Thursday, September 10, 2009

A day of mindfulness: more in the "DO SOMETHING for Health Care Reform" series

I promised you a mindfulness exercise for Tuesday and it's Thursday. I really ought to remember that Tuesday and Wednesday are my long days at work. I did, mindfully, watch two presidential speeches, one each day. I will post links to them, back-dated, so you will find them below soon.

What I meant to do, though, and I am doing now, is to invite you to take a break from the politicking and letter-writing and move into a day of mindfulness about health. Your health. The health of others. What constitutes good health.

This goes beyond good health insurance coverage, of course. A few times today and this evening, observe your breathing. Then take some deep, slow, breaths.

When you get up, what do you do for your own health and well-being? What does your understanding of health include in your daily life? Sleep? Food? Exercise? Drinking water? Laughter? Community? Spiritual practice? (For some this means prayer or meditation, for others it may mean Tai Ch'i or reading or baking. Think about what this means for you.) Intellectual or physical activity? Creative work?

As you go about your day, do you think about your health? In what way? What is the place of self-care ? How much time and energy does worrying take? Do you have one or more conditions that require treatment or visits to health practitioners?

Simply observe. Do not judge.

As you go about your day, do you think about the health and well-being of others? In what way? What form does this take? Who are the others? Are they persons and animals who are members of your household? Are they at your workplace? In your congregation or other community of spiritual practice? Are they at the place where you volunteer?

Take your time. Notice.

Are there ways in which "health" becomes particularly concrete for you? Are there ways in which "health" is an abstraction?

What happens when you take time simply to observe, to notice, and then perhaps to name, taking time out from the rush of acting and doing?

See what happens to your day, your health and your approach to health when you consider these questions.

Try to do this without judgment and without undue rush.

If you like, write us in the comments to this post and let us know your observations, experiences, and thoughts.

Peace to you.


Danielle said...

Oh, Jane, this is perfectly timed - in the wake of heartbreak I am trying to take care of myself in healthy ways, and these mindfulness exercises are perfect.

lindy said...

Good on you, Jane. Too much involvement in the health care debate is not healthy. Thanks for helping us see both the forest AND the trees.

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