Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Nourishing the good

December 21st, 2016

Heather Johnston

Wellbeing, compassion and nourishing the positive is going to be the focus of my offering for 2017. I’m 2/3 of the way through my teacher training course on mindfulness based compassionate living which embodies the work of Paul
Gilbert, Kristen Neff, Rick hanson and Barbara Frederickson to name a few. Not to mention the eastern contemplative traditions of Tibetan Buddhism as practised by the Dalai lama and Matthieu Ricard. It’s going to be a good year!

See more about the differences between compassion, loving kindness and mindfulness in this article written by Richie Davidson here

mindfulness MBSR course reported participant benefits

November 30th, 2016

Heather Johnston

I have been tracking informally over the year participants feedback at the end of the course as to how they feel different as a result of taking the course…While not hugely scientific it is useful to hear what past participants have said. All feedback was collected anonymously as a tick box questionnaire !

100% of people feel more aware

92% of people feel more in touch with themselves

84% felt less anxious

81% felt less stressed

76% of people felt better about themselves and

75% felt more contented

other stats included 66% of people reporting feeling less hijacked by negative moods, 64% appreciate life more and 66% felt their relationships had improved with others

So what are you waiting for? Next course starts 21st April 2017 ! Taster session 10th March 2017. Find out more here

 

Day of silence Feedback

November 21st, 2016

Heather Johnston

Some lovely feedback from my day of silence at the weekend (November 2016) at Wormingford community education centre. Next day of silence, open to all that have attended an MBSR or MBCT class will be Saturday March 18th. 9.30-3.30:

‘Thankyou for such an interesting and enlightening day. A perfect venue and location. I’d certainly do it again to build on what i have learnt from you’

‘Wormingford is the perfect place to practice mindfulness. Being here in the Autumn we were flooded with colour against the crisp blue sky. The room has beautiful views outdoors and you don’t have to walk far to feel fully engaged in nature.

The day of silence i came away feeling free, calm and at peace. I hadn’t appreciated how much i needed to slow down’

‘A wonderful day being with myself and nature. Carefully and thoughtfully guided. A real pleasure. I’m grateful I’ve been to do it and for the beautiful surroundings’

‘Wormingford is a lovely spot with beautiful views within a short walk, very peaceful. To subside into silence for several hours is a luxury we rarely afford ourselves and brings relaxation of mind and body. A lovely day refreshing old practices and introducing new ones.’

‘A very good day for me, I valued the time outside, gaining the contrast of feeling cold air and then the warmth of sunshine. A world full of colour, rustling leaves and soggy darker leaves under your feet…time thoughts unconsciously evaporating…everything inside was also of great value, the mindfulness practices and i also really stop and listen to the special poems being read. A good day that I can draw on.’

Art, Nature and Mindfulness Day- November 26th @016

October 23rd, 2016

Heather Johnston

p1130136lo

Art, Nature and Mindfulness Day

p1130136loPlease join me of a truly special day exploring both our inner and outer landscape…on Saturday 26th November 2016

Held at Wormingford Community Education Centre, a former primary school located in the peace and tranquility of the rolling Stour Valley- an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The day will start with a short intro and taster to mindfulness practice and how it can enhance our creativity and response to what we see, feel and sense followed by getting outside (in all weathers!) to experience the local landscape.

We will then take this experience back to the Centre for you to work and develop your own piece of work/s as a response.

To make the most of the Autumn light the day will run from 9.30-4pm. £65

The day is limited to 8 places. Tea and Coffee facilities are provided but please bring your own lunch, art materials and suitable walking gear for all weathers. A suggested list of what to bring will be sent closer to the day.

Heather is a colourist, painting expressive nature based paintings inspired by a mindful sense of place. She is a mindfulness practitioner, a coach and learning and development consultant; running mindfulness courses on the Essex/Suffolk Border. www.heatherrachel.co.uk

Mindfulness Course Participant Testimonials

March 30th, 2016

Heather Johnston

Having previously run successful Mindfulness courses at the Colchester Institute you may recognise some of these testimonials…Participants come from all walks of life and include stay at home mums, electricians, Doctors, school teachers, counsellors, social workers, pastoral leads and various business professionals!

 

It has given me strength of mind and i will use and adapt what i have been learning into my everyday life

Course Participant

I feel that the course has been very good for me at a time when things are and have been difficult in my work and home life. 

Cathy

Not at all ” wee-woo” ! My partner says I’m happier and calmer. 

This course is to be recommended for people with a chronic illness. Connecting the mind and body and facilitates health and self care.

Course Participant

I really enjoyed it,  nice subject, nice people and nice experience. Its made me aware of me, what i do and what i am. 

Donna

It has helped me to meditate without fear of not doing it right!

Adrian

Even entrenched bad habits can be broken! Give it a go! These courses can help bring a more balanced and calm attitude to life and may help you break lifelong bad habits.

Jean

Very useful and practical and has helped me awaken my creative and curious personality. Thank you Heather!! 

I would highly recommend this course to everyone, as even the most practical person still can use time to be more mindfully aware in giving your grey matter some time out for a workout.

Debbie

This mindfulness course has really opened up my path of self development and brings about a more positive way of being in the World

Cath

This course was just what I needed at this point in my life. It has been enlightening and life changing and helped me focus and learn what being mindful really means. The course has helped me get to know myself and be kind and compassionate to myself

Much needed in a stressful world. A way of finding yourself and staying sane.

Elizabeth

A valuable journey of self discovery. I am less stressed, have less back pain, have more acknowledgement/understanding of self, more time for self and the here and now is what matters

Karen

I have really enjoyed  coming to the course and practicing with others and being lead. It has made me allocate time to press the ‘reset’ button!

Alex

Has helped me to ‘untangle’ my brain! Am more aware of when i am on autopilot or not fully in the present- better able to change this

Marion ( Hospital Doctor)

I would definitely recommend to others and would say it is essential in looking after oneself in a nourishing way. Helps to cope with the stresses of life. 

Maggie (Counsellor)

The course has offered the real opportunity for me to think about myself, learn about myself and take care of myself. The course has supported me to  start to break down the barriers that i have built up over the years as a false protection of myself

Deb

Some further comments on Heather’s facilitation style in the mindfulness sessions:

Very concise, useful course in the way it was delivered. Given in a way that did not overload or overwhelm when embarking on a personal course. Also delivered very creatively, Thank you.

 Heather, you hold the space during the sessions wonderfully. You bring a very calm open approach to each session which aids learning about oneself

Thankyou for being kind, non judgemental, warm and empathetic. A satisfying learning environment that has allowed me the space to grow.

Well paced, 4 sessions works well despite being designed as eight sessions. Felt we were all given time to have our say

Really enjoyed your welcoming non-judgemental approach.

Found Heather, relaxing, supportive and knowledgeable. Already believing in what she does.

Heather really gave all that she could whilst facilitating the course, including all of us in the group.

CDs are excellent. Heather is a very patient, reflective person. Managed the class with kindness.

I have enjoyed everything Heather has done on the course giving me space to notice in my own time and way.

What a lovely soothing voice. Went at a good pace. Running over more weeks has almost certainly helped to embed it.

Her teaching is very clear. She has a compassionate authority. Her advice about breaking rules and doing what feels personally ok has really helped me during the course and will encourage me in the future

Heather was always non-judgemental and was able to capture and share difficult experiences that we may have been having.

Navigating mindfulness

March 29th, 2016

Heather Johnston

IMG_3253

New course for January 2018 here

Mindfulness is very much ‘in vogue’ at the moment and it can be difficult to decide what course or method is right for you; or if you are an Organisation which provider might be the best fit. In this post I wanted to highlight a few things to help you make your choices clearer.

Read more

Strengthening your mindfulness practice- silent retreat

March 29th, 2016

Heather Johnston

photo[2]Already completed an 8 week MBSR or MBCT course? I will be running a silent retreat on Saturday 18th March 2017  at Wormingford Community Education Centre between 9.30am and 3.30pm. The cost is £60. Tea and Coffee facilities are available and you will need to bring your own lunch (which will be in silence).

The day will incorporate practices learnt on your MBSR/MBCT course and include some new meditations to strengthen your practice and cultivate further a sense of mindful presence. The day will be held mostly in silence and we will intersperse sitting meditations with movement based meditation and make the most of the beautiful countryside nearby. If the weather is kind to us we will take some of the practice outside so bring sunscreen and a hat!

To apply and book please contact Heather direct at 07801 246113 or via email enquiries@mindtrip.co.uk

IMG_1887

 

Mindfulness Courses for 2018

January 15th, 2016

Heather Johnston

Would you like to generate feelings of greater peace in your life? To feel happier, more resilient and more in control?

Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment so that we become more aware and fully present, noticing what is unfolding moment by moment with a sense of spaciousness, curiosity, acceptance and love. Mindfulness is a practice to nourish our minds rather like what we do for our bodies. By spending time training our minds, we can notice where our attention is and with kindness bring our focus back to where we would like it to be. Mindfulness is in effect a workout for our minds.

