OMC Alumna runs marathon for Oxford Mindfulness Foundation
Oxford Mindfulness Centre alumna Sophie Carter ran the London Marathon in April to raise funds for both the Oxford Mindfulness Foundation (the charity that supports the work of the OMC) and a charity in her local area.
“[OMC’s] influence has been in my life more or less every day for the past two and a half years.”
Sophie’s amazing efforts at fundraising and during the race resulted in a donation of around £600 to support our charitable activities. The Oxford Mindfulness Foundation aims to maximise the impact of mindfulness research and implementation and widen access to MBCT, through initiatives such as bursaries to attend our courses, funding for initiatives and projects that improve accessibility, and support for MBCT training in low income communities around the world. Voluntary contributions are essential to support and broaden the impact of the work of the OMC and we are very grateful to Sophie for choosing us as one of her London Marathon charities.
Sophie has been keen to support us since her first experience of mindfulness when she was a Parliamentary Researcher and Office Manager in the House of Commons. She attended a session at her workplace offered for free by OMC and led by OMC’s Chris Cullen, in January 2015. She says about the OMC, “its influence has been in my life more or less every day for the past two and a half years”.
Attending the session with Chris sparked Sophie’s interest in mindfulness. “Chris recommended Mark Williams’ and Danny Penman’s book to me and it is the best recommendation I have ever received. At the time I was struggling with balance in my life; constantly expecting perfection and generally being too critical of myself. Through understanding mindfulness and practicing every day I have more respect for myself, my time and my surroundings. This means I notice more of life and the people, communities and scenery that make every day so special”.
“It seemed very counter intuitive that taking 15-20 minutes out of your day could actually make you experience more – whether it be work, play or rest – but it was true… or maybe I’m just more aware of each experience. Either way, it’s a positive outcome that I’m very grateful for.”
“Ultimately”, she says, “the most valuable lesson has been self-compassion and distinguishing this as equally – or more – important than self-confidence or self-esteem. It is this self-compassion that was so key in helping me finish the marathon, it gave me patience with my body and confidence in my mind when 26.2 miles seemed like 1 million miles”.
She adds, “So thank you to the OMC, Dr Cullen, Mark Williams and Dr Penman, hopefully this is the first of many opportunities to support your work”.
If you would like to support our charitable activities, you can find out more and donate here.