As of today Light Touch Mindfulness will no longer be offering courses or looking for customers.
How did I come to this decision?
I realised that my business wasn’t working; I could make it work, but to do this would mean I had to give it far more time and attention. And I decided to place my time and attention elsewhere.
An ample sufficiency
I’ve offered a few courses and only one has had enough uptake to be viable. That’s OK. Speaking to other mindfulness teachers I was told there was a ‘glut’ of mindfulness courses in the cities, most of them perfectly good. I’d prefer to call it an ‘ample sufficiency’, to use a Victorian term. It’s not impossible to win people’s interest, and their willingness to come, but it takes far more effort than I had previously put into it. Effort to become known, to become trusted and to become unique. The mentors I spoke to agreed I could do it, but there was a conflict.
Something has to give
I already have an elearning consultancy which provides my income. That of course takes time and effort. And there’s my music. Driving home one evening I was struck by the difference between the amount of time I spend thinking about my music and the amount of time I spend actually working on it. It’s fair to say it occupies the centre ground of my attention most of the time. But I found I was spending no more than an hour or so a week actually creating or promoting it. What do I want most in my life in the next five years? I want my music to find its audience, an audience I firmly believe is out there. I can’t do that without giving it time and attention. I’ve been trying for a year to split my efforts three ways – building my audience, building my mindfulness clientele and building my elearning customer base. It hasn’t worked, and something has to give.
This whole mindfulness thing
I’m interested, and often dismayed, by the mindfulness ‘phenomenon’ – while it’s great that some of these ideas are reaching people who can be helped by them, there’s such a mixed-up mass of contradiction in the mindfulness world between the secularists and the Buddhists, the meditators and the non-meditators, the scientists and the hippies, that it appears at times to be drowning in smug platitudes on one hand and eagerly-brandished MRI scans offering no help to people’s daily lives. I met a teacher in Dundee who takes mindfulness out to the poorest areas of the city “to the people who’re really suffering”, free of charge; he said he was unaware of anyone else doing this. (Headroom)
So where does this leave me? I’m drawing a line under my efforts to offer and promote courses. Here it is.
Freelance as in ‘free’
I’m still a mindfulness and meditation teacher, with that skill set, and I’m available for anyone’s project that might want that input – whether in the arts or charity or business or whatever. Within reason, I would be happy to offer my services free.
Mindfulness and meditation are a huge part of who I am, and I’ll continue to read and think about them. If I have something useful to say I’ll say it here. So this site will stay up as long as it may be helpful to someone. I’ll also bring the subject into my music site and maybe even my elearning site. My Mindfulness for Creativity Online course is still a possibility but I won’t be developing it immediately. My free email course Mindfulness Without Meditation will still be available, because it’s free.
I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to my becoming a mindfulness teacher – my Zen teachers throught my life, Jeannie MacKenzie of Everyday Mindfulness Scotland, Suryacitta Malcolm Smith of Mindfulness CIC, Danny Penman, Mark Leonard, brand designer Col Gray and the Content Marketing Academy and of course the excellent students who attended my courses.