Connect with Nature with Mindful Journaling, Part 4

Useful techniques to be one with Nature

Connect with Nature through Mindful Movement

Nature is waiting to be seen, heard, felt and included in our lives with gratitude. We hope that the past exercises shared in our previous articles has materialised into a meaningful affirmation with Nature. We conclude the last of our 3-part series with these recommendations to help you strengthen this connection with Nature to find inner peace and achieve self-reflection and self-awareness.  

Connect with Nature through Mindful Movement (Infograph)

1.       Get in sync with a short mindfulness exercise

As always, locate your spot in a quiet park. Stand in a comfortable position with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. We'll start with a little Mindful Movement from our previous article on Mindfulness and Lovingkindness to loosen up the body and mind with loving kindness and compassion. It’s a way of creating space in our bodies and allowing the skin and muscles to breathe with the stretching. 

Using the breathing techniques you’ve learnt from our previous articles on Mindfulness and Body Scan, raise both hands towards the sky and enjoy the stretch. Feel your body aligned with your breath and enjoy the gratitude for the space that you have just created.

Now lower your arms gently to your sides, squeeze and lift your shoulder blades towards your ears. Hold this stretch for a while, relax and repeat this a few more times. Do it with intention and do not rush into it. Simply take your time and enjoy this process with a smile.

2.       Visualise yourself as parts of Nature

Using the Visualisation skills in our recent article Connect with Nature with Mindful Journaling part 2 repeat these words to yourself:

Breathing in, I see myself as a flower
Breathing out I feel fresh

Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain
Breathing out, I feel solid

Breathing in, I see myself as roots of a tree
Breathing out, I feel anchored and stable
Breathing in, I see myself as still water
Breathing out, I reflect things as they are

Breathing in, I see myself as space
Breathing out, I feel free

                             (Adapted from A Handful Of Quiet: HanhThich Nhat)


3.       Express your thoughts and gratitude for Nature

Continuing with Visualisation and controlled breathing, pen down your thoughts and sensory experience as you see imagine yourself as these following elements of Nature:

  • A flower
  • A mountain
  • Roots of a tree
  • Still water
  • An open space

It is important to acknowledge and document the feelings evoked from the imageries, that calmness or even euphoria that might have hit you during these moments. To pay homage to these thoughts and further digesting the meaning of them will go a long way in your quest to reunite with Nature. Look back and read through your journal to appreciate how far you have come on your journey. The time for reflection has never been stronger. Take this opportunity and use it wisely.

Keep practising this new skill with the ones you’ve learnt previously and continue your Mindful Journaling. Select your confidante to take on your Nature journeys with these recommendartions for you. 


#ConnectWithNature is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.




Connect with Nature through Mindful Journaling, Part 3

Useful techniques to be one with Nature

Connect with Nature through Pure Listening

The wonders of Nature can bring endless joy and benefits when you allow yourself to reconnect with its magic. In the first instalment of our 3-part series, we shared some approach on connecting with Nature through Visualiation. In this second-part, we take you deeper to develop your bond with Nature through Pure Listening. 

The orchestra of sounds that Nature exudes might seem like a random tune put together, but once you listen deeply, you will realise there is a very controlled chaos that functions within this environment. While human nature tends to want to make sense of everything, these new techniques we are offering here are quite the opposite. Pure hearing is taking in sounds as they come without attempting to assign any association or meaning to it and it allows us to develop a connection with Nature in an unobstructed way.

Connect with Nature through Pure Listening Inforgraphic

 1.       Find a quiet spot in the park and sit comfortably

Find a quiet space in the park. By now, you should be familiar with the routine to begin the exercise: sit comfortably and relax. Feel free to adjust your clothing and posture till you are ready. When you are ready, drop your gaze and close your eyes gently.


2.       Listen to the sounds around you

Now, with your eyes remained closed, just listen and tune in effortlessly. Take all the sounds in and keep an open mind. Don't bother with wondering what the birds are for now and quite simply, just enjoy the soundscape that is filled with birds chirping, rustling leaves and water gurgling in the background.

In the instance, there is momentary freedom as we detach the need to make sense of what we’re hearing. Pure hearing happens effortlessly. In this moment right where you are sitting, leave your thoughts, expectations, knowledge from prior experiences behind and give in to the sounds. Just allow the pure sounds to come to you without judgment.

