by Linda Janasz, PhD, 200 RYT
A wise friend recently told me that the best New Year’s resolutions start from within. This New Year, you can make a world of difference to your community, your company and your family by following an age-old practice to inner peace. It’s not surprising that few individuals know how to find inner peace; learning to surf one’s 65,000 daily spinning thoughts is not an easy task.
As a journalist, sociologist and researcher, I know that words are profoundly important. Words enable us to communicate with others, and most importantly, ourselves. Our internal dialogue, or verbal chatter, can lead to a myriad of emotions that impact every aspect of our lives. One of the ways we can create cognitive relationship with our words and thoughts is by learning to live in non-verbal spaces.
Last year, a Time magazine article posited that there is a Mindful Revolution, and we know that meditation has also become a popular topic. We are now on the cusp of understanding why this ancient practice can help us increase our physical and emotional health and reach our life goals.
By creating a new relationship with your words, you can profoundly increase your level of wellbeing. By cultivating the mind, reducing the amount of “thought spinning,” you can learn to deal more effectively with internal chatter, regulate energy and information flow, and be with emotions rather than fight them. By introducing these ancient practices into our lives, we not only see increased productivity, but we become more adaptive, healthier and happier, both in and out of the workplace.
Today, neuroscientists have produced brain scans that prove meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brains, improving memory, making us more compassionate and resilient under stress. In addition, these are effective therapies for addiction and social anxiety. Studies also show increased creativity and decreased burnout in the workplace. Apple Computer, Nortel Networks and Google have already instituted mindfulness training and wellness opportunities on-site.
A Personal Program
If you can breathe, you can meditate; it may seem simple, but it is not easy. A daily practice helps many live healthier, more joyful and productive lives. Like any new skill, you need a teacher that can guide you. If you choose to embark on a program, I recommend you find a skilled practitioner.
When students create a strong meditation practice, they learn the power of mindfulness through awareness. By exploring the work of Thich Nhat Hanh, the 87-year-old Zen Buddhist, who teaches, “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness; whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as a means to take hold of your mind again,” we will learn to deal more effectively with words, thoughts and actions and how to be in non-verbal spaces, for a healthier and happy New Year. Taking the time each day to meditate and to be more mindful gives us the opportunity to observe and witness our thoughts without judgment. With a regular practice, we become aware, accept and choose to enjoy our lives more fully.
Linda Janasz, PhD, is an Emmy award winning producer, journalist and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200). She has created and teaches a program called Mindfulness, Meditation and Movement (MMM) that has helped hundreds of people find balance in an unbalanced world. She will be leading an MMM 6-week Transformational Training starting Jan. 20, 11:30am-1pm, and Jan. 21, 8-9:30pm, at Weston Yoga, 2600 Glades Cir., Ste. 400, Weston. For more information, call 954-349-6868 or visit WestonYoga.com. See ad page 59.