For the past two weeks we have been discussing the benefits of The Habit of Mindfulness and yesterday morning I received a call from Dale who phoned to say he firmly believes he owes his life to that very habit.
Dale described himself as a 67-year-old Type A personality with off–the–charts blood pressure that placed him right at the front of the line for being at high risk of medical catastrophe.
Dale has been taking medication for more than 12 years in an attempt to control his blood pressure. He recognized that his challenge was exacerbated by his ever increasing weight which was heading dangerously close to 300 pounds.
That’s a lot of weight for a 5’7″ person to carry.
About two years ago a work colleague introduced him to the notion of taking short breaks throughout the day in order to, in Dale’s words, “chill out, think of absolutely nothing and relax.
At first Dale found this extremely difficult and as his mind kept refusing to participate he spent only a few moments in quiet solitude before going back to what he had been doing.
If nothing else Dale is persistent and he kept practising The Habit of Mindfulness.
It didn’t take long for his skillset to improve and he found himself able to retain states of true peacefulness and relaxation for several minutes at a time and, with continued practice, for as long as he wished.
And then an interesting thing happened.
As Dale began spending three or four 5 to 15 minute periods of calm, relaxed “non-focus” every day he began to feel better.
And as he began to feel better he started to take stock of his very being.
He decided to reclaim his life and health and slowly began a new lifestyle which included focusing on healthy foods, regular exercise and, of course continuing to become a better practitioner of The Habit of Mindfulness.
As peacefulness and calm, replaced the stress in his life Dale accelerated his effort to re-create himself.
Within six months he had lost some 75 pounds and after one year, having plunged below the 200 pound mark, his doctor took him off of his blood pressure medication.
Dale sent over two photos of himself. One was taken four years ago and the other yesterday morning.
In staring at those two photos I found it difficult to reconcile the fact that I was looking at two photographs of the same person.
Dale is trim, healthy-looking and exudes both confidence and serenity.
He will tell you that the key to his acquiring and retaining his new life lay in his commitment to a healthy lifestyle but that behind their commitment was a catalyst – The Habit of Mindfulness – which allowed him, for the first time in his life, the opportunity of experiencing and feeling at peace, calm, unstressed and relaxed.
And it was those feelings that led him to undertake the changes that have brought about the Dale of today.
The Habit of Mindfulness provides us with benefits beyond anything we could possibly imagine.
If it is true that mindfulness is about being present then the greatest present you can give yourself is ownership of The Habit of Mindfulness.
Can you think of even one possible reason for not doing this?
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.