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Last week we were joined LIVE on our Facebook Page by the lovely Ruth Farenga of Mindful Pathway.

Ruth is a qualified Mindfulness Trainer, Transformational Coach & Speaker. ⠀

We had an amazing chat with Ruth discussing what she does, who she helps (and how!) as well as getting a few tips on how to be more mindful and practise mindfulness.

Below we set out some of the questions and responses, but if you want to catch up with the video CLICK HERE!

Ruth’s contact details are below should you have any other questions, please do get in touch with her, she is so knowledgeable and above all else, just lovely to talk to!

So for the questions and the all important answers, (Not everything is down here and so to listen to the full interview CLICK HERE)…

We are here…joined by the amazing Ruth Farenga from mindful Pathway…

We work with a number of experts and often use them to ask questions for my business or my own personal life and we thought, why not open up their expertise to our clients and friends. 

So today we are talking to the lovely Ruth Farenga of Mindful Pathway.

Ruth has recently just gained an amazing achievement, do you want to tell us about that?

Yes, so just as a bit of brief history…I have been wanting to do one-to-one work for quite a while but everyone seems to be becoming a coach and using it as a badge but I started looking into proper accreditation in a way that I could be a great coach and really help people with their development. I discovered a really great provider, the EMCC –  European Mentoring and Coaching Council. I started an 18 months path with face-to-face training, group supervision, individual supervision (one-to-one support and practise) and then 50 hours where you are filmed coaching, get feedback and self-reflect. At the end of the day they decide whether you have passed or not, it was really good to get that!

That is a lot of work involved in that

I feel like it should be that way, if you are going to have the privilege of working one-to-one with people to help with their self-development then you want someone who is experienced and have done that qualification and done the work to facilitate the space of another.

A lot of people will call themselves a coach but it is more mentoring or advice given which is fine and very useful but coaching is facilitating the space of another to do their own thinking and to reach their potential, to go further in a way that is empowering. A coach should come in, help you believe in yourself, give you tools and allow you to move out of your own way.

Do you have a ‘typical’ client – does this differ across your services?

There are two major categories:

For the public, we do 8-week mindfulness courses, this is all about helping people find more happiness and balance through evidence based methods. These are approved by NICE and are based in St Albans. The typical person is between the ages of 30 and 55, but have people of all ages, we have had a 21 year old and a 75 year old, both men and women.

These are usually people that have lost their zest for life and so feel like they are on the treadmill and just going and going. Sometimes they have experienced anxiety or depression as it can help with relapses of that or people that want to improve their wellbeing if they are already involved in yoga and they want other sustained ways to be mindful.

This is a whole new way of being, sustainable practices of doing so.

The work side:

The typical client is an SME who want to help their staff flourish, be more productive and effective at work and they want to help train them in emotional intelligence and mindfulness.

We do a range of programs and one-to-one coaching, the one-to-one coaching is usually with leaders and a typical leader will be one that is stepping up into a new role and there may be some anxiety around that or there may be some personal distress in their life, maybe divorce or something else where they need a bit of extra support to meet the challenges of the job and see what the company want out of that person. There will be public goals as well as personal needs and the coaching is confidential.

So, you have just finished the 8-week course for the general public, what does it involve?

This is eight session of two-hours plus guided meditations and practises to do between sessions.

There are two teachers, myself and William.

We walk you through a new theme each week and the curriculum spirals to help you develop a new relationship with your thoughts and feelings.

People often think that mindfulness is all about achieving a state of calm, this is not true really, it is about developing a new relationship with thoughts and feelings and relating to stress differently.

We don’t reveal a whole lot about the course beforehand as it is supposed to be something that you follow and get in to.

We meditate, reflect, group share – although you don’t have to share but we evolve as a group and then at the end have a day retreat which is largely in silence.

It is amazing what can happen when the people do the practise and home-practise and approach things differently.

There is up to 18 in the group evening sessions, men and women and all of different ages. I always celebrate when people take the time to work on themselves…it is a radical act of kindness for you.

You do training for businesses and in workplaces, what sorts of things do you focus on?

Mindful leadership

This is a series of sessions, one on building self-awareness and working on self-awareness, one on mindful communication – learning to listen, empathise and relate, to be there for each other, the third is on building positive relationships and the last one is having difficult conversations. So, there are four workshops and then we do coaching in between.

The SMEs can really see the tangible effects.

Ruth kindly talked us through what was involved in a meditation

You also do Keynote Speaking…

Yes, on two main topics:

  • The science of mindfulness

This is all about the neurological change that goes on during meditation and how meditation can rewire your brain. This looks at the neurological change that goes on and we do some little taster experiences as well. We do some meditation and reflect in pairs, then look at the neurological change that happens.

  • Mindful Leadership

This looks at how emotional intelligence can make the difference in business and how mindfulness training helps people perform better at work.

This can therefore be about performing better personally but also helps the company and makes the company perform better and make more money.

You also do mindfulness courses, for small groups and I know we get a small insight into this on the first Monday of each month where you do a brief Mindfulness webinar on Facebook…

Facebook Page:

On the first Monday of every month, I do ‘Start the Month Mindfully’ at 1pm on my Facebook Page.

This is a 20-minute mini session and meditation.

When you work with a client on a one-to-one basis is there usually a common outcome or does this completely depend on the client – is this something you can work out at the outset or is it a process?

One-to-one clients will tend to be leaders in companies although I do work with a few members of the public too.

This is usually for leaders that want more clarity and it is all about empowering them to move forward.  They will usually come to me feeling foggy in the brain and stressed and they won’t have much balance but will be looking for ways to move forward, usually quite ambitious and unsure how to move forward.

I have learnt tools and techniques and a lot is about presence and listening, this is very powerful and allows a space to open up for that person to solve their problem. It isn’t always about fixing a problem but opening up an environment for them to work through things.

Common outcomes might be; reaching their potential at work, or moving roles, or even more space to think. There may also be areas to work on such as family and being more present when you are with your family.

Ruth gave us some top tips for listening and also for sharing with others in a mindful way

Book Recommendations:

Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

By Nancy Kline

Mindfulness: Finding peace in a frantic world

By J. Mark G. Williams

Thank you so much Ruth!

Ruth also prepared a great article for us on: Mindfulness over the Festive Period

Ruth Farenga

Mindful Pathway

We will be taking a break in December from our Expert Talks but we will be back in the New Year – how quick has this year gone!

As always, if there are any experts or talks you would like to hear, then please do get in touch – either drop a comment below or message us privately.

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Leah Waller

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