Mindful Reminders

Weekly Mindful Reminder – Be kind to the monkey mind

Isn’t it amazing how quickly our minds can “kick-off” and the monkey mind is there in all it’s glory creating emotional havoc for us, racing around in our heads with little control, unable to settle and feel calm. We then SUFFER.

I picked my son up from school the other day, all excited because it was the last day of term, the sun was shining and he would go and play in the park with his lovely friends whilst I chatted to their lovely parents – ahhh what a great plan….BUT

….all I heard from the other children was “Barny has just thrown up in the cloakroom” over and over again.

Without hesitation, my mind “kicked off” and those monkeys started to rampage as the thoughts appeared “oh no, Barny won’t be able to play, I won’t be able to chat, we’ll have to go home, I hate sick, do I have to clean it up?, but the suns out, I want to stay outside, what if Barny’s really ill?…..” The thoughts appeared as if by magic.

Thankfully, I noticed those monkeys and that my mind had “kicked off” and I just paused, noticed tension in my body and took a few deep breaths softening the tension.  I smiled at those cheeky monkeys and without force or feeling annoyed, I noticed them and let them go.

My attention them moved to compassion and instead of engaging in my own ego driven thoughts, I shifted my focus to my poor son and went to look after him.
The monkey mind settled and I felt calm and fully present with my son, which felt so much better.

So, when your mind “kicks off”, try to be kind to those monkeys and allow your mind to settle, notice the breath and the body and gradually you will be able to tame the monkey mind more quickly and feel calm and peaceful again, no matter what situation you find yourself in.

Remember too that taming the monkey mind takes practice, so please do try to practice formally and informally as best you can.

Warmest wishes,


Weekly Mindful Reminder – Worry!

I met someone recently who is distracted in his mind, worrying about the possibility of
being asked to move to a new location for his job.

The reality is that he hasn’t been moved and may not even be moved but as he engages in and believes the “what if…” thoughts
he is creating agitation in his body and worry in his mind.

He told me that his sleep is affected, he’s distracted at home and at work and he’s eating more than usual.
All of this is impacting on his behaviour too – less present, less tolerant and agitated.

It’s so easy for us to fall into the habit of worrying and actually all we are doing is engaging in and believing
the stories and thoughts that arrive in our minds about the future – IT’S ALL MADE UP!!!

So, when you notice that your mind has wondered off into worry, see if you can gently and without judgement guide your attention back into the present moment of what
is REAL – such as sensing into the body, noticing any tension and softening it, noticing the breath, hearing sounds, feeling the body move.

As Mark Twain said:


Warmest wishes,









Weekly Mindful Reminder – Is it really a problem?

Hi Everyone,

Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?

Well, maybe it is if we don’t allow it to control us with feeling addicted to using it.
In contrast, it’s also amazing when it’s working properly!!!

My internet connection failed recently and two weeks later after numerous calls to BT and several engineers visiting, it’s still not resolved.
I realised just how much I depend on the internet and after all of this time, my mind eventually started to “kick off” big time.

– I noticed just how busy my mind became, going over and over how much I can’t do, mostly relating to work and how inconvenient this is.  Oh and of course thoughts like, “what will people think….?”
– I noticed the impact that engaging in and believing the thoughts had on me physically.  Tension in my jaw and head, tight tummy and breath became fast and shallow.
– I noticed how this impacted on my behaviour.  I was less tolerant generally and a bit clumsy, dropping things and losing random things too like items of clothing etc.
I also found it harder to make decisions, so taking longer to complete tasks, which fuelled the agitation. I couldn’t think straight.

…And so, here is a perfect example of how we can allow one of life’s little challenges to consume and trap us.
We easily turn this into a significant problem and lose perspective on life generally.

Thankfully because I practice mindfulness, this “problem” quickly turned back into just one of life’s challenges as I gained perspective by practicing the following:


Labelling the thoughts as “just thinking” – letting them go
Bringing my attention back into the present moment by noticing sensations in the body such as the feet on the floor and tension in the jaw. Also feeling the breath.
Taking a few deep breaths to calm the nervous system.
Listening to sounds
Asking myself “what do I need right now?”, so being kind to myself and all I needed was to soften the body, have a cup of tea and smile.

So, next time this happens to you – probably today at some stage or even right now, see if you can manage the situation mindfully and help yourself to gain some perspective.

Life then becomes so much easier and calmer.

Warmest wishes,

Weekly Mindful Reminder – This too will pass

How are you feeling right now? – perhaps excited, calm, agitated, sad, annoyed, frantic, happy….

Mindfulness practice helps us, over time, to experience our ever changing pattern of emotions as physical sensations in the body.

Emotions are not there to be solved in the head, they are there to be experienced.

When we engage in and believe thoughts about the emotion (especially the unpleasant ones) like “I don’t like this”, “they made me cross…”, “I want to feel happy not sad” etc etc, we are simply providing fuel for that emotion to continue and we’re fighting against our reality – this is a fight that we can NEVER win.

We fuel unpleasant emotions by engaging in thoughts about them and resisting the actual experience.

So, can you drop your awareness into the body and just feel the physical sensations of our ever changing emotions.
Come out of the head and into the body with kindness and curiosity.

Be grateful that you can allow yourself to really feel any pleasant emotions passing through the body and when the emotions are unpleasant, we can feel them too because this also allows then to simply pass by.

Warmest wishes,

Blog One

Weekly Mindful Reminder – Set yourself free

Hi Everyone,

I was lucky enough to go and see Linkin Park, a pop/rock/rap band the other night.

I’d like to share with you  some of the lyrics from one of their songs, called Heavy.

“….I don’t like my mind right now
stacking up problems that are so unnecessary.
Wish that I could slow things down
I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic
and I drive myself crazy thinking everything’s about me.

I’m holding on.
Why is everything so heavy?
I’m holding on
to so much much more than I can carry.

I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down.
If I just let go, I’d be set free…..”


So, how do we set ourselves free?
Notice the thoughts of the past or the future and let them go by giving yourself permission each day, even if it’s only for a few moments,
to wake up to the present moment of what’s actually happening right now.

Really listen to sounds…
Really taste food…
Drop your awareness into the body and feel the different sensations and the body breathing….
Really feel the body moving as you walk, run or simply open a door….

If we can let go of the thoughts that often drag us down, even if it’s just for a moment – we can in that moment be set free.

May Chester rest in peace. A very sad loss and talented musician.

Warmest wishes,