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Tom came to teaching with one goal in mind – to be an inspiration. He continues this mission by providing workshops for students and teachers in all aspects of learning to learn.


Think it worked

It did...


You are not your mind - if only!!

Tom Barwood

A few years ago I read the amazing book by Eckhart Tolle 'The Power of Now'. The book really resonated with me but the one sentence that really jumped out from the page was 'Remember, you are not your mind'. This was truly a revelation to me as I realised that it was my rather unruly mind that was making a good job of spoiling an otherwise very good life rather than me.

I took on the premises of the Growth Mindset from Matthew Syed's 'Bounce' and believed in my yoga teacher's promise to silence the 'chattering monkey'. I even stuck the Cherokee proverb about the battle of the two wolves on my office wall and started to read 'The Chimp Paradox'.

Despite all that I still found myself caught in a stranglehold of stress especially as I tried to step out of my comfort zone (as all the books told me to) and enroll to train as an inspector. Carrying on in the face of increasing stress (as the books told me to) as the course dragged on I found my hungry mind becoming more of my worst enemy than helpful ally.

This is probably why I was so attracted to Matthew Johnstone's book 'Quiet the Mind'.

Just reading the book is actually quite meditative especially when you look at the pages which talk about the fact that your inner dialogue is often loudest at night. and that as you get increasingly tired so you find it harder and harder to concentrate and eventually it becomes like trying to catch marbles on the deck of a rolling ship. He also mentioned that when you try to focus on text in this state that the words seem to fall off the page. This seemed to happen every time I looked at National Transition Matrices or yet another set of Raise Online Data from an imaginary school in Serco's training room!

The promise of meditation for mindfulness is that it leaves you with the ability to be 'Effortlessly, Effective, Everyday'.

Can you imagine that in teaching?

It is possible but it takes work. 

I have my pre sign off assessment soon. I need to work hard!