Following the advice of Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American professor emeritus of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine,

It is very much a bathing in sound, a sensuous luxuriating in pure sound and the spaces between them, in layer upon layer of sounds. Now they are simply what they are, no longer identified, no longer listened for in a straining, reaching sort of way.

What we do hear from Nature every day is now amplified, because you are now tuning in with real intent. What you have here now is pure awareness, untainted by thoughts, pre-conceived ideas and judgments, which can be impediments. There is tranquillity in the hearing and in the knowing underneath the sound.

Celebrate in this spaciousness of soundscape, because where the mind constantly interrupts itself in daily living, this moment is wholesomely dedicated now to listening to Nature.

3.       Write freely about your experience

As with our previous practices, we conclude each session by recollecting in tranquillity. Open a fresh page on your Collins Debden journal and make a list of the pure sounds you’ve just heard. Draw back from your learnings from our past article on Mindfulness and Reflective Writing and describe the experience. Was it effortless for you? Did you find yourself looking for sounds or did you allow it to come to you?

Keep on doing this regularly to foster your connection with Nature and solidify your thoughts by documenting them in your journal. Choose from our wide range of journals and pick one that suits your style.

#ConnectWithNature is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.




Connect with Nature through Mindful Journaling, Part 2

Useful techniques to be one with Nature

Connect with Nature through Visualisation

We’ve addressed the benefits of connecting with Nature in our previous article and in this new 3-part series, we’re sharing with you the techniques to help you immerse yourself in the natural world and let Nature do its wonders on your body and mind.

1.       Imagine yourself as a tree and stand comfortably

Imagine yourself standing strong and stable with roots running deep into the ground and leaves and branches spreading out like antennae accessible, receptive and patient. If you find your mind wandering, apply the skills you’ve learnt in our previous article to ground your thoughts.

Be comfortable and get a good grip of the ground with the four corners of your feet. Anchor yourself in and take deep heavy breaths. You will soon realise Nature in the form of gravity will start helping you get a better grounding. Use the Breathing Techniques from our past article on Mindfulness and Breathing Techniques you’ve mastered previously and focus on following your breath as you breathe in and out.
2.       Pay attention to happenings around you

Holding onto the visualisation as a tree, raise your hands outwards like the wide branches of the trees you see around you. Revisit the practice you’ve learnt from the Mindful Body Scan technique from our past article on Mindfulness and Mindful Body Scan and feel every senstation that Nature has in store for you. Embrace every bit of sunshine, heat and smell by being deeply attuned to our body.

Be still and absorb your surroundings. If you feel your mind drifting and wanting to move on, pull yourself back and visualise yourself as a longstanding tree again who has been standing tall and still throughout time.

Bring your hands back down and now close your eyes. Listen, and listen deeply. Deep Listening from our past article on Mindfulness and Paying Attention to Sounds helps you to achieve an inner peace to make you feel as one with Nature. Take in the sounds of your surrounding with intention.

3.       Write freely about your experience

Documenting the sounds will not be difficult now, for your mind has thoroughly been absorbed with Nature. Your connection with Nature has now given you a smooth passage into writing freely. Find a quiet space and sit in any comfortable position and get ready to journal. Make a simple list of the sounds you have heard and describe them. Conclude your journaling by reflecting on your experience. How did it make you feel? What are your thoughts? This might just be the start to an awakening that you’ve been waiting for.

Keep practising this new skill with the ones you’ve learnt previously and continue your Mindful Journaling. Select your confidante to take on your Nature journeys with these recommendations for you!

#ConnectWithNature is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.

  

Connect with Nature through Mindful Journaling, Part 1

Connect with Nature through Mindful Journaling (Part 1)

Once every in a while, amidst the hustle and bustle, it is important to shut everything down and reconnect with nature. 

We have long been aware that our five senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch - is the epicentre for how we connect with each other. We are not alone, as nature conjures up a much bigger universe with the trees and flowers, birds, grasshoppers and beetles that surrounds us every day. This colourful kaleidoscope of ‘light and shadow, form and colour’, is constantly seeking - and failing at the same time - to catch our attention.

