The Richards Trauma Process
11 September 2016
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7 December 2016

Mindfulness in the Every Day Experience

Jon Kabat-Zinn, a world authority on the use of mindfulness training in the management of clinical problems, defines Mindfulness as: “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

A couple of months ago, I started riding my bike to work. There were many reasons for this; not least the money I save by not putting money in those blasted parking meters. I recently realised that I am really looking forward to that 4km journey each day, and reflected on what it is about the experience that is so engaging.

I became acutely aware of the every day experience of winding my way around Newcastle Harbour. This morning I took particular note of the sensory elements that make up my morning pre-work experience, in the way Jon Kabat-Zinn describes above:

This morning, I saw pelicans, seagulls, people fishing and walking their dogs, children learning to ride their bikes, people on their verandahs and eating breakfast in cafes, families with prams, bikers in lycra, sailing boats in the marina, tug boats and big ships………

This morning I heard voices of adults, children and babies, dogs barking, the wind in my helmet, the waves in the harbor, a ship’s horn, seagulls calling, the clinking of sailboat rigging………

This morning I felt the fresh air and the warm sun on my skin, the bike seat under me, the bumps from the different textures of the track, the strain in my leg muscles, the smile on my face………

This morning I smelt the salt in the air, the freshly caught fish from the fishing boats and fishermen’s co-op, cooked breakfasts, coffee, freshly mown grass………

This morning I tasted the salt in the air, the freshness of the breeze and the simple joy of being alive……….


Who would have thought that going to work could be so therapeutic?