A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook: Monday’s Mindful Quote

There is a tradition on the Mindfulness and Psychotherapy blog. Every Monday, I cite a quote or a poem that is related to mindfulness and psychotherapy in some way and then explore it a bit and how it is relevant to our lives. For me, quotes and poetry can often sink me into a state of greater understanding.

This is a special day as it marks the release of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. So, I’m going to begin with something from the book. We open up A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook with a very appropriate poem by Mary Oliver, entitled “The Journey”:

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice—

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations—

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice,

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do—

determined to save

the only life you could save.

There is a voice inside most of us that at one point or another whispers or yells “mend my life!” This is exactly why Bob and I wrote A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. This is also why I created The Mindfulness and Psychotherapy blog.

In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, and in the 30 years that have passed, research and a tremendous amount of experience have shown that it has efficacious applications for alleviating symptoms of stress, such as anxiety, irritability, muscle tension, burnout, apathy, restlessness, headaches, fatigue, stomach distress, difficulty in concentrating, worry, overwork, substance abuse, smoking, eating problems, sleep disturbances, or feeling overwhelmed. It can also has applications to help with the stresses associated with living with illness, chronic pain, and conditions such as AIDS, arthritis, asthma, cancer, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, migraines, and many other medical conditions. There’s even research that shows this work changes our brains for the better.

We hope you enjoy it and spread the word about it for years to come. We’ve created a Facebook Fan Page community that is a central point for anyone interested in or who has been working through the book. We will be posting weekly video blogs that answer frequently asked questions and give tips about applying mindfulness to daily life.

Here is a video to enjoy about the book:

How does this poem affect you? When did you hear the voice “mend my life?”

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction here truly creates a rich living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

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