We most certainly see, hear and smell them daily. So why don't we reciprocate their allure? Jon Kabat-Zinn - an American professor emeritus of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine - poses a simple yet provocative question.

Can we feel it? Can we know it? Can we be embraced by it? And when might that be? When? When? When? When? When? 

We see what we want to see, not what is actually before our eyes. We look but we may not apprehend or comprehend. We may have to tune our seeing just as we tune an instrument, to increase its sensitivity, its range, its clarity, its empathy.

It is no wonder, with life becoming all so consuming and filling with limitless distractions from the digital world, we have tuned out of nature a long time ago. This state of mind did not happen overnight, nor over a generation for that matter. Our harried lifestyles, in pursuit of various dreams and putting food on the table, have now turned our innate connection with nature into discourse.

If you are an early riser, do you hear the birds chirping outside your windows in the morning? And are you conscientious of the rain when they fall on your skin. If your answer is no, it is not difficult to reconnect with Nature. And here's why you should start taking baby steps to do so.

Connect with Nature through Mindful Journaling infographic, Part 1

3 benefits of connecting with Nature

1.       Promotes Self-Reflection

When we reflect about our own values and attitudes, this leads to self-awareness, which improves the understanding of our concept of self. We should find ways to always promote self-reflection, places to pause in Nature, and ways to prompt reflection.

2.       Promotes Happiness

Experiencing Nature can impact our mood positively by removing us away from the grind of daily life and constant information bombardment that can lead to mental fatigue and burnout. A time out in Nature helps to restore the natural state of mind and this inner peace allows us to think and feel better.

 3.       Promotes Health

Being in company of Nature has a profound impact on our health by helping us reduce anxiety, brooding and fear. Nature is an antidote for stress: It can lower blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and stress hormone levels and this in turn, can help to improve one’s immune system.

In our next article, we will share with you some useful techniques that can help you connect with nature and be part of it again. 

Haven’t got your hands on our stylish journals? Here are our recommendations for you!

#ConnectWithNature is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.





6 Tips for Journaling about Your Thoughts (Part 2)

6 Tips for Journaling about Your Thoughts Part 2

 Mindful Journaling about your thought process

Journaling about your thought process will help you understand that “You are not your thoughts”. It means that often your thoughts tend to weave their own narrative that may not reflect the truth or reality. If you don’t realise this you may get caught in its web and find it difficult to free yourself.

Purpose of journaling about your thoughts

Writing freely about your thoughts without fear and judgment will allow you to discover more about the nature of thoughts, the content of your thoughts and how your thoughts come and go even if some tend to linger. The awareness of the impermanence of thoughts will be liberating as you see thoughts as just thoughts and nothing more. Your thoughts are not you and they do not in any way reflect “reality”.

In our last blog article, we developed a deeper understanding of our thought process and learnt to embrace and let go of our thoughts in order to achieve a state of calmness and flexibility of mind.

For the next step, follow these 6 tips and start penning down your thoughts into your journal without worry.

6 Tips for Journaling about Your Thoughts Part 2 Infographics

Wrap up the journaling by reflecting on your thought process. What emotions did you feel while writing? What surprised you? What did you discover about your relationship with your thought process? What did you discover about your writing? How did it make you feel overall? You may write your responses to these questions in your journal or blog about it. You may share this piece of writing on your blog or social media or just with your close family and friends. If sharing is not your thing, that is also fine.

For more information on Mindful Journaling, follow our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook and check out our previous Blog Articles.

Till then, now that you’ve learnt about Mindful Journaling, get started and practice! Take short breaks during the day to quieten your mind and write on your favourite Collins Debden journals.Haven’t got your hands on our stylish journals? Here are our recommendations for you!

#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.


Mindfulness Practice on Thoughts (Part 1)

Mindfulness Practice on Thoughts (Part 1)

By now you may have experienced many intrusions while you sit in a quiet space with the intention to meditate. Instead of paying attention to your breath for instance your mind gets hijacked by a thought or a stream of never-ending thoughts. And before long you get embroiled in your thought and the feelings associated with it. Instead of experiencing calmness and peace that comes with watching your breath you may feel agitation and anxiety.  

