How I discovered mindfulness

About 10 years ago a friend and I went to the Vitality Show in London.  I’d just finished a course at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and had been told a magazine were runnning  lectures on healthy eating and living.  You could earn credits towards your continuing professional development by attending some of the workshops.  My friend came along to keep me company and also because she was interested in the health and beauty based stalls and talks going on in the main hall. We planned to meet for lunch and a meal in the evening, when the show was over.

There was a packed programme for the nutrition part of the show and some of the lectures were running consecutively.  I went to one which was titled (something like) ‘Nutrition and Stress Management’.  It was an enjoyable talk, but there was something else I wanted to see in another theatre, so instead of listening to the lecture, I was thinking “hmm, is this valuble to my career in nutrition or perhaps I should leave this one and go to the other one about Arthritis and diet?”.

I can remember a feeling of intense stress as I listened to the lecture about stress management. I looked behind me to see if there was clear access to the door. I stood up and sat down again.  And so the day continued.

When I met my friend for dinner that evening, she told me she’d seen some interesting speakers including the Barefoot Doctor, Jason Vale the Juicemaster and Eckhart Tolle talking about ‘Living in the now’.  “I didn’t like that one” she told me.  “He spoke quietly and monotonously and his expression never changed.  The lecture hall was packed though with standing room only.”.

My curiosity was sparked by Eckhart Tolle ‘the one she didn’t like’.  The show programme mentioned his book ‘The Power of Now’.  It was about “living in the moment, and only visiting past and future when absolutely necessary.”

When the book arrived I read it through three times in a row.  It intrigued me and I somehow felt that this was what I had been looking for.

I loved the idea of the freedom of ‘living in the now’.



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