Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seattle Times: Mindfulness: Take charge of your mind and body

By Richard Seven, Seattle Times staff reporter

Boeing engineer Miryam Chavarria has, like the rest of us, reasons to stress. She is concerned about upcoming labor negotiations, the future of her job, and a chronic health condition she must manage. She even disregarded her husband's warning and peeked at their plummeting 401(k) bottom-line.

In times like these, she turns to her practice of mindfulness. It's a meditative approach that focuses attention on the present — not on what might happen or what she should have done.

"I thought it was a bunch of hocus-pocus at first," Chavarria says. "I had a rough first session, but I chose to stay with the meditation and it has caused a great transformation in me. I find I'm more myself, rather than what the world expects of me."

She doesn't meditate every day but takes time to take self-inventory, to become absorbed in rote chores like washing dishes and be relaxed yet purposeful during so-called down time, like waiting in a line.

To be in here-and-now has never been harder. Is your job to safe? How low can the retirement nest-egg shrink? Will this political sniping ever end? Will the sun ever again shine in Seattle? Will our teams ever win? The world gets more complex. Layoffs, the constant drip of bad news, 24-hour doomsday hype, and the diving stock hammers that home.

There can be a fine line between dealing with what's happening and dwelling on it. That's where practices like mindfulness might help. You don't need to head to a retreat to gain a little perspective.

Read the rest of the article here:

Living Mindfulness: take charge of your mind and body Seattle Times Newspaper

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