Who are you and what is People Find Peace?
I’m Bonnie and I’m the owner of People Find Peace and it’s a Limited company that provides free meditation and mindfulness guidance to those in need, essentially helping you get back to you.
What stemmed the idea for you?
I’ve meditated for years and it’s been important to me especially in development and healing from… life (I suppose). I had a lot of therapy and counselling in my teenage years but it wasn’t until I found meditation later in life that I really began to heal and grow. I found it ironic that I had spent so much money on professional help, only to benefit from free independent practice. It’s giving you a set of skills which I found I never really received from therapy, therapy helped me but I didn’t feel like it did long term. Whereas, meditation did.
Why is it so important?
It’s so important because basically what happens to your brain when you’re meditating is that you’re ingraining important sensory knowledge deeper into your brain and stopping other signals coming in so you’re essentially reducing the flow of incoming information and giving yourself time to properly observe the present moment. If you’re a working person, you will constantly be getting new information coming at you so meditation is just about allowing you to experience what you already have in your mind. It’s so helpful and although meditation is most commonly perceived as becoming still and silent, the entire purpose of the practice is actually about exercising your mind - and you can do that in so many different ways.
It also has many benefits aside from relaxation, especially for working people, because meditation improves your concentration and your cognitive function. It reduces your memory loss and helps your brain perform to its highest ability, so if you’re working this is really important.
What are the common misconceptions that you see with meditation?
Without a doubt the belief that you need to become totally still and silent to meditate, if you work and especially if you own a business, you will know that it is next to impossible to clear your mind. This puts a lot of people off meditation as they think ‘No, I can’t do that’. But actually, there are so many other ways to meditate. One really efficient and beneficial form of meditation is the practice of exercising the right side of your brain. The right side of your brain is the creative side and even if your job is creative, it’s still work so you’re not activating that part of your brain to its full potential.
How can working women incorporate meditation into their business?
I think you can go to it in a number of ways. As we mentioned, one super-efficient and easy way to excel the mind power is to start with the right side of your brain every 90 minutes, your body follows a natural cycle that rotates every hour and a half so squeezing five minutes of creative imagination between each of those rotations is an essential thing to add to your working day.
You can do this in so many different ways! For example, you could do manifestation or visualisation meditation. So, by just doing 5 minutes of meditating every hour and let’s say you work an 8 hour day, that’s 40 minutes of meditation and you don’t even realise it. Training the brain like this (although not emptying the mind) completely relaxes the brain, allowing it to perform at its highest ability when you switch back to using the left side.
What are your top tips for getting started?
My top tip would be to pace your day, your commitments and engagements and allow time for meditation as something to do with your working day. Instead of seeing it as a release from your working day see it as part of your day. Make it short and use a technique, squeeze in 5 minutes when you can and half an hour when you really want to. Relaxation is so subjective and it varies from day-to-day so using meditation to relax is going to be difficult and inconsistent, which may make it hard to fit into your routine. Using a technique, method or guided meditation helps distract your brain without trying to empty it, which is an equally as beneficial way to meditate.
What are the best types of meditation for working women?
A body scan is just taking some time to work through your body, observing what is happening within it. Most people start from toe to head but you can start with whatever you like and just slowly pass through your body noticing it. Top tip for getting into this, especially when your mind is wandering away a lot, is to tense each muscle as you pass it, making it easier to think about it.
When you are working and when you have a lot of stress, your mind is so overworked, you’re constantly thinking about what you have or haven't done. Everything's so fast-paced. What a body scan meditation can show you, is what areas you're holding that stress.
For example, if you’ve had a particularly stressful day and you do a body scan meditation in the evening you might notice that you feel this weight in your shoulders. Eventually over time once you’ve gained an awareness of the area holding stress when you feel totally stressed and overwhelmed you will be able to calm down by giving attention to the area of your body that you know it affects and indirectly soothes your mind.
Set aside five minutes just to imagine everything that you want to achieve from your day or even the outcome of your business. When using manifestation, your brain literally begins to believe that whatever you’re manifesting is actually happening. So in a working day, if you’re stressed and you start following a thought track of like ‘Oh my God, I’m failing, my business isn’t working, nothing’s going right’, then your brain actually thinks you’re failing, making it more likely.
When you manifest something you just think about your intentions, why you started your business, where it’s going to go, what you want to do, how it's going to feel, how it’s going to look. Even in terms of finances. People manifest finances all the time by just being like this is how it’s going to go, I'm going to drive that car - it can get like that if you want it to. Or, it can be more mindful and think this is how it’s going to feel, I'm going to reach this many people, or help this many people, this is what I wanna do long term, this is what I wanna do short term.
Just all the details you could possibly think about when it comes to what you want to achieve and spending regular time coming back to that. This not only allows you to continue in the right direction, but it actually convinces your brain that that is what you’re doing, making it easier to achieve. It’s almost like engraving autopilot into your brain to head that way. So in those moments when you get stressed, which of course you are still going to do (whether you meditate or not), your body and brain are still heading in the right direction and coming back to your drive is so much easier.
One meditation that I always do when I'm at my desk is visualisation. I just shut my eyes and tune into all sounds that are going on and I make a story out of all the sounds I can hear for just five minutes. Or going outside and listening to sounds. You can do it inside as well, or just take some time to observe an object, looking at the colours and details. A lot of people have so much stuff in their house that they’ve never properly looked at or taken in, it can be really grounding to visually connect to your environment more regularly.
An activity like rhythmic breathing is a really good thing to get into, especially if you’re new to meditation. When you’re finding it hard to slow your brain down, following a pattern is the one for you because it engages the brain. By engaging your brain this way you can relax your body and your mind before having to think hard about it.
Making a mantra to repeat in meditation is a really positive thing to return to when you’re feeling burnt out. You can try and create a mantra based on what you want to achieve or what you’re struggling with at the moment. It might be something like ‘I am patient’. Mantra meditation is literally just repeating this mantra for a designated time - so for five minutes saying ‘I am patient, I am patient, I am patient….’. It might sound like you’re saying something that you don’t believe and you might feel like that when you’re doing it but, similar to the effect of manifestation, eventually, you do genuinely believe it even if you don’t realise it.
Where can we find guidance for mediation and mindfulness practice?
We are lucky to live in the time of the internet where there is an abundance of guidance and tips for meditation.
On the @people_find_peace_ltd Instagram, I post regular tips and inspiration for meditation, but I also have a daily question, challenge and mantra to prompt a mindful thought in your personal practice. Having a mantra to come back to is something I do every day and I think people could really benefit from doing.
If you want further guidance and you want help beginning a meditation practice and you want it to be personalised to your day and your life, I offer all online guidance completely free. Just email or message me and we can work around something more personal and relatable to you.