MINDFULNESS STORIES

Chantal-Hofstee

CHANTAL HOFSTEE
Psychologist at Renew Your Mind

Mindfulness has truly changed me. I am much calmer, happier, kinder and more aware.

I have always been a high achiever and a hard worker. I started my first job at 13 and have been working and studying ever since. When I stopped I felt anxious so I kept busy. I was addicted to feeling productive and achieving things.

This came at a price, in my early twenties I almost burned out and I was incredible self critical. Only feeling satisfied when I had achieved something but the satisfaction never lasted long. I discovered Mindfulness but approached mindfulness practice in the same striving and judgemental way I approached anything. I remember trying to focus for 15 minutes and after 1 minute thinking to myself ” what is wrong with you you idiot, you can’t even focus on your breath!” Mindfulness became a pretty frustrating and disappointing exercise for me and I gave it up.

Finding a new way of Mindfulness

About 2 years ago my interest in Mindfulness was revived but this time I  approached it in a different way. I tried a new approach to Mindfulness that would actually fit in with my busy life and mind instead of making me feel like a failure for having a busy life and mind. I started doing short and simple exercises throughout my day instead of the long ones that did not work for me. Instead of telling myself off for being stressed I started acknowledging and linking all of my feelings. This approach to Mindfulness worked wonders for me and was truly life changing.

The techniques that I tried and tested myself and still use today are what has now become the Renew Your Mind Mindfulness courseour approach to therapy and professional development training. As it turns out what has worked for me is also working for other people. You can read some of their experiences below.

Joel-Vinsen

JOEL VINSEN
Guitarist, tutor, composer

I was reasonably happy before, but now it’s like seeing in colour for the first time.

Mindfulness has greatly helped me with the underlying issues that have contributed to my lifelong struggle with weight. This has had a massive impact not only on my weight but also my life in general. I was reasonably happy before, but now it’s like seeing in colour for the first time.

Another extremely beneficial result of my sessions with Chantal has been the effect on my art (I play and make music professionally); my creative and pragmatic sides are learning to at exist in harmony and work together.

As a result I’m kinder to myself and finding increased joy and fulfilment in my art, and my musical voice and personality is growing. I’m also really enjoying the process. I thoroughly recommend Chantal’s techniques to anybody who needs help with any issues in their life, and also to anyone working in a creative field.

shirley

SHIRLEY PASTIROFF
Counsellor at Renew Your Mind

In an atmosphere of kindness, curiosity and non-judgmentalism, I thrive.

Despite all the outward trappings of a successful life, real peace and happiness have been either passing experiences or at times completely elusive elements of my life. I’ve looked in many places, some helpful and some less so, but the practice of mindfulness has been one of the most helpful of all. It has introduced me to myself, and I like what I find. It has introduced me to a world I was moving too fast to see before. And it has taught me that in an atmosphere of kindness, curiosity and non-judgmentalism, I thrive.

anonymous

ANONYMOUS
Mother of 2

I am beginning to see the world – and myself – through a more positive lens, and in doing so I am feeling more empowered.

After a challenging year of significant losses I decided to seek professional therapeutic help, and contacted Chantal.  I have had therapy in the past with other practitioners and, whilst it has helped to talk, it has overwhelmingly felt like skimming the surface of the deeper underlying issues.  My sessions with Chantal over the past couple of months have been inspirational.  I feel that I am actually making progress in letting go of long held negative beliefs that have prevented me from reaching my full potential.

Chantal’s combined techniques of mindfulness, reinforcing the message of kindness and compassion towards oneself, and her sound knowledge of the workings of the brain are a powerful set of tools that have allowed me to continue our work after the sessions.  The tools and techniques she teaches have helped me to be able to acknowledge long suppressed feelings, and most powerfully process them with a non-judgemental attitude.  It feels as though some of this emotional pain that I have carried for such a long time is starting to move through me and be released.  That I now have a choice not to continue to blindly make decisions that do not serve me, based on triggers who’s origins I previously did not see nor understand.

I am beginning to see the world – and myself – through a more positive lens, and in doing so I am feeling more empowered.  Chantal is a kind, caring, perceptive and highly skilled psychologist who I recommend wholeheartedly.

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