Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What's On Your Mind?

I'm doing much better this week and think the exhaustion is from the time change. Monday was my first class on Mindfulness at the Cancer center and I am excited to be in the program.

Mindfulness is the act of paying attention to what you are doing, being deliberate in thought, being present in the moment. It's the direct opposite of taking life for granted. (Kabat-Zinn 1994)

A few years ago I bought The Mindful Woman by Sue Patton Thoele and developed several classroom activities based on the theory. But the habits of where my mind traveled went back into the same old ruts, worrying about life around me and focusing on the "what ifs" of the past and future.

My Notes:
The mind is immature, always busy worrying, known as "magical thinking". The mind needs to think and prepare for the worst. The mind is always scanning for threats, weighing the pros and cons of every possible scenario. With each negative thought, the body goes into the  "fight" or "Flight", response to stress, releasing hormones that can be harmful to your body.

I need to tell my mind to behave and listen to the wisdom of my heart. My heart is only going in one direction and has reasons the mind knows not of. Think of the ocean. The surface (mind) can be calm or treacherous,  depending on the weather. Underneath the surface (heart), the water remains calm. The fish are not affected by the weather and the shipwrecks remain undisturbed.
The instructor illustrated how I can  interrupt negative thoughts. I just need to stop, breathe and name 5 things I'm grateful for. I have so much to be grateful for; a caring family, so many friends, a great job. But I've been filling my mind with the little things that would normally be overlooked. Like today, when I went to the store for produce and the total came to $33.39. I had $32 and lots of change. GRATITUDE

To get rid of the dark cloud filled with worries,
just think of 5 things you are grateful for 
and let the sun shine on you.