There are many scientific research studies into the benefits of mindfulness, with more and more research conducted each year. Scientifically validated studies into mindfulness meditation, specifically MBSR and MBCT have found:

  • Increases in positive emotions and contentment and decrease in anxiety and stress
  • Decrease in pain and inflammation
  • Increased mental stamina and resilience
  • Increased focus, attention and memory improvement
  • Increased creativity, empathy and compassion

Finding Peace in a Frantic World

NEXT CLASSES START  : I am currently focusing on delivering courses within organisations, if you would like to bring mindfulness to your workplace do contact me 

This course is based on the best selling book: Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. The course runs over 8 sessions with guided group meditations and exercises that introduce you to the foundations of mindfulness. Each week you will be invited to undertake some home practise which helps you to build a mindfulness practice and build resilience in everyday life. Participants will need to buy the book which is available at bookstores and online.

BOOK HERE

(sign up to newsletter to be informed of future dates)

81% people who took my mindfulness courses to date felt less stressed, 83% feel less anxious, 95% are more aware and 82% feel better about themselves

Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment so that we become more aware and fully present, noticing what is unfolding moment by moment with a sense of spaciousness, curiosity, acceptance and love. Mindfulness is a practice to nourish our minds rather like what we do for our bodies. By spending time training our minds, we can notice where our attention is and with kindness bring our focus back to where we would like it to be. Mindfulness is in effect a workout for our minds.

 

This course is for the general public and is based on the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course developed by Dr Mark Williams and colleagues at the University of Oxford.

On the course, you will learn practices such as the Body Scan, Mindful Movement and Sitting Meditations with the aim of taking what you learn in these practices and applying them in your everyday life.

The course focuses on eight key themes outlined in the best selling book Finding Peace in a Frantic World, all interlinking and building each week through home practice.

Home practise is an integral part of the course, as it enables you to establish the skills that you are learning and apply them and see the benefits in your daily life. Each participant is encouraged to undertake approximately 10-20 minutes daily practice, six days per week, between each class. This at times can be a challenge to fit in and participants are encouraged to be kind with themselves in finding a way to make mindfulness practise work for them. The longer time given to practise the greater the benefits!

The course is most effective if you can try to attend all sessions as each session builds on the previous session. Attendance certificates are given to those that attend 7 or more sessions.

For those interested in training as a mindfulness teacher in schools, this course fulfils one of the prerequisites.

See what previous course participants have said here and here

Who should attend mindfulness courses?

Mindfulness is generally available to most people, however for some it may be best to be trained by someone with a specific clinical qualification (such as those with an acute mental health condition).
For some people challenges can arise while meditating for a number of different reasons. While each of us is different, If you are going through a major life event (such as having been recently bereaved or divorced) or suffering from mental ill health (eg acute depression) have a learning disability or have just been diagnosed with an upsetting physical illness (eg cancer) it is best to wait and leave attending a course until life is a little more settled for you or find a course that is more specialised to your particular needs. This can be discussed with your course leader and it is for this reason why we ask everyone to fill in a course screening form so that we can best support your needs or help you to find someone who can.
The course is not designed to discuss any current or past personal problems not related to the practises and If necessary, these should be pursued through individual work with a counsellor or other appropriate support.

Already completed an 8 week MBSR or MBCT course? I will be running A day of silence/retreat  this SUMMER on August 8th at The Granary SUDBURY (free parking) between 9.30am and 3.30pm. The cost is £60. Tea and Coffee facilities are available and you will need to bring your own lunch (which will be in silence).

The day will incorporate practices learnt on your MBSR/MBCT course and include some new meditations to strengthen your practice and cultivate further a sense of mindful presence. The day will be held mostly in silence and we will intersperse sitting meditations with movement based meditation and make the most of the beautiful countryside nearby. If the weather is kind to us we will take some of the practice outside so bring sunscreen and a hat!

To apply and book please contact Heather direct at 07801 246113 or via email enquiries@mindtrip.co.uk

 

Interested in mindfulness classes and coaching in the workplace?

July 21st, 2015

Heather Johnston

IMG_3253

Interested in mindfulness in the workplace?

After a stimulating and enjoyable teachers training retreat with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (University of Bangor) I am now actively incorporating mindfulness thinking into a number of areas of my work:  Read more

Mindtrip September Reflections on burnout and compassion

September 30th, 2014

Heather Johnston

mindtrip September reflections on burnout and compassion

View this post in your browser (http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=049ea8ce75ea476c2622e0a13&id=ee7bee8bc4&e=[UNIQID])

mindtrip reflections of ideas, thoughts, hints and tips and book recommendations focused around building a flourishing work environment.

With the first days of Autumn, we come to a time of nights getting longer, mists and a sense of letting go and releasing things that have been a burden. In this Reflections I want to focus on burnout, why it happens and what we can do to build greater balance in our lives and explore the concept of compassion and particularly self compassion as a mediator to the stresses and strains of our increasingly ‘always on’ world. This Reflections is based on the work of Paul Gilbert (http://www.compassionatemind.co.uk/index.htm) and Kristin Neff (http://www.self-compassion.org) .

Read more

%d bloggers like this: