From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Respect your body through mindfulness
My Father grew up
in Miami, Florida at a time when it was possible, he says, to roller skate from
one end of the city to the other. That’s how small it was back then. He also
says that he had to skate really fast to keep up with the kids whose families
could afford bicycles.
Over the past
century our world has grown in so many ways. Generations of humans have built
and rebuilt the world. Advances in technology have changed just about
everything we do. Medicine has evolved to help prevent illness, mend and fix us
when we break, and even help us live longer. But despite these changes and all
of our progress, the one thing that hasn’t changed is our essential make-up as
- We only get one body.
While medical science has made enormous strides, we remain housed in
amazing, but still fragile bodies. Our bodies themselves are by far the most
miraculous computers of all time. Fortunately, we come equipped with a battery
(which is recharged while we sleep) and physical capabilities which are
designed to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, we often take for granted those
things that happen automatically and effortlessly. But while it is possible to
think outside of the box, it is not possible to live outside the
body! We only have one body, how well we care for it is up to us!
- Stress, depression and
anxiety are painful. When we exceed the limitations of our bodies, it is
like trying to drive a car without fuel. When we ignore the signs of our own
distress, physical and psychological symptoms can begin to plague the way we
think and feel. Despite our best efforts to meet the demands of the world in
which we live, it is not always possible to force our bodies to comply with
those demands. When we chronically ignore our symptoms of stress we run the
risk of a physical breakdown. When we chronically ignore our symptoms of
strain we run the risk of an emotional breakdown. If left unchecked, long term
stress and strain especially in the work place ends up costing everyone more
in the long run.
- Respect your body
through mindfulness. As a child, I remember learning about the human
heart. I was awestruck by its ability to function 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week, year after year. The secret to this miraculous ability, I learned, was
that the heart rests between beats. Fortunately, our subconscious mind
is in charge of our autonomic nervous system. Without this help we would
surely not live very long. But while we do not have to concern ourselves with
the automatic functions of our bodies, we do need to respond to alarms when
they go off. Our bodies communicate with us continuously. Our job is to pay
attention to these important messages!
- You’re only as pretty as
you feel inside. Many of us struggle with unpleasant feelings about our
outward appearance. Some people lacking self-esteem, go so far as to hate the
way they look. But from the immortal lyrics sung by the Jefferson
Airplane, “you’re only as pretty as you feel...” We must remind ourselves that
there is more to beauty than mere outward appearance. According to this view,
inner beauty is essential for true outer beauty. Some might even argue that
beauty is a result of good thoughts, good deeds, and good health.
had the opportunity to visit New York City for the weekend. Anticipating all of
the activities and long walks through the city, I had some concerns about the
wear and tear on my body and my energy level. A weekend like this had potential
for genuine exhaustion. This time, however, I decided to listen to my body from
the inside out. For me, the message was loud and clear: Rest between activities.
Following the example of my heart, I practiced resting between beats. The
results were wonderful! I not only felt good all weekend, I felt rejuvenated on
Monday and ready for the week ahead. By listening to my body from the inside
out, I was able to keep my batteries charged and even returned from the trip
with fewer bumps and bruises than usual.
©Copyright, 2006, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
Return to Personal Growth
Return to Table of Contents