October 30, 2008

Saying OM instead of Ahh in NYC

Kudos to fashion designer Donna Karan for putting her money where her mouth is by donating $850,000 for the initiation of a pilot program on integrative therapies at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. The program, highlighted in today's New York Times ,will include yoga, reflexology and aromatherapy as integral parts of a patient's treatment plan, if they wish. I am a firm believer that we can enhance our healing process if we are given options and choices in creating our own care plan, including the best that modern medicine and traditional healing practices have to offer. What a wonderful resource to have a myriad of options available to the patients at Beth Israel. I wish the pilot program much success!

October 9, 2008

Opportunity Within Crisis

barn's burnt down;
now I can see the moon

~ Masahide

I came across this poignant haiku this morning. Mizuta Masahide was a samurai in the Zeze domain of Ohmi Province. In 1688 Masahide's house was burnt down, prompting him to write his most famous haiku. The haiku seems very current and relevant to our challenging present times. Can we also see the opportunity within the crisis?

October 8, 2008

There Is More To Life Than Increasing Its Speed

"There is more to life than increasing its speed"
Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

Challenging times call for challenging the way we view life. Our natural instinct, when we perceive danger and crisis, is to speed up, try to escape, run away or attack...this works well if you are confronting an aggressive wild animal, but not so well if your "wild animal" looks like economic uncertainty, 24-7 technology, or lack of job security. As counterintuitive as it may seem, research supports mindfully slowing down in times of crisis to decrease the harmful physical effects of stress, increase mental focus and productivity and to regain a sense of internal equilibrium. While we cannot always change external forces in our lives, we can focus on skills to build our resiliency, slowing down, taking a breath, and challenging ourselves to create new ways of viewing life.

What are your thoughts about building resiliency during challenging times?