We live in a world with unprecedented levels of stress and worry. We worry about money, our relationships or our jobs. Often, these worries are based on a past experience that we re-play like a bad song stuck in our heads. Something happens to us in our lives, usually as a child or young adult. In a similar situation later in life, our memories are triggered and our brains instinctively believe that the same thing is going to happen again.
Then we re-live our past over and over. The same patterns tend to occur in our lives until we can change the associations in our brains.
The good news is that we can work past our worries and our stress. The number one best way to do this is by developing a regular meditation practice.
Meditation practice is associated with decreased levels of psychological distress, such as less anxiety, anger, depression and worry. Studies, such as a 2011 study (published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, January 30, 2011 and led Massachusetts General Hospital researchers) found that the brain actually changes with meditation. This study found in participants increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, which controls learning and memory and affects self-awareness and compassion, and decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala, which is linked to anxiety and stress.
Many, many other studies have been done showing positive changes in overall well-being, such as improvements in serious mental health conditions (Baer, 2006) and better focus/concentration (Tang et al., 2007).
Mindfulness is not only important to bring about a sense of peace, quiet and presence in every moment, but it is essential in quieting the negative ego-chatter that dominates so much of our lives.
I often say to clients that if they begin incorporating one new practice into their lives, it would be simply to develop a daily practice of quieting the mind. It can literally change lives. Even just breathing intentionally for 1 minute can do wonders!
Group Mindfulness Coaching
Beginning in February 2019, I will be offering group mindfulness coaching for a small group of people. This is an opportunity to get support from a like-minded group of people and from me who seek to invite peace, quiet and a sense of presence into their lives.
We will meet in a small group each week over a period of 8 weeks, as it takes this amount of time to create new habits! The series will cover the following topics:
Breath as Foundation
Body Scan/Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Mindfulness of Emotions
Mindfulness of Thoughts
Mindful Walking and Stretching
Working through Resistance
Working with Energy
Opening Intuition and Connecting with Higher Guidance
In this program, you will train your brain to let go of attachment to negative thoughts in your everyday life. You will to “re-wire” the cycle of thought chatter and invented stories by practicing letting go of thoughts, focusing on your breath (or a healing phrase/object), and then by practicing just being aware of sensations (sounds, feelings, etc.) in your body or environment and releasing judging them as good/bad/unwanted.
Each gathering will include:
Individual times for each participant to share about their mindfulness practice and receive coaching guidance from Rachel and from other participants
Writing tools and handouts specific incorporating “quieting the mind” into daily moments in our lives
Establishing action steps you intend to take between each session
Guided meditations each week
“Accountability/intention partners” to check in with each other in between sessions
This program will run for 8 weeks and meet on Tuesdays from 11:30 am – 1 pm at Presence of Mind Studio, 142 High Street, Suite 531 in Portland, Maine. The program runs from February 5th and ending April 2nd (no class on February 26th).
Class size is limited to 6 people only to ensure personalized attention. Virtual participation is an option!
By the end of the program, you will :
Have lower levels of stress and anxiety
Establish a regular, daily meditation practice
Be able to identify and separate from negative thoughts and emotions
Have heightened intuition and an enhanced connection with divine guidance
Enjoy a greater sense of peace, calm and contentment
Experience transformation rippling over into all areas in your life!
$35/week for 8 weeks ($280 total). $30/week for Soulful Work Community members. Once you register, your card will be charged $35 over a period of 8 weeks (you may be fully paid before the end of the session).
Group mindfulness coaching will be limited to 6 people. Please contact me prior to registering to discuss if this would be right for you.
Individual Mindfulness Coaching
So many of us have preconceived notions about meditation or mindfulness (which are actually slightly different - meditation is the more formal practice of sitting down and quieting the mind, while mindfulness is being fully aware and focused on a particular thing in an everyday moment).
Many of us think "I can't do meditation" or "Meditation doesn't work for me." Sound familiar?
If your thoughts are getting out of control and stress is overtaking your life, then you would benefit from some mindfulness coaching. Together, we come up with a “quieting the mind” plan to integrate this new habit into your everyday life.
One-on-one sessions are tailored to what is happening specifically in your life and can bring about the deepest transformation. session can include life coaching and guided imagery (which is me leading you through a relaxing meditation to work through some subconscious blocks).
While I recommend a series of sessions for deep change, even just one half-hour guidance/mindfulness coaching session can help you come up with an action plan with specific steps to easily integrate this new way of being into your life.