In this two-part series, you will practice paying attention to your thoughts just as you did paying attention to your breath (refer to Blog Article 1: Staying Calmly Active and Actively Calm) or bodily sensations (refer to Blog Article 7: Mindful Body Scan for Beginners). Like a hospitable host you will treat all your thoughts like your guests. You will treat ALL your thoughts equally and invite them into your guesthouse. You will allow ALL your thoughts into your guesthouse and intentionally engage those like you would your guests in a calm, friendly and detached manner.

With regular practice you will come to realise that your thoughts are not you. YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS. They are like your guests. You will engage them and they will leave no matter how pleasant or unpleasant their company has been. Trying to suppress or reject your thoughts will only cause more anxiety, frustration and problems. It will not result in calmness, insight, clarity and peace.


Purpose of Sitting with Thoughts and Feelings

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn in Full Catastrophe Living,

Treating all your thoughts equally and observing them as such during any sitting meditation, sets the stage for a profound learning experience that many claim is the most valuable thing they get out of their mindfulness training:

The realisation that they are not their thoughts. This discovery means that they can consciously choose to relate (or not) to their thoughts in a variety of ways that were not available to them when they were unaware of this simple fact.

 This realisation will help us to let go of the thoughts and get back to our mindfulness practice to experience and develop qualities such as calmness and flexibility of mind, which will prove useful in facing challenges and stressful situations in our lives.


Sitting with Thoughts and Feelings

 By now you should be familiar with the routine to begin the exercise: sit comfortably for this meditation and relax. Feel free to adjust your clothing and posture till you are ready. When you are ready, drop your gaze and close your eyes gently.

Mindfulness Practice on Thoughts (Part 1)

Once you’ve completed this practice and entered a calm state of mind, the next step of Mindful Journaling is the writing itself! Stay tuned for the next article to find out more about 6 tips on journaling about your body.

#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.


6 Tips for journaling about your body (Part 2)

Tips for journaling about your body

Writing freely about your body without fear and judgment will allow you to come face to face with some of the insecurities you may have eluded all this time out of shame, guilt or any other reason. It will provide you with the opportunity to explore your fears and insecurities you may have about your body and ask questions: What is it I am feeling? Why do I feel the way I do? Where are they coming from? What can I do to have a greater appreciation of my body?

Some of you may discover that you have a healthy relationship with your body without being narcissistic and obsessive about looking like a star all the time. That is also a great finding…

Benefits

When you accept and acknowledge your fears without judgement you’ll find it easier to let go of any insecurities you may have of your body and its appearance. It will eventually lead to you befriending your body with lovingkindness and self-care.

In our last blog article, as a first step we experienced Body Scan Meditation and tuned in to different parts of our body.

In this calm statement on mind, treat yourself and give yourself the space and time to write freely and explore what is embedded within you.

Tips for journaling about your body

Mindful journaling is an act of self-care.  When you accept and acknowledge your body image without judgement you’ll find it easier to let go of any insecurities you may have of your body and its appearance.

Till then, now that you’ve learnt about Mindful Journaling, get started and practise! Take short breaks during the day to quieten your mind and write on your favourite Collins Debden journals. Haven’t got your hands on our stylish journals? Here are our recommendations for you!


#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/

Mindful Body Scan for Beginners (Part 1)

 Mindful Body Scan (Part 1)

What have we experienced thus far in our journey of mindfulness?

In this journey to bring mindfulness into our daily experience, we learnt that mindfulness is awareness and mindfulness is heartfulness. Mindfulness allows us to respond to our environment, others and ourselves with lovingkindness. Paying attention in a purposeful and intentional way moment by moment is an act of self-care and it will make us more alive and appreciative in all that we do. In the mindfulness exercises thus far we may have experienced the calming effects of paying attention to our breath (refer to blog article 1 on Staying Calmly Active) or the replenishing effects of tuning into our surroundings and listening (refer to blog article 3 on Mindfulness Practice with Listening) in an intentional way to sounds far and near.

What is the Body Scan Meditation?

In this article we’ll experience the short version of the Body Scan Meditation. It is an invitation for you to pay attention, in an intentional way, to the different parts of your body that make up the whole: toes, soles of your feet, ankles and so on...

Why do we need to be deeply aware of our bodies?

