Sunday, 24 May 2020

This idea is as powerful as duplicating yourself many times

It basically cultivates access to the main aspects of our own bodies and minds that our sanity relies on. Mindfulness tends to restore the dimensions of our being due to the fact that it includes kindness and tenderness towards ourselves. The mentioned have never been missing, but we have just been absorbed somewhere else. In the piece of writing, he suggests how we should take farewell of life: `End thy journey in content, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew. '4 We each have our own journey to follow. Mine started over fifteen years ago. You may recall my surprise at receiving a formal letter from the Department of Social Security informing me of my eligibility for the old age pension (piece of writing 1). The authorities were classifying me as old, while I felt that I was still in the prime of life. The surprise I felt led me to embark on a journey of reflection, research and personal experimentation, one which I've shared with you over the course of this piece of writing. While the lessons to be learned are applicable to older people as a group, each of us is unique, meaning that we each should pave our own way on our journey of individuation. In this final piece of writing I want to tell the story of my own personal journey. Following my initial surprise at being classified as old, the question of how many years I had left made me feel very anxious. Sometimes the best ideas for actions come from places you least suspected. The point is, take risk. Think big. You can always trim down any ambitious behaviors. As you start to take action, make sure your steps are productive and aligned with fighting your obstacles. One of the main problems you may have while chasing down your obstacle is the tendency to disguise procrastination into meaningless busy work. Your cowardly ways of wanting to avoid confrontation will emerge in many different forms.

Common unproductive actions that seem purposeful but are actually very counterproductive can include excessive desires to do research or spending lots of time on the Internet. These are both actions that can lead to you being stuck on the treadmill of getting nowhere with your resilience skills. Look for these types of behavior patterns that take you out of doing productive work. Now it's me. It comes from my life. Imperfections are a part of life, she continues. You take them and use them as part of what you're doing until they're no longer imperfections--they're assets. They make the moment more interesting, funny, dramatic. They're yours. They're something you control, rather than something that controls you. Unhappiness over not being perfect is still something Polly fights. She was raised to believe that if you couldn't do something perfectly, then you shouldn't do it at all. I lived that belief for nearly seventy years, she notes. I had loads of things I wanted to do with my time--reading, eating out--but my feet were sweaty and unsupported, my underpants were shredded, and for months my deflated breasts had been swimming in brassieres with underwires that dug into my skin. It was time. Early on a Saturday morning, I headed out to Causeway Bay. If the elegant Landmark was the crowned head of retail in Hong Kong, then the Times Square mall complex was the beating heart. The nine-story shopping hub was positioned at the intersection of several major roads, surrounded by a maze-like pedestrian shopping district, and sat atop a subway artery that pumped shoppers directly into the basement. By three in the afternoon, crowd-control police would be needed, and there'd be a risk of being swept in the wrong direction by the hordes or getting slammed from behind by someone's overloaded stroller. Wary of these hazards, I arrived before ten, while the streets were still being swept up from the frenzy of the night before.

This trip began with promise. I did shoes first--comfortable sandals recommended by my podiatrist. I enjoyed trying on the colors and styles, found a pair I liked, and ordered them. Zinn, who authored the Unexpected Power of Mindfulness Meditation, went ahead to add some very important point. He says that each time a mind clarifies and opens, the heart will also clarify and opens. Mindfulness also releases the happy chemicals in the brain, and also relaxes the tension that is around pain, improves digestion and reduces blood pressure. Mindfulness is so easy to practice and its effects are very amazing. It is not really bad when all that is required of us is to just pay attention, which is what we should all be doing but tend to forget. Each time, we pay attention; change becomes so easy to affect. Meditation and mindfulness can just be referred to as the mirror-like reflections of each other. Meditation expands and nurtures mindfulness while mindfulness enriches and supports meditation. While meditation is always practiced for a given amount of time, mindfulness can be used in any situation all across the day. My family and personal medical histories were hardly encouraging. My father died of myocardial in-farction aged 47. My mother and my only sister had also died relatively young, after long and painful declines caused by dementia. For myself, I've been living with only one kidney since 1999, when the other one was removed due to cancer. In addition, like others in my family, I suffer from chronic high blood pressure. The odds of a long life are definitely stacked against me. While most people can expect to live for a further ten years after retirement, it seemed unlikely that I could count myself among them.

Naturally, I was extremely concerned at this prospect, and doubtful whether there was anything I could do about it. Thus motivated, I set out to analyze my chances of a longer lifespan and try to figure out a way to change what seemed like my fate. While the prospects for enhancing my functional age seemed dire, the other dimensions of my make-up were much more positive. Remember that your mind can rationalize and justify any action as important. But all you're doing is just lying to yourself. Once again, your integrity is key, including the way you must police yourself to make sure you stay on track and not try to get out of your action plan. When in doubt, always ask yourself this question - Does taking this action get me closer to defeating the obstacle? If the answer is Yes, take the action. If the answer is No, realize that you are just procrastinating and trying to get out of doing the necessary work. When this happens, refer to your why. If you have a strong enough why, it should kick you in the butt and motivate you to take meaningful action and help you get closer to toppling the obstacle. By confronting your fears, addressing your three cowardly traits, making courage a habit and becoming resilient, your life will drastically change for the better. Your whole world will start to shift. I'll probably never completely shake it. But never is something Polly is saying less often these days. With every walk she makes from the wings to the light--and she's recently gone in front of audiences from Los Angeles to New York--she gets closer to shedding her fear of being less than perfect. This is who I am, says Polly. The light is where I belong. The knowledge of that will always carry me through, no matter how fearful I get in the wings. She reflects a moment--the kind of pause that makes her audience hear the lyrics in a whole new way.

For thirty-five years, I let fear get in the way of me being me. I'm not going to let it rob me of one more day. Resilience is a function of resisting the inclination to bog down in anger and remorse. Maybe I should get two pairs? Why do this more often than I had to? I got two. Next I hit a British department store for the bras. I methodically destroyed the size 36 display rack, amassing a great pile of plastic hangers and cardboard packaging in the fitting room beside me. When I located the winning bra, I bought four in a range of useful, boring colors. Buoyed by this success, I waltzed into a shop for chic casualwear and tried on some jeans so awful in cut and fit I laughed out loud. I was feeling good. I was feeling strong. It was nearing noon when I spotted a crowded store known for reasonably priced designer copies. Mindfulness can be described as the awareness of certain things, whereas meditation is the awareness of nothing. There are several forms of meditation. Some of the forms are aimed at creating a focused and clear mind, referred to as Clear Mind meditation. Others are also aimed at developing some altruistic states that include forgiveness, compassion, and loving-kindness. They are also referred to as the open-heart kind of meditation. Other forms of meditation also use the body as a way of developing awareness, such as walking and yoga; others also use sound, as in intoning sacred words and chanting.

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