Mindful Health

Amazon ImageJust finished reading Ellen Langer’s new book, Great book! I’ve been thinking about mindfulness and how it relates to health and along came her book! I highly recommend it for anyone in the health care field as it addresses how we describe our illnesses and how definitions & labels limit our ability to consider healing.

My intention for this New Year is to practice mindfulness in all I do. It seems so easy to be mindful on my yoga mat or when I’m writing in my jounal. It is another matter to practice conscious mindfulness when speaking to others or as I go about my day. To jumpstart my practice, I’m asking myself, “How mindful was I in my last activity?” What an amazing learning process! I get to notice when I mindlessly go about my daily activity and then an increased awareness of how to be more mindful the next time. I am also noticing how, when multitasking, I cannot be mindful of all I am doing. As a result, I am choosing to do less multitasking so that I can be more aware.

I am becoming most aware of the words I use to describe my experience or words other’s use to describe their experience. A little awareness with a big impact! Do you know how many times people describe their pain with the words, “It’s killing me…”? I am encouraging each person to drop the word “killing” in reference to their experience. How can we describe our experience in words that are empowering for change? For example, I’ve been dealing with a chronic pain issue in my neck… When I focus on the pain, it seems to get worse. When I mindfully focus on the times when I am not in pain, then a pain-free experience is given room to expand. Does my neck still hurt? Yes, and focusing on when it doesn’t hurt is leading me to the practices and health care treatments that are healing. For the first time in months, I am actually encouraged that there is a day very soon when my neck will not hurt.

I encourage each one of you to take a look at where in your life you can practice more mindful awareness. Is it with your personal health issues, in your conversation or is it in some activity that you do daily with mindlessness? Bringing mindful awareness to every activity is empowering for making real change. Through mindfulness I am learning what I want in my life and what is time to let go of. The result? I am happier, healthier and living much more simply!

Happy New Year and may we make 2010 a truly great year by bringing more mindful awareness into our daily activity!