Written by: Kirsten Frey; Transitions Life Coaching
Many of us are familiar with ‘Movember’, the annual month-long event in November involving the growing of moustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as testicular and prostate cancer, anxiety and suicide.
As a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and former police officer, it’s been my privilege to work with, and alongside, many wonderful men. I wanted to honour this month by highlighting a fascinating individual that I met a few months ago at a networking event.
Stephen Gregory Brown is an author, public speaker, and wellness trainer. He is a contributor to Circle the Child, an online community of professionals, practitioners, and wellness experts focused of the goal of improving children’s well-being. He is also the father of three adopted children and three step children along with four dogs and a cat.
His book ‘Mindfulness of a Fly on the Wall’ is written under his pen name, Mansfield Grey, and has been endorsed by the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton.
Q. Congratulations on your book, Steve. Why did you choose Mindfulness as the theme?
A. I learned mindfulness very early on, before I even knew what it was. I had asthma as a kid and still do. Having to come back to the moment and concentrate on every breath made me more in the ‘now’ all through my life. There were times on my journey that I was very self-centred and egocentric, but I would always have to come back to the ‘now’ whenever I had an asthma attack. This practice has allowed me to come back to the moment whenever necessary.
Q. What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the realization of now. Now is the only state that we are ever physically present in. Everything we think, do, say, and feel now has an impact on tomorrow. But our power is in this present moment. Bringing our ego, inner self and body together consciously in the moment is to be aware and connected.
Q. Why did you write this book?
I believe the main reason for mental illness in our society today has to do with the societal conditioning and programming of our minds and bodies. If we want to conquer stress and live a healthy, fulfilled life, it’s important to recondition our minds and bodies through our connection to self and nature. I wrote this book specifically with adolescents and young adults in mind.
Q. Why this particular audience?
Our kids are bombarded by stress. They are hyper stimulated and constantly exposed to the “got-to-have-it now” messaging that social media and advertising churns out. Their minds and bodies are growing and developing at the same time they are experiencing social pressures in their peer groups and managing the expectations of their parents and teachers. In grade nine they are already being ‘streamed’ to where they’re heading post secondary. Some head to college or university at 17 years old. Our young people are conditioned by the environment around them which is why it’s so important that we are positive role models for them.
Q. How can we do this?
By doing our own healing first! Identifying and dealing with our own triggers and ego. Managing our own stressful lives in consciously healthy ways and knowing when it’s time to simplify and disconnect so that we can reconnect to ourselves. That it’s possible to shift our thoughts, and where the mind goes, the body follows. Modelling this for the children in our lives is a great gift.
Q. What do you model for your own family?
That the best way to live a healthy and happy life is to control the amount of stress in your life. I’ve learned this myself through the D.I.P. Principle. When we combine this along with an attitude of acceptance, excitement and enthusiasm, we have the keys to live a life of excellence
Discipline – Discipline yourself to be in the moment. To focus on what you
need to accomplish today. Don’t concern yourself with what happened
yesterday or what is happening tomorrow. Exercise or move your body every
day, eat right, and go to bed at the required time for full healing. Discipline
controls our ego and allows life to be fulfilling.
Integrity – Integrity is honesty and living your truth. It is doing what you say
and saying what you do. It is helping, being on time, and sharing love and
positive energy daily. It is not complaining, gossiping or knowingly trying to
hurt someone emotionally or physically. You are the same person alone as
you are with others.
Preparation – Be prepared for whatever task awaits you. Whether it’s
studying for a test, preparing your food for the next day or memorizing lines,
these all have to be prepared for. Repetitive preparation for your day
eventually becomes a way of life and lowers cortisol levels, minimizing stress
Q. What message would you like pass along to your kids or those young people reading your book?
A. Ask yourself, “What do you want?” ‘How do you want to feel?” and listen to the answer inside you. Reduce the drama from social media and be mindful of what you watch on TV and play on video games. Move your body. Allow yourself to be bored. Work hard. Follow your truth.
Q. What’s next for you?
A. I’m recuperating from shoulder surgery so I’ve picked up the guitar and I’m learning to play by ear. I’m also in the process of writing a new book of fiction. This time I’ve taken to heal has allowed me to reconnect to my passions of writing and playing music and I’m having so much FUN!
I had so much fun interviewing Steve for this interview and discussing all things mindfulness and connection.
Steve is dedicated to bringing mindfulness training to young adults and is available to speak at your next youth event.
Follow Stephen at: