Mindfulness Diploma Course

mindfulnessAs some of you might know, in recent years I’ve started to look differently at things. “Things” is a very general turn of phrase, however, the only suitable other word would be “everything”. I’ve always been a keen advocate for self-development and seeing as I have been self-studying Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation, taking on a mindfulness diploma seemed like a great idea, especially when New Skills Academy got in touch and asked if I would like to take one of their courses (for free) and review the process.

I am currently working on a mindfulness diploma course. I’ll be honest, by now I thought I might be further along in the course (I’m a speed reader with keen research skills) however, the course content is so much more detailed than I expected, and I’m glad of it.

I am six modules into this nine-module course. Once I’ve finished I will receive a certified and recognised certificate, with this particular course being verified and supported by the Complementary Medical Association (CMA) and the IOA. I couldn’t use this course, for example, to earn credits/points towards higher level study however it is a fantastic way to build my knowledge, develop myself and to springboard into a new career/speciality if I wish.

I’ve looked at online courses before. Some are brilliant, some are basic, for want of a better word. This particular course has really worked the grey matter. Not only are the course materials (all online) brilliantly written, there are links to further information that may be of interest and more. The mechanics of the course are simple, with the online portal being very easy to use. You may log on and off as and when you need to, take notes on-screen as you go (I prefer a notebook and have been scribbling away) and there are a number of ways to access support. Having undertaken a number of distance learning courses and qualifications in the past, I’ve always come away more knowledgeable than I was to start with and have been able to use the course matter in my work (I’m a freelance copywriter) and personally. With this course, I’m taking away so much more.

I’ve been privately studying mindfulness for some time, am working on my own mindfulness and use meditation daily (I’m getting better at it with practice). Six modules in and I’ve a thirst for more and am sure that once I’ve completed this course, and hopefully passed it, that I will be ready to learn more (once I’ve “unpacked” all that I’ve learned so far).

New Skills Academy are new to me and I will be honest, when I hit the first page of my dashboard I thought “Oh my days, this looks really basic”, and I was partially right. The simplicity of the site and the navigation is very user-friendly, which makes getting on with the task at hand very easy. The course materials are equally user-friendly but anything but lacklustre.

Would I do another New Skills Academy course after this one? If the right course was available, based on how much I have enjoyed this course, how highly I rate the content and how easy it has been to navigate, yes, I would.

Once you grow up and leave full-time education, often the onus to continue your learning falls solely on you. What I love about online courses such as these is that you have complete control over what you learn, when you learn, how you learn and what you’ll use that learning for. For me, this course is less about professional development, although, between this and my own experience, I am well qualified to write about mindfulness as part of my professional work, and more about expanding my own knowledge and understanding of mindfulness. The aim for me of this particular course is to broaden my mind, to learn and to put that learning to good use. Many use mindfulness to help with anxiety, stress or other issues and it can work well as a standalone tool or together with additional aid from somewhere such as BetterHelp.com.

Have a look at the course available. Is there something that you like the look of?

mindfulness, Nicki Cawood

Sales Shopping For Grumpy Clothes Shoppers (Like Me)

Nicki CawoodI’m a keen fan of sales shopping because sales shopping is all about finding items you want or need, without much effort and without parting with too much money. More on this in a minute.

Over the summer we moved to a new house. We only moved down the street but this house (as much as I loved the other one) is quite frankly bigger and better. As expected moving to a new house came with a long list of very necessary purchases. We needed a new bin for the kitchen. We needed curtains. Bathroom storage was something I needed to think about (we’ve a bigger bathroom but nowhere to put the towels) and then there were all the little expenses that seems to add up. The new doormat, a clock for the kitchen, new cutlery and so on.
We also got new sofas for the lounge. That was an adventure as we had to get a window company out to remove the bay window glass to get the damn things in as I hadn’t measured the hall properly. The less said about that decision the better I think.

I love my new house, but I have to say, you can only get so excited about new placemats for the dining room.

Sales Shopping
Photo by Artificial Photography on Unsplash.

I’ve posted about Love The Sales before and continue to be quite the fan. Now that I’ve well and truly scratched my homewares shopping itch, my sales shopping attention is now pointed elsewhere. It’s pointed at me.

Yes, I know, I hate shopping for me. Or at least I say I do. The thing is, I’m not very good at shopping for myself. Need new nets for your lounge? I can find you a bargain, measure up and locate a piece of great quality net curtain that will transform your window with no problem. When it comes to treating myself however, I’m not great. I don’t like physically shopping, I just don’t, and I find spending money on myself difficult, much to my husband’s frustration (he wants me to treat myself but I tend to look for something for me and then buy new storage for Taylor’s room, a book for Roy or a treat for everyone else but myself).

I can’t escape the fact however that the seasons are turning, and my wardrobe is looking somewhat shabby to say the least. I really do need some new items and to be honest, I probably should spend a little more on myself. Maybe it’s the Irish in me, maybe it’s the Yorkshire but I find parting with money (for my own benefit) difficult so I’ve come to a compromise with myself. I’m going to buy myself a few nice new items but only if that involves sales shopping and avoiding changing rooms with their all-too-honest mirrors and ridiculously bright lighting!

Now that I’ve (sort of) made peace with myself about needing to buy a few key items for my winter wardrobe and parting with some pennies, I’ve actually enjoyed having a good browse. I’m definitely going to be treating myself to some new jeans from the Dorothy Perkins LoveTheSales offers. I know jeans don’t seem like a very swish or sexy purchase but I live in jeans so a really nice pair makes all the difference to how I feel about myself and the rest of an outfit. I find DP Jeans to be a decent fit if you’ve got plus-sized bottom and short legs. They’re also made of decent quality denim which make life easier as they last longer.

I’m also going to try and find a few tops that are a bit more…feminine. Believe it or not, under these saggy jumpers and my collection of identical ¾ sleeve tops (I have the exact same top in 4 colours that I wear constantly) hides a woman. A women with curves! I’m considering letting her out from time to time and maybe even adding a splash of colour to break up all of the grey, black and dark brown. Don’t faint. There is a limit to how girly I can go in one leap but I have to say that there are some fab tops at Laura Ashley which I could actually cope with, especially with new jeans!  

You know what, the more I consider sales shopping and dive in and out of online stores I wouldn’t think to consider otherwise, the more I’m enjoying the experience. Not only have I found some brilliant bargains with very little effort, there’s not be one smelly changing room in sight.

What about you? Are you a sales shopping fan or are you less strict about spending money on yourself than I am? Why I find it so hard I’ll never know, but at least I’ve found a relatively low stress and budget friendly way to buy quality items without too much angst. I’m not promising that I’ll not grumble a little during the process though……