The Little Breathing Space

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CLARISSA KRISTJANSSON

CLARISSA KRISTJANSSON

In 2012 I was living in Australia, I was a high-achiever, a senior manager working across UK, Europe, and Asia. My life was fairly symptomatic of a modern woman: a time-pressured single working mother. Life felt really demanding, I spent a lot of time trying to please a lot of people and yet often still end up simply feeling anxious, guilty, inadequate, tired and overwhelmed with it all. I’d been brought up to conform. To play it safe.  To say Yes, despite my inner voice screaming NO.

I suffered a burnout, a slow draining of any remaining joy from my life. Negativity took hold and I didn’t see joy in even the significant things.

So how did I turn around? It was small steps initially.  A chance encounter with a wonderful lady led me to mindfulness. I enrolled on an 8- week mindfulness program. I realised that to really thrive in my life I needed to slow down, to take responsibility for my choices and actions in life, rather than feeling like a victim to my life. I needed to learn how to say no to those things and people that didn’t align to what brings joy, meaning and purpose to my life. I needed to find some self-compassion and practice self-care!  And following a retreat at the Vijayaloka Triratna centre with Vidyamala Burch I was introduced to a new dimension of mindfulness, that ‘Mindfulness is Love’, which for has become the underlying mantra of my work.

In 2013 I embarked on extensive training with Breathworks Mindfulness and in 2017 on returning home to Sweden I established The Little Breathing Spaceto help others find a way to cope with stresses of modern life. 

I run workshops, retreats as well as coaching individuals bringing a blend of knowledge gained from personal experience of anxiety and burnout and a professional background in neuroscience, mindfulness, compassion, and Yoga Nidra. 

Mindfulness can help us to focus and let in the goodness which is all around us. And to practice acceptance and learn from the challenges that will always come with being a human being. Mindfulness teaches us that we can have perspective, resilience and choice and in so doing we can thrive.  I have a passion for seeing people develop their capacity to positively change situations in their lives that need changing. Learning to give themselves time and space to calm down, reflect, and act with compassion so that their innate emotional intelligence shines through.

As a speaker and author of the bestseller The Mindful Menopause, I am on a mission to help women develop a ‘mind over menopause’ mindset so that they can release the physical, mental and emotional suffering and transition this journey with greater ease and grace. 

As a fellow of the RSA and member of RSA’s Mindful Living Network I believe passionately that mindfulness can be a powerful force for social change, building bridges in our divided world, which is a driver for actively participating in MOMM. Also, I am partnering with several women’s organizations in my hometown of Gothenburg to support greater integration of refugee women from a ‘Mindfulness Across Borders’ approach.

Meditation is an essential component of my return to wellbeing. And it is an honour to share this skill with others as a force for good in our world