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  • Louise Coughlin

Me time and mindfulness

I am passionate about what I do but I am also not going to look a gift horse in the mouth...when a supervision meeting finished early leaving me an unexpected spare hour and a half I considered sitting in the garden in the York Clinic to work on a report...I decided instead to go for a walk and make the most of the sunshine.

I walk this route a lot from the clinic reminiscing on childhood memories as from the age of 3 to 19 years old this was my stomping ground. There have of course been many changes over the years...(Claire what have they done to your old house?!)...but it is still an area that brings me joy. Today I noticed something I have not noticed before. I was walking around the pond and noticed a water feature. Now this definitely wasn't there when I was a child, but I have walked this route many times recently and never noticed it. So why did I notice it today? Simple answer mindfulness. Today I made a conscious decision to be mindful throughout my walk. To be in the here and now. Not to let my mind drift to how sessions had gone earlier in the day, or to think about why I had forgetten my clinic keys this morning or who I was seeing this afternoon. There was a time and place for all of that and sometimes a lunchtime walk serves this purpose but this was time I hadn't expected and I was going to make the most of it.

I felt the path under foot as it changed from tarmac on the road to the twigs and mud of the pond and the mowed grass on the fields. I heard the birds in the sky, the traffic, the silence. I felt the warmth of the sun on my face. I tasted the sneaky ice cream I'd bought at the start of my journey. I saw different colours, greens, blues, white, yellow, red. I was being mindful and I spotted the water feature...or rather I heard it first.

We can not be mindful all the time, sometimes we will be distracted by the past or future but next time you engage in an activity that you do often do it mindfully and see what new experiences you have.

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