Five to Nine is a simple way to get started with mindfulness. It also helps people who have done a mindfulness course to keep motivated and keep practising.
Our vision is for a kinder world, where people put their deepest values into action at work, at home, and in the community.
We help make this happen by inspiring people to make small changes in their daily life, to help themselves and to help others.
We want everyone to get access to Five to Nine, hence the free daily tips option.
Five to Nine has been developed by Simon at Mindful Work, a workplace mindfulness training company that helps reduce employee stress and improve productivity. The focus is on a ‘little and often’ approach, making the practice accessible and integrated into daily life.
Five to Nine is driven by you. .
We also commit 10% of all profits to mental health charities, especially to support young people.
Five to Nine was created by me, Simon Michaels.
I combine 30 years experience in business management with 25 years mindfulness practice. My personal mission is to create happier workplaces, and a kinder world.
Whilst the training is entirely secular, my personal experience and understanding comes from meditation practice and teaching in the Buddhist contemplative tradition. This ancient wisdom is the foundation for effective mindfulness practice, and my belief is that sound ethical values must underpin the techniques used.
I have formal qualifications in business support, coaching, and mindfulness teaching.
My mind is too busy to meditate
Yes, we have busy minds. When you stop and realise just how much internal chatter goes on, it can seem like a huge task to ‘clear your mind’; so don’t even try. The point here is to focus the mind, and be pro-actively positive and curious, not to clear it. If you try too hard to empty your mind, it will be a struggle that sets up another impossible hurdle.
I can’t find the time
You have to make a choice. One less Facebook chat, one less pointless TV programme, 10 minutes earlier to bed, and you’re making time. It’s also about integrating mindfulness into your daily life. You can be mindfully present in all actions – when brushing your teeth, doing the washing up, walking to the loo, and sitting in a meeting.
I’m calm when I meditate, but can’t do it in the ‘real world’
When you’re doing the ‘formal’ sitting practice in the morning or evening, in a calm place, you will sooner or later start to get glimpses or periods of calm and even bliss. Then you get up, walk out the door,and shout at your partner – oops! So this is the real skill, and what really matters; taking the insights and memory of the glimpses of calm while sitting, into the real world.
I feel guilty about taking time for myself
Ask yourself one simple question: ‘how can I best serve others?’ Are you going to make more of a positive impact on people and the world around you, if you’re anxious, depressed, moody and angry, or if you’re grounded, calm, centred and positive?
How do I explain what I’m doing to cynical people?
You are embarking on a neuro-scientific exploration of that most fascinating of things– your own mind. If you really need some stock phrases, try these: “it’s been shown to improve focus and productivity; you learn how to do more in less time; it helps teams work better; it helps me stay calm under pressure.”
Will I become aloof and unfeeling?
Some people worry that by learning to stay calm in the face of stressful situations, it means that you become detached and cool. The opposite is true; rather than getting caught up in the emotional turmoil, you can be the still centre of the storm and employ kindness and rational thinking when it’s really needed.
I’m scared what I’ll find if I look inwards
For most people, just ‘being’, and focusing inwards, will be a new experience. A few people report anxiety in this process; and if so, the key is to take it slowly and gently. If you have mental health difficulties, talk with your doctor about the appropriateness of doing this work. If unpleasant feelings and thoughts arise, the best way to deal with them is to turn towards them with curiosity.
I can’t seem to keep it going
Check in to your motivation for doing this. If you really need to make a change in your life, it won’t happen by itself. Sometimes the most rewarding and illuminating experiences come when you really don’t feel like doing the work. Also, work with a buddy. If you’re stuck, call them. If you don’t hear from your buddy, maybe they are stuck and need help, so call them and listen.
How quickly will it take effect?
You may get some benefits right away. But it’s daily practice for about 2 months that creates the new neural pathways in your brain that leads to healthier mental patterning. So if you’ve slipped, don’t make a big deal about it, just restart, right now.
What’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
Mindfulness is the process of focusing attention on the experience of the present moment, without judgement. Meditation is the broader and deeper process of understanding your mind, through direct experience, for which mindfulness is critical.