Meditation changed my life.
It helped me break away from the stories I was telling myself about my life, my worth and how other people saw me.
Drenched in shame and self-criticism, I had been distracting myself with unhealthy behaviours. I experienced endless difficult relationships with friends, partners and colleagues.
Chronic pain forced me to leave a career in journalism and reconsider my life entirely. I immersed myself in studying for a degree in natural medicine (naturopathy), determined to understand the physical and emotional pain I was experiencing.
The course was enlightening. Through multiple modules in how to hold therapeutic presence with others, I was forced to face myself for the first time. Developing awareness through short meditation practices, I went on to study Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and then Mindful Self-Compassion.
It was in the practice and training in these two forms of meditation that I learned that thoughts were just thoughts. And I had choice over whether I needed to follow them or not.
I learned that emotions are like weather systems that pass through, and that I could learn to observe them rather than try to solve them, push them away or get swept away in them.
I learned that we are all perfectly imperfect. We are all trying our best given our individual life circumstances and that although our idiosyncrasies are in no way our fault, we do in fact have agency. We have the ability to change and grow and expand not only our love for others and for life, but our love for ourselves.
I have gone on to study Compassion Focussed Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. This has deepened my ability to live from my compassionate self, accept myself and my life as it is (without losing sight of my values and my goals) and to increase my awareness that my thoughts affect my behaviours and my behaviours, my thoughts.
I work with groups and individuals to help them develop their own awareness. To increase the agency and choice they have in their own lives to shape their minds, regulate their emotions and life a richer, fuller life.
My Meditation Club grew from previous course attendees wanting to carry on practicing with me. Because there is no finished article. We are forever practicing being human, forever leaning towards being our best selves.
Alex Newte Hardie, M.R.N., BSc (Hons), PG Cert, is a naturopathic physician and mindfulness-based integrative therapist, specialising in helping people manage anxiety disorders and depression.
2002 BA (Hons) Philosophy, University of Leeds.
2011 BSc (Hons) Health Sciences: Naturopathic Medicine, University of Westminster.
2013 Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy teacher training parts 1 & 2 with Enter Mindfulness.
2016 Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training with the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion.
2017 Introduction to Compassion Focussed Therapy with the Compassionate Mind Foundation.
2018 Advanced Clinical Skills in Compassion Focussed Therapy with the Compassionate Mind Foundation.
2019 Compassion Focussed Therapy for groups with the Compassionate Mind Foundation.
2020 Essential of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with the Association for Psychological Therapies.
2021 Teaching Mindful Self-Compassion Online with the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion.
2021 Compassion Focussed Therapy for chronic pain with the Compassionate Mind Foundation.
2022 Post-graduate certificate in Evidence-based Psychological Wellbeing Treatments with the University of Reading.
I have attended 4-7 day silent retreats annually since 2013 and I have regular supervision with naturopathic and mindfulness mentors.
I was the resident graduate naturopathic physician at the University of Westminster for two consecutive years after graduating before being asked to join the Light Centre Belgravia to head up their flagship Holistic Health Screening and General Health Practitioner service. I became the principle mindfulness teacher the Light Centre from 2014 until I went on maternity leave in 2020. Now based in Haselmere, Surrey, I divide my time between my online clinic, online courses and in-person talks and workshops.
I am registered with the General Council and Register of Naturopaths and studied with Enter Mindfulness, recognised by the UK Network of Mindfulness-Based Teacher Trainers.
I am a contributor to Insights magazine for teenage cancer charity, Trekstock and Virgin Care and I also collaborated with Grazia Magazine and MacMillan Cancer Support to produce a video aimed at the carers of people living with cancer.
I am a member of the British Naturopathic Association (BNA) and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).