My Mindfulness Journey
About a million moons ago, I was asked to write a blog entitled ‘My Mindful(ness) Journey’….The fact that I am only now coming up with the goods, is a fairly clear indication that I am still a ‘work in progress’. As we all are of course! However for many of us whom have suffered with mental illness, will empathize why it can often take so long to start (or to finish!), a task whether or or not it is meaningful to us. I still do not completely understand why this is, only as was kindly pointed out to me recently, “not everything needs to be understood, in order to move forward.”
And so here it is. The beginning of my mindfulness journey blog. Incomplete, raw, & terrifyingly imperfect.
I ask myself “how in the hell did I get to be where I am?!” (metaphorically speaking of course!) After almost 5 years of being mentally & physically unable to work due to mental illness I am employed again. I am feeling what I believe to be happiness (true, genuine happiness), on an almost daily basis (albeit not all day, I mean after all, I am ‘only’ human!) Meeting beautiful people on a daily basis. Feeling & being able to express real gratitude. Appreciating what I have. Hope. Being able to utter the words “life is good”, when recently asked by an acquaintance, how I’m doing.
Just a year ago I did not think that any of this, never mind ALL of this, could ever be possible! Depression. That dark & oh so very deep void had sucked me in, to what I believed at the time, to be the point of almost no return. But that is not what this blog is about, nor do I wish it to be, nor does it need to be. This blog is about how I turned that around. How it IS possible to climb out of that deep, dark, lonely hole. How each & every one of us owe it to ourselves, and deserve, to choose life.
I had from time to time ‘dabbled’ in meditation, although in hindsight I’m not sure exactly how much of that was in fact that I dabbled more in the IDEA of meditation. It is of no consequence now however. What is, is that I started. Better late than never, right? When I found meditation (or meditation found me?), I honestly believed it was ‘last chance corral’. My one last HEAVE to remain in this world, my one last chance at survival. And It worked. Not immediately. Not even soon. I didn’t know why I was going to meditate once a week with a room full of strangers, or how it was going to help, or even if it WOULD help..I just knew I had to keep trying. And that’s how, & when I met Rachel Jones-Wild.
Now then, I had briefly heard about the practice of mindfulness from an internet support group I was a member of yet I really didn’t know much about it at all, however when a member of staff from the DWP mentioned an 8 week mindfulness course that was available through an organization that helps people with with recovery from mental illness, my ears pricked up! Imagine my surprise when I then found out that it was Rachel Jones-Wild whom led the course!
Through (often begrudgingly), attending many of the once weekly meditation classes for six months at the Newcastle Buddhist Centre, I had managed to get myself to the point of grasping at life again. Getting my stubborn head back on & refusing to give up on myself, and I discovered what can only be described as the stirrings of a newly found patience within myself, & the determination to persevere, & so the timing couldn’t have been better to be formally introduced to the power of mindfulness.