Climbing, not carrying mountains – Mindfulness for Creating energy & overcoming burnout

“When we focus on climbing, not carrying our mountains, we don’t run out of energy so fast because we are not carrying a heavy burden. we can persist over long periods of time without burning out. This in turn gives rise to tremendous self-confidence arising from our sense of resilience” – From Toby’s article on ‘Climbing, not carrying mountains’

Overview: This program seeks to answer the following questions pertaining to the challenges of executives & workers in the workplace:

  •  How can I thrive in high stress environments without burning out?
  • Sustain my energy levels in the face of demanding schedules & information overload?
  • How can I
  • How can I thrive in high stress environments without burning out?
  • Sustain my energy levels in the face of demanding schedules & information overload?
  • How can I manage my wellbeing in such a way that, as I get older, and my career progresses I still find myself enthusiastic, with high energy, and ready for the next challenge?
  • If I am experiencing burnout, what practices can I leverage on to recover effectively?
  • How can I ensure that if I have recovered from a bout of burnout that I don’t find myself falling back into it?

What is Integral Mindfulness?

Integral mindfulness means mindfulness that develops a range of skills that, practiced together, help you develop multiple inner skills and capacities. The capacities participants are empowered to develop in this ‘creating energy course are:

Each module contains a knowledge gain and related mindfulness or meditation practice to help develop the actual experience in our daily lives.

Course Content:

The course is created around eight main domains:

Module 1: Recreational game or mouse trap? – Working on your ‘sustainable excitement’

This opening module looks at how you can relax into the uncertainty and excitement of your life, even when under stress. In it we look at practices around:

  • Breathing for optimizing your stress levels & self -regulation
  • Making friends with your brain & nervous system
  • Opening to excitement & possibility in your life, and understanding the beliefs & contexts that get in the way of you accessing that excitement consistently

Module 2: Climbing, not carrying your mountains

This session looks at the psychology of the way in which we approach our problems and challenges, and seeks to make our approach more ergonomic, effective and dynamic. Exercises in this session are around:

  • Putting down rumination & meaningless worry
  • Gathering your energy for regeneration, & then high quality problem solving
  • Developing high quality field & focus awareness for navigating the day

Module 3: Technology & burnout – Taking mindful charge of your attention & your devices

Living in the information age, and surrounded by devices such as our phones & computer makes conscious living even more important than it was in previous ages. However, technology also makes it even more difficult to live consciously than before due to the availability of distractions and the ‘dopamine hit’ we get from continually checking our screens. This session focuses on practices to avoid the mental burnout & cognitive overload that comes from sub-optimal technology use, & includes:

  • How to build mindful concentration in an age of distraction
  • Ways to be mindful with your handphone
  • A special mindfulness technique for recovering your mental energy

Module 4: Comfortable in your own skin – Creating & conserving energy around your identity & reputation

We expend a lot of energy around reputation, our roles & concern about how we are perceived and judged by others. This module looks at how you can:

  • Find peace of mind and equanimity in the face of reputational concerns
  • Occupy & own our roles in life with freedom & creativity
  • Become good at affirming your own fundamental value & worth instead of needing that affirmation from what others think of you

Module 5: The unsharpened blade – Balancing your doing & being

‘Keep sharpening your knife & it will blunt.’ – Tao Te Ching chapter 9. In this module we consider the ways in which being can enhance our doing.  It enables us to access to new levels of wisdom and intelligence that give us room for quality of life & work, not just quantity.  Practices in this session focus on:

  • Learning to work with your body energy to co-create responsiveness rather than reactivity
  • Comfort with the three ‘uns’; uncertainty, unpredictability & unknowing
  • Allowing balanced curiosity & optimism to gently replace worry

Module 6: Optimistic stoicism: Planning more, worrying less – Dealing well with worry & anxiety at work

This module takes a more detailed look at both genuine optimism & the reasons we worry. It explores mindful strategies for really building confidence in ourself as a balanced optimist & a problem solver. Practices include:

  • Relaxation through self-belief
  • Extending support and compassion to our worried-self
  • Becoming proficient at the ‘art of optimistic-stoicism’

Module 7: Doing through non-doing – The path of Non-striving (& choosing joy)

Non-striving is “a refusal to be in conflict with yourself and your life”. Put another way, rather than being in an adversarial relationship to yourself and your circumstances, you practice accepting and working with what is there. This module looks at how to release energy that is currently trapped in fighting your reality so that it becomes available to work with the circumstances that you find yourself in. You will learn how to do this on three levels:

  • Noticing your inner conflicts
  • Practising non-striving
  • Striving better

8. Finding ledges on the steep climb – Re-invigorating your sense of adventure

This final session focuses on meditation for regeneration, building willpower. It gives you the inner technology to re-awakening your appetite and enthusiasm for life & work, even amidst the stress & when your energy levels are not high. Practices include:

  • Recovery through becoming ‘mindfully unfocused
  • Mindful use of willpower
  • Locating your inner adventurer, & activating their ‘content but never satisfied’ mindset

Ways in which the program can be delivered:

The MEP Program can be delivered as:

  • An 8-9 module program as described above
  • As a full day workshop or two-day weekend retreat
  • As a half-day or keynote (45-90mins) session, with specific tailored content curated for your  needs

Integration tools

After each session participants will be sent:

  • A Slide/PDF summary of exercise covered
  • Recordings of the mindfulness & meditation exercises covered for personal practice
  • Articles for further reading

The sessions can be delivered live-in person, online or in hybrid format.

Contact: To discuss the further possibility of bringing mindful resilience to your organization you can contact Toby at or phone 65-96750279

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