Up, Up and away!
I am so excited to be launching my website! It has felt like a long time coming, but after some soul-searching and a lot of hard-work, here it is and I’m so happy with what it represents for me and my mission to support others, through ‘Mindfulness’.
I will start by introducing myself. My name is Rachel and I am a qualified primary school teacher with a real passion for education and helping others. I am a firm believer that with hard-work brings success and that with the support of those around us, we can reach higher than we ever thought possible.
My mindfulness journey began back in 2010, when given a book on my Graduation day about the power of your thoughts, visualisation and self-belief. This book promised me everything; holidays, money, the relationship I deserved, the house of my dreams, my perfect job and above all else, happiness. All I needed to do was visualise and believe. Simple. I just needed to get really good at thinking and visualising my perfect world. A little like ordering from a catalogue, I was reading that everything I ever wanted was in my reach and had been the whole time. I learned about the power of positive thinking and how our thoughts and words impact our actions and shape our world.
Visualising my dreams seemed like such an alien, yet exciting, concept. With every page I became more and more drawn in and curiosity took over from there. I started to think about what I wanted and how I wanted my life to look. I set my sights on a newer car and so imagined myself holding the wheel. Two months later, my car at the time failed miserably on its MOT and I found myself able to get the car I had imagined. It had happened! It worked! Time to try something else…
I desperately wanted to be a teacher. I had always doubted myself and lacked confidence, but I felt assured in my new way of thinking, developing visualisation techniques and encompassing a ‘growth mindset’. I imagined my class, the perfect school, my rising salary … and of course, as I believed it would, it all manifested and unfolded before me. I was now a fully qualified teacher, living in the West Midlands and working in my dream school. Everything that I had believed would happen, did. My determination and self-belief had paid off. Whether coincidence or not, I was happy and everything was as great as I imagined. For a while.
What I couldn’t have imagined, or predicted, was the rising pressure I would feel when undertaking such a role. I suddenly started to lose sight of the happiness I had spent years chasing and my daily life became about beating the clock, marking books, rising anxiety, attending meetings and constantly trying to better myself and my teaching but unsure exactly how to do it. I became lost. I doubted myself at every turn, despite working with some incredibly supportive and positive people, and couldn’t shake the feeling of dread at the thought of the next observation. This wasn’t what I wanted, but I soon learned that this was a teacher’s reality. I wanted to teach children and make a difference, enjoy my life, inspire and influence young minds. I had come to the shocking realisation that I was no longer happy in the goal that I had desperately set out to achieve. This was no longer ‘me’.
It was time to make some changes. Everything I had ever wanted for myself I was able to bring to fruition through focus, drive, determination, mindfulness and visualisation. I needed to repaint my future and not let it repaint me.
Through daily meditation and mindful practise, being fully aware of my feelings and embracing them, I was able to make one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make so far. The teaching profession was not for me anymore, at least not for now. I felt a strong urge to take some time away to understand how I could be a more effective teacher and support children’s mental health and emotional needs, as well as my own.
I am now a fully qualified teacher of Mindfulness and Meditation, specialising in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). My hope is that I can share my passion with those who need it the most and inspire others to make changes in their lives to become happier and healthier. I want to support teachers through mindful practise, so that they in turn can be more supportive of the children in their care with a range of techniques to call upon to promote a calmer classroom environment. With an average of 1 in 10 children in every class suffering with mental ill health, I have an overwhelming drive to ensure that teachers feel confident in delivering mindfulness within their classroom to develop children’s confidence, self-esteem and empower them to make good, healthy choices.
Since I made the difficult decision to follow my heart and pursue a career in mindfulness, the support I have received has been overwhelming! I am lucky enough to work alongside teachers to support their children with their mental health, confidence and wellbeing as well as supporting adults and children on a one to one basis or within a small group.
I think for me, what was important to remember throughout was that it was ok to change my mind. It’s ok to want to try something different, spread your wings and fly in a different direction. I am not suggesting that we all change our jobs, but simply that we acknowledge how we can be happier and take small steps to achieving each goal. I am thoroughly enjoying my journey so far and being able to support both children and adults as they too start to discover the many benefits of mindfulness for a happier life.
We don’t need to plan out every aspect of our lives… just breathe, let go and trust the process.