This updated feature was first published at Mindful Moments.
In the Mindful People series, we chat with people from different walks of life and invite them to share their mindfulness journey, as well as how learning and practicing mindfulness have made a difference to their personal and professional lives.
In this feature, we speak with Tiffany Wee, a naturopath who teaches people how to eat and live more mindfully.
"You will be surprised how far-reaching the benefits of mindfulness can be." - Tiffany
Born in Singapore and trained in Australia, Tiffany is a Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist, and an expert in Mindful Eating and Reiki. She has consulted in world-renowned health establishments like Chiva Som, ESPA, Balanced Living, and Como Shambala. She is recognised by her clients for her warmth, efficiency and expertise in helping them achieve their individual health potential. Tiffany is also the first in Asia to offer UCSD’s Mindful Eating course.
How did you get into the practice of mindfulness?
I regularly practice meditation but first came across the term mindfulness when I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s books.
In 2015, I was able to put mindfulness into practice when I visited Thay’s Plum Village in the south of France.
This experience spurred my interest in this all-embracing method of stilling the mind.
Tell us about your experience with learning mindfulness.
I had initially signed up for MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) as it was a pre-requisite for my teacher training in Mindful Eating, and was not expecting much since I am no stranger to meditation.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find how “liberating” this particular practice was – to put it simply, you can’t go wrong.
One aspect of MBSR that appealed to me was that it was non-judgmental and validated everything I experienced and felt, even “negative” thoughts and emotions.
How has mindfulness made a difference to your personal well-being?
I tend to be very critical of myself.
Using mindfulness as a skill, whenever self-defeating thoughts arose, instead of refuting them, I learnt to develop a curiosity around them.
By accepting and thoroughly exploring my own imperfections, I developed compassion for myself, and by extension, those around me.
How has mindfulness supported you in your professional work?
As a naturopath and teacher of mindful eating, commitment to a personal practice is critical in so many ways.
Being present improves my communication skills and allows me to meet my clients and students fully to absorb their true intent.
Mindfulness has also helped to increase my sense of self-awareness, compassion, and introspection – qualities that are important to cultivate for both work and life as they are foundational to building positive relationships.
How have you incorporated mindfulness into your daily life?
Mindfulness in its true essence is not meant to be a 30-minute exercise that we do and then put aside for the rest of the day.
Through practice, I now intersperse the day with mindful moments – from simple tasks like taking a shower or brushing my teeth to periods of commute and even at work.
Instead of reacting to situations, I now have the capacity to pause and through a quick 3-minute breathing practice, respond appropriately in times of stress.
Mindfulness lets us live our lives more fully, in the present moment.
Any words of advice for people who are thinking about learning mindfulness?
Go for it! It is going to be one of the best acts of self-mastery and self-love that you can invest in.
Whether it is to boost your productivity and focus, or improve your ability to manage stress and build interpersonal relationships, you will be surprised how far-reaching the benefits of mindfulness can be.