By Dr. Ilyne Kobrin Urbanovich, D.C.
In times of crisis, people band together. Our inherent goodness rises to the surface. As we join with one purpose and help one another, our community strengthens and our burdens lighten. Growing up in the inner city of New York, I remember sweltering summer blackouts and vicious winter snow storms. I remember strangers sharing candles and shovels, loving and caring for one another. Amid every hardship I have witnessed, the community has been the hero of the story.
Are we changed in times of crises? Does something “click” within us, carrying us to a different and better place? Some events change you forever, creating a paradigm shift in how you see the world around you. It creates a change in how you live your life, replacing the old with something new. It doesn’t always take a crisis to make that change; sometimes it’s something so subtle you don’t even recognize it. Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Nothing changes until something changes.
As a motivational speaker and educator teaching self-awareness for personal and professional growth and development, I teach people how to look inward for change and use mindfulness as the vehicle for that change. Mindfulness is the state of being present where you are and with what you are doing. It is listening to yourself and others, without judgment. It is avoiding overreacting to what is happening around you as well as abstaining from re-living the past and pre-living the future. Mindfulness is the vehicle you can use to begin living a less stressful, happier and more abundant existence. This is the way to live a life of grace and gratitude.
With a subtle shift, you can begin living consciously, moving from the habitual toward the purposeful. You can start to live and act with conviction, attracting people who are following the same path. You form your tribe, your village, your community. Together you grow, fostering new ideas and visions, lightening each other’s burdens and pulling each other’s creativity to the surface. You dig below the noise to see the potential in yourself and those around you.
Mindfulness starts with recognizing your abundance of gifts, beginning with the gift of breath — a truly remarkable gift you are given from the moment of your birth. It is a simple gift for which you likely give no gratitude and whose power you fail to recognize. Each second of each day you breathe unconsciously, without giving it a thought. But breath is truly fascinating. It is the only function your body can perform both unconsciously and consciously. Conscious, intentional breath is your first lesson on your journey of mindfulness. This simple formula will guide you through:
- Find a comfortable place to sit.
- With your eyes lightly closed, breathe normally, listening to your unconscious breath.
- Begin to intentionally deepen your breath as you inhale deeply through the nose, filling your chest, your ribs, your belly. Hold the breath inside for just a second before fully exhaling, also through the nose if it’s available to you
- If nose breathing is not attainable, begin by breathing with your mouth slightly open. This is your conscious breath.
- Attempt to repeat your conscious breath sequence five or more times as you clear your mind and listen to your breath.
- Thoughts will come. Let them pass through your consciousness without judging them as good or bad. Accepting them as they are and release them as you focus on the breath. (It sounds simple, but we are so used to constant stimulation that silencing our mind can be challenging.)
Mindfulness through breath-consciousness leads you to look inward, creating a paradigm shift that alters your focus. Practice gratitude for the little things. Open your mind and your heart to attract goodness and creativity. Form your tribe, your village, and your community. Live a life of greater abundance, one of happiness and joy. Live the life on which you focus.
Dr. Ilyne Kobrin Urbanovich, D.C. (Dr. Kobrin) is a motivational speaker, educator and creator of Body Messaging. A doctor of chiropractic for more than 25 years, she is certified in clinical neurology and acupuncture. Dr. Kobrin is the CEO of Posture Docs LLC, the patented inventor of a posture support, Back Bean and a certified yoga instructor. She welcomes comments and questions at DrKobrin@bodymessasing.com.
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