I first felt the benefits of mindfulness in the mid 1980s while living at Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland. Later I travelled in China, Tibet and India where I was able to observe and learn in person from many senior Tibetan Buddhist lamas, working relentlessly within their nomadic and global lay communities. These unforgettable experiences still inspire me as I continue to navigate my own colourful journey through life.
My early years included the sudden death of a parent when I was four and its complex repercussions. I have a deep understanding of how childhood trauma, however it manifests, can feel like a burden that we may carry through our entire lives. Through practising mindfulness, I have gradually been able to let go of my ‘burden’ by learning to see it for what it always was.
In my early 30s, with mindful awareness as the key, I recovered from a life-threatening eating disorder, which plagued me for 14 years. I went on to enjoy a rewarding career as a BBC radio producer working in many corners of the globe. Because of my previous experiences, I was motivated, mentally equipped and enabled through broadcasting, to meet and work with severely challenged communities, including active gang members on south-side Los Angeles and Chicago; the victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse in this country, prisoners, adults with a range of mental health issues, racism and others experiencing the challenges of living in apparently disenfranchised cultures.
In more recent years I have been personally involved in a supportive context, in many of the challenging issues that can arise for the LGBTQI community, in particular those surrounding the needs of transgender people. On many occasions, I have experienced for myself how mindful awareness, when combined with kindness and compassion, can support all of us – regardless of gender, religion, class, colour or race – in coming to terms with our own truths as we learn how we can ourselves, unlock the inner freedom we all need to be who we truly are.
I am qualified to teach the secular Mindfulness Based Living Course, and the follow-up Compassion Based Living Course, as devised by The UK Mindfulness Association. I am now entering my final year of the The University of Aberdeen’s MSc in Mindfulness Studies. I have also attended numerous other philosophical teachings and wellbeing training courses over the years. 5 Rhythms – mindful dance meditation is one of my enduring passions – that and walking in the countryside with my dog.
I am deeply committed to sharing with you, the benefits of the goodwill, the support and the mindfulness training that I have been so fortunate to have had in my life, so that you and those around you may also benefit.