Today's blog is a guest entry from Geoff Frewin. Geoff is a mindfulness and Peak performance coach doing some really interesting things. Geoffs attitude to the various setbacks display characteristics we could all learn from. Check him out on Instagram at Geoffrewin.Without further adieu......
As I move ever closer to my 60th Birthday in four months time, I live for now, this minute, of this day. I have no expectaions high or low, as that would have me looking into the future and guessing.
I have studied mindfulness over the last 5 years, now qualified as a Practitioner, I work within the Insurance Industry as a Mental Health First Aider and Performance Coach specialising in Resilience and teaching Mindfulness. My vocation, I guess, is to help others live 'their best lives' 'to enjoy a life worth living'.
One of the most significant individual 'life barriers' I come across through conversation often on a daily basis, is an individuals feeling of lack of control and thus a 'victim' attitude.
'To bear trials with a calm mind robs misfortuneof it's strength and burden' Seneca
My Mum was a manic depressive, so my earliest memories are one of immense joy, followed by the darkest of days. Aged 12, I was diagnosed with a blood clot on the brain, this eventually led to a loss of all sight in my left eye and a couple of major Ops. There was never a sense of 'why me'. It was more a case of Dr.'s saying you can't or won't be able to do something ..and then proving them wrong. I was keen on sport and against odds went on to challenge their preconceptions and play for my County at football and rugby.
In my twenties, I was attacked with a hammer, fracturing my skull, cheek and jaw, following surgery and recovery, again the lesson was where can I find a benefit to move forward with this, I studied psychology and specialised in Sports Psychology, feeling that I could help others to surmount barriers to thinking and create positive outcomes, whilst increasing my own resilience.
Some years later, I was knocked off my bike, again with severe facial trauma and later diagnosed with brain damage, following 6 months working with a Neuro-Psychologist, I continued my Psychology studies seeking more information on Neurology ( how the brain works ) and specialising more in Mental Health Nature or Nurture. (Are Mental Health issues genetic or environmental). This again helped me to share knowledge and assist others with similar injury to recover and look forward to a future that would be both enjoyable and satisfying.
Eight years ago on a clear sunny Sunday, no more than 1/2 a mile from home, I was hit by a big old Jag, that the driver had lost control of, leaving the road and ploughing me through a brick wall. Here I lost over four pints of blood, and had severe trauma to both legs. Thanks to an amazing surgeon and a 12 hour operation to save my legs, followed by spending 4 weeks lying flat in a hospital beds leaves one with a lot of thinking time, a rarity that most of us will never have the benefit of. Where were the benefits, why had this happened, what did I now need to do ?
After learning to walk again, I was diagnosed with PTSD, severe anxiety and irrational behaviour. Following CBT, I came across Mindfulness, and was originally very sceptical, was it just a placebo or was there scientific psychological evidence to prove it's efficacy.
Now all these years later I have the benefit of sharing my story, the way we can all learn to look for the positives, we are who we are and are built to sustain these life lessons to broaden our experiences and assist others in gaining a life worth living. With the help of Resilience training, Stoic life lessons and the continued practice of Mindfulness.
I have no doubt that what happened to me, as with anyone else, was sent to me for a reason, to allow me to live the life I have been given and to help anyone without exception lead the life they chose.
I also have a passion for Italy, Coffee and living a life Italians call 'Tempo Giusto' (at the right speed). More of this in later Blogs I hope!
I leave you with the following......
Anyone who meaningfully serves human beings understands that it is not always pleasant. It can be extremelly dificult at times. Understanding our efforts as duty helps us to follow through when things get tough- to withstand the trials that come with helping others through life's most distressing hardships.
'To the contrary, the reward for doing one's social duty, Marcus (Aurelius)says, is something far better than thanks, admiration or sympathy... an important part of our function, as we have seen,is to work with and for our fellow men. Marcus therefore concludes that doing his social duty will give him the best chance of having a good life.' (irvine, p.132) (with thanks to the Daily Stoic)
Living my life in the moment, constantly learning, comfortable in my own skin, and turning outwards to help others, to me in every way gives me a 'Considered Life' and one well worth living.