Mindfulness

Dominic Patawaran, M.D.

 

 

"Being fully present with positive intention for another human being is perceived by those we are with and enhances the healing effects of the encounter. It is difficult to truly connect with intention until we have explored our own inner nature. Patient care starts with ourselves. As this connection grows, our ability to sit fully with another suffering human will be enhanced, and appreciation in our work will grow. This growth brings forward foundations in healing that include positive expectation, hope, faith, and unconditional positive regard."

 

David Rakel, MD and Wayne Jonas, MD

 

I receive a weekly reflection from Dr. Fred Craigie, one of the faculty at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. This one, in particular, hits home for the month of December. For many, December is a time for giving. We find joy in the joy of others through the gifts we share... whether they are packaged in sparkling paper and bows, wonderful food to eat, or long drives through the snow to be with the ones we love. Yet, something I see every day with my patients at the Raby Institute is the challenge to give to oneself. We work longer hours, exercise less, lose sleep, sacrifice time with family and friends, pay less attention to our nutrition eating too much and to little... This year, let's also focus on feeding our personal spirit through MINDFULNESS.

 

If you have seen me, this word often comes to the forefront as part of my prescription at the end of a visit. Jon Kabat-Zin, who developed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness as "paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally."
Research has shown that mindfulness has both physical and psychological benefits. It can help with chronic pain like fibromyalgia, psoriasis, tension headaches, hypertension, strengthening the immune system, and slow aging. Mindfulness can decrease depression and anxiety. It can help you quit smoking. Mindfulness can also expand self efficacy - how one views their individual value, bring a better sense of control, increase empathy, enhance academic performance, build flexibility in our cognitive process... and ultimately allow for greater happiness.

 

This simple gift to ourselves will allow us to pay attention in every moment. For example: What am I feeling? What am I experiencing? What am I needing?

 

Let us give the gift of awareness to ourselves this December packaged in our special uniqueness without criticism to find purpose in the present moment. Let us use this time to allow ourselves the opportunity to experience life more purposefully from a place of gratitude.

 

I want to share a Metta Meditation that was given to me...

"May I be peaceful.

May I be happy.

May I be healthy.

May I be free."

 

Allow for Mindfulness to bring you self-liberation. It is about freedom not self- improvement. In this moment, remember without judgment there is nothing to improve on. You are the gift and your evolution is a process. This is something we can strive for during the holidays and the year to come.

 

Warm Wishes this Holiday Season!

 

Dominic D. Patawaran, M.D.

 

"Respond to every call that excites your spirit."
- Rumi