I really like this quote (above) from the big man himself, because it reminds me that seeking happiness as an endpoint or outcome often proves to be futile....and that it's in the journey the real happiness can be experienced.
Hello, I'm Claire.
It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem. In the past year, 1 in 4 of us have, yet it’s still so much harder to talk about - that’s a conceptual perspective we have created, and we can deconstruct it and free ourselves and each other through sharing, and by sharing the tools that are helping us.
6yrs ago I had a breakdown + had to leave my job. Since then, I have been through recovery for an eating disorder which I struggled with since I was a child, alongside the depression & anxiety which often accompany these complex disorders. I'm happy to say I have reached a point of full recovery now but the journey to health has been long and difficult at times!
In 2015 I set up my first little business. We raised £10k for Young Minds, a young people’s mental health charity (my proudest achievement yet). My mental health was still very up & down at this time and I still wanted desperately to find a way to handle it better.
I started practicing mindfulness several years as suggested by my therapist at the time. Soon I knew I wanted to study mindfulness & yoga and share what I was learning with others. I sold my business so I could go to India to train as a yoga teacher, learn about Buddhism & yoga, then train as a mindfulness teacher & create Be Mindful Be Happy.
I’m now a certified yoga + mindfulness teacher, & want to share these tools to encourage kindness ,compassion and curiosity. These are the lenses I always try to look at life through now.
I still get difficult emotions & negative thoughts (who doesn't!), but thanks to mindfulness I now have a different perspective.
Thanks to mindfulness, I’m learning:
I am not my thoughts or feelings, I am experiencing them but they are not me.
To be kind and compassionate to myself & others, even when I’m not feeling my best.
To be curious about these thoughts + feelings and where they come from, in a more detached way so they lose their power
I’m finding purpose & meaning to my life.
I don’t think mindfulness can necessarily solve all mental health problems for all, but for me and for many this practice of kindness, curiosity and acceptance really helps to manage them. That’s why I want to help share it. Always try to look through the lenses of kindness, compassion and curiosity because you never know who might be struggling with their mental health today.
I've always had a very deep connection to nature; I love the countryside, the ocean and all animals. Since practicing mindfulness and meditation my connection to the Earth has deepened further and I feel such a part of nature and the Earth, instead of separate from it. Two years living and traveling in Asia seeing the amount of single use plastics washing up on the beaches every day really upset me. I feel it is part of my purpose now to not only look after myself and my own mental and physical health, but also nature and Mother Earth, her health and the health and happiness of all of her beings. You can read about my ethical commitment here
Thank you for reading, I hope this will go some way to help to normalise talking about mental health & also show that sometimes we have to have some cracks in us in order for the light to get in.