Teaching Mindfulness

This weekend I tutored a full Mindfulness Course in this old house:

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Berlihuset, Sykkylven/ Norway

An important part of the course is learning that there is peace in the present moment. Being mindful is a choice you make, a liberating option just to be here, not be dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.

In mindfulness meditation sessions indoors we focus mainly on the awareness of our body and breathing, to which we return each time the mind wanders off.

Outdoors, we open up to the sounds of nature. The waves of the ocean, the flapping of wings, the crunchy snow underfoot.

As we let our senses fill our awareness, we do as best we can in letting difficult emotions and stressful thoughts drift away.

The course also covers topics such as acceptance and patience, letting go of uneasiness. It offers simple and achievable ways to embody mindfulness, which you can bring into your daily life.

Mindfulness is simple, but requires practice.

Would you like to learn mindfulness with me? Then please read about my courses here – and get in touch!

New Mindfulness Courses 2016

Courses in Norwegian:

DAGSKURS I MINDFULNESS OG OPPMERKSOMHETSTRENING (OT)
– stressmestring i praksis –

Neste to kurs:

Tid: Laurdag 27. februar og laurdag 12. mars 2016 kl. 10 – 17 (Ein kursdag)
Stad: Berlihuset, Kyrkjevegen 67, 6230 Sykkylven
Kurshaldar: Hanne Suorza
Pris: 1390,- inkludert varm lunsj, kaffe og te
Nyttig for alle.

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Velkommen!

I vakre omgivnadar senker vi skuldrane og fyller på med inspirerande læring. Målet er at du skal få kunnskap og tips til å integrere mindfulness i eige liv.

Mindfulness er enkelt og nyttig, men krev eigeninnsats. Du vil lære praktiske øvelsar som kan gi deg bedre livskvalitet, helse og overskot i ein travel kvardag.

Gjennom oppmerksomhetstrening vil vi øve på å vere meir til stades her og no, og ikkje i fortida eller framtida slik vi ofte er. Det er bra for stress, konsentrasjon og humør.

I roleg tempo tar vi turen ut i naturen, som ventar på vår oppmerksomhet.

Du vil bli bevisst korleis stress påverkar kroppen og inspirert til å ta valg som gir meir ro og glede.

På programmet:
– Om mindfulness og stress
– Kvifor vere her og no
– Pust
– Oppmerksomhetstrening, inne og ute
– Nærvær i naturen
– Tips i ein travel kvardag

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Klikk her for påmelding!

Stressmestring i praksis
Kurset er basert på mine erfaringar. Sidan 2011 har eg teke del på fleire mindfulness- og meditasjonskurs, både som deltakar og observatør. Til dagleg arbeider eg med kommunikasjonsrådgiving, og har halde foredrag for næringslivet om temaet mindfulness og stressmestring.

Ved å systematisk integrere oppmerksomhetstrening i kvardagen, har eg blitt kvitt kronisk migrene. Eg kjenner meg meir glad, sterk og konsentrert, mindre stressa.

Når det er sagt, så er eg også stressa no og då, slik som alle andre. Enkelte dagar er det hektisk i hovudet. Tankane rasar av garde med gjeremål og indre, kritiske samtalar. Det påverkar humøret og kan gi ein stressreaksjon.

Men takka vere bevisst oppmerksomhet og meditasjon, kan eg i større grad velje kor mykje tid eg ønskjer å bruke på dei ulike tankane og følelsane. Når eg legg merke til tankane, kan eg bevisst la dei flyte forbi – som ei elv – før eg flyttar oppmerksomheten min tilbake til her og no. Å trene på dette gir ro.

Forskning viser at mindfulness er bra for helse og velvære, fokus, relasjonar, smerter og humør. I USA har bedrifter som Google, Apple, Nike og Huffington Post oppdaga dette for lengst, og tilbyr dei tilsette kurs. Det samme gjeld for sjukehus, skular og næringsliv.

Som med all anna trening, må du øve og vere tolmodig. Det kan vere utfordrande i starten, men det blir enklare.

Velkommen til ein dag med inspirasjon, ny kunnskap, natur, god mat og ro.

