Smiling Mind’s vision is to see Mindfulness Meditation on the Australian Curriculum by 2020.
What was the catalyst for creating Smiling Mind?
For me it was a positive mid life crisis. I was not getting the nourishment and energy I needed from my work in real estate development and hence wanted to find another career. I didn’t leave property but I did change my life so that I now work across multiple enterprises in multiple industries. I had this idea that I wanted to teach my own children meditation but I struggled to find the resources to do it. From seeing this little gap in the market and being very aware of what teaching meditation could do we decided to make Smiling Mind a reality. I teamed up with Janey who I knew via other aspects of my career. I am a big believer in successful entrepreneurs using their skills, relationships and capital to contribute to the world around them too. Smiling Mind is a manifestation of this thinking.
How does Smiling Mind help people better connect with themselves and others?
People become discounted from themselves – they learn to live only in their heads. Mindfulness meditation enables people to reconnect with their whole being and hence learn to listen to and know themselves. If you don’t know yourself and love and listen to yourself it’s hard to love others. That’s an aspect of it – there is also a whole bunch of very sound research around stress and resilience and the role meditation can play. Far less hippy than my explanation.
Why is connection important to you?
Connection exists with oneself, close friends, communities. Connection is important in all these areas as it supports our overall wellbeing in both a physical, emotional and mental health capacity. I’m like everyone else, I care about my health and hence connection is important to me.
Why do you believe connection is important for small business owners?
Business can be stressful and lonely. A lot can go wrong and your often financially on your own. Hence, anything that builds connections and support helps lower the pressure. I’ve been there myself and have built all sorts of businesses so I have learnt this the hard way.
What do you do when business gets a little overwhelming and you know you need to reconnect with self?
Sleep, meditate, exercise, eat well, and most importantly foster connection and love with those around you.