Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Posts tagged ‘living’

Mindfulness

My Clinical Psychologist introduced me to a powerful tool to add to my arsenal. It is called “mindfulness”:

“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

She walked me through a breathing exercise…complete focus on the breath itself…feeling the cooled air entering my nose…feeling it hit the back of the throat…feeling the rise in my chest as the air enters the lungs…feeling a second, subtle rise of the chest before exhaling…feeling the warmth of the air as it leaves the body.

I was then read a short story about washing dishes, from “The Miracle of Mindfulness”….I will share just one paragraph that sums up the idea of mindfulness very well…

“…If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not ‘washing the dishes to wash the dishes.’ What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future — and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.”

I applied this during my walk outside this morning. I took the time to not just see the sun…but to, really, “see” it! I felt its warmth…the rays touching my skin…the brightness shining…the reflection on the leaves. I felt the slight breeze…ever so gently twisting and turning the leaves in the trees…the slight movement of my shirt being pressed against my skin…the movement of the hairs on my arms…

It was truly amazing!! My focus was dramatically shifted…momentarily transported into the present time…fully embracing and experiencing what was happening around and to me.

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Getting Through the Week

The biggest challenge is making it through the work week….both work and family obligations. Focusing on the basics that must be accomplished…and enjoying any possible extra that I can get in….like taking my son to the book fair at school.

It is not comfortable…body aches badly…however, I don’t like to show it. I am sure you try to hide it the best you can as well. Some days it is easier to hide than others.

Even after all this time it is hard to know that I have no control. My body dictates my activity level…hard to explain….wanting to join your family for the basketball game…yet knowing, if you go, you won’t be able to sleep at all and will not be able to move beyond your easy chair the next day. (Personally, I go anyway…and pay the price! Those precious moments are few and limited!)

Now the weekend is here…time to try to rest and relax…keep things as low key as possible. I close my eyes and remind myself I will be back to exercising….even running soon!  I will be up for hunting this season!

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