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My Declaration

My Declaration

I am in Orlando at The Academy of American Family Physicians National Convention. The conference just ended today. What a wonderful experience! The theme of the convention was to Never Stop. Physicians from all over the country expressed what they will never stop doing for their patients. They will never stop caring, will never stop learning, will never stop listening, will never stop going the extra distance, and will never stop being empathetic. It was amazing to see 5000 post it notes stuck to a wall expressing the passions of 5000 physicians.

My goal, my declaration, is to promote healing and healthy behaviors for each and every one of my patients. To accomplish this goal I must be mindful. It is about listening and focusing. It is about making the patient my priority. It is about understanding patient concerns and frustrations. It is about displaying empathy. It is about being non-judgmental. It is about acceptance. It is about loving another human being and valuing the relationship.

What is your passion? How do you want to live your life each and every day? What is it that you want to do with your life? Do not be afraid to dream. Declare your passion. Declare your intention. And then go for it!

Check out these 2 Videos to get a better understanding of Family Medicine Physicians and how family medicine as a specialty is changing medicine.

http://www.aafp.org/events/fmx/about/2016fmx/highlights.html

http://www.aafp.org/events/fmx/about/2016fmx/manifesto.html

 

 

 

Mindful Words

Mindful Words

imageDo the words meditation or mindfulness scare you? Do you have a negative reaction if someone encourages you to meditate in order to reduce the stress in your life? Are you an individual that believes only Buddhist monks can meditate? Do you feel that it is against your religious beliefs to meditate?

Let’s think about other ways to define mindfulness. The ancient Sanskrit word SATI is defined as the ability to observe things with bare awareness. The ability to observe thoughts, emotions, and sensations in the body without judgement. It is the capacity to perceive events without labeling them as either positive or negative.

The capability to view events with complete neutrality and complete objectivity is a tremendous asset to possess. To learn this ability takes time and practice just like any other learned skill. The good news is that all humans are capable of developing the skill of mindfulness. Unfortunately, the use of words like meditation and mindfulness can frighten or intimidate people preventing then from exploring these concepts further.

I have found that using other words or phrases can assist people to get over their initial aversion to mindfulness or meditation. Changing these terms to ideas that make sense in the modern world and that make sense to you as an individual will help you move forward in exploring the wonderful world of mindfulness.

Below are possible terms that can be used to describe mindfulness:

Focused attention
Getting in the zone
Accepting the moment
Tuning-in
Unplugging
Praying
Opening to the moment
Changing the channel
Taking a breath
Changing your relationship to thoughts and feelings
Surfing the moment
Getting into the game
Creating space from negativity

The above are some of the possible terms that can replace the terms mindfulness and meditation. It is best if each of us come up with our own phrase or word to define mindfulness. Take five minutes now to do this.

The Mindfulness Breakthrough Book Review

The Mindfulness Breakthrough Book Review

This is my first review on a product about mindfulness. I just finished reading: The Mindfulness Breakthrough: The revolutionary Approach to Dealing with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression.

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This is a book about mindfulness written by Sarah Silverton. She is currently a mindfulness teacher and trainer at The Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University.

The book is broken down into 2 parts and a total of 9 chapters:

Part One: Understanding mindfulness

  • Introducing Mindfulness
  • Paying Attention Mindfully
  • Practicing Mindfulness

Part Two: Mindfulness with Life’s Challenges

  • Mindfulness and Depression
  • Mindfulness for Stress and Anxiety
  • Mindfulness in Relationships
  • Mindfulness with Children
  • Mindfulness with Carers
  • Mindfulnes and Illness

The purpose of the book is to introduce the reader to mindfulness from both a theoretical perspective and through actual experience via exercises provided in the book. It is the hope of the author that the reader may discover things about his or her self and through this new found knowledge find ways to change his or her life in a positive direction.

The book serves as a great introduction to mindfulness. By no means does the author claim that the book is the end all to learning about mindfulness. In fact, the author recommends that the reader should attend classes with an experienced mindfulness teacher to better learn and to more fully experience mindfulness.

I would agree that this is a basic introductory book about mindfulness. If you are an intermediate or advanced learner of mindfulness, then this is not the book for you. There are plenty of other books available for the advanced learner.

The layout of the book is beautiful. The words are printed in blue ink. There are numerous insightful quotes placed at appropriate intervals throughout the book. In addition, a multitude of pictures, diagrams, flow charts, and exercises are presented to enhance your understanding of mindfulness.

Overall, my opinion is that this is a well written book for its intended purpose. You could purchase this book new or used for under 10 dollars. It is a book that could be used as a reference at a future point in time if one is suddenly facing a new challenge like stress, illness, or anxiety. At a length of less than 200 pages, it is a quick and easy read. But do not fool yourself. To fully digest the material presented, it may take a lifetime of practice.