Writer-s-Bloc

A life-changing gift

Give Yourself a Gift - smartUBC Mindfulness

By Corinne Crockett

Anxiety, depression and burn-out are familiar words that take on a whole new meaning when you’re the one experiencing them 

I know, because it happened to me. 

A queen at multi-tasking and doing it all, I thought I had it all under control, until I hit the wall and just could not take another step forward. 

I thought I had strong practices to support me in meeting the many challenges of life. 

I thought I was amazingly resilient and strong, until I wasn’t. 

I thought a few weeks off work would help, but my symptoms worsened. I was exhausted, yet could not sleep, and then out of the exhaustion came the anxiety and depression.

My body, so used to functioning on adrenaline, did not know what to do when it wasn’t busy, and so the adrenaline that had been my friend and kept me going through all of busyness, kept firing, causing a sense of anxiety that was always there. 

My brain could not function clearly, and this was terrifying, as I relied heavily on my mind. My confidence started to waver. I grew depressed. It was a mess!

I had strong family and medical support as we tried remedies, therapies, and medications. These took the edge off, but I certainly did not feel like myself. 

I had a long-standing meditation practice and engaged in this and my spiritual practices; I started to improve, but still felt fragile.

Then, I was handed a gift that has changed my life.

The gift was enrolment in the smartUBC Mindfulness Program and it has changed my life for the better. 

A completely secular program, smart is an acronym for stress management and resiliency techniques, and it is doing just that for the many who have taken this program! 

As I sit today, I wonder that I had survived at all without this. I am so moved by my own personal results that I want all of my children, family and friends to experience what I have experienced. 

I feel this program should be incorporated into all schools and businesses (as Google has done) as a simple, yet powerful way of life that is proven to have myriad positive effects.

Life today sees increasing numbers of people experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and a sense of being fatigued, over-whelmed and burned-out.

As a nurse, this alarms me as it seems to be a plague of modern society, with anxiety even being identified among children of today. People often get stuck in an expanding loop of negative thoughts and feelings that can negatively affect our health, our sleep, and quality of life. 

Mindfulness practice is a powerful, yet simple way of life that has proven effective in alleviating myriad challenges, both mental and physical. 

The research into the positive benefits of mindfulness is compelling, causing a ripple in the health and corporate world as the paybacks are both personal and global. The power of doing this in a group setting is exponential. 

Through participation in the smartUBC Mindfulness program, I feel whole, have developed strength and resilience. I have gained a sense of well-being that feels like a welcome back to life as I have never lived it. 

UBC Okanagan has been offering a mindfulness program called smartUBC to their students with good result. The Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna is partnering with UBC Okanagan to offer smartUBC in a secular, eight-week experiential course to the public.

It will be facilitated by UBC Okanagan senior instructor Jeanette Vinek, and hosted by me.

This eight-week secular program will be offered on Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m. at UBC Okanagan, starting May 1. 

The investment is $300, plus $20 for the manual. 

There is a half-day silent retreat on June 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. included in the registration feel. All held on UBCO campus 

Don’t wait as long as I did. Give yourself this powerful gift.

Register On-line at www.cslkelowna.org or call me at 250-868-9090 for more information. 

Corinne Crockett, a staff minister with the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, has a master’s of health sciences in nursing, and is a clinical assistant with UBC Okanagan School of Nursing. 

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