In our journey to cultivate lovingkindness (refer to blog article 5 on Mindfulness Practice with Lovingkindness) to ourselves, we need to cultivate a deep awareness of the solidity our bodies provide us with. Much of the time our bodies raise deep seated insecurities as we have a tendency to constantly compare ourselves to picture perfect models and standards of beauty dictated by the external world.

Purpose of the Body Scan Meditation

In Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes:

When we put energy into actually experiencing our body and we refuse

to get caught up in the overlay of judgmental thinking about it…we get

more in touch with how wonderful it is to have a body in the first place,

no matter what it looks or feels like…the way to do this is to tune in to your

body and be mindful of it without judging it.

We will feel a sense of wonder…even if some other parts of the body may be giving us trouble or not functioning at its optimum level. The body scan meditation is also an effective way of developing both concentration and flexibility of attention simultaneously as you focus on the different parts of your body before looking at your body as whole.

In this two part exercise, we will start with a short body scan introductory meditation that invites you to scan just the left and right legs, before proceeding with the act of writing itself. 

By now you should be familiar with the routine to begin meditating: sit comfortably or lie on your back for this meditation and relax. When you are ready, drop your gaze and close your eyes gently.

Mindful Body Scan Infographic

 Mindful journaling is an act of self-care. In many ways it helps you to explore and discover more about yourself, your relationship with others and the environment you live in.

In the next part, proceed with the journaling exercise and discover more about your attitude towards your body, your sense of body image and your relationship with your body.

Once you’ve entered this calm state of mind, the next step of Mindful Journaling is the writing itself! Stay tuned for the next blog article to find out more about 6 tips on journaling about your body.


#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/



6 Tips for Lovingkindness Mindful Journaling (Part 2)

 Tips for Lovingkindness Part 2

Mindful Journaling is a powerful way to get in touch with your emotions at a deeper level. It will help you to discover more about yourself and your relationship with others and the universe. When you accept and acknowledge yourself without judgement you’ll find it easier to let go of any negative emotions you may have of yourself or others.

In our last blog article, we developed a deeper understanding of mindfulness and shared about practicing lovingkindness through mindful journaling. As a first step, we tuned in to our bodies, thoughts and emotions in a lovingkindness meditation.

Once again, in this calm state, follow these 6 tips and start penning down your thoughts into your journal without worry.

6 Tips for Lovingkindness  

For more information on how Mindful Journaling can help us during these uncertain times, follow our social media accunts on Instagram and Facebook and stay tuned to the latest instalment of our Blog Articles.

Till then, now that you’ve learnt about Mindful Journaling, get started and practice! Take short breaks during the day to quieten your mind and write on your favourite Collins Debden journals. Haven’t got your hands on our stylish journals? Here are our recommendations for you!

#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.

Mindfulness Practice with Lovingkindness (Part 1)

Tips for Lovingkindness Part 1

Mindfulness is awareness. Mindfulness is heartfulness.

In our earlier articles, we introduced the concept of mindfulness and an introduction to mindful journaling, as well as few handy tips to get started with mindful journaling. 

How has the practice of mindfulness and mindful journaling been going for you? Some of you may have had experiences of varying degrees of bliss, transformation, challenges or difficulties yet others may have felt nothing. It is fine to feel nothing. There is no right or wrong answer. Just acknowledge and accept the emotions, the moods or thoughts that surface for you during the mindfulness practice.

If you are yet to embark on this journey of mindfulness, it’s also fine. No one needs to feel they are alone or not good enough. Just try to understand the purpose behind mindfulness and mindful journaling and allow yourself to be curious and have some fun while reaping its benefits.

What are some of its many benefits?

It is a great enabler that will help you to leave behind baggage from the past or pressure that comes from expectations of the future. Just sitting a little longer and observing your breath or sounds and sights that surround you can be empowering. It allows you to draw energy from the moment and help you to move on.

In the end it’s all about cultivating: a sense of awareness, mindfulness and a natural curiosity about your body and surroundings which is what we call heartfulness or the act of love and lovingkindness. 

Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book: Full Catastrophe Living states that the cultivation of mindfulness is in itself a radical act of love and lovingkindness and purposefully cultivating lovingkindness has many rewards:

It can have a remarkable softening effect on the heart. It can help you to be kinder to yourself and to others. It can help you to see all beings as deserving of kindness and compassion, so that even if disputes do arise, your mind can see clearly and your heart does not close down and become lost in self-serving yet ultimately self-destructive negative feeling states.

