1 Day 1 World Project – Hour 23

For the past five weeks I have been attending a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class that is paid for by my employer and meets for two hours during business hours, which for this week is hour 23 of the 1 Day 1 World Project. It is based on a program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (1981). The fact my employer sees that stress, both in the work and home environment, is a factor in the work-life balance is astounding.

Dr. Kabt-Zinn authored a book based on MBSR titled Full Catastrophe Living. Catastrophe in the title means “the poignant enormity of our life experiences. It includes crises and disaster but also all the life things that go wrong and that add up. The phrase reminds us that life is always in flux, that everything we think is permanent is actually only temporary and constantly changing. This includes our ideas, our opinions, our relationships, our jobs, our possessions, our creations, our bodies, everything. The full catastrophe lies within the complex web of their past and present experiences and relationships, their hopes and their fears, and their views of what is happening to them.”

Mindfulness is the disciplined practice of moment-to-moment awareness of each experience, good, bad, or ugly. It is just a way of paying attention to how you body and mind are reacting to the stress of life. The key to mindfulness is no farther than your own body and mind and your own breathing. A key component to MBSR is meditation. Several people have commented to me about meditation being a component of Eastern religions when I have discussed MBSR. Meditation itself is a misunderstood concept and when you boil it down, it is really about paying attention.

The mind and body are interconnected in ways that we cannot see. For example, when was the last time you thought about keeping your heart beating? Do you make yourself breath when you are asleep? Every wonder what your dreams were about? Everything that happens to us on a given day not only impacts our minds but also impacts our bodies. When the problems of life become to much for us to handle then stress settles in with a host of other problems both mental and physical. When one takes the time to be mindful of what is happening, then we are better able to handle the stress that life brings our way.

Be sure to take some time this weekend to be good to your mind and body.

6 thoughts on “1 Day 1 World Project – Hour 23

  1. Thank you so much for sharing the mindfulness, pay attention, and the connection of mind and body. We sometimes, I know I do, pay attention to the wrong thing, person… Other times, it can be a battle between mind and heart. Great post!

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  2. Patrick — even though it is true that meditation is a component of eastern religions, it is also true that the Bible tells us to meditate on God’s Word and to govern our thoughts to what is good and lovely. ~ Joy

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    1. Joy,

      You are absolutely correct! There are several Bible verses that I have memorized that I think about when I find myself in a stressful situation. These help me to recall God’s promises not to give us more that we can handle and to focus on just one day at a time.

      Patrick

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      1. Well, I don’t think God promises to not give us more than we can handle… but the point is that when we have more than we can handle, there is God to hold us and do for us and in us what is impossible for us to do in ourselves. So when circumstances are overwhelming and we are at loose ends, we can rest in the knowledge that God is sovereign and is working to our spiritual good.

        I think the verse generally used for the idea that we won’t get more than we can handle is actually talking about temptation and that there will be a way of escape (from the temptation), which, of course, could be turning from it – or “fleeing” from it. 😉

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        1. God is sovereign and everything that comes into our lives is an opportunity to grow. I am in complete agreement that God is always there to help us through what appears to our finite minds to be an impossible situation (a root of stress). Your point on God not promising give us more that we can handle is correct (I stand corrected). Temptation also comes in many different forms besides the main idea of being tempted to sin. The obsolete meaning of the word tempt is to try or test. Job is the best example of a patriarch of the Bible who was tested way beyond what he could handle. But eventually God provided a way out of his sorrow and blessed Job greatly for his faith. Thank you Joy for the challenging discussion!

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