As a child, Dr Padmini Howpage, understood mindfulness and grew up to understand the beauty of silence.
The Hills-based psychiatrist has more than 30 years of clinical experience and says while mindfulness is so important in creating resilience, most people say they just can’t do it or it doesn’t work for them.
“The thing with mindfulness is that people aren’t trained how to do it,” she says, which is why she set about writing 7 Magic Minutes for Today.
Padmini grew up in Sri Lanka as the youngest of seven children and was only 6 years old when her father died suddenly after a heart attack. “I was bought up in the Buddhist culture and we were trained in silence and so from a very young age I saw the beauty of it … that discipline has helped me all my life with resilience and to accept that nothing is permanent.”
She says one of the keys to good mental health is mindfulness. “It is about being aware of this moment in time. It’s not about thinking of the past or the future or emptying your mind…it’s about being aware of the here and now. Focussing on the moment right now.”
Her new book, 7 Magic Minutes for Today is aimed at people of all ages and was written three years after her first book for children about living in the moment, Mindful Coco, which uses her family’s beloved pet dog Coco as its voice.
Mindful Coco is now in its second print run. The success of the book and positive feedback made her realise the need for a book aimed at all ages to enable people to understand mindfulness and practice it properly.
She says as everyone is time-poor these days she wanted to offer people relaxation skills they could achieve in 7 minutes each day.
As the cover of her book says: “The Road to freedom in life only takes 7 minutes of silence.”
The 220+ pages is a practical guide with breathing exercises and simple steps to towards mindfulness to alleviate anxiety and stress.
“Mindfulness is a skill for life, people have forgotten to appreciate the moment. says Padmini. “ I loved the experience of writing it.”
She and her husband Daya (who she met at university) have two children and are brand new grandparents. To find out more about 7 Magic Minutes for Today or about Mindful Coco or to order them visit www.padminihowpage.com