So, self-care is an act of loving kindness to yourself.

Just as nothing can flow out of an empty cup, a person who is malnourished spiritually cannot give anything of himself or herself to others. 

In our last article, we tuned in to our breathing and sounds far and near. These exercises were an invitation for us to pay attention in an intentional way that would often lead to deep relaxation. It would have helped us center ourselves calmly and respond consciously and with lovingkindness to the world instead of reacting automatically and mindlessly.

In this two-part series, we will practice mindful journaling by tuning in to our bodies, thoughts and emotions in a lovingkindness meditation, before proceeding with the act of writing itself.

What is lovingkindness meditation?

Lovingkindness meditation is a great way to cultivate our natural inclination for love and kindness. It entails sending goodwill messages with kindness and warmth in our hearts towards people we know and don’t know, and even people we dislike by silently repeating a series of phrases with emotion.

By now you should be familiar with the routine to begin meditating: the first step is to sit comfortably and relax. Find a comfortable position to sit down. Sit upright and make adjustments to your body or clothing if necessary. Prepare to receive this gift of ‘lovingkindness meditation’ to yourself. When you are ready, drop your gaze and close your eyes gently. 

Mindfulness - Lovingkindness

Mindful journaling is an act of loving kindness to yourself. Treat and give yourself the space and time to write freely without judgment. Once you’ve entered this calm state of mind, the next step is the writing itself! Come back for the next article to follow with our 6 tips for Lovingkindness Mindful Journaling!


#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/



6 Tips for Freewriting

Tips for Free-writing

Writing about what you are sensing in this moment in an honest way will help you acknowledge and accept rather than resist and push away those negative thoughts and emotions festering within you. This acceptance is an important first step in easing internal struggles or conflicts. It will help you let go and move on by opening up new opportunities for growth.

In our last blog article, we learned how to harmonise ourselves with our breathing and the sounds around us.

For the next step, prepare yourself for mindful journaling, journal and pen within reach. Tell yourself “I am ready to write, and in order to write I just need to start writing…without expectation and without worry.” This approach to writing is called freewriting or heartwriting. This is an invitation to go on an adventure to discover what is embedded deep within you.

Give yourself permission to write without worry. Here are 6 tips to start you on your journey.

6 Tips for Free-writing

Writing is a powerful tool to slow down, check in with yourself and deepen your mindfulness practice.

Till then, now that you’ve learnt about Mindful Journaling, get started and practice! Take short breaks during the day to quieten your mind and write on your favourite Collins Debden journals. Haven’t got your hands on our stylish journals? Here are our recommendations for you!

 #JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/


Mindfulness Practice with Listening (Part 1)

Collins' Mindful Practice of Listening

Mindfulness is awareness.

When you walk the path of awareness, you are bringing a systematic consciousness to the experience of living that only makes living more vibrant, more real. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living  

Being fully aware is a powerful response, that can open up new opportunities for growth as you learn to use the wisdom of your body and mind to face your stress, pain and even illness.

 

How do we bring mindfulness into our daily lives?

There are numerous strategies for bringing mindfulness into our daily lives such that we are not just reacting mindlessly to the external world but moving inwards to tap the resources within us.

You can tune in to your breathing…You can tune in to your standing, walking, listening, speaking, eating and working…You can tune in to your thoughts, moods or emotions…You can tune in to your bodily sensations like the air on your skin or the sounds of nature, light, color, form or movement…

In our last session, we tuned in to our breathing. The exercise was an invitation for us to pay attention to the flow of our breath as we inhale and exhale and to notice how it made us feel. Paying attention in such an intentional way often leads to deep relaxation which will help us center ourselves calmly and respond consciously in the world instead of reacting automatically and mindlessly.

In this article, we will tune in to both our breath (as we did last week) and to sounds far and near in order to bring mindfulness and greater awareness to our living experience.

 Let’s begin by sitting comfortably and firstly concentrate on our breathing and then focus our concentration on the sounds around us.

Collins' Mindful Practice of Listening

Mindful journaling is a powerful tool that supports freewriting (also known as heart writing). Writing about what you are sensing right now, right here in the quiet of your mind, may excavate deep seated emotional themes and barriers. Come back for our next article to learn some positive techniques on freewriting.

