In today's episode, we chatted with Marjorie Lumet, the mindfulness teacher at ExperienceMindfulness.nl.
What this podcast is about:
• How does mindfulness change your life/lifestyle?
• Is mindfulness always joyful? How can one be mindful in a moment which is not pleasant (e.g. fight, stress, the death of a close person)?
• What are the biggest challenges in being mindful?
• What literature to pay attention to?
Listen to the full podcast here:
The website of Marjorie - experiencemindfulness.nl
Una: [00:00:16] Hello everyone and welcome to the Fashion Potluck Podcast Session. Fashion Potluck is a women driven platform based in Amsterdam where women can post, engage, and interact with each other. My name is Una. I'm the Content Manager of Fashion Potluck and I'm here with Julia, the CMO of Fashion Potluck.
Julia: [00:00:31] Good morning.
Una: [00:00:32] Good morning. And our guest for today is a mindfulness teacher - Marjorie Lumet.
Marjorie: [00:00:37] Hello and good morning.
Una: [00:00:38] Good morning. Welcome! Marjorie, mindfulness is a very popular topic recently and nowadays it is often mentioned but, however, not everyone is fully familiar with what it actually means. How can you define mindfulness?
Marjorie: [00:00:56] Yes. So that's a very good question to start with and it can be a little bit vague what mindfulness actually means. And, maybe it's good to start by just offering a definition. Mindfulness means maintaining a moment by moment awareness of our thoughts or feelings or physical sensations in the body as well as the surrounding environment with gentle nurturing lengths. And I really like that definition because this is really what it's about. It's about being awake and aware of what's going on in your mind and body around you as well with a kind of compassionate gentle way, kind way of paying attention in a non-judging way. So it's not just about being aware but also how you pay attention. That's really important.
Una: [00:01:44] Yeah, and how does mindfulness change your life or your lifestyle?
Marjorie: [00:01:50] So, awareness itself and this different way of relating to your experience can be really transformative. And it's a gradual process. So, especially nowadays people tend to have, you know, very busy hectic lifestyles where they just pack in as much as they can in a day. We tend to want to achieve a lot and can be very busy doing. And sometimes life can be just a bit of a stressful list of things to do. And, also you know there's this technology that's omnipresent, this kind of really pulling out of ourselves actually being connected all the time like this to social media through your phone.
Julia: [00:02:39] We're constantly distracted I would say. You know like without social media, when I remember my years without social media I was more paying attention to what I was doing. And as you said before I was more present in the moment. However with social media, there is something, there is a 5 percent of my brain always thinking: "Did I get a notification?", "What's going on in my Instagram?" or "Did I get a new e-mail from my boss?".
Marjorie: [00:03:06] Yeah, I know, exactly we're living in the age of distraction and that has a cost and it drains a lot of energy. And we sometimes forget to just be connected to ourselves. And so, that's what mindfulness is about really - just being present in this moment because you actually don't have any other moments. It's just right now. And fully engaging. And so, what people often find is that being mindful just brings a lot more enjoyment. You know you actually feel like you're living your life rather than just running after all these things.
Julia: [00:03:39] Because you're paying attention to the moment. You're basically not living through your life, you're actually living real life.
Marjorie: [00:03:45] Exactly.
Una: [00:03:46] But is that what makes mindfulness so popular? Is it because we're living such a chaotic life and we need something to really be more relaxed?
Marjorie: [00:03:53] You know that's one of the aspects that it's really such an effective counterbalance to that busy life. So in that way, it's very valuable nowadays. And so, people tend to also nowadays get very caught up in their heads and very busy thinking and they can get quite lost in their thinking actually. And so, mindfulness is also a practice that is bringing people back to their body and just being present in the body because you know we're not just heads walking around, we're attached to a body and especially as women having that awareness of the body and feeling grounded in our body is really important and allows us to operate with our whole self.
Julia: [00:04:40] And how do you do this? Is it through meditation mainly?
Marjorie: [00:04:47] So there's a multitude of practices that exists to bring awareness to the body but certainly meditation is one of them and it is a very effective way of bringing more focus into the body and the practices we begin within the mindfulness course our awareness of breathing. Of course, the breath is in the body so it's reading the physical sensations of breathing. Something we do every day without bringing any conscious awareness to it. But when we do we're really in touch with our life forms, with our vitality, and that gives certain energy. And also we do a lot of body awareness practices. So in stillness and in movements because also moving and soliciting the body in a certain way through yoga, through walking mindful movement is really really important to give the body space and the freedom to move intentionally.
Una: [00:05:41] But what would you say, are the benefits of mindfulness scientifically proven?
Marjorie: [00:05:47] Yes. Well, especially nowadays. Basically, this way of teaching mindfulness in the 8 weeks program which is what I teach. The standard form is called the MBSR which is the mindfulness-based stress reduction program, which has been founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the late 1970s and he was a scientist. So, he actually really was a pioneer because, of course, it's an ancient practice it comes from Buddhism, but he had made it secular so that it could be accessible to many. So, you don't have to believe in anything to just be present really. And, in this way he made it much more open and being a scientist, he introduced it to health care. So he started practicing in a health care setting and as such brought a lot of resources to research extensively the benefits of mindfulness. And so, it's very evidence-based and some of the findings, just to name a few, and you know research keeps on growing in the field, is that mindfulness is very effective for stress reduction to relieve anxiety and depression.
Julia: [00:07:04] Oh, even depression?
Marjorie: [00:07:08] Yes, absolutely. And it's such a growing problem nowadays. And, you know increasingly young people are getting depressed and getting anxious. So it's...
Listen to the full podcast in the player above.
Her professional background is in the corporate world where she worked for 15 years as a senior communications professional for a large number of global brands. Now, she is dedicating her time to provide English language mindfulness training to groups and individuals as well as being a mother.
Marjorie also offers mindfulness training for expecting mothers and their partners as she believes this is a special time to get acquainted with mindfulness that can have a very positive influence on pregnancy and beyond.
She feels very privileged to share this beautiful practice with others and continues to be amazed by its power to get us in touch with what is best in us. Marjorie believes that mindfulness is exactly what our fast-paced, often stressed-out, modern world needs more of.
For her mindfulness training in English, visit Centrum voor Mindfulness
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*Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified professional. Statements made by Fashion Potluck's guests and speakers do not reflect Fashion Potluck's views and are shared as personal opinions of interviewed individuals.