Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Lesson in Mindfulness

From the book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillmentby Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph. D.:
After three years of study, the novice monk arrives at the dwelling of his teacher.  He enters the room, bursting with ideas about knotty issues of Buddhist metaphysics, and well-prepared for deep questions that await him in his examination.
"I have but one question," his teacher intones.
"I am ready, master," he replies.
"In the doorway, were the flowers to the left or to the right of the umbrella?"
The novice retires, abashed, for three more years of study.
Aside from being a great lesson for all of life, being more mindful of the present when it comes to health behaviors can make a world of difference.

How big was the serving size of pasta you just ate?  Can you taste every individual spice your grilled fish was seasoned with?  Is there a cell phone or a blaring TV competing for your attention during your time at the gym?  Can you feel every muscle properly engaged throughout each repetition?

Quiet the outside noise and be more mindful of what you are working to achieve.

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