• Mark Sinclair

Background information...

Hello, my name is Mark Sinclair. I have recently created this site for Sinclair Wellbeing Solutions - which is a new company that aims to deliver health & well-being training with a focus on employability. The goal is to pass on knowledge and tools which will help you to maintain a higher level of stability with regards to our physical and mental well-being.

My journey into the world of well-being started while I was at university studying for an honours degree in Commercial Music. Although totally unrelated at this point, I found myself struggling with my own sanity due to external factors away from my pursuits at university. Around then I began to experience anxiety through a series of 'panic attacks' which lasted for months, frequent trips to the doctors didn't offer any solutions other than trying to give me medication. It felt like everything was beginning to collapse.

Whilst at university I was just about to begin work on my 10,000 word dissertation, when my advisor suggested I look at ways to combine music with the practice of mindfulness - a subject I had 'dabbled' with. After doing some research into the practice, I found that mindfulness had gained plenty of support across many fields such as neuroscience, psychology, education and occupational therapy to name a few. Upon finding out that mindfulness was backed up by positive scientific data and research which is shown to be repeatable, I then began looking into it for myself with a sense of reassurance.

After some digging, it became clear that mindfulness had two different approaches. One based in Western psychology (active engagement mindset), and the other had traditions found in far Eastern cultures (meditation). Now these lines have become increasingly blurred, which has only served to enhance the credibility of the practice especially from a Western viewpoint. Not to undermine the far Eastern origins of meditation, which offer a framework for the practical exercise itself, along with morals and values which help to underpin the traits and characteristics we are trying to cultivate. Western mindfulness does away with much of the stereotypes we would normally associate with meditation such as; bells, sitting cross-legged, incense, vegetarians, herbal tea. Although some people like that idea, I was able to subscribe to mindfulness knowing that it wasn't a fundamental requirement to follow those stereotypes. I was happy in the knowledge that there was a more pragmatic and secular approach to the practice.

As my studies into music and mindfulness progressed, I began to think less about my anxieties and the various ongoing battles in my personal life - I had somehow taken an objective stance which allowed me to accept the things I could not control in life. This felt liberating! Through reading interdisciplinary literature, and by regularly practising meditation, I had cultivated the productive and focused mindset that mindfulness is closely associated with - something that I desperately needed at that time.

Fast forward to 2018 - I now work at Ayrshire College and have held two lecturing positions there for the past 3 years, firstly as a part-time Music and Sound Production Lecturer and secondly as a Community Learning Tutor. My time was spent equally between the two roles at the college, but it was community lecturing where I found that I could incorporate mindfulness and other aspects of well-being into the courses I was delivering. Since then my courses have been very successful for the college, with weekly timetables being filled for the entire year. As it turns out, my hours at college now mainly consist of Health & Wellbeing based activities - and music has gone back to being a hobby! Even though I spent years pursuing a career and education in music. I get an enormous buzz being able to pass this knowledge onto people, and I get to see their ongoing progress and the feedback is always immediate. I'm planting seeds by giving people access to tools and resources that can help change lives.

Career wise, things have continued to evolve. Admittedly, I had only pondered about going it alone by starting my own company - until a sequence of opportunities began to appear. I guess I have followed my nose, and now I find myself creating something from scratch. As this project continues to develop, I will add more entries into this blog as things progress. Until then.

#lecture #education

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