Mindfulness—What's the Big Deal?

Our Western culture is literally bombarded with the word Mindfulness, but what’s the big deal? Be where you are?

Mindfulness is noticing where you’re at, what you’re doing, what you’re feeling, and who you’re with. Mindfulness is being present, right now. Super-simple, right?

Not so much.

“The most exciting news of all is that the conversation between body, mind and genes can be transformed. This transformation goes far beyond prevention, even beyond wellness, to a state we call radical well-being.”

People today are suffering from a host of ailments, including anxiety, depression (teen suicide is off the charts…), not to mention the many, many physical diseases. Why the suffering?

Barring the toxic, chemical-laden foods we eat, EM fields we’re constantly exposed to, plastics in our environment, most of our suffering comes from our mind, our heavy reliance on technology every minute of every day (put the damn phone down!!), and our internal dialog, belief systems and perceptions of the world around us.

Ok, ok, I know that sounds crazy, maybe even insulting.

Deepak Chopra wrote a book called Super Genes in which he discusses the fact that we are NOT our genetic makeup, that genes can be switched on and off through our perceptions, beliefs, traumas, mindset and lifestyle choices.

“The most exciting news of all is that the conversation between body, mind and genes can be transformed. This transformation goes far beyond prevention, even beyond wellness, to a state we call radical well-being.”

Radical well-being—how do I get that?!

Our body is awash in our consciousness. Every single cell is primed to respond to every single thought and emotion that passes through us. It’s why the fight / flight response works so well—we’re programmed for an immediate response.

Even though we don’t live in the jungle anymore where lions could chase us, we have positioned ourselves in super-stressful lifestyles, and guess what? Your body does not know the difference between real or imagined stress.

That means that every stressful, angry, fearful or sorrowful situation you expose yourself to, affects your body Fer-REALS. And guess what else? Chronic stress, anxiety and fear are super-inflammatory to your body, and inflammation is the #1 cause of disease.

you don’t need to assume the lotus position with palms facing up and chant OM. Just stop what you’re doing, sit somewhere comfy with no distractions and just BE.

So let’s get back to radical well-being.

Any way you can be more mindful and more present, reduces suffering. As Eckhart Tolle says “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”

Again, getting back to the NOW. Meditation can help this greatly.

Some schools are even getting in on Mindfulness benefits. Cook Middle School in Sonoma, CA has adopted “Quiet Time” for 15 minutes, twice per day. After the silliness subsided, students learned how to notice their breathing and become present in the moment. The results have been impressive. Discipline referrals are down by 35%, detentions are down, and students who were getting Ds and Fs are now achieving As and Bs.

There’s still so much to learn, but Mindfulness is turning out to be a sure fix for just about anything that ails you. Be still (put down your phone!), notice what’s happening RIGHT  NOW, rinse, and repeat—3-4 times per day. No, you don’t need to assume the lotus position with palms facing up and chant OM. Just stop what you’re doing, sit somewhere comfy with no distractions and just BE. If you need a little help, try a guided meditation, and you’re well on your way to radical well-being.