Hello Lovelies!! Today I will be sharing with you all about my 9 day practicum in Mindfulness. As part of the process to become certified to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) I attended a 9 day practicum in Cypress Creek, Fort Lauderdale Florida in April 2016.
As I have mentioned before, there are a series of phases that you need to complete on the certification pathway. There was my trip to Petaluma in February, and my first silent retreat. After completing the practicum I need to attend a Mind-body medicine retreat (I’m going in June), another 5-7 day silent retreat (currently I am on a wait list for one) and the Teacher Development Intensive (TDI) which I am hoping to do early next year. Then I will be qualified to lead my own 8 week MBSR programs!! Whoo Hoo!!
There were about 30 of us completing the practicum. The first five days was another Mindfulness Tools which is the program I took in February. Mindfulness is experiential learning which is why you have to commit to practicing regularly. I’ve only attended 2 of these retreats so far but I have found that I get something new out of it each time.
Since the Mindfulness Tools is part of the first phase of the training pathway we were joined by another group of people who were just attending those 5 days. The final 4 days was the practicum where we were given the opportunity to lead our own meditations as well as take a deeper look into the 8 week curriculum. I had never lead a meditation before so I was SO nervous!! We were able to pick from three options and I chose to do the one that scared me the most. We were working in small groups of three away from the rest of the group so I figured it was as safe a place as any to give this a shot! It went well and I received some great feedback from the rest of my group on what to do next time.
For me personally, mindfulness has been a real gift, and I am so excited to be working towards my certification! This trip was amazing!! It will be difficult for me to describe it in words but I will do my best.
At these retreats, you are given the opportunity to share with the other members really deep and personal things. The stuff that has lead you to mindfulness. It’s probably one of the only times you will be in a room full of strangers and after 5 minutes be willing to share so much of yourself. This is in the service of deepening your practice in mindfulness. You will be meditating throughout the day and exploring the 8 week curriculum. Mindfulness teaches you to be aware of what arises within you. You may be surprised by where your attention drifts to during your practice.
It was during this retreat that for the first time I spoke to people about my accident and what I have been through. The idea of sharing this with the group had come up a few times before but I kept dismissing it. Finally, I realized that I needed to look at what is arising. I decided that it was time to face my truth. I know that I have shared it here on the blog, but this time it was face to face. I put down my mask and let people see the real me. It was cathartic to say the least.
I was met with such loving kindness from everyone!! So many people came up to me to tell me how brave I was. They thanked me for trusting them with my story and for sharing it with them. I don’t regret it for a second.
I’m continuing to share more details about my story here on the blog because I think it is important for me to be real and honest. We often show the “perfect” aspects of our lives and hide the “imperfect”. Well, I’m tired of hiding. So here is to continuing to be me!