CHERYL GIBBS: My new meditation technique works a little too well

Cheryl Gibbs' train meditation was so successful she fell asleep and missed her stop
Cheryl Gibbs' train meditation was so successful she fell asleep and missed her stop

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I’ve been in London a lot lately attending meetings or going to networking events.

I actually enjoy my time in London now, as opposed to a few years ago when I was commuting daily and resented every minute of it.

I vividly remember what it was like to be stuck on a train several times a week, cramped in a less-than-comfortable seat, desperately willing the time away.

It’s not fun, but I’ve found something to keep me distracted during my commute.

I’m five weeks into the nine-week Southsea Mindfulness course and I am genuinely loving it.

I don’t know what it is about it, perhaps it’s a subconscious thing, but focusing on one’s mind and body for even small parts of each day really does wanders for your general well-being.

There is a practice that we’re encouraged to do quite regularly which is called the body scan. It takes around 35 minutes and encourages you to be ‘present’ within your body. You learn over time to bring your mind back to the present moment when it wonders away with itself – which it does regularly.

I thought I’d use this commute as an opportunity to practice the body scan. I didn’t have huge expectations about whether I could do it – I usually do it at home in the peace and quiet.

So how would I get on in a packed commuter train?

Let me tell you, I had no trouble at all.

Last week I was on my way home from the Big Smoke after a particularly busy and stressful day, hopping on-and-off the tube, attending several meetings and was frantic by the time I sat down for my journey home.

I got my headphones out and started listening to the body scan, trying to block out the noises in the carriage and focus on the instructions.

The next thing I know I’m being woken up by the train guard to tell me we had arrived in Portsmouth.

I live in Clanfield and Petersfield was my stop! I had fallen fast asleep.

The body scan certainly worked, but perhaps a bit too much.

OUR EYES MET ACROSS A CROWDED DANCE FLOOR

Happy 18-year anniversary to my wonderful husband, Matt. I cannot believe that this day 18 years ago we met in the nightclub that was once Route 66 (now Wetherspoon’s down Palmy Road).

How many of you remember the 66p a drink offer they did? Good times.

I remember walking into that club with some friends and watching Matt dance surrounded by a load of people, acting like a right fool. But I was genuinely blown away by his dancing – the boy can move.

I said to my friend Denise, ‘I’m so going to marry that guy one day’. And 15 years later I did.

We certainly took things slow, getting engaged after 10 years, married after 15.

After nearly 20 years I can honestly say I love him more now than I ever have, and I look forward to the next 18.

OH, HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN

TV presenter and all-round national treasure Ant McPartlin, from TV duo Ant and Dec, has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Last weekend it was reported that Dec had lost control of his car and was in collision with another one. As a result a little girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, but it’s another huge blow to Ant’s reputation.

Only last year he took time away from the spotlight and went into rehab battling an addiction to painkillers. Just a few months later he’s back in rehab again.

According to their official Instagram account, Dec is going to present the final two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway alone – something he admits he never thought he’d do.

Get well soon Ant!