Bekindtoyourmind is a community interest company based in Manchester offering classes in Sale West and beyond, with the aim of reaching out to help people in the community suffering with their emotional well being.
Their mindfulness classes and workshops work with residential, public and commercial sectors, in both group and individual settings, inviting the attendees to look at their thoughts, feelings and emotional states from a different perspective.
Set up by husband and wife team Thom and Julie, Bekindtoyourmind classes have been running on Sale West for over a year.
Thom said, “I’ve been a resident of Sale West since I was 12 years old and as I grew up I identified with a lot of the issues that people who live on the estate struggle with. I am proud of where I live and when I discovered the revelation of mindfulness it was only natural for me to want to share the tools and concepts that have made such a positive impact to my own well being with the community.”
The response from the community has been very impressive to say the least – the first session saw 19 people attend, the majority from Sale West. Thom has been encouraged with the growing numbers since, explaining it normally takes around three or four sessions for people to ‘get it’ before they feel empowered to take back control of their own lives and make clear, proactive choices.
Thom is especially thankful to Marie Price and Dan Shelston of Trafford Wellbeing / Housing Trust, as well as Irwell Valley Housing Association for the support and encouragement they have given him, including funding from the latter which enabled him to undertake training in order to become a fully qualified mindfulness teacher.
“Our society constantly promotes ‘doing’ – reaching goals, making lists, setting agendas, thinking of new ideas, etc. There’s nothing wrong with this, in fact if we look around we can see that it has produced things that make our life easier and enjoyable, but too much of this ‘driving’ part of our nature is the cause for much of the stress, anxiety, depression and other states that hinder our well-being. Now, if we can learn to ‘BE’, meaning to accept things as they are at this very moment and to pay attention to what we are doing right now, we begin to soothe our minds and give the thinking mind a rest.
“Mindfulness is very easy to learn and once the concepts are grasped it becomes a valuable part of life that can help us to become more calm and content, as well as helping us become more resilient towards states of mind that cause us suffering.”
Bringing mindfulness to Sale West is obviously important for Thom, I asked him how he thought the possible closure of the community centre would affect the classes held there and while he said people could adapt if it was a temporary situation but it would be “a sad day for the people of Sale West” if it were to be permanent.
Thom said, “ I believe the community centre has the potential to be the pulse of Sale West. With the right people, right ideas and right services it can literally change lives. The nucleus it already there, it just needs some fresh ideas. I was motivated to offer my services to the community and wouldn’t want to move away from Sale West but if I’m pushed, I’m pushed. I’d have to take my services elsewhere and that would contradict my initial drive for starting Bekindtoyourmind.
After attending a Bekindtoyourmind session at the community centre I agree it would be a terrible shame to lose such a fantastic service.
Costing just £3 a session, on a pay-as-you-go basis the classes are exceptional value for money. I was made to feel welcome and have never seen the Sunshine Café looking so cosy with dimmed lights, incense, the lot – wonderful.
The session began with a mindfulness chocolate eating exercise – we had to really take our time, noting the smell, texture and, last of all taste. I really enjoyed this part although when eaten in a mindful manner, one chocolate was definitely enough J
Moving on to a mindful meditation I was soon relaxed and feeling calm for the first time that day, maybe a little too calm as I almost slid off my seat and was squinting when the lights came on at the end of the hour long session.
Bekindtoyourmind currently run two weekly classes with plans for more in the future. Monday they are at Sale West Community centre on Newbury Avenue for an hour with the class starting at 7pm. On a Thursday they hold a class in Timperley, in the meeting room at Timperley Village Library, again for an hour and also starting at 7pm.
They also offer mindfulness workshops at a discounted rate of £40, held at the Friends Meeting House, Park Road in Sale – for more details or to book please contact Julie@bekindtoyourmind.co.uk
This article first appeared in the launch edition of Sale West Voice Magazine 🙂