Wake up 2

Being present in the moment

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Mark set us the challenge of being truly present, even in life's seemingly smallest moments.

As many of you know meditation has been a revelation to me. Prior to this I was awash with anxiety, almost feeding off the drama of constant worry and dissatisfaction. This manifested itself as: low self-esteem, rerunning social events feeling I had let myself and others down; gaining promotions at work and then feeling I was a fraud and couldn't do the job; anger at past events and catastrophising about the future. All the classic stuff I suppose.

About 5 years ago I woke up with pins and needles from the neck down. After many investigations lesions were found in my spinal cord. I am now left with impaired sensation and grip in both hands. It could have been a lot worse. We don't know what caused it - an episode of MS, virus, stress? Well I am sure stress played a part. At the time I was working such long hours, constantly on alert for the dreaded OFSTED and family life looking after mum and dealing with financial trickiness was all piling up.

That was when I made the decision to re-evaluate life. It has been a long road, but self compassion has been a massive part of it, as has counselling and the discovery of meditation.

So, to Mark's challenge: walking in a mindful manner. This has been great for me. I can do this walking around at work, walking around the house etc... As I set off I start noticing my feet - how they feel walking on the ground, the distribution of weight. Then I move up my body checking how it is at that given moment. Then I check my emotions and how I feel at that given moment. I try to smile outwardly and inwardly, focusing on my heart, throat and belly 'smiling' as this is where my tension lies. I notice the sounds around me and any other visual things I can notice.

This re-grounds me, brings me back to my body, rather than the chatter of my mind. I find it refreshing and renewing.

At an age when I can see so much change around me placing myself back in the wonder of the present is truly life changing.


Mother, wife, daughter, teacher...

Firmly stuck in the 'sandwich generation' category, I am 46 years old and looking to shake things up a bit! I am a teacher, which I love - but it takes over your life! A mother of three - two daughters, 16 and 15, a son aged 11. Wife to Simon for 19 years. Carer for rather eccentric mum, aged 89.


Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
over 4 years ago
Well done and thank you for taking on the challenge. It's not original but worth the effort because the payoff is worth it. I try the exercise on a daily basis but change my concentration and focus daily. Most days I truly connect with myself and the world around me and the benefits are superb. So, yeah-yeah to Jacqui.
Go to the profile of Sarah-Kate Goodwin
over 4 years ago
Im sure so many people can relate to your opening paragraph Jacqui. Great to read about your wake up moment, its hard to know how to look after your mind, often it takes something physical to happen. Sounds like you have been through the mill but came out the other side beautifully.xxxxx
Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
over 4 years ago
Feel like I am in your opening paragraph this month. Can't wait to see you this weekend and have a catch up x