Week One: Waking Up the Autopilot
When we live our lives driven by our autopilot we lose our ability to choose our path in life. The autopilot is the part of us that keeps repeating habits over and over again whether they are helpful or unhelpful. In week one, we learn what mindfulness actually is as well as how it can help us to become aware of our habits, enabling us to make powerful and positive change.
Week Two: Getting Out of Your Mind and Into Your Body
As human beings we spend much of our time time caught up in our minds; planning, judging, analysing, remembering, worrying etc. This in turn can have a deep effect on our emotions. In week two we learn to train our minds to pay attention to our bodies, to come down out of our heads and thus reduce the impact of our thoughts.
Week Three: Stop Striving and Start Living
Today’s society is set up to be very goal orientated. Having goals in itself is not a problem but what happens when we become too goal focused? In week three we learn how constantly striving can generate a lot of stress. We also learn that by taking the foot off the pedal and learning to be more present focused, we not only suffer less but can also paradoxically become more productive.
Week Four: Dealing With Stress
Mindfulness helps us to learn how to notice. One of the things we learn how to notice is how we react to those things that are stressful to us. In week four we learn that it is not the stressful things themselves that cause us to suffer but how we react to them. We can then choose to behave in ways that are nourishing even in the face of difficulty.
Week Five: Watch What You Think
By this stage in the course, we will have learned how to stabilise ourselves so that we are not lost in our thoughts. In week five we learn to take a look at our thoughts from a more objective stance. To notice them for what they are, mental events, rather than absolute truths, thus enabling us to let them come and go without letting them have such a big effect on us.
Week Six: Let The Rain In
When a difficult feeling or emotion arises within us it is natural to want to push it away. Not only does this not work very often but if it does it comes at a cost. By allowing ourselves to turn towards our emotions with openness and acceptance, we learn that they don’t have the power over us that we thought they did. We can act rather than react and make choices that work for us rather than against us.
Week Seven: Loving Kindness
A lot of us find it difficult to be kind to ourselves. Perhaps we have been taught that it is selfish or indulgent or we don’t value ourselves as much as we could. However, if we can’t be kind to ourselves it is very difficult to be kind to others or to enable positive change in ourselves. The cultivation of self-compassion is one of the key pillars of mindfulness and it takes practice. In week seven we find out how.
Week Eight: Your Wild and Precious Life
In the final week of the course we learn how we can bring mindfulness into the rest of our lives on an ongoing basis. Bringing together what has been learned throughout the course and how we can create the life that we want, moment by moment by moment.