Mindful Living Show 2018: my takeaways
Firstly, mindfulness – what’s that I hear you say?! I was asking the same question a few months back, but now I’m slowly but surely turning into a fully fledged yoga loving, meditating, mindful eating fan.
I wouldn’t have been able to define mindfulness before today but for newbies like me, think of it as the practise of bringing your attention to the current moment & your current intentions – e.g. if you’re walking through the woods, the aim of mindfulness is to think about the walk and how pretty it is, NOT the to do list the length of your arm thats sitting waiting at home. Appreciate its a massively wide topic so some of you might not quite agree with my definition (and i’m also still learning so bare with me!!).
The Mindful Living Show was the perfect place learn more – it was a show like nothing I’d ever been to before (i’m usually found at the pure foodie ones!) but I loved it.
What was there? (1) a whole host of stalls showcasing products from mala beads to retreat holidays (2) the chance to listen to teaching sessions in the big theatre or (3) join smaller, more interactive groups to practise new mindful skills. I also took part in a guided meditation with Andy Hobson which was amazing (highly recommend his “falling leaf meditation”).
Absolute star of the show for me was Madeleine Shaw. Thought I’d share my highlights & take aways so my fellow mindfulness newbies can learn a bit about it too!
My Top 5 Stalls
1. Friend in a Box – Postal box gifts to chose from with all happy/mindful related goodies (you pick e.g. tea and gf biscuits, happiness box, kindness box etc) and you can add a message on beautiful writing paper. Such a cute present idea.website here
2. Food at Heart/Slow tasting chocolate bars– you all know I’m a chocoholic. And this lovely lady hosts meditation & chocolate tasting in the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden. Very excited to try this!! website here
3. Mindful Hikes – such a good idea, check out their website. They arrange walks every other weekend in londonish locations (epping forest, boxhill etc) where they incorporate mindfulness teaching with walking in groups of <10. Quite pricey at £40 a walk but if you think of that vs mindfulness coaching sessions, its a bargain! fb group here
4. Amy’s Kitchen – loads of gf df choices of frozen ready meals. I’d heard they were good, but given its frozen, I imagined slightly sloppy food with loads of additives. I was very wrong!!! So tasty. website here
5. Mantra Jewellery – beautiful necklaces & earnings, each with little symbols meaning different things (my fav was the arrow – “when life pulls you back, aim forward”) website here
6. Colouring in! With Emma Farrarons (founder of the original Mindfulness Colouring Book). Very popular stand, even with the men. Clearly everyones guilty pleasure!!
My Talk Highlights
**Beautiful Eating – Madeleine Shaw and Lauren Morris**
MY FAV OF THE DAY. I have a whole page of notes from all the interesting things they discussed but here are my main takeaways (I know some are obvious things here but I found it really useful to have it reinforced so I hope you do to!!)
- Eat seasonally – you’ll get more nutritionally rich foods this way
- Mindful eating – actually chew your food, think about what you’re eating, don’t do it infront of the telly or walking down the street or something mindless! Setting meal times is way better than grab and go for both mindfulness and digestion.
- Food and mood is massively linked – control your blood sugar levels throughout the day. Include protein and fats at every meal to help with this (a slice of toast just aint gonna cut it Jess;)). Cinnamon can help control blood sugar too. Chromium is a good supplement (hadn’t heard this before – done some research this afternoon and it sounds great!!)
- If you’re struggling in social situations to be healthy – suggest dinner parties at yours, be the one to offer restaurant ideas so you can include ones that you know will cater, or be flexible! A few treats is ok!!
- Sweet tooth? Snack on savoury – boiled eggs, hummus & carrot dippers, etc
- Soy – fermented versions like miso are more digestible for the stomach
- Meditation – fan of self love (e.g. positive mantras to yourself every day) and also walking meditation (focus on your steps, not what you’ve got to buy from the shop or all the work you’ve got to get done)
- Find different comforts – good day, we turn to ice cream as a treat. bad day, we turn to ice cream to cure it. Try other things! Bubble baths, walk in the woods etc.
**Since leaving the show, I checked out Madeleines website. Its brilliant – packed with recipes, health advice etc etc – go look **
Exercises for Grounding and Energising – Keith Alker
- Did you know your head weighs around 5kg (thats 5 bags of sugar!!). The wrong posture can therefore be a massive energy drain so Keith taught us how to stand better to bring grounding and stability.
- He also talked about how tanden (bottom of your stomach) is viewed in some teachings as the energy centre of our bodies so when we breathe/meditate, we should do it from there. Admittedly, i don’t know a lot about this yet but I’d love to learn if anyones got more info!!
Mindful Self Compassion – Miia Chambers
- Imagine you’re friend thinks they’ve done really badly at something or they’re useless. How would you talk to them?
- Now imagine it was you that had done badly. How would you talk to yourself?
- They’re so different aren’t they!
- In the “Demo Zone”, a small group of us explored this issue. By focusing on one of our own life stressors, we learnt to (1) mentally speak warmer to ourselves e.g. “its tough living with… so you’re doing a good job” (2) add touch when you’re doing it e.g hands on top of each other, hold your necklace etc (3) use a warm tone as we often pick up the tone in voices more than we do words.
- My takeaway – its going to take some practise, its not going to be natural, but treat yourself like you would a friend!!
Loved today. Thanks to all the organisers!!
I hope theres a few interesting bits you can take away from this too!
Please feel free to ask me any questions