Have A Different, Better Experience Of Life!
Everybody can learn to manage themselves to have a different, better experience of life. This ranges from functioning more effectively under pressure to being less susceptible to reactive emotions when things don’t go your way. In other words, success becomes more likely, and the journey to success more enjoyable. Mindfulness is the key to this transformation of one’s experience of life.
MINDFULNESS IS about so much more than paying attention while eating raisins and walking. It is the salt in the mix of any personal development journey. It enriches and enlivens anything else you might learn or experience. It provides a path to personal mastery.
Mindfulness can bring you the following benefits:
Gain an understanding of your own mind and its habits;
Learn a simple method to focus your attention in a relaxed manner;
Learn to read situations accurately and make clear decisions based on what matters;
Find the clarity and confidence to remain calm no matter what’s going on around you;
Develop the time and space to think clearly, even when under pressure.
What is your reason for being interested in mindfulness?
At the core of mindfulness is a meditation practice. Science has shown that meditation is not only about relaxing in the moment in order to reduce stress or perform better; practised regularly over an extended period, it has a positive and lasting effect on outer personality traits.
So if you just use mindfulness to learn a meditation, then, as long as you keep practising, you’ll be doing a lot for yourself.
Most people find meditation difficult because they try too hard to stop their thinking and still their minds. Mindfulness meditations show you that neither is necessary and, in fact, the less you try, the better.
Mindfulness has tremendous, proven benefits in helping people to deal more effectively with stress, reduce anxiety and regulate emotions.
The “state effect” is the short-term benefit (eg. feeling more relaxed, present, etc) that one gets directly after sitting down to meditate. This doesn’t necessarily last and requires a repeat of the practice. The “trait effect” is the lasting effect one gets from consistent, long-term practice. Scientific studies have shown that when distractions are introduced, long-term meditators are less effected, and take less time, or no time, to recover.
The consistent practice of a mindfulness meditation can lead, long-term, to “trait effects”, which means a lasting and stable capacity to remain calm under pressure and be less emotionally reactive.
Taken to its logical conclusion and expanded into all its possibilities, mindfulness is a path to personal mastery.
The three key elements of mindfulness are: awareness (being aware of the present moment, and also of one’s own state or level of reactivity in that moment); being non-judgemental (developing the notion that everything is as it should be and letting go of strong judgements and preferences); being non-reactive (being less emotionally reactive and therefore able to respond appropriately in the moment).
The three key elements listed above are the three stages that anyone goes through during any process of self-development, both at a micro and at a macro level, and so they can be extrapolated into any and every context that humans find themselves in. Therefore, mastering these means mastering one’s self.
“The clear & concise way the [Practical Mindfulness] workshop focused on the essential concepts of mindfulness and broke these down into manageable blocks made it worthwhile for me. It’s a ‘must’ for anyone wanting to understand and apply practical mindfulness in everyday life.” – Fiona
“Your [Practical Mindfulness] workshop equipped me with knowledge and skills that allow me to be present with more clarity, understanding, and regularity. The course was interactive, logical and very inspiring.” – Resia
“I found the [Practical Mindfulness] workshop beneficial and particularly enjoyed the practical focus in a group setting. I have been trying to incorporate more mindfulness on a daily basis for a while now and found that the workshop really helped to both solidify aspects I’d learned and clarified the areas I was vague about.” – Claire
The Practical Mindfulness Program
The Practical Mindfulness program was developed jointly by myself and clinical psychologist Dr Colinda Linde. There is a public and a corporate version. Both consist of a series of six modules that teach the key elements of mindfulness and show you how to apply them in a range of different contexts. The modules are detailed in the table below.
Module 1 | Introduction to Practical Mindfulness
Know what mindfulness is and how it can benefit you. You will walk away with a simple practice that can be used anytime, anywhere.
+ Gain an understanding of your own mind and its habits;
+ Learn a simple method to focus your attention in a relaxed manner;
+ Learn to read situations more accurately based on what’s real and what’s relevant;
+ Find out how to ground and presence yourself no matter what’s going on around you.
Module 2 | Emotion Regulation & The Red Zone
Learn a mindfulness-based practice that will enable you to manage and direct your emotions in a way that is purposeful and constructive.
+ Gain an understanding of your own emotions and how they work;
+ Learn to identify your triggers and know when you are in the “red zone”;
+ Know what to do when are you are experiencing high levels of emotion;
+ Be better able to regulate your responses to emotion.
Module 3 | Stress & Building Resilience
Learn to apply your mindfulness-based practice to stressful situations and thereby recover more quickly and build resilience.
+ Gain an understanding of the key determinant of stress from a mindfulness perspective;
+ Learn to identify your own “red flags” for when you are entering the stress zone;
+ Develop your own sustainable quick-recovery response plan;
+ Be able to harness the upside of stress and stay focused when the going gets tough.
Module 4 | Complexity and Decision-Making
Learn a mindfulness-based practice that will enable you to read situations accurately and make clear decisions based on what matters!
