Business owner uses mindfulness for stress relief, recovery
After struggling through the pains of drug addiction, Tim Shevlin says mindfulness brought him back from being unfocused and suffering insomnia. In fact, he admits it helped him in his recovery more than anything else ever did.
“Mindfulness is being totally in the present moment,” said Shevlin, mindfulness practitioner, coach and owner of Matlacha Wellness Center.
Acknowledgement and acceptance of everything going on around you without judgment is a crucial part of the process.
After the trials and stresses of the past year, he said, there has never been a better time to go deep within to find some peace. Mindfulness is often confused with meditation, which is more of a focus on something in particular, he said.
“With meditation, you’re generally focusing on a phrase or a being — some general entity. Although you go through meditation to practice mindfulness, the idea is to go through mindfulness all day long, every day,” he said.
Shevlin said when it comes to mindfulness through meditation, he likes to focus on one’s breathing.
“You’re letting your breath pass your mouth and lips, the cool air entering your mouth, the warm air exiting, you’re feeling your lungs raise and lower. You can feel your shirt against your skin as your lungs inhale and you’re noticing everything that’s going on with your breathing,” said Shevlin, emphasizing the importance of being submersed in the moment.
He explains that it is normal for the mind to wander and that a person needs simply pull it back through their breathing.
According to Shevlin, our societal norms have been to focus on external things, such as celebrities, or news, where there is little chance, he said, of finding inner peace. Between the pandemic and political woes, it is more difficult than ever to remain unaffected.
“The only place you will ever find peace, in my opinion, is within yourself,” Shevlin said. “You have to be at peace before there’s peace anywhere else with anything you engage.”
He said you can go into any situation in a peaceful state and it will continue to be peaceful, or you can go into any situation in an anxiety driven state and it will simply exacerbate the situation.
“Mindfulness allows you to fully engage with whatever you’re doing,” said Shevlin. “Whether it’s the person you’re talking to or you’re working on something. You’re being fully engaged with that one thing.”
This, he said, ensures that you’re going to do the best job possible on whatever it happens to be, and give the person you’re talking to the attention they deserve.
Rather than spending the day on autopilot, mindfulness on the whole allows you to take in, notice, and even enjoy things to which you may not have given a previous thought.
“You can take a raisin,” Shevlin says in an explanation of mindful eating, “and you can take five minutes eating one raisin. The goal is to get to the point where you can taste the sunlight that dried that raisin.”
This is accomplished, he said, with a full understanding of and engagement in the experience. “It’s the best raisin you’ll ever have.”
Shevlin recommends bringing this process into every part of life possible.
There is a guided instruction through mindfulness at the Matlacha Wellness Center.
For a closer look or to check the class schedule, visit the website at https://www.matlachawellness.com/wellness-services/mindfulness-classes
The Matlacha Wellness Center is at 4130 Pine Island Road, N.W., Matlacha, Florida 33993. Call 239-558-4146.