Discover Yourself Mindful in May

Wellness Wednesday: Mindful in May Challenge – Week 3

May 23, 2018
Wellness Wednesday: Mindful in May Challenge - Week 3

Wellness Wednesday: Mindful in May Challenge - Week 3



Wellness Wednesday: Mindful in May Challenge – Week 3

I was much kinder to myself this week with the challenge.  As you can see from my Week 1 & Week 2 Updates, I was struggling to keep up with information overload.

Last week I posted on the MiM Facebook Group and explained that I was struggling to keep up with the interviews as well as meditations.  The response was overwhelming and it was wonderful to read that most people were feeling the same way.  I was not alone.

I thought I would include some of the responses for your interest and to read other’s thoughts on the challenge:

I started to feel like this but the more I listened to each interview, the more I learned that this is not about completing mindful in may to a strict timeframe or putting pressure on ourselves to do something daily for the sake of meeting a quota – Melissa

If I’ve learned anything it’s not to beat myself up over things like this. Just do your best. I haven’t listened to every interview every day. I have been meditating every day though either a mindful in may one or another for at least 10mins – I can find that time each day. Gentle hugs to you! – Suzanne

Although I understand that overwhelm is an issues when there is so much information you want to soak up…I see the interviews as a massive bonus, not as a challenge I must get through within this month. Enjoy those you can fit into your life, Sue, walk your own pace; this is a long journey – Claudia

It might be easy to feel like we have failed rather than saying, I am learning and I have plenty of time to follow through and build a habit of daily meditation and mindfulness practice over coming days and weeks and months and years, it puts things in perspective – Stephanie

Day 15  – Living on purpose and in greater connection with your soul

  • What is the soul and how do we create settings to listen more deeply to its guidance
  • What is the divided life and how can it obstruct our deepest fulfilment
  • How writing can help us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and explore the big questions
  • What is a circle of trust and how can it support us in living more aligned with our true self.

Guided Meditation

The Loving kindness meditation with your host Elise Bialylew.  This meditation lasted 8 minutes and we focused on the following mantra:

May you be happy, May you be healthy,May you be safe, May you be at ease

We applied the mantra:

  • to ourselves
  • to someone close to us who has supported us and said the mantra for them.
  • to someone who is close to us but experiencing problems, we said the mantra for them.
  • to an acquaintance or someone we don’t know as well, we said the mantra for them
  • to the people we don’t know at all anywhere in the world who might be suffering, we said the mantra for them.

This is a meditation which can be done at any time during the day and brings us back to feeling kindness to ourselves and others.

Day 16 – Guided Meditation – The Mountain Meditation

Today was a guided meditation with no interivew (thank goodness).  Now that sounds a little negative but as I mentioned it certainly is a course that can turn into information overload if you allow it it.

The meditation went for about 15 minutes and the focus was on becoming aware of

  • how we are feeling
  • where does our breath feel most comfortable
  • Imagine a mountain in our mind’s eye – noticing size, shape and qualities of mountain,the stillness noticing the qualities of the mountain
  • Visualising ourselves as the mountain – grounded, stillness to cope with every day life.

It was also a day to learn about the P.A.U.S.E.

Day 17 – The balance of being and doing

An interview with Chantal Pierra – Founder/CEO of Emerging Women & Emerging Women Live.

I was over trying to fit in interviews and this one didn’t really capture me at the start so I decided not to take up an hour when my mind wasn’t in the right place.

I hope to revisit this interview before the end of the course.

Guided Meditation: A loving kindness meditation with Kate James

This was a lovely meditation, about 18 minutes with background music.  The meditation was about the experience of loving kindness and extending this to yourself and others by saying the following mantra.

We applied the mantra:

  • May you be well
  • May you have love
  • May you have peace in your life

Day 18 – Turning your mindfulness outward and tuning into sounds

Guided Meditation by Elise Bialylew

This 10 minute guided meditation was about focusing on our breath and also acknowledging the sounds around us. Focus on sounds that we are aware of and tuning into sounds.

Day 19 – An interview with Tenzin Palmo –Insights from 3 years in a solitary meditation retreat

Could you live in a retreat for 3 years?  This was a very interesting interview with lots of useful information to take away.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo (born 1943) is a bhikṣuṇī in the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. She is an author, teacher and founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in Himachal Pradesh, India. She is best known for being one of the very few Western yoginis trained in the East, having spent twelve years living in a remote cave in the Himalayas, three of those years in strict meditation retreat.

My take away points:

  • How to switch off and tune out the ‘noise’ and tune in for the wavelength not static
  • Thinking isn’t the problem but thoughts can be noisy and you can’t hear our deeper level of awareness. We drown out the inner wisdom within us all.
  • Don’t try to stop thoughts but need to step back and just sit on the bank of the river for a while and watch the river running by.  I liked this analogy.
  • Coping with Mental Afflictions 
    • Buddhism deal with how to uproot, transform or work with mental afflictions.  5 main afflictions of aversion, greed, dullness or ignorance pride envy or jealousy
    • Sensory inputs through eyes, ears, taste, mind -thoughts and memories
  • The Pain/Pleasure Principle
    • See something like you want it = grasp it
    • Don’t like it you want to push away = aversion
    • Not interested one way or other= dullness
  • Aversion greed or dullness constantly in our minds in response to what we are perceiving.Once we recognise this we can change it.
    • Eg if we get angry or irritated – recognise it first, second thing accept what we are feeling right now and maybe name the feeling then to recognise it is the negative root and causes suffering to ourselves or others and needs to change.
  • Try to develop patience – one of the main points of Buddahood – not just meditation. We cannot develop patience if nothing upsets us.
    • E.g. When someone difficult instead of feeling angry or irritated we should be grateful to them for teaching us how to respond with patience and tolerance.  This was an unusual concept of being grateful to someone for making you feel angry.
  • Anger, greed or loving and kindness – we need to look at own minds and replace negative feeling with positive. Every feeling has an opposite side.
  • How to cultivate patience? There are specific meditations designed to help us change our attitude.
  • We need to recognise that a negative attitude can be transformed.
  • Our essential nature is wisdom and compassion but we have blocked off these qualities.  Negatives are habits we have learned so can be uprooted or seen as a source of energy that has been perverted.

