Imagine if you could experience everyday life with the same amount of presence you bring to yoga or meditation.
Imagine how you would feel if you could bring that keen awareness to everything, not just the moments spent on the mat.
That’s the promise of ‘Unveiling the New’, a one day women-only workshop on November 6th 2010 facilitated by Pam Harding. She says the workshop is a place where women can experience activity and yet be encouraged to come from a place of ‘no activity’ or ‘stillness’ within.
True meditation is moment by moment awareness – no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, no matter how stressful things. It is not about stopping the mental activity. It’s about ceasing to identify with it. And it’s about the playfulness that arises when we learn to laugh at our mistakes and move on.
The Yoga Lunchbox interviewed Pam to find out more about how she got into moment-by-moment living and facilitating workshops.
1. How did you get into facilitating life-changing workshops like this?
I have been facilitating workshops in the Business Health Education and Community sectors for the past 20 years. These have been interpersonal skill based. At some point during the last 5 years it became very apparent to me that our internal communication was even more powerful than our external communication. On reflection I don’t think I planned to end up here. It just evolved as I responded to what I was passionate about.
For the past 10 years I’ve been graced by the influence of highly evolved and inspiring individuals who have – by their very presence, retreats, DVD’s, books and articles – pulled the rug of illusion from under my feet and ‘rewire’ the way I view life. It’s an ongoing process.
The workshop then kind of downloaded itself in quiet moments and birthed itself when the time was right.
Since the first workshop, each group of participants have played their part in the development of the workshop to how it presents today.
2. You talk about moment-by-moment awareness – what kinds of techniques do you use to help participants experience this?
Moment by moment awareness is about knowing what is true in this moment and what is not true. We need to be able to recognise the ‘patterns’ or ‘programs’ that come into our consciousness via the ‘mind chatter’. Some of the techniques are ways to help people recognise the mind in action and disengage from this.
They are unbelievably simple – Like keys to a door they help you to unlock the identification with the incessant mind chatter and patterns. Other techniques help to maintain awareness.
3. How has using this kind of awareness changed your life?
It has radically changed my life. I feel gratitude for everything and experience abundance. My intuition has grown and I feel a deep connection and reverence for life.
When ever I feel uneasy now, I check out what is going on in my mind. Usually all of the uneasiness is being directly caused by the unconscious mental chat that has been influencing me when I have not paid attention to being here now. It usually has nothing to do with what is real.
I now feel open to what life brings. There is a tender vulnerability in this which is OK.
4. What kind of response do you get from participants by the end of the day?
Some of the best comments have been passed on in telephone conversations following the workshops.
One woman experienced such a radical change that she called two weeks later to say she was now experiencing pure joy and peace instead of uneasiness and mild depression. Her transformation has been the most extreme one so far.
Here are some written quotes from other past participants.
A powerful, insightful and valuable course for personal development and growth.
The confidence and inspiration this has given me is truly wonderful.
I have learnt so much about being present and most of all about being me! Thank you for reminding me to quiet my negative ‘head tapes’- Always a huge challenge!
5. You talk about awareness and acceptance as powerful transformative tools – can you explain this a little more?
We are all a bit like caterpillars that have the life of a butterfly sitting inside of us but we don’t realise it. A transformative tool is one that opens our eyes to the life of the butterfly.
I have spoken of the role of awareness in question 2 so I will focus here on acceptance.
Acceptance is when we offer no resistance to whatever life presents. This doesn’t mean you accept abuse etc. It means you realise what is happening, without reacting from a personal perspective, then take positive action to dissolve the situation. In the case of abuse this would include keeping yourself safe.
CREATIVE action is always going to get a better result than RE-ACTIVE ways of handling it. Eckhart Tolle has written an excellent book on this called The Power of Now.
During the workshop we engage in activities that enhance awareness and enable us to identify, without judgment, some of the patterns and belief systems we have. Once we have spotted and named them, they lose their power to hook us. This enables the ‘New you’ to unfold.
Awareness and acceptance are powerful transformative tools. How wonderful it is to be OK with whatever is arising without taking it personally. It frees us to be real, passionate, and open to the NEW.
Come along and… ENJOY, EXPERIENCE and EXPLORE
When? Saturday 6th November 2010, 9.30am – 12.30pm 1.30pm-4.30pm.
Where? Logan Park High school staffroom, Dunedin
Who? Pam Harding
How much? $95
To register: Email Pam on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t live in Dunedin and would be keen to attend one of Pam’s workshops, please email her and let her know – she’s happy to travel if there’s enough interest. Workshops are also available for both men and women.