Most people spend their days on “automatic pilot” not really paying attention. We often engage in one activity while our mind is focused on something else. We think we can accomplish more by doing several things at once. This is simply not true. When we bring our whole being into focus on one thing at at time, we are more productive. Sometimes we must quickly switch from one activity to another. The key is to give your full attention to each activity only when you are doing it.
Like a lot of the skills already covered, this one appears simple. Putting it into practice can be a little more complicated. We all like to think that we are non-judgmental. Yet we place value judgments on ourselves, others, and events all the time.
Participation is the last of the “what” Mindfulness skills. It is the natural extension of Observe and Describe. Anyone can sit on the sidelines observing an experience and describing it. Immersing oneself in the experience invites us to be authentic participants in our own lives.
Just as the workday was ending heavy thunderstorms rolled into town yesterday evening. Soon tornado sirens sounded the warning to take shelter. Without any drama, anxiety, or stress, I picked up a few things and moved to the basement where I called my husband and kids to check in. About the most dramatic event was discovering water leaks in a few places near the baseboards. Moments after my husband arrived home, a second siren signaled the “all clear.”
One moment home was a noisy flurry of activity. The next moment, a surreal silence filled the air. Even the dog sensed it. Change happened in an instant. Three weeks ago I left home for the AHMA Conference. Three days later I returned to and empty house. My three-bedroom home became an empty nest.
“BEEP…BEEP…BEEP! This is not a drill. Migraine will commence within 24 hours. You are urged to take shelter and make preparations immediately.” Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a warning like this to let you know when your next migraine attack was about to start? Well, you probably already get a warning and just didn’t know how to recognize it.
Darkness enveloped the room. A halo of ice packs barely dulled the pulsating throb inside my head. The active volcano in my stomach churned, threatening to explode each time the smell of burning sulfur hit my nose. “BOOM!” Sounds, lights, and smells assaulted my nervous system like exploding missiles. Surrendering had been in vain. There was no escaping fireworks on July 4th.
Can you thrive with chronic pain? Millions of people all over the world are living with daily, unrelenting pain. Have you ever wondered how they do it? Maybe you’re thinking “I could never do that!”
Ever wondered what Botox injections really look like? Dr. Syed administered 31 injections to my face, head, neck, & shoulders. Here’s what really happens. Thanks to Botox, I have enjoyed a 6 month total remission of cluster headaches. Migraine attacks are down to an average of 3 per month. They respond much better to abortive treatment, usually lasting less than 2 hours.
Many of you are new, so I decided to start off the month with a glimpse behind the curtain. As you read about me, look for clues to tell you where I’m from.
The Brain Storm got its name from the neurological storms that occur during both Migraine and Cluster Headache attacks. I have been living with Migraine for 40 years. Cluster Headache is a relative newcomer, making its debut just 15 years ago. The blog got its start in 2012 as documentation of my journey to finally find effective treatment for both conditions. It has gone through several transformations, including at least three name changes, before finally settling into its current format.