Thrivalist Life Coach


Written in October 2022 – We are now in the full swing of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  You can see it getting lighter in the mornings, and the birds start chirping very early these days. 

Fortunately, I am a morning person [unlike The OG Thrivalist].  I love the quite stillness of the mornings, it enables me to start the day off well.

In 2010 I was fortunate to travel to the USA, sponsored by my then Manager Dr John Dillion Riley [a Wonderful Human].  The team and I attended the 25th Anniversary of the Employee Assistance Roundtable and the World Employee Assistance Professionals Association Conference in Florida, USA [say that one three times after a few tequilas], this trip started my ‘Mindfulness’ journey.
Mindfulness - next to Quote

Professor Mark Williams is quoted as saying …

“Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation that was little known in the West until recently.   A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body.   Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them.”

~ Professor Mark Williams

So eager to participate, every morning, gathered on the hotel lawns, groups converged to practise Mindfulness:

  • Quite meditation – In the early 80’s I did some Yoga, in the 90’s TM [Transcendental Meditation]. TM is an excellent technique.  You sit comfortably with your eyes closed twice a day, for 20 minutes repeating a silent mantra in your head.   However, in our busy world, 40 minutes a day was a little too much to keep up, and unfortunately the practice slipped.

  • Mindfulness however, I found to be more user friendly, and people use Mindfulness in different ways, which I will elaborate on more at a later date.   But for now, let’s get started with some simple tips to set up a regular Mindfulness practice:
  • Set aside a time when you know you won’t be interrupted and switch off your phone.

  • I always did a 5 minute meditation, first thing in the morning and a second in the basement of our office block in my car at lunch time. [There was many a time someone would knock on the window of my car and ask if I was ok.  “Yes, just getting my afternoon meditation in, thank you for caring.”  I must have seemed like the crazy cat lady from HR].

  • Sit however you want, in a position that is comfortable for you. It does not need to be cross-legged on the floor.  You can practice Mindfulness lying down, BUT your brain says, oh I remember this position, its sleep time … so be warned.

  • In my lunch time sessions, I pushed the car seat back, slightly reclined and I had a small pillow that I wedged between the car seat and the head rest. So, I was very comfortable.   The idea is to remain comfortable but attentive.

  • Close your eyes and observe your breathing just as it is. There is no need to change anything, just watch and observe each breath coming in and going out.

  • Thoughts and reminders will try to break in and claim your attention – do not let that concern you. Observe them.   Let them go and get back to focusing, once again, on your breathing.   In the beginning I had a small book and pen and just noted anything that was important to remember – but do not make this a habit.   I would do this for only the important stuff [like buying cat food on the way home].

  • Practise this exercise for just 5 minutes to begin with. Increasing gradually over time.

  • Practise at the same point every day, increasing it to longer periods whenever possible.

  • If you miss a morning or a day – do not beat yourself up! Just start afresh tomorrow.   Sometimes the only meditation I get to, is the morning one, so this is my usual 10 to 15  minute practice to set me up for the day.
Now that Spring is here, I fling open the doors, feed the cats before starting [otherwise I will not be left alone], listen to the birds and practise ‘Mindfulness’ in all it’s glory.

Remember “The only journey is the journey within.”   By Rainer Maria Rilke

Give it a try and let me know how you are doing!   If you need more assistance, please reach out and let’s chat!

Until the next time … 🐝 Bee Stronger!

Bernadette Smith

Thrivalist Bee