"A man lies dying in a hospital bed. He has spent his entire life building for the future, doing what needed to be done to amass wealth and raise his status to a level he thought worthy. Now he has reached the end of his days and finds himself filled with remorse rather than satisfaction. In his final moments, he turns to his doctor and says, 'I spent my whole life stepping on people in order to get to where I want to be, and now there's no one left for me. It's only now that I realize it's so simple. It's who you love and how you love and the rest of it, the rest of it never mattered.' That is a powerful lesson, yet he has little time left to make use of it.
He came to clarity at the end of his life; what if you could get this clarity now?"
-- The Now Effect
Millions of people, including professionals in mental health, medicine, business, sports, and even politics have begun to integrate mindfulness into their lives.
Why? We're a culture that believes in science, and the science is speaking:
Recent research came in The Journal of Occupational Health, with a 12-week live online program I created for eMindful called Mindfulness at Work™ studied to explore effects on stress. The results: significant reduction in perceived stress levels and their ability to respond to stress.
It's not news that most of the time we live in a state of autopilot where our brain is making rapid fire decisions beneath our awareness, which can often lead to stress. After an event occurs, the brain reaches back into its reference bank of memories and experiences to make a judgment call on what to do next. If there's something worrying you, it's going to play the "what if" game, thinking of the worst case scenarios and pouring kerosene on the fire. At this point autopilot kicks in and carries us into an unintentional habitual pattern of thinking and living.
Our brains are designed to handle an increasing amount of complex information, and as more avenues of information have become available (e.g., PDAs, Internet, etc.), our brains adapt and we can't help but live in shallow noisy waters and lack a sense of depth of what is the most skillful response to stress. It's not really our fault; our brains have adapted to handle the complexity of modern-day life.
The problem is this is a recipe for an ongoing stress cycle.
But as we begin to train our minds to see the spaces of choice in our lives and meet them with mindfulness, we can literally rewire a healthier brain and change the way we think before we think. This is what I call The Now Effect.
Recent neuroscience and thousands of personal stories show us this is real and powerful. We can reconnect to what matters, break free from the limiting stories in our minds, rewire a stronger and healthier brain, incline our minds toward the good in life and even learn how to relate to our difficult feelings differently to realize an emotional freedom from the confines of our habitual thoughts and reactions.
To give you the best opportunity to apply these teachings and practices in your life I created the Free Now Effect Community, where you can have daily now moments delivered to your inbox, a weekly offering of teaching, videos and event updates, and a free live online event to go over some of the teachings, practices and answer some of your important questions.
As we experience those moments of clarity, that now effect, we can unlock the confines of our minds and begin a playful adventure in our lives.
Before you move on with your day, consider this:
As you're reading these words you are living in a space between where you were previously and to where you're about to be.
What is most important for you to be paying attention to in this next moment? Recognize right now that you have a choice onto where you can intentionally place your attention.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
For more by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., click here.
For more on mindfulness, click here.