Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Mindful Nation

It is Saturday morning and I just returned home after a wonderful few days with friends and family and wondering what gift could I buy for my coming of age nephews who will be coming over tomorrow for Easter Sunday.  On my desk was the book that I just ordered, A Mindful Nation by Congressman Tim Ryan who will be speaking at Mind Body Week DC in a few short weeks.  The forward is by Jon Kabat-Zinn who is a pioneer in mindfulness meditation. Jon talks about a Surgeon General report done in 1979, Healthy People “stating that no amount of money could address the negative consequences bound to emerge from unhealthy ways of living and not dealing effectively with life stresses”. ..At that time, many people with chronic conditions were falling through the cracks of the health-care system.  Today, those cracks have become chasms, and in spite of the health-care systems’ great technological advances, for the average American it falls far short of promoting genuine health and putting the patient at the center of health and healing.”

I witnessed this revolving door syndrome 30 years ago as a Registered Nurse working with chronic illness and cardiac care and with diabetes and cancer patients. It was a primary reason that I chose to move on to work with a 12step program that included nutrition, family and life style changes and a major reason why I choose to be a health coach today.

We spend over $2.8 Trillion a year in healthcare and are ranked #41 worldwide.  Detroit has lost over half its population and yet has 15 hospitals within its city limits.  The biggest and newest buildings on the waterfront are homes to the UAW and Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  Health care is very big business but it has not proven effective in managing and preventing chronic illness; which accounts for 80% of patient visits to physicians. 

To better understand how to effectively prevent, manage and heal chronic illness come to Mind Body Week DC . 

Jon Kabat-Zinn in his foreword goes on to say, “Mindfulness can literally change our brains…and enhance our emotional intelligence…”

And. “Who can argue, as he (Tim Ryan) himself emphasizes, with training our children in the how of paying attention so that they can excel at learning, rather than just yelling at them to pay attention, which so often happens in our schools?  Who can argue with encouraging and actually practicing pro-social behaviors, such as kindness and compassion in both children and adults as a way to enrich and deepen our ability to relate effectively with others and improve our own quality of life?   Who can argue with our need to slow down a bit and cultivate greater ease of being, to appreciate how we are in relationship with ourselves, with each other, with nature, and the society we live in, in the face of the ever-accelerating pressures and demands of our digitally driven era?  Who can argue with confronting PTSD and suicide in the military, and taking care of our troops and their families in ways that are up to the tasks and burdens that they shoulder?”

Mindfulness is about being human, alive and doing the right things for the right reasons because our well-being and the health of our nation hang in the balance.

This book is my gift to my nephews and I invite you to come hear Tim Ryan speak in Washington on April 18th or come to my class on Adrenal Fatigue April 21st at Beloved Yoga Studio

Carpe Diem