Påmelding
Bindande påmelding her. Du får tilsendt bekreftelse og faktura per e-post. Ta gjerne kontakt for meir informasjon eller ein prat. Ta med gode turklede. Vi skal ikkje gå bratt eller langt.

Dersom datoane ikkje passar, så håper eg du vil ta kontakt likevel. Nye kurs vil bli sett opp.

NB! Eg held også kurs eller foredrag på dag- eller kveldstid for skule, helse- og omsorg, næringsliv eller andre lag og organisasjonar, der det skulle passe.

Moments of Non-Doing

In the city:

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I´m in a busy mode of thinking and planning, as I sit down by the water.

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Reminding myself that in any moment I can stop and listen. Noticing the rhythms of life within and outside my body.

Being here, instead of not being here.

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Observing my thoughts as they come, as they dissolve.

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Giving rise for stillness.

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Knowing how it is affecting me.

 City of Ålesund/ Norway, January 2016

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

I wish you all the best this special season:

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May your days sparkle

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…with moments of love, light and laughter!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

xoxo

Norway, December 2015.

Mountain Meditation

December:

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The mountain is standing tall, rising into the blue. It´s firm. Solid. Grounded. Steady despite change. Seasons through, no matter what.

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Sitting down in observation, I´m lifting my eyes to the sky. Visualizing my thoughts as clouds passing by with the breeze.

Creating a gap to a busy mind.

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For no other reason than to be fully present in this moment, I´m capturing the freshness of my surroundings. The glowing lights, a subtle scent wafting through the wintery air.

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Simply being here for a few mindful minutes.

Then widening my awareness.

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Keeping the calmness of the mountain within.

Fetvatnet/ Sykkylven/ Norway, December 2015.

Small is Beautiful

Attention:

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Bright colors are dancing.
Listen, don´t talk.

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 Mindful of the little things, Sykkylven/ Norway.

Mindfulness: Why Nature?

– Interview with Dr. Bjarte Stubhaug, MD, PhD –

“There are great benefits in practicing mindfulness. In pure relaxation, in peace of mind, in the defusion of painful thoughts, memories and worries, in the experience of acceptance in just being here, being good enough”, the psychiatrist says.

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In this interview with Dr. Bjarte Stubhaug I ask him about mindfulness in nature – a practice which seems to put me in a state of serenity and clear mental focus.

That makes me wonder:

Why nature? Nature is always her and now. Your breath, your senses, anything around you. When you are being aware of the life within you and around you, you are being mindful of this present moment, and it will always calm you down. You can not do nature, you can just be there. Being is calming.

There´s calmness in nature. Is it contagious? It is more like tuning in with some melody, a harmony of life being what it is. Right now. And then of course, nature provides some basic sensations to our mind and body that has always caused calmness and peacefulness. Somehow, it creates some old, primitive yet soothing experiences of rest, being embraced by acceptance.

Acceptance? Accepting things as they are, that you are here with all of you, irrespective of wrongdoings and worries. No achievement right now, just being here.

How can nature help us regulate emotions? By merely listening and being aware of nature around you. By letting your senses and sensations of nature fill your room of awareness, and you will experience a distance to your emotions, making it possible to let go of them.

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Photographs are taken at Fitjar/ Norway, by Hanne Suorza

 

What´s the deal about nature and the present moment? It is always here and now. Nature is always fresh. Never past, nor future.

It´s about conscious awareness? Yes and no. Conscious of being here, of the awareness of the present moment, but also letting your senses reach you at a subconscious level.

Simple, not easy? Basically, simple. The ultimately simple experience, naked, stripped of any thought, analysis or evaluation. And yes, complicated somehow, when your mind tends to wander wildly high and low.

You take your patients for walks. What do you want to teach and show them? I want to help them touch the experience of opening up their awareness of their senses. In the moment of here and now- which is the only sensation your senses can bring you – there is some peace of mind you can never reach elsewhere.

Yes. Peace of mind, but also clarity of mind. Fresh ideas and even answers often come to me by surprise when I´m walking in nature, simply dwelling in silence. How come?
Your mind is often being loaded with thoughts of stress, worries and to-dos. Minding the present moment will often clear this fog of distracting thoughts, leaving you in this state of clarity.

