Tag Archives: #globalconsciousness

John Danias – Why am I writing about mindfulness?

John Danias

John Danias

Living in this day and age I’m finding myself increasingly interested in ways of becoming more self aware and of experiencing life in greater technicolour. In Conscious Cafe I have found a community with similar interests and get to reap the benefits of learning and growing with likeminded people from all walks of life. It’s quite insightful to learn how the qualities of a mindful approach can play out in publishing, luxury hotels, supermarkets, branding, coaching…The list is endless.

John Danias

May we thank John for permission to share his recent article, posted on LinkedIn here.

Over the last 7 years, through ups, down, fears and joys, through the rollercoaster called “Life”, I’ve been really drawn to mindfulness.

“Mindfulness”, “meditation”, “self-awareness”: these are relatively unusual terms and consequently can have different meanings and associations for each person.

For me mindfulness simply means intentionally bringing some curiosity to the experience in hand.  This can be a work meeting, family banter, a boxing fight or a walk in the park. By attending more clearly to what is happening, bringing some awareness to the thoughts, emotions and body sensations playing out moment by moment, it is possible to gain a better understanding of how this “John Danias” experiences life and consequently take wiser actions.

 So, it’s about improving my confidence at work, interaction with my kid, reflexes when sparring, in fact anything that I am working on.

At work

During meetings I notice the acute desire to get my point across generates some anxiety and clouds the mind.  And I have no doubt that my nervousness, however subtle, gets communicated to some degree.  Using some specific observation-based techniques I can notice the process playing about (‘metacognition’ in scientific terms): mild tension on my shoulders just by the neck, slight straining in the eyes, shallow breathing and a charged internal dialogue questioning if it’s the right time to interject.  Recognising these signs, I initiate a subtle breathing exercise whilst continuing to attend to the meeting.  And gradually the possibility opens up for the tension to dissipate, the meeting being experienced with greater clarity, the point being put across with greater refinement and when not speaking, to just sit back and watch the show.

Clear, assertive communication, free from overthinking and second-guessing, is something I need to cultivate.  The science of neuroplasticity adheres to the ability of training the mind through repetition. Consequently, every skilful communication, irrespective of the context, can improve my communication at work.  Then why not practice at the grocer’s too? Why not with my family?

With family

I’m going back home feeling a bit down. When I tell my wife how I feel my instinctive reaction will be to highlight that it’s not a problem and reassure her. This time I will try an experiment. I will put aside my overthinking and will simply state it clearly and with presence. I will not quantify the ‘low’, and I will not add the habitual “but it will be okay”. Let’s see.

“I’m feeling low”.

The response is amazing: acceptance and support.  So nice to feel supported, so reassuring.  We’ve empowered each other through vulnerability – I will remember this lesson.

Why am I writing this article?

There is an incredible wealth of interesting techniques to cultivate a more mindful state.  Whilst I have explored a multitude, I have only touched the surface. They are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can be tailored to our aims, lifestyle and personalities.  Surgically precise meditation exercises can improve our faculty of attention and response. A technique called ‘Wim Hof Method*’ can enable us to voluntarily activate the autonomic nervous system.

Each one of us will embrace ‘mind training**’ at some point.  Now, in a year, in ten? I wonder…

I love talking about mindfulness. I love communicating what I’m learning from this practice and exchanging ideas. Every communication is my nourishment.  When you’re interested, when you’re ready, please get in touch.  Let’s help each other to grow.

* Link to scientific article here.

** Mind is defined as ‘the faculty of consciousness and thought’.

 

ConsciousCafe Launches in Geneva

There were cheers and applause at the ConsciousCafe Geneva launch last night when I announced that the evening marked the first International ConsciousCafe.   What followed was a great night in the spirit of ConsciousCafe’s everywhere in the UK …  twenty-two likeminded people coming together to enjoy thoughtful discussion; deep connection with other people; and, from the happy atmosphere and immediate feedback, leaving energized and positive.  

We took as our theme ConsciousCafe’s aim to raise global consciousness one conversation at a time asking the question “what does this mean and how can conversation achieve it?”  It was apparently a good starter question and from the beginning everyone engaged in animated discussions.  We talked and shared at tables of four or five with people moving around after 20 minutes to make new connections and conversations.   We have a beautiful collection of illustrated table mats which reveal how broad and deep the discussions roamed.

This was an uplifting start to ConsciousCafe Geneva, proving that one can have profound discussions with new acquaintances in a very enjoyable and heartening way.  I particularly relished the fact that we were from a wide range of age groups and life experience.

The next ConsciousCafe Geneva will be Wednesday 26th April and personally, I can’t wait.

Debbie King, Geneva Organiser.

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I love Conscious Cafe- It was created by Judy Piatkus with passion, intelligence and love. Whenever I need a place to restore my spirits and hang out with like minded others, Conscious Cafe is my first port of call. There is a powerful sense of community and openness.Long may it run .

Malcolm Stern, Psychotherapist, Co- founder and Co-Director of “ Alternatives “

ConsciousCafe is such a wonderful concept and some pretty amazing people gravitate towards it.

Jessica Richards

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