Mindfulness seems to be one of the biggest buzz words at the moment. When I started this journey into living a more mindful life I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had this misconception that mindfulness was another word for meditation and that to meditate all I need is to be silent. How wrong was I! Luckily, the internet is full of great resources. Let me share with you all one that has helped me a lot in my journey.
Before I tell you more about this amazing online class, I feel I have to start by letting you in a bit on what lead me to search for mindfulness. About 6 weeks ago I lost my wedding ring. Yes… I know it’s sad… And I get that it happens to the best of us. Who doesn’t know someone really responsible that lost their wedding ring before right? The problem wasn’t really losing it. I completely understand that I am human and things like that – although very tragic – happen. The problem was that I couldn’t remember taking my wedding ring off my finger. I tried retracing my steps over and over and I still can’t remember when I took it off. I realized that I’d been engaging in a pattern of using social media to numb my mind. That and the fact I’d been trying to multitask and not really giving my full attention to whatever I was trying to do. It made me feel so frustrated with myself when I realized that these patterns were just making me lose track of time and things. It was also damaging my relationships (since having a conversation with my spouse and looking at pictures on Instagram at the same time isn’t really ideal). Not to mention that I was trying to shove feeling of sadness and insecurity into this endless void in my head. This all culminated in me losing my wedding ring.
I know I have always been a bit careless with my things – it is not the first time that I have lost something truly important because I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing (the 2011 passport fiasco for those who know me a bit more). But this time felt different. I don’t have much going on in my life at the moment, so how could I lose something of this emotional and monetary value? I don’t work, nor do I have kids, so there’s no excuse. Something had to change! I couldn’t keep losing track of time because I didn’t want to be present. I just needed to figure out what needed to change.
Luckily, when I was in the deep end of feeling sorry for myself and self-shaming, I ran into a MOOC on Future Learn called Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance – by Monash University in Australia. This is an introductory class on what mindfulness is and how to apply it to our everyday lives. Is was a huge eye-opener and helped clarify many of my prejudices about mindfulness and meditation; not to mention the techniques taught on how to live a more mindful and productive life. I started to understand the being mindful isn’t about making the problems go away, but instead, it’s about acknowledging and letting them go. Learning more about mindfulness has even inspired me to start blogging again because I was so unmotivated that I felt that I didn’t have anything to say.This course sadly ended about 2 weeks ago and they still don’t have a date to when it will start again. This course sadly ended about 2 weeks ago and they still don’t have a date to when it will start again.
The good news is that Monash University has started today a new MOOC called Maintaining a Mindful Life. The main idea behind this course in on how to apply mindfulness techniques to improve communication and mental health. The course lasts 4 weeks and you are expected to spend about 3 hours of study per week, which I believe is really doable even for super busy people. Prof. Craig Hassed and Dr. Richard Chambers are the two main educators of this course. They are both experienced in mental health and mindfulness and currently head the mindfulness programs at Monash University. I have been waiting for this course to start since ending the previous one.
If you are not familiar with MOOCs, they are Massive Open Online Courses. You might have heard of Coursera and Lynda.com, as well as many others. But basically, theses range from one time classes to entire degrees you can do online. Future Learn offers many different classes in various fields provided by different universities around the world. The majority of their classes are free – including this one on mindfulness – but for a premium, you can get a certificate. I have done other courses on their platform and have always had a good experience. The good thing about these MOOCs is that you create your own schedule.
I have just started to dive into this vast topic of mindfulness. There is so much information out there about this topic, that it can get overwhelming. A course like this can be very helpful since it’s an introductory course in mindfulness, it will explore a variety of topics. It can at least point you in a direction to what you want to deepen your knowledge more. What I am looking forward to are the guided meditations that they provide through the weeks, which are intended to guide and teach you how to meditate independently. My ultimate goal for this course is to find more resources to learn more about mindful practices for when I’m not meditating.
I really hope I have encouraged you to do this course with me. I look forward to hearing what you are learning from it and what you’ve been able to put into practice. So please let me know if you’re doing it with me!
Tchau for now,