We are pleased to introduce our mindfulness Brand Warrior Neil Seligman. Neil has many guises: a mindfulness expert; Founder of ‘The Conscious Professional’, a consultancy offering a mindful approach to corporate life; author of ‘100 Mindfulness Meditations’; and Soul Portrait Artist. We are super happy to have him on board as a Warrior Addict Brand Warrior and a regular contributor to our newsletter, the Warrior Addict Post. Here is Neil's story:
How were you first introduced to mindfulness and why did it become such a big part of your life?
As a student I was wandering through a book shop and picked up a book called Teach Yourself Meditation. I was instantly hooked and started learning as much as I could about the esoteric side of life. I also bought Teach Yourself Yoga and started practicing in my bedroom. I guess I was just curious about human potential and energy and my curiosity is still alive and well today.
What is ‘The Conscious Professional’?
The Conscious Professional is a business I founded in 2012. Our mission is to partner with individuals and companies to help transform corporate consciousness and create compassionate workplaces. The vision is: Conscious Businesses and Enlightened Executives!
Your luxury mindfulness retreats sound absolutely amazing – what can people expect if they go on one?
The retreat is held at Champneys Forest Mere where I teach five mindfulness classes over three days in a beautiful studio overlooking an amazing lake. The food and accommodation are great and it is a cool way to meet other like-minded people. I gear the sessions to all levels so it is suitable for beginners and those with experience.
What was your inspiration for writing 100 mindful meditations? Would you recommend this book to beginners?
Strangely enough I was leafing through a beautiful recipe book called Genius Recipes when inspiration struck. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if there was a book that described mindfulness skills in a really precise, easy-to-follow way. A book that you could leaf through and pick from, in the same way you might choose an exciting new dish for dinner. Initially, the book was going to be called Genius Mindfulness Meditations. It is definitely a great book for beginners and a lot of teachers take practices from it for their own classes.
Do you feel there are specific barriers to men participating in mindfulness? If so, what are they and how can they be overcome?
Mindfulness involves turning towards our vulnerabilities as well as growing skills of compassion, contentedness and awareness. As men are socialised to be tough, they can find it counter-intuitive to make friends with vulnerability. When I teach guys I frame mindfulness as a tool for increasing performance, excellence and inner strength. That somehow seems more appealing.
Is it possible to be frustrated when you first start to practice mindfulness?
Absolutely – the beginning stages of mindfulness involve observing the chattering mind and watching it’s insane acrobatics. This is the stage where most people give up as they think they are doing it wrong. I call this early stage, the mind-bilge wait-out!
What is transformational fine art? Tell us more about your artwork.
My art process seeks to witness subjects in the mindful space between stillness and movement where I am offered a glimpse beyond the surface, to the essence. My technique combines healing, meditation and movement with digital photography. The images that are created are transformational because in this space, what is called forward and witnessed is not the surface but the deeper reaches of soul.
Tell us something that not many people know about Neil Seligman…
As much as I love staying healthy and living the conscious life, I also love a great burger! You’ll sometimes find me face-down at the Byron in Islington
Can you describe a simple mindfulness exercise that would be suitable for beginners?
Wherever you are right now, notice five things around you and invent a reason why you are grateful for each.
Please could you leave us with some Neil Seligman Words of Wisdom for our followers?
Breathing is the foundation of awareness. Whenever you feel the mind or body tightening ask yourself: where is my breath? If it is short or tight, release the tension in the chest first and allow the body and mind to follow. Whatever has happened, when you are breathing consciously, you are better equipped to deal.
To watch Neil's video introduction, click on the image below
If you wish to contact Neil, you can do so via the Conscious Professional website and you can find Neil's fantastic book, 100 Mindful Meditations here and for more information about his fantastic artwork, please visit www.soulportraitstudio.com