience). During this period of intensive training we lived as part of a mindful community from 2005 to 2007 exploring mindfulness through Body, Speech and Mind.

In addition to completing numerous periods of intensive deep retreat work, we continue to study with experienced mindfulness teachers and attend practice retreats. We are committed to living and parenting mindfully, and helping others awaken to the fullness and richness of life unfolding now.

Grant is the Mindful Aotearoa Operations Manager for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and creator of the Pause, Breathe, Smilemindfulness in schools programme. Natasha is a Mindfulness Strategy Consultant to the MHF and trains and supports mindfulness facilitators to deliver Pause, Breathe, Smile.


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