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Pillars of Mindful Health

Cracking the Code of Profound Healing

An Introduction to the book by Ed Redard, M.D. ©2003
(Permission to reproduce with Copyright & Contact information intact)

     
 

 

Cracking the Code

of  Profound Healing©

and Personal Transformation

 

Ed Redard MD

PO Box 277453

Sacramento, CA 95827

info@MindfulHealthInsitute.com

Ed Redard MD©2005

 


 

There Is Something About John

            As a Physician I have treated thousands of patients over the years. Every now and then I meet a person that makes such an impression that they stick in my mind forever. These individuals are ordinary people that have accomplished extraordinary things, and they remind me that all of us can accomplish great things if we choose.

            John is such a person, and it is easy to say that John is an inspiration. At 90 years-old he could easily pass for being in his early fifties. His health has been excellent over the years and at 90 he only takes one medicine…Aspirin! With each visit he has a joke or quip to share, and since he is a retired armature boxer he usually throws a couple of shadow punches my way as a flourishing “hello”! Over the years he has openly shared his views on how to live life, and I believe that it is this philosophy that has kept him young and vibrant over the years.

On one visit he shared,” Only change the things you can, and don’t worry about the rest! You can’t change other people or what’s already happened, the only thing you can control is your attitude and what you are willing to do to change situation. Get up and do something! Keep moving! Have a dream! Have a purpose!”

 Although he is only five and a half feet tall, when he shares his thoughts his face becomes animated, his arms start moving about and he seems seven feet tall, larger than life. I genuinely look forward to each visit because I usually pick up a useful nugget of wisdom, plus, he’s just so fun to be around! 

Not long ago his wife of 65 years became quite ill and was admitted to the hospital. One day as I was visiting another patient in the hospital I wandered by the Intensive Care Unit waiting room and viewed him pacing back and forth. He appeared understandably concerned.  

           “I don’t know Doc”, he lamented, “They don’t know if they can pull her through. They have tried everything; she’s been on a breathing machine and her kidneys have stopped working. They started dialysis yesterday. I think she may be near the end.”

John and I spent some time together that day and I offered support during this challenging time. We talked of how life is a series of transitions, and how his wife may be going through life’s next transition. We stood up, and he gave me a tearful emotional hug. “I’m going to go there and tell her how much she has meant me, that I’ll love her forever, and that it’s O.K. for her to move on if it’s her time. Although she’s in a coma, I know she can hear me.” He turned and walked purposefully through the doors of the Intensive Care Unit.  

           The next day as I was walking the halls of the hospital, I notice John wasn’t in the Intensive Care waiting room. Curious, I entered the I.C.U. to see if he was with his wife. As I asked the charge nurse where his wife’s room was located, her smile vanished and her eyes softened, “She passed away yesterday afternoon. Her husband was at her side; it was very peaceful.”

The rest of the day my thoughts were with John, wondering how this strong, positive, vibrant man would deal with this transition in his life. I have so often seen the surviving spouse go through years of grief and depression over the passing of a loved one. Would John’s unique philosophy of life ease him through these times? A few weeks later he strolled in for his next appointment. With curiosity and empathy I picked up his chart and headed to the exam room. Was I in for a surprise!

As I walked into the room he performed his usual greeting, hopping down from the exam table and exclaiming, “Hey Doc, watch out!” as he threw some shadow punches in my direction. After we finished our usual greeting I sat down next to him and put my hand on his shoulder and asked, “Really John. How are you doing?” His face relaxed a little, but his powerful eyes met mine and he said in a strong slow voice, “Doc, I’m really okay. She died, I didn’t! Don’t get me wrong, I miss her terribly and some nights seem to last forever without her by my side. My best friend is gone. But you know what I figured?”

“What?” I replied. Now mesmerized by this gentleman.

“I figured it’s time for me to follow some of my own advice. All these years I’ve given other people advice and I could never understand why they didn’t follow it. Now I know why, because it’s not always easy! Well, life is about doing what’s right even when it’s not easy. So I thought, what are my options? My best friend and love has died, and I could choose to die an emotional death, which may eventually kill me too. Or, I could grieve her passing and keep on living. Remember what I have always told you, only control the things you have influence over?”

“Yes, I remember”, I answered back.

