Practising mindfulness and compassion has had a huge effect on my life. Like many others I juggle work with a family and other responsibilities and was often overwhelmed by all the things that needed to be done. I have seen the benefits for myself – reduced stress, being able to respond and not react in difficult situations, truly appreciating things in the moment, developing compassion for myself and others, developing an overall sense of peace, calm and wellbeing as well as many other numerous benefits. Because of these I am not only motivated to continue practising myself, but also wanted to share this with others. I have been an accredited Breathworks mindfulness teacher for several years now (www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk) and offer their courses in Mindfulness for Stress and Mindfulness for Health to groups and individuals.
“Every moment, every glance, every thought, and every word can be infused with love.”
I came to coaching through studying for a course in counselling skills and then a great deal of subsequent self-development. I soon realised that we don’t need to wait until people are in distress and need therapeutic interventions, but that we can actively prevent a lot of distress from happening in our lives by increased self-awareness. Coaching creates the space for us to be listened to and be heard, to help us find our own solutions so we can move from where we are now to where we want to be. Life is complex and demanding and we often forget about the things that keep us positive, motivated and excited – these are often sacrificed for the day to day grind of meeting other people’s expectations and getting things done. Coaching for me helps redress the balance and puts our own needs and wants higher up the agenda.
Through further study in mindfulness, coaching and mentoring, I have incorporated this learning into my professional and personal life. I continue to work part time in academia doing research in health sciences, personal tutoring and mentoring. I have also used these skills to create the right work/life balance for me which led to me setting up my own business sharing mindfulness and coaching skills and working as an academic on a freelance basis.
Qualifications and Training:
Karen Rees BSc, MSc, PhD
- Counselling Skills (Certificate, University of Warwick)
- Coaching and Mentoring (Certificate, University of Warwick)
- Coaching (Diploma, University of Warwick)
- Accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher (www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk)
- Trained to deliver “Mindfulness: A Practical Path of Finding Peace in a Frantic World” course (Oxford Mindfulness Centre)
Breathworks is a participating member of the British Association for Mindfulness Based Approaches (BAMBA) which sets standards for mindfulness based teaching. I adhere to their good practice guidelines for teachers and am listed on their website having demonstrated that I adhere to these guidelines by an assessment process https://bamba.org.uk.
My eyes have been opened to how quickly I have been carried along with life’s events never giving me time to step back and assess. Now I take time to enjoy and appreciate my family and surroundings, dealing with things in a much calmer way. Karen oozes calmness and understanding, you can hear the joy in her voice when she talks of mindfulness and her joy and belief in it is very infectious. A perfect teacher ☺
I learnt that it’s OK to slow down! Slowing down and stopping to reflect is a wise use of my time in the long run. Karen is a wonderful role model of how mindfulness can enable you “to be”. She is very warm, friendly and understanding.
The eight week course helped me to realise, understand and put into practice the different ways of being mindful in daily life. From body scans, mindful breathing to mindful movement – these and many more methods will be very very useful to me in developing my own mindfulness practice.
Karen was a brilliant teacher – she explained the course clearly and was approachable if I didn’t understand certain points. She delivered the course in a very friendly, jovial way – she was very informative and helpful.
Knowing that I’m not alone and now having a toolkit for my own and my families happiness is what I got from the course. Karen was a really great teacher, very engaging and knowledgeable in mindfulness.
Meeting with Karen has enabled me to take time out to reorganise my life – prioritising, helping me to think through decisions and get things in order. It has certainly helped me to stress less and focus more. Karen is a natural listener and is a calming influence. She has some great methods and ideas for helping to de-stress and make decisions.
I have become more aware of everything I do or not do, my environment and others. It has empowered me through meditation, body scan and breathing in particular. Karen has got the perfect voice for the meditation exercises. She is very kind, sincere and just a beautiful person. Perfect for this course.
Before we heard about this course we had read a book about mindfulness, but couldn’t seem to find the time to try out any of the techniques. This course was just what we needed to begin. We feel it has introduced us to valuable theories and tools to cope better with stressful situations and get more out of life. Karen was very adept at delivering the course in an engaging way. Her relaxed teaching style suited us very well. This was a very personal experience and Karen definitely got the best out of us!
The course has been a life saver and has given me a life without ruminating, controlling. There has been a profound change. Karen was the best teacher.
I have participated in Mindfulness Meditation practice for some years, however I felt that I wanted to invest time to further develop this. Having read around various options, I decided that a Breathworks course would best meet my needs, especially as I wanted a course that had a strong focus on ‘Compassion and Kindness’. The course has assisted me to really reflect on authentic practice and also to refresh my existing practice, whilst offering an opportunity to try out new and varied meditations.
Karen was very knowledgeable, informative and organised and really effective in working out how I could get the full potential from the course. Karen gave additional information and touched base with me via email on the weeks between attending each session, providing encouragement and helpful tips. Ultimately Karen was very approachable and authentic. Many thanks for a very positive experience.
I now have an understanding that mindfulness is not about meditation as relaxation and drifting and wafting, instead a state of presence and being. I now have a selection of tools to help develop and practice mindfulness and choice to use what works best for me. The course has been an opportunity to consider my current life demands, understand the processes behind them and how mindfulness can help manage them.
