In examining the multiple factors that impact our daily ability to cope with the demands from our relationships, our work and daily lives what it all seems to boil down to, is our ability to relate, to listen and to lead, with integrity, authenticity... and love.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, what has been so impressive is observing our very human ability to pick up, clean up and carry on in the face of calamitous adversity. Politics has stood aside, as it is a time for true leaders to stand up and start to make a positive difference for all of those so terribly affected.
In the workplace, having the ability to pay attention to what is going on right now in the present moment enables you to recognise the impact you have on others with your words, your actions and behaviours. This is being mindful.
In working in the area of dementia care, I have met many wonderful and noble people; those living with the disease and those who care for them.
As a doctor I can provide knowledge, understanding and advice.
As a mindfulness practitioner, the added dimension is in recognising how to provide certainty in an uncertain world, how to promote autonomy in a climate lacking in choice and how to create calm, acceptance and even joy on a stage beset with doom merchants and naysayers.
If you first recognise those values, which define you as a person and adhere to them, practising mindfulness allows you to manage your emotions and stay true to yourself and your beliefs. You can observe, be aware and take part in what is happening in the present moment. Learning to quietening the mind, allows solutions to become clear and decisions easier to make.
How you choose to reflect on your daily life is something you may decide upon as a result of your life experiences or culture. The most important thing is to set aside those precious few minutes every day to allow yourself to just pause... and think.
Ten years ago, I found myself in a place beset by work pressure, anxiety and high blood pressure. Today through the daily practice of meditation I have learned the value of self-acceptance, of a calmer mind, and a mind better able to engage with all of life's many challenges without fear. It has allowed me to remove the distracting fluff of trivia and concentrate on those issues I believe to be of greater importance.
Mindfulness has rekindled my passion for what I do, and it reminds me on a daily basis that I am human, as human as all the other 7 billion people on this planet and I am truely grateful for that.
My blood pressure is now normal.
How do you choose to be more mindful in your life?