“God was in control of her life, and I sure can’t control what God wants to do!” he said with a chuckle while moving his eyes to the heavens. “All I can control is what my time on earth is going to be like. My life is about being alive! To be vibrant, to achieve all the things I’m capable of. To be a role model for other 90 year-olds! I’m not going to sit on my behind waiting for the end to come. I don’t know if I’m going to live one more day, one more week, one more year, or one more decade. All I know is that each day when I wake up I’m going to thank God for another day, and make the best of it. Life is made to be lived!”

As he was speaking his face became alive and vibrant, his arms were moving about, and he seemed seven feet tall. As hard as it was, it was obvious that John was indeed following his own advice.

I continue to follow John as a patient. He always greats me with the same shadow boxing routine. He continues to take one medicine…Aspirin. He still walks five miles every day, eats a healthy diet which includes a generous breakfast because, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It’s fire for your engines!” He continues to meet each day with the expectation that it will be his best, and it usually is.

Wherever John is right now, he is an inspiration. Not only for 90 year-olds, but for all of us.


The Mindful Health© Way

How do you handle stress? How about disease, illness or trauma? What brings you true joy and fulfillment from day to day? As a Family Physician for the last fourteen years I have had the pleasure to both observe and assist individuals going through the most difficult times and the most joyful and uplifting times in their lives. I have always found it fascinating why some people seem to ride the waves of life with grace and ease while others become depressed and even physically ill while dealing with stress.

We all know, or at least have heard or read about, how a person's mental processes and thinking patterns can effect and profoundly influence what conditions they are going to develop, and even more, how well they will overcome the challenge of an illness. How humans react to the world and how their belief structures determine how they adapt and overcome a challenge is certainly not something they taught us in Medical school. Studying hours of Microbiology, Anatomy, and Biochemistry was of no help when I was in the position of assisting someone through a divorce, death, or family crisis. In addition, modern medicine has done very little to educate physicians in the science and art of motivating, cajoling and supporting someone through the stages of change in adapting a new healthy behavior. My curiosity of what allows some people to handle, even thrive, during periods of “stress” set me on a journey to uncover the patterns of behavior and thought that allow some to live an extraordinary life even under the most difficult of circumstances. I realized that people that thrive do very specific things physically, mentally and emotionally. They don’t live a “charmed” life by accident! These people have compelling beliefs that support their health, they have sought out information from a wide variety of sources including speaking to others that have overcome their particular ailment, they move and feed their bodies in certain ways, and they have positive beliefs about the world that support them during times of stress. They don’t have fewer problems, but what they do about those problems is different.

I began recording what it was exactly that made the difference in those that thrived. As I taught these same effective strategies to those that were experiencing a challenge in life, they started to produce the same effective results as those successful individuals I modeled. After years of exploring the diverse field of Mind-Body Science and countless hours observing human behavior as a Family Physician I distilled my findings into a philosophy that I call Profound Health. These insights are now available to you, the reader, to begin using in your daily life.

 
 

 
 

            So what is Mindful Health? Mindful Health is a philosophy, or a system of thinking, evaluating and responding the world which was modeled from those who have achieved an outstanding level of health, happiness, and satisfaction in their lives. When you learn and apply the principles of Mindful Health you will be following the pathways that lead to better health, vitality, and passion for living.

            To begin, we should first define what health actually is. If you were to ask John what health is, he would tell you that health is something that is shaped, molded and created out of the substance of life. Health is not merely the absence of disease. Health is vitality and energy, when everything inside of you is working at optimum levels. It gives the capacity to do, be, share, and create everything that you are capable of.

          The principles of Mindful Health are divided into three pillars, or foundational areas of focus. As depicted on the Mindful Health Diagram, these pillars include Wisdom, Attitude and Action. In these articles we will cover each of these areas along with useful and easy ways that you can begin using them daily. In fact this whole process of Mindful Health is already what you do when you are at your best. Many of you may already be applying these principles without being consciously aware of it! If this is so, the only challenge is to identify what is already your natural ability and then direct it to your benefit. So let’s begin our journey by examining…

WISDOM

It has been said that this is the information age. It is not. This is the age of Wisdom.

(Remainder of information may be found in the book "Pillars of Mindful Health" by Ed Redard, M.D.)

© 2003 Ed Redard, M.D.

www.MindfulHealthInstitute.com
 

 
     

 


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