Guided Meditation – Feel your feelings meditation by Dr Richard Chambers

This 10 minute guided meditation was about working mindfulness with emotions.  Helping us to allow negative feelings to be there without fighting them.  Let them come and go and try to be in the moment and acknowledge that sometimes our minds have negative thoughts, rather than avoiding them, indulging them, or being overwhelmed and consumed by them.

Day 20 – Mindfulness for better leadership at home and work

I skipped the interview as my mind again was not in the right place to listen to an hour long interview.

Guided Meditation

A breath meditation for greater focus by Elise Bialylew.   Another meditation where the focus is on the breath and how we can use it to calm our mind and bodies.

Day 21 – Reflection

I’m starting to feel that perhaps I have not approached this course in the correct mindset.  I have two weeks left and can feel my enthusiasm waning.  Perhaps I’m just not a person who feels comfortable meditating or perhaps there is too much going on in my life to really get the most out of this course.

Perhaps Weeks 4 & 5 I will just concentrate on the guided meditations and remind myself that ‘my best is enough’.

Well third week finished and two weeks to go.  I do hope you are finding my wrap ups useful and learning more about how to bring mindfulness and meditation to your day.

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

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  • Reply Victoria May 23, 2018 at 05:42

    I can see Sue why some of this would be overload. Because this is a “challenge” I would feel pressure to get it all done.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 23, 2018 at 07:23

      I am pressured Victoria and I don’t think it is meant to be this way. Weeks 4 & 5 I’m only doing the meditations and will share some Mindfulness Tips. At least you won’t need two cups of coffee to read the posts! Have a great day xx

  • Reply Candi Randolph May 23, 2018 at 07:13

    Wow, so much information! I felt a bit overwhelmed just reading your synopsis of the days and admire that you are working through it and writing about it, too!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 23, 2018 at 07:20

      I know Candi, my mind is spinning. Weeks 4 & 5 I’ve decided just to do the meditation and I’ll share some mindfulness tips. So the posts won’t be like reading an epic novel LOL:) Have a great day! Don’t forget to link up with Midlife Share the Love Party xx

  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 23, 2018 at 13:48

    HI, Sue – I was glad to read that you were kinder to yourself this week. You not only give great advice, you model it too! I was also glad to read that your FB group reached out, shared and supported you. I love when that happens!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 23, 2018 at 16:19

      Oh it has certainly been difficult Donna and for Weeks 4 & 5 I won’t be looking at the interviews. I will be sharing some Mindfulness tips though that I’ve learned along the way. x

  • Reply Karen Hume May 24, 2018 at 20:23

    Hi Sue,
    I really believe that this course has done you a disservice. Way too many different styles of meditations and way too much information has been thoughtlessly tossed at you. That should never happen, but it especially shouldn’t happen when you’re a beginner. Beginners at anything need a careful sequence of instruction.

    Please don’t give up on meditation because of this experience. It’s smart of you to just do the guided meditations for the next couple of weeks. And then, although I’m reluctant to have this appear as self-promotion, you might want to take a look at I mention it only because I reference a couple of excellent and reassuring beginners’ guides and some free or close to free meditation programs that do a decent job of leading you gently into a meditation practice.

    Bottom line though, Sue – stop beating yourself up. The fault is in the structure of the challenge, not in you.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2018 at 16:59

      I agree Karen although perhaps it is my fault too for trying to do it all. It wasn’t really what I expected and haven’t found the relaxed state of mind I was hoping for. My daughter is having her second baby over the next week and has been practicing her labour meditation which she found very helpful when she was in labour with Ethan. I won’t give up but just not trying to do it all. xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 25, 2018 at 20:12

    It does seem to have been a lot of information Sue and I can feel your enthusiasm waning. Just be happy you’ve experienced and learnt from it – you definitely are enough!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 26, 2018 at 05:33

      Yes I hate that the enthusiasm isn’t there but sometimes you just have to accept things don’t always turn out the way you expected. I have to stop putting pressure on myself that is for sure. xx

  • Reply writeofthemiddle May 26, 2018 at 13:07

    You’ve done a great job of summarising the week Sue, despite feeling overwhelmed! One more big full week nearly done and then week 5 is only 3 days and 1 interview. I’m loving all the wisdom and perspectives but it is a lot to take in, in such a short time. I think its wise you’ve decided to just focus on doing a meditation each day. I gather that like me you’re not continuing on with the 6 month follow up offer? lol You have a new grandchild to come that is far more exciting anyway! 🙂 xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 26, 2018 at 13:58

      Hi Min, I think my declining enthusiasm is showing through but it certainly has been a challenge and one I didn’t expect to be quite so difficult. No, I won’t be proceeding with the 6 month follow up. I wish we could keep access to the videos because I would have liked to have absorbed the information over time when my mind was clearer. Yes, by this time next week I will be a Nan again – very exciting and I can meditate on that. BTW Rachel was telling me about the meditation she does during labour and how it helped with Ethan’s birth. She has just started again in prep for the new little one and she said it came back so naturally.

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