Karen is inspirational and passionate in the delivery of the course and very knowledgeable in mindfulness practice. She is great at facilitating useful discussion and debate during sessions.
The course enabled me to identify my own resources for living better, identifying things that prevent my wellbeing. Karen has been a great teacher. She is kind and understands my own position and difficulties. She has been such an inspiring and engaging teacher, and I am so pleased to have found her.
Changed my thinking
I have thoroughly enjoyed the 8 week course and I can honestly say it has changed my thinking. I am far more “aware” of my day to day life and am learning to enjoy “being in the moment”. In a stressful time constrained life we can still make time for small pleasures if we do them mindfully. Karen has been the most wonderful teacher, clear and precise in her teaching with just the right amount of warmth and kindness in her manner. Meditating to her voice was an absolute pleasure!
Passion and belief
The course has given me the permission to give time to myself to relax and pursue the things that sustain me. I’m kinder to myself, notice my thoughts more and interrupt negative self-talk. I feel much calmer, thank you. Karen is a wonderful teacher. Her passion and belief for mindfulness engages you completely. She has the perfect voice for guiding relaxation and meditation. I am already recommending her to friends and colleagues.
Thank you Karen for an incredible 8 week journey into Mindfulness for Stress. Working as a professional with you I now have more wonderful tools in my kit thanks to you and Breathworks. Your meditation manner is wonderful and soothing and you made us all feel so welcome and encouraged. I have a very hectic life and this course has helped me to reevaluate what really matters and focus on the wonder of the present. Thank you.
The course has given me confidence, an ability to step back and assess before diving in – ability to recognise and balance pain against good things/sensations. Pacing skills (although still needs a lot of work), calmness and general slowing down and collecting myself. Thank you. Recognition of learned bad thoughts and reactions – thoughts are not always true. New phrases to help me cope and assess wisely – What is true/good for me at the moment? What do I need to make things better/easier at this time? – bringing myself back to my centre. Permission to be kind to myself and to practice my meditations.
Karen was excellent. Patient, kind, enthusiastic, methodical, with a wonderful presence. She encouraged us, was very knowledgeable and very happy to share resources and her time. She made us feel very comfortable and welcome and was very supportive when things were a bit tough. She couldn’t have done better.
Letting thoughts come and go and accepting difficulties and breathing through them rather than pushing them away is what I learnt from the course. The course was brilliantly communicated by Karen, no judgment and totally accepting and encouraging.
The course has changed how I think and the importance of making time for myself. Thoughts are just thoughts and NOT facts. The teaching was excellent, Karen was really friendly and easy to talk to.
The course has helped me focus on my own wellbeing and how to better manage stress, emotions and negative thoughts in a more considered way. Much of the course resonated with me and how I normally go about life and difficult situations/experiences.
Karen has a relaxed style and approach, the teaching was not rushed but considered and flexible. Karen is enthusiastic and passionate about the benefits of mindfulness but without being forced.
The course has provided me with tools to control and support other interventions I receive for my PTSD. Karen is very patient, supportive and understanding. I am glad I found her as she has made mindfulness a part of my life, it’s now up to me.
It was a great pleasure and help to have worked with Karen as a coach. She was very good at listening to what I had to say and throwing questions back that made me think. This really helped me sort out and understand difficult periods in my life. Thank you so much Karen for your support.
I now have a better understanding of myself – realisation of my present hectic stressful life – I now have tools to deal with it and the confidence to take time for myself. Karen was absolutely lovely. She put us at ease early on and has a warm and welcoming personality and delivers instruction in a casual but instructive way.
Attending this mindfulness course has had a massive positive impact on my life. I feel much more balanced which in turn has made me more capable of dealing with different aspects of my life. I no longer feel overwhelmed as I am able to put what I used to think as insurmountable situations into context and deal with them in a calm way. Karen is a very effective communicator. Karen has a gentle and kind approach and this in itself is calming and radiates peacefulness which is conducive to learning and practicing mindfulness.
It was a very inspirational course, involving both personal and spiritual development. I have learned to slow down and be more aware of my surroundings, to be generally kinder to myself as well as to others and not to react so quickly to events. As a result of meditating most days for 20 minutes or so, combined with Chi Gung practice, I am now sleeping much better instead of being wakeful for 2 hours during the night. I feel so much better. It was so useful to have the CDs and notes to remind me now the course has finished. Karen combined the theory and practice of mindfulness so well, but without being too serious. She has a friendly manner and good sense of humour and a beautiful warm, soft voice for the meditations. I enjoyed the course very much.
Coaching has helped me to step back and analyse my actions and thought processes from an outside perspective. Karen has provided me with various tools and exercises to help me manage stress, identify when my thought processes or behaviour were being detrimental, and to plan my time more effectively. This has ultimately helped me to improve my productivity and wellbeing. Karen provides a supportive and confidential space for me to talk about my life. She is incredibly perceptive, easy to talk to and has made me feel completely relaxed throughout our sessions. I have always left the sessions feeling more motivated and positive which is a reflection of the enthusiasm she brings to each session.
The course has changed in an excellent and meaningful way how I manage my life. Karen’s teaching was absolutely brilliant!!
Get in touch!
If you require more information please email me and I will contact you as soon as possible.