About Mindful Choice
It is inspiring to know that how we approach living with or beyond cancer may affect not just our happiness but also our body’s innate capacity to heal.
It is normal after treatment for cancer to feel that life has changed, to feel anxious and
uncertain about the future. Any slight pain in the body can quickly take us off on frightening trains of thought – what if the cancer’s back? how will I cope again? … increasing the anxiety and tension in the body.
Mindfulness training helps us to become aware of how crucial an effect our thoughts have on our well-being. As we practice, we begin to notice how much time we spend worrying about the future or mulling over the past, sometimes to the extent that we are not even fully present to the pleasant moments in our lives.
With mindfulness we practice being with things as they are, without judging and instead bringing kindness and curiosity to whatever is present. Practicing in this way we learn to live with cancer rather than suffer from cancer.
‘My experience is what I agree to attend to’
About the teacher
I am a trained mindfulness teacher with a Masters degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive
Therapy (MBCT) from Oxford University, where I was fortunate to train with Professor Mark Williams. My background was in mental health working as an occupational therapist. For the last 8 years I have worked for the cancer charity Yes to Life, currently as a volunteer on the Helpline and a blogger. I am an Associate Teacher at Oxford Mindfulness Centre and regularly teach for the Midweek Sitting Group and Oxford Student Mindfulness Society. I taught my first mindfulness for living with cancer course at the Maggie Centre, Oxford in 2012. I am a
founding member of the Thich Nhat Hanh Sangha in Oxford.
My personal meditation practice began shortly after a diagnosis of cancer of the throat in 2005. It is core to a healing journey that is still ongoing. I felt a pull to heal my body and my life at this time and was very much guided by a wonderful training I embarked on to be a Health Creation Mentor with Dr Rosy Daniel. I started to see with more clarity what changes I needed to make to be truer to myself and to my spiritual needs. I moved from London to a
village in beautiful countryside and now feel connected to a community, nature and the cycles of life. Anytime I notice myself caught up in thoughts or worries, a walk with the dogs helps me regain perspective and come back to my senses.
I am inspired by the belief that we all have the capacity for immense inner change and to live our lives with kindness and ease.
I follow the Good Practice Guidelines for Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses published by the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations.