Whilst being busy is now a given for most of us, mindfulness has never been so important. I caught up with Glenda Rivoallan from Club Soulgenic, to discuss how she has harnessed the power of mindfulness, earned a doctorate, opened a gym, kickstarted an online wellness business and written her first best-selling book.
Glenda is renowned in Jersey as a revered speaker and expert in the remit of mindfulness and she’s one of the busiest women we know, so who better to give us the lowdown on calming down and tackling stress?
So, Glenda, what kick started your interest in the power of mindfulness?
I was always interested in how the mind copes with stress, how we become more resilient. I was actually at a BBQ and I met a mindfulness practitioner, Dr Alessio Agostinis. I was chatting to him about my plans to study a Doctorate and how I was fascinated with why some entrepreneurs are more resilient than others. Why some entrepreneurs make it, and some don’t. He began telling me about mindfulness and how it benefits people, and my hunch and interest was born.
From what Alessio told me, I could see the connections between mindfulness and improved resilience. When I then later researched it, it became apparent that although mindfulness books in the mainstream cite that mindfulness improves resilience, it hadn’t been empirically tested until my study.
A lot is said about self-care and mindfulness and the importance for women to take time for themselves; we shouldn’t feel guilty for pressing stop so we can reset and recharge. How important is it for women to invest in themselves?
In my experience women are natural multi-taskers, we tend to take on a lot whether it’s family, work, friends or hobbies. This may seem like a great skill to have but for some people it can result in feeling overwhelmed, struggling to cope and may even result in burnout. Science also tells us that women are more self-critical than their male counterparts. We all have an inbuilt negativity bias where we are wired to look out for and remember bad experiences. We are often our harshest critics - sometimes our own worst saboteurs of our happiness.
For a healthy body and a healthy mind, it’s important that women invest in self-care. I would also argue that learning to control the mind by something such as mindfulness is simply quite liberating. Learning to accept and enjoy the here and now, in a non-judgemental way helps us to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. It’s amazing just how many of us have got to stuck in the past or focused on a future which might never happen at the expense of enjoying every moment for what it is.
What made you decide to undertake such heavy-duty studies and write a book? (Whilst juggling being a kick ass mum, gym owner and online entrepreneur!)
I have always loved writing and since practicing my own mindfulness I have become better at spotting opportunities as and when they present themselves, as I said before learning to live for today is an important mantra that I recommend for anyone who has struggled to find their happy place.
In terms of the book I was looking through LinkedIn and a post came up, “Best-selling book retreat in New York”. It obviously grabbed my attention and I thought I'd just seize the moment, make it happen! It’s how I’ve been living my life since leaving a public sector job, which was the same thing and same routine each and every day. For me now, life is about experiences, enjoying everything I do no matter how small it is and having no regrets. I didn’t want to look back on the book experience and say I should have - the rest is history.
I booked the course, booked the flight and became a best-selling author, beating Ruby Wax (for one day I think) to the top spot!
Can you give us some easy steps to start their journey into mindfulness?
I am a great believer that having a read about what mindfulness is is a good start. It quickly shows you that mindfulness is not as difficult as people first think - it doesn’t involve being in a dark room meditating for hours on end.
Anyone can practice mindfulness and it can be easily integrated into one’s everyday life. Just noticing things more is a great start. That could be being more aware when brushing your teeth, driving to work in the car or when eating a meal. We are often going about our lives in automatic pilot mode where we do things with little thought or focus. Simply turning off the automatic pilot and noticing and experiencing. Becoming more aware of our senses as events unfold is also a great practice to bring mindfulness into your life.
Where’s your favourite place to invest in some ‘you’ time?
For me, ‘me’ time is being at home. I love nothing more than being at the bottom of my garden relaxing and enjoying my own company. I do also love walking my dog. I feel that walking my dog naturally puts me into a mindful state.
It’s important to create these moments throughout the week, as simple as that may seem; the simplest things are key to calmness and essentially, to dealing with the stresses of everyday life.
Glenda’s book, “Mindfulness for Well-being”, can be bought online or at Club Soulgenic. Manner readers, however, can bag themselves a copy by heading over to https://www.mannermagazine.co.uk/competition to enter our give-away competition. Discover optimal living and build your resilience to stress using Glenda’s tried and tested mindfulness practices.