 #JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/



Getting Started: 6 Tips on Mindful Journaling (Part 2)

Collins' Mindful Journaling Header 

With widespread lockdowns and new work-from-home arrangements, some might find difficulty adjusting to new schedules and routines.

Well, it gives us time to have more intimate and meaningful conversations with loved ones, open books we have always wanted to read, try different forms of exercises like Yoga and Pilates, or even meditate and take the journey into ourselves. And we could also write.

Yes, write!

Pouring your anxieties and sorrows, your fears and worries, and your joys and amusements onto a blank page can be immensely therapeutic. The blank page in your journal can be a non-judgmental friend, a confidante, a buddy, a casual acquaintance or brutally honest critique…it can be anything you want it to be.

It is the home of What Flows from Within…

Though writing or journaling is perceived by some to be challenging, Mindful Journaling can be a pleasurable and effortless experience.

In our previous blog article, we shared about the concept of mindfulness and how one can benefit from mindful journaling amidst the current noise.

 As a first step, in the short mindfulness exercise, we focused on breathing, helping your body become more relaxed yet focused, freeing up spaces in your mind and body, conducive for writing from the heart.

 In this calm state, follow this set of useful tips and start penning down your thoughts into your journal.

Collins' Mindful Journaling

With these 6 handy tips, you may want to develop the writing further and jot down your reflections. Share this piece of journaling with a family member or friend. Post it on your blog or social media and tag us @collinsdebdenaus #JournalwithCollins.

Or keep it all between you and the journal.

For more information on how Mindful Journaling can help you during these uncertain times, follow our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook (@collinsdebdenaus) and stay tuned to the latest instalment of our blog articles.

Till then, now that you’ve learnt about Mindful Journaling, get started and practice! Take short breaks during the day to quieten your mind and write on your favourite Collins Debden journals.

Haven’t got your hands on our stylish journals? Here are our recommendations for you!

#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/




Staying Calmly Active and Actively Calm: Introduction to Mindfulness (Part 1)

Mindfulness Exercise

As we navigate these uncertain times, we are surrounded by unfortunate news whilst adapting to a new life of social distancing, self-isolation, quarantines, working from home and home-based learning. In such a scenario, it’s vital that we remain ‘Calmly Active and Actively Calm’. A quiet mind in the midst of incessant chatter is what we should be aiming for. But how do we attain such a state of calm?

Embracing our vulnerability

Firstly, we need to acknowledge that the feeling of fear, anxiety or worry is normal, and we are not alone! It is not in any way a sign of weakness. If at all, it’s a sign of strength. It’s a sign that the body, mind and soul are awakening to a new reality that recognises the preciousness of life. You want to live!

Acknowledge the emotion that you feel and say to yourself, “It’s fine to feel whatever I am feeling at this moment.” Embrace your vulnerability and let it go.

Practicing mindfulness and maintaining a positive frame of mind

Looking on the bright side, this pandemic gives us a much needed opportunity to pause, take stock and spend time on ourselves.  

As we adapt to our new schedules and routines, it is essential to maintain healthy habits and a positive mind-set to take on the new challenges. In other words, mindfulness.

 Mindfulness is what arises when you pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, and as if your life depended on it. And what arises is nothing other than awareness itself.

                                   Mind Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D

While Mindfulness is an innate ability, it can also be cultivated through various techniques such as yoga, meditation and Mindful Journaling.

What is Mindful Journaling and how can it help?

Mindful Journaling is a process which takes you through a short mindfulness exercise before you write. Sensory-based Mindful Journaling sessions that include visualisation exercises are a great way to take you away from all the noise, quieten your inner critique and unlock your latent creativity.

In this two-part series, you will learn to listen to your own voice. You will be guided through a visualization process to bring out what’s within you in this series of articles. You will start writing spontaneously without a care about correctness. You will write from your heart. And be surprised by what you discover.

 As a first step, find yourself a quiet spot in your home with a journal and pen within reach. Begin with the short mindfulness exercise as follows.

Once you’ve entered this calm state of mind, the next step of Mindful Journaling is the writing itself! Stay tune for the next article.

#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/


COLLINS CELEBRATES A BICENTENNIAL OF DIARY MAKING

 

5th June 2019 | Collins celebrates a bicentennial of diary making with its 200th Anniversary this year!