+ Gain an awareness and understanding of your dominant decision-making style;
+ Learn to self-observe and balance the head, heart and gut while making decisions;
+ Be able to distinguish between what matters and what doesn’t matter;
+ Learn how to manage uncertainty and deal with paradox.
Module 5 | Presence & Flow for High Performance
Learn a mindfulness-based practice that will enable you to develop presence in a way that can activate and sustain the flow state.
+ Gain an understanding of the power of presence and the nature of flow;
+ Learn how to recognise – and how to activate – the state of flow;
+ Learn to integrate “making happen” versus “letting happen”;
+ Discover the main obstacle to remaining in flow when you find yourself in flow.
Module 6 | Authentic Being & Relating
Learn to integrate your mindfulness-based practices in a way that can lead to a more authentic way of being and relating to others.
+ Gain an understanding of the link between presence and authenticity;
+ Learn how to generate authenticity from presence;
+ Learn to apply mindfulness principles and practices to the relating context (work, personal and public);
+ Start to develop an authentic personal or leadership brand based on presence.
The Practical Mindfulness Online Self-Study Program
The Practical Mindfulness program is available as an online self-study program.
The online study program covers all the content of the live program and more! It includes excerpts from the book, plus exercises that are unique to this format! It’s easily accessible via laptop or mobile phone.
Each module is a separate course and consists of between ten and 14 sessions. Each lesson consists of a video introduction (sometimes two), followed by downloadable documents that feature reading(s) and/or written exercise(s). There are audio versions of the downloadable documents so you can listen to the reading instead, if that’s your preferred style.
You’ll have ongoing access to the material once you’ve completed the course. That means being able to watch the videos as refreshers. It also includes the two guided meditations, one of which has a 10-minute and a 20-minute version, all of which you can use for your ongoing, regular practice.
See above for more details on the module outcomes. Visit the Courses page on the Practical Mindfulness website to access free preview sessions!
What are you waiting for? Wherever your are, is the entry point!
The Practical Mindfulness Printed Book
Enjoy the book (paperback) version of the highly successful Practical Mindfulness program!
The Practical Mindfulness program is a live workshop series (also available as an online self-study program) that brings together the best of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and ontological coaching and presents them through a classical mindfulness lens.
The program distills mindfulness down to its three key elements: being aware; being nonjudgemental; and being nonreactive. It then applies those as neat steps, for easy recall and practical use, to each of the following fields of real-life application: Emotion Regulation; Handling Stress & Building Resilience; Complexity & Decision-Making; Creating & Sustaining the State of Flow; Authentic Being & Relating.
The book, authored by Neil Bierbaum and co-authored by Dr Colinda Linde, covers all the material of the workshop series, and more. What’s more, it’s a book, so you can carry it around with you, mark it up, and use it as a handy reference, anywhere, anytime. Its 242 pages are jam-packed with clearly marked scientific references, key concepts, real-life examples, exercises to do while reading, and uniquely crafted meditation and other practices to save for later—all supported by a plethora of online material.
Order today and we’ll ship your copy to you!
The Practical Mindfulness Public Workshop Series
The Practical Mindfulness public workshop series consists of six live workshops—one to cover each of the program modules—over a period of two months.
The public workshop series is conducted twice a year in Johannesburg, each time over an eight-week period. You’ll enjoy a live, personal experience with Neil And Colinda presenting and being available to answer questions on the spot.
Series 1-2019: Tuesdays @ 18h00-20h30
Module 1: 12 March 2019
Module 2: 19 March 2019
Module 3: 26 March 2019
Module 4: 9 April 2019
Module 5: 16 April 2019
Module 6: 23 April 2019
Series 2-2019: Tuesdays @ 18h00-20h30
Module 1: TBC
Module 2: TBC
Module 3: TBC
Module 4: TBC
Module 5: TBC
Module 6: TBC
Venue: Premier Health Centre, 13 Mackay Ave, Randburg
Price: R350 per module = R2,100
Book for all six modules and get one module free! (R 1,750 instead of R2,100 – SAVE R350!)
The Practical Mindfulness Corporate Program
The Practical Mindfulness corporate program consists of a series of six two-hour nano-sessions, run fortnightly, for groups of 25-40 at a time.
Research shows that 25% of employees in South Africa have been diagnosed with depression. Many of these report having too many competing priorities and not knowing how to cope, plus increasing complexity and anxiety about the future.
The Practical Mindfulness program can support your people to develop mindfulness-based practices that suit their busy lifestyles and which can enable them to remain calm, stay focused and make the best decisions in any situation!
The key to performance in a world of complexity is knowing how to simplify!
The corporate program can be delivered live or online. The live version can be staged for select audiences, for example as part of a team-build or off-site, and it can be held as a regular drop-in program for all staff, for example in the company auditorium. The online version can be white-labelled to carry corporate branding. The program can also be tailored to dovetail with particular corporate values or program objectives.