Mindfulness is something I have been working on for the last year or so. Finding a way to move thoughts quickly through my mind has proved quite a challenge.
But it’s also something that I firmly believe is the key to finding true happiness.
Clients usually come to me thinking they over-analyse. They think they need to learn to think less. It is my belief that you can’t stop thoughts. You can merely transform them by shifting your perspective. After a few sessions, I often task clients with learning to let thoughts go. Through visualisation they can learn to accept their thoughts but not allow them to take up residence.
I have struggled with finding the best way to help them understand this. I have also struggled with doing it myself. Maybe that’s why I haven’t found a simple way of communicating it to them yet.
I have found some concepts that work for me. For example, thoughts being like an iceberg as I describe in this post
Then I came across the book “Stillness in Mind” by Simon Cole.
From the first page Simon’s easy writing style engaged me. Unlike many books I read, there was no judgement on what is right or wrong…just a suggestion of an approach that might work – if you want it to.
Simon has a background both as a psychologist and a guy who runs meditation retreats. He wrote this book because he found he needed a workbook to go with these retreats and the workbook became so significant it became a book.
I’m glad. I enjoyed this book immensely. I immediately began to integrate his ideas in working with my clients and also found I could apply them to myself. This was refreshing for me.
Let me give you an example:
I often task my clients with mindful eating. Once we have removed the subconscious “thing” that has created an emotional connection to food, I want them to truly notice what they are eating for the first time.
Cole refers to this lack of mindfulness as distraction. He gives the example of being given a chocolate. If you are given one you can truly enjoy it. But if you are handed a plate of chocolates, instead of enjoying the one you are eating, you are distracted by thoughts of the next one you will eat.
This is typical of the book where Cole explains a concept and why it’s important and then backs it up with very relevant and simple examples that make it impossible not to find yourself nodding in agreement.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough.