The New Year offers us an opportunity to reflect on our health and wellbeing. Dean Ornish in his book Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases, provides inspiring research that shows we can become healthy by eating a plant-based diet, exercising, connecting with others and stressing less. By taking small actions in each of these areas we can enhance our vitality and wellbeing.
I have found being less stressed to be one of the most challenging areas for me. I learned to worry from an early age and I tend to take on more than is reasonable and am motivated to support others and accomplish a lot. I have tended to be a pusher, not of drugs, but pushing myself to do more, be more and achieve more. This approach has been reinforced in our schools and workplaces. However, committing to taking an Open Stance has been transformative. When I remember, I experience more of a pull energy and let go of the worry. I feel more creative and in the flow. I am more productive and can now actually enjoy results.
It is our nature to be peaceful, joyful, curious, and caring. We run after these things and think: “When I have this or achieve that (money, fame, roles, projects, degrees, relationships, etc.) then I will be okay.” However, it is the running and striving that hides what is accessible when we are more relaxed and open. When we choose openness and quiet our mind and body we stop disturbing what is already there. When we are open, we connect with an inner sense of awareness of what is and what is possible. We are able to enjoy our life and contribute.
My commitment is to adopt an Open Stance this year. I know it may feel counterintuitive given all we are facing these days. However, this may be the best time to experiment. I know that being judgmental, closed and pushing are not working for me. I encourage you to join me on this journey. Let me know your experience as you notice when you are contracted or in judgment and step back and cool down and shift to being open. It is a practice and it is a habit that can be developed.
Commit to cultivating an Open Stance.