I’m back from my Canadian Mindfulness Workshop series in Edmonton and what an amazing experience it was. Most of the people attending the workshops came to learn skills to support their own wellbeing, a few came to learn a bit more about it for their jobs and a couple of mother and daughters attended to help navigate the pressures of being a teenager (and parenting one!). Everyone was enthusiastic and it was a joy to teach them although a bit exhausting after a 12 hour journey. Many thanks to Fit2Function for organising the workshops and being the ultimate host. My free time was spent on a sunny patio with salad, iced tea and good company.
I was curious about the cultural differences with regards to mindfulness and it turned out there weren’t many. The level of mindfulness awareness was similar to the UK with health professionals and teachers having quite a lot of understanding, a few others who had developed their own knowledge through books and the rest admitting they knew very little. There’s always some myth busting involved with helping people understand that the benefits we hear about in the press are from taking an 8 week mindfulness course, not just by “being in the moment” (although this is a good first step!). In the end I think everyone came away with a better understanding of what mindfulness is and resources to learn more.
After the workshops days I headed to the mountains with my old university friend. Days of hiking, reading, relaxing, chatting and absorbing the immense scenery were just what I needed to recharge the batteries for the trip back home.