A brand steeped in Scottish heritage, and a rich history dating back to its humble beginnings in 1819 when founder William Collins set up his first printing press in the Candleriggs street of Glasgow, Scotland. Collins has since grown over the centuries to become a global stationery and lifestyle brand, touching lives across the globe with quality stationery that is a conduit for self-expression and authenticity.

Throughout the years, Collins has relentlessly pushed the boundaries of design and innovation by continually evolving and exploring new and creative ways to meet consumers’ needs. As a passionate stationery maker renowned for its quality, Collins not only creates fundamental tools, from diaries to notebooks, journals and other stationery, the brand also offers consumers in a wide variety of cover material, design and layout to cater to all lifestyle preferences.

Commenting on the milestone, Ms Connie Chan, Executive Chairlady and Chief Executive Officer said: “Looking back on our first 200 years, our passion has never wavered and we’ve been steadfast in creating quality stationery for authentic self-expressions. We have designed numerous organisational tools that improve the daily lives of our customers, and encourage them to let their creativity flow. As we write a new chapter for the next two centuries, we’ll continue to evolve to suit consumers’ preferences and attitudes while always staying true to our Scottish roots.

Be it a diary, notebook or desk planner, every Collins product inspires self-expression and is delightfully pragmatic. After all, Collins is the conduit of what flows from within.”

With presence across the world, in the UK, Australia, Singapore, Japan and more, Collins aims to introduce its quality stationeries and lifestyle products to more consumers, and expand further in Asia, Europe and Australasia.

In celebration of this special milestone, Collins Debden Australia is running a Lucky Draw https://collinsdebden.com.au/200years, with the chance for four lucky winners to win a $200 E-Gift Card every month to spend on any Collins Debden products. Collins is also commemorating its 200th Anniversary with a limited edition of an A5 week to view diary later in the year.

 

Romance Her Heart This Valentine’s Day with Collins Debden

24 January 2019 | Romance her heart this Valentine’s Day with a heartfelt declaration of love, effusively penned on a diary or notebook from Collins Debden, the passionate stationery maker renowned for quality. Made with smooth premium paper deftly bound into stylish covers, every page represents the promise of new stories yet untold; a precious canvas to plan and pen your everyday experiences. In exuberant bursts of hues and sophistication, a Collins Debden is the ultimate gift for your special valentine.

Metropolitan Sydney Diary & Notebook

Taking cues from the sleek metropolitan cityscape of Sydney, the Sydney range of notebooks and diaries is crafted for the modern urbanite in mind. Made with 70gsm cream Japanese Kinmari premium paper, the 192-page diary will make the perfect safe haven for your aspirations and deepest thoughts.

A new release, Sydney features a bonded leather cover, in tactile touch, in a handy B6 size. Designed with a Vertical week to view with appointment layout, to ensure your day is perfectly organized. 

Metropolitan Sydney Tan  Metropolitan Sydney Charcoal

 

Metropolitan Glasgow Diary & Notebook

Inspired by the romantic art nouveau city, Glasgow is crafted for the energetic urbanite in mind. Made with 70gsm cream Japanese Kinmari premium paper, the 192-page diary will make the perfect safe haven for your aspirations and deepest thoughts.

Now available in three colours: navy, grey and turquoise; in a handy B6 size, week to view layout. 

Metropolitan Glasgow Teal Metropolitan Glasgow Grey Metropolitan Glasgow Navy

 

Edge Notebook

Add a blend of style and fun to your daily schedule! Exuding a touch of whimsical, this sophisticated smooth leather-look notebook boasts a unique rainbow edging feature.

A new release, the Edge Rainbow notebook is available in black, deep grey, indigo, pink and yellow, in A5 size. 

Edge Notebook Edge Notebook Pink

Dazzle Notebook

Exclusively available for this season, Dazzle is sure to dazzle and mesmerize and add that ‘oomph’ factor to your notebook collection. It features an intricate embossed cut flush cover in two luxurious colours pink and copper.

Available in A5 slim size, on ruled or dotted page layout.

Dazzle Pink Dazzle Copper

Celebrate the season of love with a gift of romance, and treat your special valentine to a quality diary and notebook from Collins Debden!