Dec 28, 2011 When one lives mindfully, the magic bursts forth
Recently, a client told me about his longterm depression as it related to his pending case.
When my clients obsess to me about their psychological problems, I sometimes ask myself if I will be opening the verbal floodgates about their problems if I do more than just empathize with them and be present for them. This client did not seem to be in that mode nor to have such inclinations, so I asked him about his connection with exercise and spending time outside in the sun. He was not doing much exercise. I shared with him that when I feel down, exercising and being in the sun just about always do the trick for me.
How much does depression involve feeling disconnected with the present moment, being disconnected with nature and those around us, and escaping to the cyberworld and other disconnections from the very soil under our feet (or below the disconnect of concrete and buildings)?
How much do people get caught up so much with their daily routine and escapes to the Internet and television that they do not reconnect to their sprits and bodies, the immediate world and nature around them, and the present moment? Even the best self-improvement books, articles and seminars cannot supplant putting the lessons from those sources into action by putting down those books and articles long enough to benefit from applying those lessons.
A few months ago, I blogged about criminal defense as a healing art, and about dealing with and empathizing with obsessed clients. Earlier this month, I blogged about holistic lawyering and James O’Dea on creative stress.
Once lawyers and everyone else break out of obsessing over staying gainfully employed in this challenging (to say the least) economy, they can find the magic and their own magic in every moment and in every experience. It might be a challenge to do so when visiting a dingy and smelly jail, walking the hallways of a sadistically-designed Orwellian government building painted in peeling puke-cream yellow, or suffering the startling smells of a lifeless-seeming hospital, but such magic is here right this moment and in every moment not only to lift people out of depression, but to help them transcend the apparent limits of our health, the seemingly limited hours in the day, the bombardments of commercialism, and the seemingly limited free time that remains after working, sleeping, eating, and spending time in the bathroom. We do not need to wait until the workday ends to become fully alive and present and engaged with the world around us. We can do it in each moment. Sometimes all it takes is laughter, of the healthy kind rather than the nasty kind.
With the foregoing in mind, I was drawn to this webpage on mindfulness-based stress reduction, particularly with this passage: "Mindfulness is a lifetime engagement–not to get somewhere else, but to be where and as we actually are in this very moment, whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral." As Ram Dass says, "Be here now."
Applying mindfulness to one’s every waking hour is not about wasting time from the tasks at hand. To the contrary, when one lives mindfully, one experiences greater mental, spiritual and physical energy to transcend the blocks and heavy gravity that interfere with gliding through each task of the day, rather than dreading it.