I’m Sheila Bayliss, a qualified Mindfulness Teacher and Coach. I set up Lollipop Wellbeing to provide accessible support for those looking to reduce stress or improve wellbeing. I believe that you don’t need to remove all the difficulties from your life to find contentment, that it is possible to thrive even when life isn’t easy.
Using the approaches outlined below, I help people learn how to respond more positively to life’s challenges. I am particularly passionate about the transformative power of self-kindness, from both my own experience and seeing the impact on those I’ve taught. I hold classes and workshops in Heaton Moor, South Manchester that are suitable for all levels. You can read a bit more about me at the bottom of this page, including my personal story and my qualifications.
“I highly recommend Sheila’s classes, and really enjoy her approach to mindfulness with kindness. I have found her meditation classes very beneficial in my everyday life – I have noticed that I am more aware of my feelings and thoughts and am responding to issues in my life differently.”
“The most powerful thing from sessions with Sheila has got to be my positive mindset changes”
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means being with our experience in a gentle, accepting way. When stressed, we have a tendency to be stuck in our heads, thinking and problem-solving. With mindful awareness, we learn to inhabit our direct, sensory experience in the body, and this gives us more choice in how we respond to difficulty. Through learning to be with all of our experience – even the difficult parts – we build discomfort tolerance which grows emotional resilience. I teach mindfulness with a strong emphasis on kindness and compassion (including self-kindness, which is extremely powerful in helping us cope with difficulty).
What are the benefits?
Research shows that mindfulness reduces stress and improves wellbeing. I can personally say that it has helped me feel much more calm and positive in the face of many life challenges. Mindfulness isn’t a quick fix, but it does have profound & lasting benefits when you make it a habit.
So how does it work?
Mindfulness is practised by engaging in regular meditation. But it may not be what you associate with the word ‘meditation’. There are sitting practices that can be done while being guided. These include focusing on the body, the breath or feelings of kindness. There are also ways to bring mindful awareness to whatever we’re doing, and this all counts as meditation. Over time, meditating regularly starts to have a positive impact on how we are generally. It’s a bit like training to get fit: when practised regularly, it has a cumulative effect, re-wiring the brain to create new neural pathways. Although practising meditation will greatly enhance the benefits, it is possible to start becoming more mindful of your habitual responses by using mindful awareness tools in daily life.
What’s the best way to learn?
Most people find that some guidance is helpful initially via a class or course of some kind. Being able to access regular sessions helps with motivation to keep your own practice going. It can also be useful to connect with other people who are learning. You can get CD’s or downloads with guided meditations to listen to at home. The ones I offer can be found in my free resources via the Home page. A great free online resource to enable you to swap notes with others just starting to learn is Everyday Mindfulness
If you’re not quite ready for regular meditation, but you want to develop a more mindful response to worry, stress and overwhelm – you can still learn to live more mindfully in everyday life. I share tips on how to do this in my classes, and via my monthly mailing list – you can sign up for that on the Home page. Although it’s true that sitting meditation enhances the benefits of mindfulness, you can also develop your own set of tools that can be used whether you meditate or not.
Are all classes the same?
There are different types of courses and classes. My approach is helpful for stress, but is not intended to provide support for severe psychological distress. If you have been diagnosed with (or suspect you may have) a mental health condition such as depression or an anxiety disorder, you can ask your GP about a referral to a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy course (MBCT) – find more info on the Mental Health Foundation website here.
This blog post I wrote called 7 Meditation Myths is a good read to dispel some of the common misconceptions that might be stopping you from trying out mindfulness. And if you like to read books, my Top 10 Reading List might interest you. If you’re ready to try a class, go to the Prices page for my teaching schedule. Or read on for a bit more about the way I teach.
About my Teaching Style
I’m qualified in both mindfulness teaching and personal coaching. I’ve been practising mindfulness for myself since 2008. Everything I share is drawn from personal experience aswell as that of the hundreds of people I’ve taught – so I know it works! I strongly believe in laying a solid foundation of self-kindness to boost the impact of mindfulness, and this approach is weaved into my teaching. In addition, I use my coaching skills to create accessible tools for living mindfully – without doing sitting meditation (or alongside it if you want to do both). My aim with drop-in classes and workshops is to share some of these ideas, and help you come up with your own!
