We have already given one 5-week iRest workshop and have just begun another one. The current one is being held every Thursday evening or every Friday morning in the month of March. We decided to start these at the end of last year in hope that New Year’s resolutions would bring people in to participate.
While there are a handful of people who are participating and we are excited for them and their commitment to bring more calmness into their lives, I have to say I thought more people would sign up, as I know our studio promotes all workshops that are being offered. I also know so many of our students take their physical health seriously. Why not the rest of their health though? Then I got to thinking, why would they? Even though clear research is out about the tremendous benefits of meditation, the underlying cultural message is counter to slowing down. We still constantly hear that if you are not “always on” producing and accomplishing, your worth is questionable and your life may be perceived as less full, even boring.
The good news is, this cultural message is changing, as there are a few major and well-known corporations who allow their employees time off during the day to slow down or nap. The sad news is, most employees do not do this. Google, for example, has nap pods for their employees, yet not even 5 % of the employees take advantage of this.
So let’s look at why we resist doing something we know is good for us, in fact, something we know is health-promoting and potentially life-prolonging.
Greg McKeown writes of another big challenge in his book Essentialism, “We have all observed the exponential increase in choices over the last decade; mostly due to technology. Yet even in the midst of it, perhaps because of it, we have lost sight of the most important ones. We are unprepared –to make these choices- in part because, for the first time, the preponderance of choice has overwhelmed our ability to manage it. We have lost our ability to filter what is important and what isn’t.” This is troubling to me.
Certain behaviors are at work here too. Research shows that relying on medicine to rescue us when we use the “wait until we are sick” philosophy does not work. Just look at the health of Americans! Yet most of us still live our lives this way in some form or the other particularly when it comes to mental and emotional health. The amount of prescriptions given in one year for these afflictions is staggering. Something clearly is not working. We need to be healthier! We need to take charge of our own health, change our mindset and our lifestyle habits. We must take the time to map out the right path for optimum health before we forget how to make any choices at all.
Australian hospice nurse, Bronnie Ware, who cared for people in the last twelve weeks of life wrote her observations in her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. They are:
1) I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me
2) I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
3) I wish I had the courage to express my feelings
4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
5) I wish I had let myself be happier
This blog is a call to live a life that is healthy in every aspect where important decisions are easily made to continuously support it. The quality and longevity of your life depend on it. Make the choice to be holistically healthy in not just body, but mind, emotions and spirit. Learn to meditate and practice it daily. You just might find that you are happier AND more productive.
iRest meditation teaches you to inquire deeply into who you are and what makes you tick. It helps you find within you a place that is always calm and at ease. A 5-week commitment is a “small price to pay” to receive a practice that could change your life.
Lisa Bauman, DMD, E-RYT 500, iRest Level II Instructor