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Mindfulness as a Trauma-Informed Approach

Written by Vicky O’Donoghue – 20th July 2020

I wanted to tell you a little bit about Mindfulness and how this approach will be incorporated within the retreat.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about becoming more aware and in touch with our present moment by moment experiences, it teaches us how to step out of automatic pilot, the time when we aren’t fully awake to what is going on for us, and where most people spend the majority of their day. By coming into the present we become more attuned to the experience of each moment as it is unfolds, spending much less time ruminating about the past or obsessing about the future.

How will Mindfulness be incorporated within the retreat?

During the retreat I will incorporate a trauma sensitive approach to mindfulness and introduce a range of techniques, meditation practices and mindfulness-based teachings to support your safety and enhance your resilience. This will involve the cultivation of a compassionate mind, observing thoughts, emotions, triggers and behaviours through kind and gentle eyes. We will move from observing our present moment experience to becoming open to the possibility of sitting with whatever is here with a sense of curiosity, creating space between our triggers and response. This allows us to form a new relationship with our inner world, coming out of a place of fear to a place of safety, power and choice.

Being with the pleasant and the unpleasant

Together we will tap into the felt experience of sensations to recognise the habitual reactions that arise in the mind. Moving on to gently sit with the rise and fall of difficult emotions rather than avoiding them or becoming overwhelmed With the body & breath as our anchor, all practices will merge beautifully with the therapeutic sessions guided by Sharmi, building on the somatic (body-based) approach. I will include breathwork, bodywork, meditation practices and techniques to focus inwards and outwards. Each session will be taught with the aim of coming out of the mind and into the heart space, from a place of grounded strength.

Over the weekend we will explore the following themes:

• Stepping out of autopilot•

Thoughts are not facts•

The space between our thoughts and actions•

The internal observer• Cultivating acceptance & non-judgement•

Coming into our heart space• Connecting to a compassionate mind

Practices will include:

• The body scan•

The mindful pause

• Loving kindness – known as Metta practice

• Mindful movement

• Mindfulness of body & breath

• Sitting with difficulty

Your safety is paramount to us, mindfulness is a powerful and life changing approach which when practised wisely and with compassion can help you to transcend habitual patterns and emotional stuckness. I am excited to share these approaches with you and show you how you can apply these practices back in your daily life.

Watch this space for further blogs and videos which will dig a little deeper into the above themes.

Should you have any questions or would like me to answer anything specific I’d be happy to. Feel free to post any questions or suggestions here or privately through messenger.

With warm wishes,

Vicky x

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