Moving towards Mindfulness

Rena Kilgannon is our first guest blogger of FGTS.  Please contact us if you would like to share lesson, personal experiences, meditations, and poetry from dharmic traditions and mindfulness.  Thank you for blessing us Rena.

A balance stone in a zen water

A balance stone in a zen water

When I was a child, my family suffered a significant tragedy. I was eight years old and trying to adjust to our new normal was difficult. One of the experiences I remember is riding in the family car and finding myself going into a deep state of consciousness. I retreated so far back into my mind that it transported me. The experience was so profound; I remember it fifty years later. I also remember being shaken and frightened by this – I had no name for it.

Those who practice mindfulness and meditation, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For many, the ability to move into a quiet and peaceful place in your mind where you can shut out the noise is a great goal to achieve. Since I began my practice nearly one year ago, I am in the beginning stages of understanding what it takes to get there.

In an article published by HuffingtonPost, Mindfulness Meditation Benefits, there are a number of reasons why you might want to consider incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily life. Here are a few of them:

  • It lowers stress — literally.
  • It lets us get to know our true selves.
  • It could help people with arthritis better handle stress
  • It changes the brain in a protective way.
  • It works as the brain’s “volume knob.”
  • It could help your doctor be better at his/her job.
  • It makes you a better person.
  • It could make going through cancer just a little less stressful.
  • It could help the elderly feel less lonely.
  • It could make your health care bill a little lower.
  • It comes in handy during cold season.
  • It supports your weight-loss goals.
  • It helps you sleep better.

This practice is new to me as it is for many who have chosen a different path to physical and mental well-being. I was always a runner and reached levels of calmness (runner’s high) through my running routines. In my 30s and 40s, I ran for exercise regularly – from 3-4 mile a few times a week to 10Ks, half-marathons and, eventually full marathons. Like many who run, I ended up with too many injuries and eventually had to give it up.

Then came my 50s when I was diagnosed with a health challenge that forced me into seeking gentler forms of exercise. I tried many: Pilates, tai chi, yoga, strength training, group cycling, and low-impact classes. More injuries sidelined me, but I kept searching.

My search led me to restorative yoga, mindfulness and meditation. I have found this to be instructive, strengthening, and most important, it brings awareness to my practice as a beginner. My yoga and meditation coach, Avril James-Hurt, an experienced exercise physiologist with Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta explains how to begin a practice in this video:

I have already seen health improvements as a result of this practice. Working mindfulness meditation into my life will always be challenging – and I welcome it for it has truly been the start of a journey to life long well-being and peace.

 

Rena Kilgannon runs Kilgannon Group, LLC, a small business consulting firm. She ran an advertising agency in Atlanta, Georgia for 25 years before selling her firm in 2012. Her book, What’s the worst that could happen™ is available on Amazon.com or at www.renakilgannon.com.

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