By Ellen Sinclair -
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week last month, Lotty Roberts, a Mindfulness Teacher, Breathwork Instructor and Emotional Culture Specialist, ran a seven-day meditation challenge, entitled ‘Kind Mind’, with donations going towards The Mental Health Foundation through The Good Registry.
Prior to setting up her business ‘Mind U’ three years ago, Lotty spent 20 years as a leader in the corporate world, helping people to successfully navigate change, challenge and uncertainty.
Eleven years ago, Lotty discovered mindfulness as a way to navigate her own personal challenges - an autoimmune condition, double hip replacement, ongoing stress and corporate burnout - all of which really negatively impacted her mental health.
“I learnt how important it is to hold myself tenderly, to really look after myself and to develop a kind mind,” she says, “because I realised a lot of my suffering was all about what went on in my mind, which really wasn’t a kind place to be.”
“I never wanted to show my struggles in terms of my mental health challenges. I didn't want to show that vulnerability, and that meant I was never really showing up as myself.”
Through her own personal journey with mindfulness combined with her experience in leadership and change, Lotty saw an opportunity to bring the practice to workplaces, leadership and the community in a way that people could resonate and connect to in the context of their daily lives and commitments.
Lotty now runs workplace workshops and courses, delivers presentations and talks, and regularly holds retreats and mindfulness courses with the intention of helping others be kinder to themselves and their mind.
“My whole driver is to help support people in terms of cultivating a kind mind, learning how to be kinder with each other and navigating this very hard world that we’re in at the moment so that people can mindfully flourish from the inside out.”
For Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Lotty wanted to do something “hands-on” that could help people through lockdown.
“We have a Covid pandemic, but also we have a pandemic when it comes to mental health and burnout. It’s everywhere. I think it’s a sign of being human in this world at the moment.”
Lotty ran the seven-day challenge as a free programme with the option to donate to The Mental Health Foundation through The Good Registry, and raised $1065.
She arranged the strategically themed days across the topics of ‘the power of pause’, ‘the wisdom of the body’, ‘embracing feelings and emotions’, ‘tender discipline’, ‘self compassion’, ‘the importance of gratitude’, and the ‘power of intention’. Each day consisted of a 30-minute session, including a talk, a meditation, and then Lotty giving participants some “beautiful questions” as prompts to think and reflect on.
“The poet David Whyte came up with the term ‘beautiful questions’, and I love this term. These questions might not have the answer when you ask them initially, but they create an undercurrent of thought that makes you become more intentional and really consider what’s underneath the way you show up and feel in your life,” she says.
“They’re questions that really are so important to ask because they set off a kind of ripple that brings about self awareness and reflection on what’s truly important to us - a foundation for a life lived well.”
Lotty says the success of her challenge has motivated her to run similar programmes or challenges in future, including a ‘KIND MIND for leaders’.
“I’ve been blown away by the amazing feedback and stories about what insights and ‘a-ha’ moments people had during just seven days of doing the challenge, and it’s motivated them to want to meditate and practice mindfulness more regularly, as they can see the benefit it provides,” she says.
“My purpose is to help people to flourish from the inside out through the practice of mindfulness,” Lotty says.
“Part of the human experience is that we will suffer at some point, but we can make our suffering so much messier and more painful than it needs to be due to what happens in our mind, what we say to ourselves and the habits and behaviours that come as a result.
“It doesn’t have to be that way, and by cultivating a kind mind through the practice of mindfulness, it can really help shift our life and experience of life for the better.”
Lotty is reachable through her website, MIND U.