Put simply, Mindfulness involves learning about how to live more fully in the present moment - in the 'here and now' rather than getting caught up in thoughts about the past and worries about the future which can distract us from enjoying our lives and cause us a great deal of distress. When we are being mindful we are practising 'being' and letting go of 'doing'. Developing the skills to simply rest in 'being mode' can be enormously empowering, particularly when we feel 'burnt-out' or overwhelmed or exhausted.
To achieve this, Mindfulness courses teach people how to control their focus of attention more effectively, develop their self-awareness, respond to situations with greater consciousnesses, and also how to adopt particular attitudes towards themselves, others and life experiences which are known to helpful for reducing stress and increasing well being.
Mindfulness meditation is not about 'emptying the mind' but 'knowing the mind' more fully and developing strategies for coping effectively with the physically and emotional struggles that we all experience on our journey through life.
The 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR) is the gold standard Mindfulness intervention, pioneered in America by John Kabat Zinn in the 1970's. The programme was originally developed to support people living with long-term health conditions and chronic pain. Since being developed the course and its benefits have been heavily researched and shown to be highly effective for achieving the benefits listed below. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses are now delivered worldwide to support people with and without chronic health conditions to live happier, more fulfilling and less stressful lives.
The course involves participation in eight 2 hour group sessions across eight consecutive weeks. In between the 2 hour group sessions, participants are expected to commit to the regular home practice of mindfulness meditation and skills. In between sessions seven and eight there is also the option of attending a silent retreat day to consolidate the skills you have learnt across the course.
The group is led by Dr Leah Callebaut, qualified mindfulness teacher and Chartered Clinical Psychologist, and is a friendly, safe and respectful place to learn about mindfulness and its application to your every day life. Groups consist of no more than twelve people and the atmosphere is one of openness and non-judgement. You will not be expected to share anything about yourself that you are not comfortable sharing but being curious about your own and others' experiences will support your learning and allow you to gain as much as possible from the course.
Mindfulness and compassion retreat days are run from 10am-4pm usually on a Sunday. The day is fully guided by Dr Leah Callebaut and involves a mixture of mindfulness meditations and exercises aimed at increasing self-kindness and gratitude.
The day is mainly held in silence which provides a wonderful opportunity to rest and focus on self-care. The teachings also offer the chance to learn some invaluable coping skills which can continue to benefit your daily life following the retreat.
"Mindfulness has allowed me to find out so much about myself - I now have the tools to recognise my minds unhelpful habits and thoughts and to stop them from impacting so much on my actions and on how I feel. Its been a revelation to me."
"Leah was clear, professional and caring in her approach. She is a great teacher who 'holds' the group well. Supportive and instructive, I highly recommend. There is a lot to gain in a safe, fun and enjoyable environment."
"The most helpful thing about mindfulness has been learning how to be kind to myself and accepting of my struggles and mistakes. I also feel less frantic and more patient in general."
"Mindfulness meditation has really helped me feel calmer and more grounded throughout my first pregnancy. I've been struggling with anxiety and just generally not feeling like myself and regular meditation has helped me to stay sane! Now in the final trimester I find that mindfulness is helping me to come to terms with the pain and discomfort of the final weeks, and help me see through to the bigger picture."
"I can enjoy more of life's small pleasures and spend more time savouring these moments. My family also say I am more laid back and less quick to argue!"
"It has been so empowering to learn how to look after my mind in this way - my self-compassion, self-awareness and emotional stability have improved no end and one the nicest things is the knowledge that I can remain at ease however busy and hectic life becomes."
*£75 deposit payable upon booking.
*Full payment due when booking.
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For the 8-week mindfulness course a £75 deposit is payable upon booking and the remaining balance is payable at least 14 days prior to the course start date. Retreat days require full payment upon booking. You will receive email confirmation of your booking once your payment has been received.
> 2 weeks notice
If you do have to cancel an 8-week course for any reason you will not be charged any fee in addition to your non-refundable deposit. If you have to cancel a retreat day booking then you will be sent a refund for 50% of the ticket price.
< 2 weeks notice
When cancelling an 8-week course you will be sent a 50% refund of any prior card payment, less the £75 non-refundable deposit. Alternatively you may wish to book onto a course at a later date. In this instance you will not be charged for your cancellation and your funds will be retained for the next course. Retreat day tickets are non-refundable with less than 2 weeks notice of cancellation.
If your course or retreat day is cancelled for any unforeseeable reason you will receive a full refund of any monies paid. Please note that any refund given can take up to 10 working days to show in your bank account.
Dates: 7th September - 26th October (Every Monday)
Location: The Isbourne
Dates: 1st February - 22nd March (Every Monday)
Location: The Isbourne
Mindfulness Courses and Retreat Days are usually held at one of the following venues in central Cheltenham. Please let me know if you require disabled access.
13 Lypiatt Terrace, Lypiatt Road
Cheltenham, GL50 2SX
The Isbourne Holistic Centre
Isbourne House, 3 Wolseley Terrace, Cheltenham GL50 1TH
If you would like a Mindfulness Course or Introductory Workshop to be run at your workplace this can be arranged. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
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