New weekly series challenges the stereotypes of meditation

No B.S. Mindfulness

New age. Hippy. Granola. Sitting cross-legged. Those are some of the stereotypes often associated with meditation.

Nadine Karneef wants to challenge those stereotypes and encourage well-being in her new weekly “No Bullsh*t Mindfulness” meditation and sharing group in Stittsville.

Starting Tuesday, May 1 from 7:00pm-8:00pm, anyone interested is welcome to attend her meditation gathering.

Natalie Karneef
Natalie Karneef

Karneef, who will facilitate the sessions, began meditating 11 years ago.

“I call it my Prozac,” said Karneef. “I can’t live without it.”

The Ottawa native was living in Montreal at the time and found that meditation helped her to be a lot kinder to herself.

Then, in 2013, Karneef had what she called a “light bulb” moment. The moment was a result of realizing that she was running the rate race and was very unhappy.

“I realized I’m miserable and I don’t have to be!” said Kaneef. “People want to avoid how they really feel – it’s much easier to avoid it or to have a glass of wine.”

So she left everything and went travelling. Turkey, New Zealand and Bali were all a part of the travels that helped Karneef. Especially as she studied meditation in many of the places she visited and found a sense of community in each location.

“I think that we are really lonely,” said Karneef. “We are really starved for community. This creates a space where people look out for each other and create a really safe atmosphere where we can talk about being human.”

One of the goals of the meditation group is to help with community building.

“I would love for other people not to feel alone because they aren’t,” said Karneef. “This is my little, tiny, all I can do to counteract it. By being myself.”

Karneef plans to start the gatherings out pretty low key. Beginning with the question “why do you not meditate” and going from there.

Reasons people don’t meditate, in Karneef’s experience is because they don’t have time, it seems like a waste of time or they have too many other things to do.

“Five to ten minutes that you meditate improves your day, improves your experience,” said Karneef

There are different types of meditation and participants will learn about them and decide what works best for them.

For those worried about having to sit still and quiet for too long, Karneef has no plans for attendees to be siting for more than 20 minutes.

As for what the remainder of the gathering will look like, that is yet to be determined.

“What is supposed to happen? There is no supposed to,” said Karneef. “A lot of people fall asleep at the beginning.”

It begs the question, why bother with meditation?

“It’s about getting out of your head but id doesn’t mean you stop thinking,” said Karneef. “Meditation can be super accessible – you are supposed to meditate to make the world a better place – to be more kind and to bring the world more peace.”

So what’s the deal with the No Bullsh*t meditation?

“If people feel like they are craving small talk free, bullsh*t free, Instragram-free space to be real, then just come,” said Karneef. “If they don’t like it they can leave. I won’t take it personally.”

No Bullsh*t Mindfulness
Tuesday nights, starting May 1
7:99 – 8:00 p.m.
8B Sweetnam Dr.
Contact: natalie.karneef@gmail.com


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