Still, the whole concept of paying attention to the flowers, birds and skies… To some it might seem a bit ridiculous and boring? It does? Not to me. And yet, I hear some people say that. The younger, the more impatient and immature the person is, the more boring it may seem. In the beginning. If you stay on, it will definitely change…

Can anyone benefit from this? Can anyone not? Oh yes, there are great benefits in practicing mindfulness. In pure relaxation, in peace of mind, in the defusion of painful thoughts, memories and worries, in the experience of acceptance in just being here, being good enough.

What kind of feedback do you get? Always positive, although some people struggle with being still, not doing, just being. And sometimes, in the beginning, it might cause anxiety and physical unease. If you don’t give up but stay on, this will get better.

I´m in no doubt that practicing mindfulness, not least in nature, helped my chronic pain vanish. How is that? It is hard to be certain about medical phenomena, but you share the experience with thousands of people reporting the same response and change in health complaints like pain or fatigue, when practicing mindfulness, being in outdoor nature or elsewhere. We know that the physiological systems of pain, stress and immune activation are all down-regulated in mindfulness practice, and maybe that is an explanation good enough? After that, your feeling of relief will reinforce your coping and painkilling experience, like a positive spiral.

What else can we learn from nature? The hardiness and safeness of being there, in changing outfits and seasons, yet recognizable and loyal.

Then how to practice mindfulness in nature? How to get started? By going out, using your senses in taking in whatever is around you, leading your mind consciously to your senses, to the unique experience of being here, right now. In the beginning, try to notice the big picture, anything around you. Further down the road, you can practice the mindfulness of little things. They are all waiting for your attention.

Bjarte Stubhaug is a well-known Norwegian psychiatrist and researcher with thirty years of clinical experience. During the last ten years his main interest has been within the field of stress medicine.

See also:
Mindfulness: Are we losing ourselves in the digital world?
Mindfulness: What´s the Hype About?
Mindfulness: New Interviews
Mindfulness: Bjarte Stubhaug

Today´s Talk: Mindfulness

Happy:

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Today, in beautiful mountainous surroundings, I held my first speech about Mindfulness.

I was invited by the Occupational Health Services (Bedriftshelsetjenesten) to give an introduction to mindfulness, and to share my story.

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To me, mindfulness is a way of seeing, a way of living, which brings with it inner peace and focus.

I emphasized how I´m dedicated to practice, every day. Then I gave examples of how I do it. How I bring awareness to my senses and to my breathing. How I like to spend time in nature, fully engage in my activities and embrace positive attitudes.

By focusing on the here and now, I don´t easily get caught up in my thoughts and emotions. In such ways, mindfulness helps me deal with stress.

I really enjoyed giving this speech.

Thanks for having me!

At Orreneset/ Sykkylven/ Norway.

See also:
Today´s Talk: Blogging
Today´s Talk: Writing for the Web
Read more about my work
here.

One Breath

When lost in clouds of thoughts:

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I´m a soft silhouette in the windy night, searching for something steady. Something calm, no pity, judgements nor doubts.

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Feelings are flowing through my body, my mind finding unexpected turns.

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Then one breath.

One moment.

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Attending this present moment, best I can.

Mt. Sandvikshornet/ Sykkylven/ Norway.

Mindful Wonder

Change of seasons:

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A sense of déjà vu is sweeping over me, as I´m stopping halfway down the alley. I cannot tell if it is the colors, the shapes or the sounds. It might be the leaves. How fresh the nuts smell.

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 With a childlike wonder I´m connecting with my senses. Using my fingertips. Breathing in. Savoring this moment, before setting off across the grass, noticing how every sound is petering into silence.

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Reminding me of how peaceful and simple life can be.

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And the rawness of it.

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 In a split second there is action.

Wild food for free.

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Everything is evolving naturally.

The flow of life, my stream of consciousness.

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Progress is impossible without change.

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Does anything ever stay the same?

With a sense of wonder at Tennøya/ Haram/ Norway, October 2015.