What Mindfulness Means to Me

foster_awarenessMy mother realized there is trouble brewing right off the bat! All that kicking in the womb I suppose.

On my fifth birthday the United States military built a fence around my parent’s house. Really, they did. It was the first fence they ever built around house on the base. They gave the excuse I might get run over by a tank.

The truth was I was so hyperactive that it scared them. I was a very anxious child. As an adult anxiety plagued my life causing grief, until I met mindfulness.

Now, I’m not talking about just daily meditation, which is a great starting point. I am talking about developing mindfulness into a way of living, something that truly transformed my life.

So what is meditation and mindfulness?

Meditation involves setting aside specific time to cultivate mindfulness. By focusing your attention on the present moment and actively noting when your mind wanders, as it certainly will, then bring it back to focus on the moment without feeling frustrated. Please note: meditation is free and accessible to all of us. This will help you develop your attention, awareness and acceptance. Then you can move your practice into everyday life, becoming a more open, attentive, less reactive person.

Mindfulness is cultivating awareness, being awake to the present moment, not at the mercy of regret, fear and uncertainty. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a proven scientific technique to help with anxiety, mental health issues, stress and chronic pain. The most important portion of this process to my healing was arriving at greater awareness through attending to actuality in an open manner. I was able to foster awareness, identify fears and resentments and let them go.

Now I am not saying I am anxiety free. I am saying I am much better! Anxiety, emotion, thoughts and pain don’t rule my life. This process helped me let go of my problem with the need for feeling in control. I could prioritize, find balance let go of my old self, awaken and take what life offered. This process helped me let go of those thoughts that stormed through my mind. I was able to let go and start enjoying my life, family and friends.

Mindfulness is great for chronic pain and chronic illness sufferers because it helps with stress. Stress quickens your heart rate, breathing, raises blood pressure, increases your nervous system activity, ruins you immune system, increases pain and anxiety. Mindfulness can help you navigate the roller coaster life of chronic pain and illness…. and anyone can do it, it is available to all. It doesn’t drain your energy; in fact it re-energizes and is calming.

Try it if you are interested in an improved life, more awareness, more balance, managing stress and less suffering. I hope that this testimony will bring you to try mindfulness. If you would like to join me on this journey you might come to one of our seminars.

I’d also like to advise you to try different kinds of meditation you can look them up online or find a local guide or book that can guide you. Some forms of meditation you might look into include mindfulness meditation, tai chi, transcendental meditation, walking meditation and meditative prayer.

If you’re interested in learning more about this right now, I suggest googling Mindfulness-based stress reduction or try out some great books by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Take care, until next time.

Dr. Kent



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