Over the years, I have worked with many people who struggle to prioritise self-care or do not know how to start caring for their mental health. So, I tried to find easy ways to help them on their journey. So, I began to research, which led me to the principles of mindfulness.
So I began to practice mindfulness, and in finding its great benefits, I became intensely interested in mindfulness issues around mental health. One thing that puts people off earning about themselves is that it seems far too complicated. So I searched for ways to make it easy and relatable to most people.
I escaped a very abusive marriage many years back, which caused me to be emotionally and physically ill. I developed bodily weakness and became susceptible to the flu. The abuse became a lifestyle- every day was the same. I tried to leave, but many complications prevented me.
However, finally, I did leave the relationship, which took a lot of courage. I began seriously fearing for my safety when my spouse abused me, and I was admitted to the hospital for several days. Living with this man wreaked havoc with my mind and immune system, making me feel like an old lady. Not only within my body but in my mind as well. After we separated and lived alone, I spent over a year with women's aid to receive weekly counselling. However, I was still working full time, and my colleagues nor my family knew the gravity of my situation.
For my continued safety and wellbeing, I moved away from my spouse to the other side of the city. On moving day, I had some help from friends, and when the time came for them to return to their homes. By this time, it was by late afternoon. I was alone, but I wanted to move my microwave from one bench to another, where the accident occurred. Unfortunately, the microwave oven was cumbersome. I am a petite woman, and I barely could reach the bench height, so I decided to stand on a low table (I am only 4ft 11ins) to move the microwave from one place to another.
Lifting the oven while balancing on the table proved far too heavy for me, toppling me over. As I placed the microwave in place, down, I fell, landing with a sickening 'thud', on my right shoulder as I slammed into the hard kitchen floor. I was in great pain and taken to hospital by a friend I called upon. The doctor reported that I had ripped my shoulder, and two of the main tendons snapped. Unfortunately, I lost the use of my arm for over three months, and because I could no longer drive, I also took sick leave from work for that time.
During this time, my divorce went through and living alone, and I was trying to manage one-handed, which was not easy. I prayed and cried and repeated that - a lot! I knew that if I didn't have a strategy, I feared becoming an invalid and, consequently, being forced to take early retirement.
I became so weak I would crawl up the stairs on my hands and knees. I had physically slowed down because I lost the use of my arm and didn't feel well most of the time. To top it all off, I was grieving for my marriage that once held so much promise of love and happiness.
However, my brain was still in work mode; it had not slowed me down, I wanted to recover and get back to my usual self as quickly as possible, so I surfed the web, bought books, studied the mind and its working, and discovered mindfulness.
I wanted to become more self-aware, and like you, I have experienced stresses, joys, and much sorrow. But unfortunately, I am also very dyslexic, so I shied away from anything to do with writing or public speaking as much I could.
Through the years, I tried journaling but never was consistent with it. In addition, due to my dyslexia, writing caused me GREAT anxiety. So, I routinely abandoned my efforts only after a few weeks.
Then I discovered mindfulness. I have enjoyed practising holistic living all my life, which means caring for my mind, body, and soul in equal parts. However, I never really ventured into the mindfulness territory. I didn't know much about it or understand what it was and why I should learn about it.
Thinking about it, I never connected mindfulness with my lifestyle or the health of my mind, body, or soul. The opinions of my ministry friends did not help, warning me against it because it was of the devil. I think this idea is because of the fundamentalist doctrine that anything of the mind has its origins in evil.
This prevailing attitude caused me to write this book. So I found significant Biblical evidence to support mindfulness that I had to address the issue and share the theological view of mindfulness. I will share what I have discovered about mindfulness in Biblical narratives throughout this book. The word ' mindfulness' is not found in the Bible, but the principles are. Mindfulness is a modern interpretation of the process, as ancient as creation itself.
I began practising mindfulness and approached everything I did intentionally. I found that for me, mindfulness worked well if I made it a 'lifestyle' rather than as a practice where one dips in and out. Then, of course, I would forget to be mindful through practice, but becoming a lifestyle soon became a well-habit and second nature.
To create a mindful life, I knew I must become familiar with mindfulness and learn all that I could. I came to understand that if I studied the theories of mindfulness, I would understand it, then slowly, I would become more mindful a little bit more every day.
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Paula Rose Parish is an author, and the founder, of Hope. Faith. Love. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counsellor, coach and taught at Christian university, led workshops and retreats, and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. Author of over 100 articles and two books, Paula Rose continues to write on the spiritual life. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, five grandchildren, and lives in South Wales, UK.
Paula Rose has a Bachelor of Pastoral Counselling and Theology, Vision Christian University, USA. Master of Arts In Counselling & Professional Development, specializing in Spiritual Abuse The University of Derby, UK. BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK
A life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.
Paula is an Ordained Minister, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling and many other qualifications and a lifetime so, I have heaps to share with you.
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