Visiting the Kingsmead Book Fair last weekend, I bumped into some of the students for whom I ran my course, How to Live in the Now, several years ago when they were Grade 11 teenagers. I was delighted to hear from them that they still remember some of the strategies for coming into the Now and practise them, especially when they are stressed or feeling overwhelmed by the many demands they meet every day.
Here are some of the comments they wrote after completing the course, which incorporates the book:
I don’t feel the book has changed me as a person, but it has given me tools to change some situations and the way I can handle them. This gives me less stress and helps to completely relax me.
The book was easy to read and enjoyable. I liked that it did not preach and you didn’t feel pressured to do each exercise perfectly.
After doing an exercise I noticed that the class atmosphere changed – everyone was calmer and more relaxed.
I often wandered through my day in a state of ‘waking sleep’ (Chapt 1 ‘Awareness’), always wanting tomorrow to come. I tried the short senses exercise in the book and now I always resort to this when I find my attention drifting. When we did this in class I found it easier to take on the day – I felt revitalized.
One of the wonderful things about mindfulness is that it works for all ages, genders, levels of education, and cultures, resulting in any one of us becoming more able to cope with stress and problems, becoming happier, calmer and more able to just relax and enjoy life. All of us face ups and downs in our lives – mindfulness cannot change that – but it can help us to retain more perspective. It really doesn’t matter if you arrive at the Post Office to find it closed, though it may be annoying. Even the serious and tragic events in our lives come to pass – I often remind myself with the words ‘even this shall pass’. But there are so many joyous times which are not experienced because our minds are busy dwelling on the past or the future. Being here now, rather than there then, is the key to living life to the full – it is so often filled with delights.
Remember to be kind and gentle with yourself.
The full book can be downloaded as an e-book from Amazon on http://www.amazon.com/Living-Now-Jill-Jacques-ebook/dp/B009FBT0QU/ or, Search by typing in: Living in the Now by Jill Jacques.