BS4 Mindfulness Support Group (BS4 MSG) is no longer a vision.  It is a thing! BS4 MSG is up and running and I am feeling very proud.

Thanks to a simple sign I had read at the end of last year which stated ‘It is easier to correct something than to create it ‘, I took the plunge to get the group started before I could be certain of the content and whether it would work. If people attending and meditating together was the goal of session one, it was, that goal was achieved. Yey!

I should start by thanking the nine people that were able to take part in the first session on a cold, wet January evening. The Original BS4 Mindfulness Guinea Pigs. I would also like to thank all of those that had hoped to attend, but were forced to send their apologies for a variety of reasons. It was great to know they had wanted to be apart of this new venture too and has given me hope for higher attendance numbers in future weeks.

Time for a review of the session, me thinks.

The positives I will be taking away from the session :

I was joined by nine enthusiastic people last night as the result of one post on BS4 Connect on 2nd January.

The meditations chosen for the session were a good mix of styles.

The Salivating Eating Meditation (or the Raisin Meditation)  worked very well as a ‘First Taste’ or introduction to mindfulness. I will definitely be recommending this guided meditation to anyone that wants a brief mindfulness experience as it is both straightforward and easy to follow. It is also transferable to many everyday situations and so could be used on a daily basis, if a sense of calm is required.

The venue worked very well, and although I could hear some of the Line dancer’s (yes, line dancers!) music from the main hall, I believe it didn’t deter from the guided meditations.

Through donations, the cost of hiring the hall for the evening were met.

One kind member brought along a central focal point (a lamp and some twinkly lights) and a joss stick, which helped to set the mood.

Everyone embraced the session and allowed me to lead the session and a few offered helpful feedback.

Several people helped out with the hot drinks and the setting up of the room, which I hope is the start of a feeling of collective ownership of the group.

The areas where improvements are needed:

I made a few rookie hosting errors!

1. I forgot to ask everyone to introduce themselves to the group and/or provide name labels. Two kind members pointed this out at the end and it will top of the bill for next week’s session.

2. I could have mentioned a few housekeeping items such as where the toilets, kitchen and fire escape are located.

3. I could be a bit more direct in explaining what the optional donations will be used for, rather than just hopeful.

4. I could have warned the group about the presence of the Line dancers in the main hall and offer suggestions on how to prevent unwanted noise from interrupting meditation.

5. I quite clumsily stated I was not a professional and could have offered the sources of professional support and guidance should the session bring up any difficult personal experiences.

I hope to write a standard meeting intro to cover all of the above before next Thursday.

Technical problems – the CD player jumped during the first couple of minutes of the longer meditation and although I managed to not completely panic, and it corrected itself quickly, it was a good lesson in several ways.

1. I need to be certain of the content and quality of the resources I intend to share with the group.

2. I need to have a back up plan in place should all modes of technology decide to give up on me during a session,  such as some print outs of  guided meditations I could use in an emergency so that the session isn’t wasted.

3. I should not take the venue’s equipment for granted. The evening’s light entertainment was the front wheel falling off of the tea trolley. Thankfully the trolley dollies that were kindly taking care of the tea were holding onto it, or this might have been a very different post.

Aside from being unnecessarily nervous, I am generally very pleased with how the session went and I look forward to doing it all over again next week.

Do you have any thoughts on the session you would like to share? Please add any comments below.