Joanne shares her Mindfulness Journey with Inclusion Matters Joanne, a service user with Inclusion Matters in Lisburn, recently had the opportunity to share her experiences and knowledge of Mindfulness with other service users. Whilst being part of the Inclusion Matters Programme, Joanne’s interest and knowledge of Mindfulness has grown through her involvement in different classes and activities being offered in the Lisburn area. Joanne was keen to share her passion for Mindfulness with other service users and took the opportunity to run a short session during an organised Cedar group. It was a great morning and everyone felt motivated and inspired to find out more. Initially, Joanne attended several classes at The Atlas Centre in Lisburn. Clarifying additional training /support was vital to how potentially I could develop my mindfulness, incorporating mindfulness nutrition. So, I went along to other mindfulness courses learning more each time. Joanne also signed up to and completed more courses relating to our mental health and our holistic wellbeing and to strengthen her knowledge going forward and her ability to assist others on their path. During the restrictions, Atlas kept running sessions as much as possible. Joanne found it was apparent that some additional group support could be beneficial. She thought to myself “Is there a way for me to give back?”, and considered the best way was to become qualified in Mindfulness herself. For me, realising awareness is key to being mindful. This has a powerful impact on your attitude and approach to people, situations and life. Also, it definitely makes you more appreciative and grateful. Knowing that you as a person are the only one responsible for your own thoughts, words and actions is compelling. Although, our personal interpretation and our overall well-being and life experiences will have an effect on the situation influencing how we may react in certain scenarios. Joanne is now completing Mindfulness Teacher Training. Alongside this she has started to train for a Mindfulness based Clinical Hypnotherapy Diploma. Within the next two years Joanne will have a professional qualification that compliments her mindfulness teaching. Joanne said: I knew mindfulness was for me, as I saw how easy with practice you could change your life. Giving me my internal glow and sheer determination back. The best thing it has done for me is to give me a genuine and whole insight into my relationships. Just before COVID Mum was diagnosed with Dementia. Whilst I was caring for Mum, I built a concrete understanding and loving relationship with her. I got the opportunity to hear her story and the reasons for the way she lived her life. All this would not of been possible if I hadn't met Emma (Mindfulness Tutor at Atlas). She is one inspirational woman. Someone I will hold in high regard for life. Thanks Emma! I really enjoyed having the opportunity to deliver my first practice Mindfulness session during a Cedar group - the supportive environment gave me confidence and encouragement! If you would like to find out more about Inclusion Matters please visit our dedicated page.