Those I’ve taught typically experience outcomes which fall into these 3 key areas:
Positivity is boosted by learning how to move from ‘avoid’ to ‘approach’ mode. Mindful coaching tools provide a framework for building emotional confidence and the ability to bounce back when you get knocked.
Calm is experienced by learning that you can choose a new response to challenges. Mindful awareness is fostered by examining your personal experience, and then creating your own strategies to build discomfort tolerance.
Resilience is increased through applying self-kindness and mindfulness to difficulty. By learning how to apply self-kindness to challenging experiences, new coping skills are discovered. Developing supportive self-talk is a key element of kindness-based mindfulness.
What people say about working with me
You’ll see various quotes featured throughout the site, and here are a few more comments from those I’ve worked with and taught in classes:
- “I’m feeling so much calmer and more joyful”
- “I feel like I know myself better now, look after myself more and I am much happier with who I am”
- “Life is easier, more fun & less stressful”
- “I have discovered techniques that have really worked for me… to find a greater sense of calm and inner belief and self confidence”
- “Sheila was very supportive and insightful”
- “I feel more equipped [to meet challenges] because of this course and the quality of teaching from Sheila”
- “Your approach is supportive and non-judgmental – thank you”
For session dates, costs and booking, see the Prices page.
Is my approach suitable for your needs?
As a teacher of mindfulness for stress reduction, I don’t offer support for psychological issues that require guidance from a suitably qualified health professional. My classes and workshops may be helpful for worry, stress and overwhelm – but they are not designed to support anyone experiencing severe emotional distress. If you have been diagnosed with (or suspect you suffer from) clinical depression, an anxiety disorder or a mental health condition, you can ask your GP about suitable support services or referral to a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy course (MBCT) – these are not the classes I offer.
If you’re unsure if my classes or workshops are right for you, I’m happy to arrange a phone chat. To get in touch, visit the Contact page and we can set up a time to talk.
A bit about me
My philosophy is that you can’t control what happens in life, but you can choose a positive response. I had always suffered with stress and anxiety, and had tried pretty much every self-help book going. By the time I hit my 30s, I was frustrated to find myself still struggling with the same old issues. I had a seemingly impressive (but also demanding) job in the TV industry, but I was miserable. Then when I also started experiencing recurrent miscarriages, my stress levels became unmanageable. I was lucky enough to stumble across a mindfulness course, which was the beginning of my journey in building up my own meditation practice.
Learning mindfulness and self-compassion was a total game-changer for me in terms of how I respond to difficult feelings like anxiety, sadness and self-criticism. After leaving my job, I felt very fortunate that we eventually became parents when our little boy arrived. In terms of my career – I had always enjoyed helping my staff to manage their stress, and with a background in volunteer helpline work, it felt important to me to find a way to support others dealing with worry, stress and overwhelm.
I re-trained as a coach and gained a Diploma in Personal Coaching which enabled me to help clients feel more calm and confident. As my personal mindfulness practice developed, it also felt natural to want to share this with others, so I also completed the Breathworks mindfulness teacher training. I’m now a Breathworks accredited teacher and associate – this means that I meet (and adhere to) the UK Network for Mindfulness Teachers guidelines for best practice. Aswell as the classes I offer via Lollipop Wellbeing, I also teach 8-week Mindfulness for Stress courses for Breathworks in central Manchester.
These days I rely on my daily meditation practice to help me meet the difficulties that life inevitably throws up, and to balance all the things that are important to me.
You can read plenty about me and my journey from reading my blogs – check out the links on the Home page. In the past I have written blogs about how mindfulness and self-compassion helped me cope with infertility and loss. The website these were published on is no longer live, but I am currently compiling them into an ebook – if you would like to be notified when this is available, please drop me an email via the Contact page.
mindful living for new possibilities…