My name is Brendan O’Shea and I’m The Mindfulness Poet. As far as I’m concerned mindfulness is the single most useful skill I have. I encourage everyone to try and bring Mindfulness into their life because it improves every aspect of life.
I discovered Mindfulness when I began trying to deal with my anxiety and depression. I was a graphic designer with a drinking problem who stumbled into a yoga class. It eventually inspired a search for some inner peace.
I did a lot of searching. I was a Buddhist monk for six years. I trained as a yoga teacher and a transpersonal counsellor, and I volunteered on the phones at Lifeline for a year.
Over the years as I learnt new ways of dealing with anxiety and depression I started to realise that – for me – it all came down to mindfulness. When I could be mindful then the anxiety wasn’t so powerful, the depression wasn’t so engulfing and daily life was liveable. Being aware in the present moment of what my body was feeling, what thoughts were going through my head and what emotions I was having: Mindfulness. It has made huge changes to my deep habits of anxiety and depression.
Being in touch with the present moment helps me get out of my old stories of blame and guilt. If I lose touch with the present moment then I can quickly become lost in my old habits of anxious thoughts and depressed emotions.
Mindfulness is great for getting me out of a bad space. Over the years it has also taught me how to enjoy being in the good spaces. When I am present and centred I can handle the ups and downs of life because it feels like it’s worth the effort.
When I perform or run a session I look to help people to be present in the moment. It’s about bringing mindfulness to life.
Listening to someone is an easy way to be mindful, and stories and poems are great for getting us out of our heads and into our bodies and feelings. By telling stories and poems in my Performance Poetry shows it helps create a space where it’s easy to be mindful of what you’re feeling and what emotions you’re having. The stories and poems are based on my life experiences and there’s lots of laughter and drama, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
In the Improvisation Therapy sessions that I run I uses stories and poems as well as guided meditation and simple role-playing exercises to shake you up in a mindful way and then give you some space to integrate everything you’ve been through. In a safe space we can practice being mindful and present while we’re uncertain, a very useful skill.
In Seeds of Change I perform with singer-songwriter Emily Maguire to create a show about ‘Music, Mindfulness and Mental Health’, helping to bring awareness to the challenges of mental illness as well as the healing power of creativity. The combination of spoken word and music is very powerful and moving.
Poetry and performance can help bring us into the moment, make us aware of ourselves and connect us to deep emotions that bring passion and energy back into our lives. The Mindfulness Poet offers you all this, and you just sit back and enjoy!
It’s quicker than yoga, easier than meditation and cheaper than therapy. It’s all about bringing mindfulness to life.