Years ago – or what seems a lifetime ago, I spotted a book at Dzogchen Beara bookshop “Full catastrophe living” by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
I read a few page, and decided that I did not need it – “Me stressed? But if I am the calmest person in the world! ” and so life went on…
Fast forward 5 or 6 years, I was searching for a new direction. By then I had acknowledged that stress was playing a big part of my life: I had started meditating more regularly and I could really notice how the stress was softening when I was practicing, and how it really spinned out of control if I wasn’t.
I attended a day of mindfulness with Marjó Oosterhoff , and there I picked up a leaflet about an MBSR course running soon, taught by Tracy Ryan.
I read the leaflet carefully, googled ‘MBSR’ found out that it had been established by the above mentioned Kabat-Zinn, and that the book I had so quickly dismissed was all about it!
I also found out there was a teacher training in Dublin – so I decided to attend the 8 week course with Tracy for two reasons: I wanted to establish a regular practice, and also wanted to see if that was the direction I was looking for.
And it was – during the 8 weeks I discovered how a regular practice is important, and how much I wanted to be able to share this with others.
I also discovered that I was far more stressed than I thought!
I enrolled for the training, and never looked back.
So what about the stress?
It is still there – it is part of life and – although there are ways to avoid certain stressors – it will always be.
Becoming aware of the stress, of the difficulty, shifting from reactivity and moving towards a kind acceptance, learning to respond, letting it be part of who I am but not all of me, finding joy even when I feel sad, angry or frustrated: this is an ongoing journey that started the day I set foot in the room for the first class of the MBSR course.
Like in this image, under the agitated surface of the Atlantic ocean on a sunny winter day there are deep calm waters, so it can be for us: mindfulness, kindness and compassion are the way to find our own inner sanctuary.
The next 8 week MBSR course starts on the 12 of October in Bantry. It will take place in the lovely new Center , Life balance Yoga , Upper Main Street.
Booking is essential, contact me for a booking form and more information.