Mindful in May – Pause for a Cause – meditating and contributing simultaneously – how clever …
WonderWomen is thrilled to be able to let you know about this fantastic initiative founded by Dr Elise Bialylew.
Elise is a medical doctor and wellness innovator, who has combined her passion for community, with her professional expertise in the field of psychiatry, coaching and mindfulness to create Mindful in May. She is a student and facilitator of mindfulness meditation, having attended retreats and seminars with leading national and international teachers in the field, including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Alan Wallace, Ekhart Tolle, and Gregory Kramer. She is passionate about using technology and social media to create conscious communities that can collectively make positive change in the world. She brings creativity, curiosity and mindfulness to her work as a coach and therapist, supporting people to discover more freedom and possibility in their lives.
So what is Mindful in May?
Mindful in May is a one month mindfulness meditation campaign starting on May 1st that challenges people to develop more awareness, appreciation and clarity in everyday life, while at the same time contributing to a significant global cause.
Mindfulness, the capacity to meet our experience with awareness and wisdom, is something that can be learned through meditation and by tuning in to our senses and learning to be aware of what we are doing, as we are doing it.
Although meditation might look like a whole lot of nothing, being mindful is a very challenging task in such a distractable world and the benefits aren’t necessarily instant. So I thought it would be powerful to connect the idea of practising for one’s own benefit, with the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of others less fortunate.
Meditation is sometimes considered to be a very internal, self focussed practice when in fact my learning has revealed it to be a very generous practice. It helps us get past our own self focussed thinking and worries, better focus our attention and return to a more content, clear and compassionate state. The natural ripple effect is more creativity and a greater tendency to extend ourselves to others.
In the developed world, most of us have our material and survival needs met, but it’s our minds that cause so much of our suffering. In the developing world, it’s something as basic as water, that causes so much suffering for people. So Mindful in May addresses both of these issues by offering people a way to learn how to train their attention, strengthen awareness and become masters rather than slaves to our minds, whilst helping to improve the lives of thousands of people living in the world without access to clean, safe drinking water.
Accessing clean water is not something we usually think of as a luxury, but for one in six people on the planet, it is a daily struggle. I witnessed the issues related to water in the developing world when I travelled to West Africa many years ago. The poverty there had a huge impact on me and I was left feeling it would be so meaningful to help in some way. I remember watching in disbelief as women walked barefoot along cliffs for miles balancing litres of water on their heads, only to do it all again the next day. Contaminated water is one of the leading cause of disease and death in the developing world and it wasn’t uncommon to see posters pinned up on public walls with photos of children who had died from various water borne diseases. It really connected me to the reality of the statistics you read, that can so easily brush over you.
Mindful in May is a challenge which creates a clear mind for you and clean water for others.
Some statistics about water:
- Over 1 million children are killed every year from diarrhoea through dehydration and malnutrition.
- Every 20 seconds one child dies from a disease caused by lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
- 4 million people die every year from water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases.
- In the past 10 years, the number of children killed by diarrhoea exceeded the total number of people lost to armed conflict since World War II.
- In just one day, 200 million work hours are consumed by women collecting water for their families, which is equivalent to building 28 Empire State Buildings each day.
Taking a pause is a radical act in this fast paced world. If you’ve had meditation on your list of things to do and would like to make a difference in the world at the same time, Mindful in May makes learning meditation easy and meaningful. It’s a one-month online meditation campaign delivered to your inbox daily in May to motivate you to bring a healthy mindful habit into your day. The campaign includes meditation downloads, interviews with experts and cutting edge science to keep you connected to your challenge. While you learn to meditate and be mindful, your donation and fundraising will ripple across the world and help bring clean, safe drinking water to thousands of people living in the developing world.
So how can you participate in Mindful in May?
- Register for Mindful in May here before May 1.
- Follow Mindful in May on Facebook and twitter
- Tell your friends and family
- Click on this and read to learn more: