My Mindful Path Through Dyslexia
Before I started to practice mindfulness I had a sort of faint awareness of how I didn’t feel a particularly confident person and I had the worst inner critic and that I never felt good enough! But the more I practiced the more I became aware of this and I realised how harsh I was on myself and I began to think where did this come from… I feel it came from being dyslexic and struggling throughout my entire education. I didn’t find out I was dyslexic until I was at university when I was 22, I was really struggling in the second year I just couldn’t keep up anymore so I went to student services for help.
Up until that point I had worked myself into the ground to try and keep up with my classmates but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I think that’s why it never got spotted at school because I worked soooo hard to try and keep up. I was actually in the top set for English!!! But I always got awful results in tests and exams but my English teacher felt I had something , so she kept me in that set! This constantly working hard pushing myself was utterly exhausting, I was burning out. After hours of hard work I would just get poor or just average results, other class mates wouldn’t spend half the amount of time on things as me and would get much better results. That stuck, everyone was better than me. The more this happened throughout my schooling the more I felt I wasn’t good enough, I could never keep up.
College classes and seminars at university were awful. We’d have to read a paragraph and then talk about it with the group, I simply couldn’t do it. I couldn’t retain the information and then make sense out of it, to be able to talk about it that quickly, this left me feeling ashamed and I would just sink to the back of the class in silence. So as a result of not knowing I had dyslexia and then not having the right support my self confidence was rock bottom, my inner critic was on over drive and talking in front of groups was an absolute no no!!! My mindfulness practice has completely turned all this around for me!
Mindfulness is the practice of cultivating moment-by-moment awareness with kindness and without judgment. This practice has allowed me to reconnect to my self kindness, to be able to step back and look at those thoughts of not being good enough and realise that they are just constructs of my mind, to be able to be aware of situations that I might find a bit difficult and do things to help myself. To connect to a space of deep peace within and this space is something that we all have.
Mindfulness really has changed my life! Now I’m a mindfulness teacher so I have to stand in front of others and teach, I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing that a couple of years ago!!! In fact when I was teaching recently I had to write words from the group on the board and I couldn’t spell them! But it didn’t matter!! I explained I was dyslexic and actually it made the group feel closer, more connected as they all helped me to spell! I give my self-time now, I recognise the learned drive in me and slow down, so I don’t exhaust myself anymore.