Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Unit 8: Integral Exercises and Practices

After reviewing the exercises and practices experienced in this course, most of them were very beneficial in my life. It was hard to narrow it down to two, but I had to due to discussion purposes. The two that were the most beneficial to me were the Loving Kindness practice and the Subtle Mind Practice. The Loving Kindness has helped me realize one of my weaknesses and that would be negative behaviors due to me speaking my mind at anytime. It has helped me relax and work through these negative emotions and behaviors and share love and kindness instead of hatefulness toward myself or others. The second is the Subtle Mind practice. The Subtle Mind practice has aided in me finding my inner self and open my heart and mind to others and new experiences. This practice is so relaxing! To implement these practices into my personal life, I will continue performing these practices to train the mind to continue on the path of human flourishing. I will continue to at least practice three times weekly and more often as needed, especially if I realize that I am starting to wonder down the wrong path of fostering mental fitness. Also, I will change up the practices and exercises when needed to meet the need of the situation at hand. I look forward to continuing on this path to human flourishing, mental fitness, and integral health!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Unit 7: Meeting Asciepius and Transformation of the Healer

The meditation practice from this week, "Meeting Asciepius", was overwhelming to me. I tried the exercise several times and was just not able to bond or respond to it. It was a frustrating due to being hard for me to stay focused for the great amount of time between the visualization topics. I think this was the hardest meditation practice that I have experienced. I really do not think this practice met my needs. I will have to abandon this one and continue with the other practices at this time. Mindfulness and meditation has fostered an increase in my psychological and spiritual wellness by showing me the importance and benefits that these practices have on integral health and human flourishing. The practices has encouraged me to do the things I need to do to better myself psychologically, physically, and spiritually. Also, it has shown me ways to meet integral health to become one and whole again. To continue this fostering of greater health and wellness, I will continue to grow integrally to sustain health, happiness, and wholeness.

"One cannot lead another where one has not gone himself" (Sclitz, M., Amorok, T., and Micozzi, M.S., 2005, p. 477). This is an inspiring quote and the meaning that I feel that it has is that one will not be able to effectively lead someone else into human flourishing if one is not utilizing human flourishing himself or has had experience in himself. This applies to the health and wellness profession by one making a good example and being a good influence to the client. I think, I do have a duty and an obligation to my clients to have developed or be developing my own health through human flourishing psychologically, physically, and spiritually. My mom had taught me a saying a long time ago and I have incorporated into my life. "Practice what you preach!" If I am unable to develop integral health, my clients may see or feel as if it is a unnecessary cause. I sure do not want my clients to feel that way! I can implement psychological and spiritual growth in my personal and professional life by identifying my weakness and train the consciousness with contemplative exercises and practices for psychospiritual flourishing and human flourishing.

Schlitz, M., Amorok, T., & Micozzi, M.S. (2005). Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind-Body Medicine. p. 477. St. Louis, Missouri:Elsevier

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Unit 6: Universal Loving Kindness and the Integral Assessment

The process of the exercise of universe loving kindness was the repeating of four statements over ten minutes with my eyes closed with the mind and body relaxed and still. The statements included:

May all individuals gain freedom from suffering.

May all individuals find sustained health, happiness, and wholeness.

May I assist all individuals in gaining freedom from suffering.

May I assist all individuals in finding health, happiness, and wholeness.

The process of performing the integral assessment was very enlightening. The first step, I was looking at the four aspects of my life: psychospiritual, biological, interpersonal, and worldly. Then I determine which one needs flourishing. Next, I decide which development is out of imbalance and essential at this time, what practices I will need to perform, what problems to resolve, new abilities to develop, and how will this contribute to integral health. I explored what areas of my life is ready for growth and is it the same or different area. I then thought about what does the next level of development looks like. I wrote down some notes as I did my assessment. I then looked back at my notes and determined if the assessment is clear and unbiased. This assessment tool can assist someone to think daily about their integral health. I really enjoyed reading a statement in our text.

With time I will no longer think in fragmented ways, speak or act as if I am disconnected from the whole, limit myself to an underdeveloped consciousness, or view my life from the narrow perspective of ordinary health. I will think, feel, speak, and act from an integral perspective (Dacher, E.S., 2006, p. 116)

Practicing the universal loving kindness meditation was very relaxing and helped me open my mind and heart to others and release the negative emotions that I had bottled up inside me. This exercise assisted me in shifting love for myself to others. With the integral assessment, I discovered that there is a lot that need to be flourished and developed within my life. The focus area that is essential is the psychospiritual aspect. I realized most of my motivation comes from instinctual and education. I lack the motivation from wisdom, wholeness, and oneness. I have partially met this goal. I have the universal loving kindness and compassion. I am more reactive than I would like to be and knowledge is predominantly through reasoning. The majority of my emotions come from desires, anger, fear, and reactive emotions. I lack a stable and expanded happiness, wholeness, and oneness. I will continue to implement the subtle mind practice, meditation exercises, physical exercise, relaxation techniques, and unity consciousness; learning to change reaction into intention.

Unit 5 Project Power Point.....Mental Fitness

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Unit 5 Blog: Subtle Mind and Spiritual Wellness

1) Comparing the loving kindness exercise to the subtle mind exercise was hard. Both exercises aided in relaxation using focus points and deep breathing to help keep the focus and relax. On the other hand, in contrast the loving kindness exercise was a lot easier to follow, easier to keep the focus with, and was about finding love within your self and love for others. The subtle mind exercise was about training the mind to focus and tune into the deeper mind and release the mental chatter. I benefited from the training until it got to the part where the CD was messed up and had a lot of static. Could not focus with this noise being present. It became very frustrating. I tried multiple times and ended with the same result.

2) Mental and physical wellness is just part of the wholeness one can obtain. Spiritual wellness is a major ingredient for one to come into integral health and wellness. Spiritual wellness helps one open the mind and find their inner self with loving, kindness, and spirituality with a "great one". With this principle being in one's life, mental and physical well-being can prosper and grow. While taking this course, I have learned the importance of each one of the ingredients involved in human flourishing and integral health. Like in one of the past blog post, we had to look at how we graded ourselves in each, I realized how much I was lacking spiritually. Knowing this has aided me in setting goals and priorities. I have now added some of the interventions into my daily routine and have began to flourish. I have noticed that the mood swings, irritability, headaches, and blood pressure has decreased significantly, while the physical wellness has increased. By this, I mean that I feel like a stronger person mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually with my inner self and outer self.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Unit 4: Loving Kindness Practice and Mental Workouts

I have listened to the Loving Kindness Practice that was included on the compact disc with our textbook by Dacher multiple times over the last week. This exercise has been very beneficial to me in my life. I have had many hard feelings going through my mind lately primarily in my personal life, including being very hard on myself. I have a very bad habit of always taking the blame for everything and being so hard on myself. Those that know me, even classmates, know that I have this habit. This is a very hard habit to break, but I am steadily trying. The practice has showed me how to open mind and heart and let go of those negative feelings, love myself, and love others more. I have always heard that it takes a lot more energy to be angry or hate that to forgive and love. I can honestly say that I can now agree more than ever after completing this practice exercise. I would highly recommend this practice to anyone. I say this due to I know there are others around me that could use the help, just as I do, to feel better about themselves and others.

The concept of "Mental Workout" is that one has to be repetitive in performing the contemplative exercises to train one's mind for integral health and healing, evolving one's psychospiritual life and to know how to access its capacities and resources. Research has indicated that performing mental workouts has influenced and benefited our physiology, hormonal system, and immune system, enhanced one's well being, increases attention, memory, perception, and imagery, decreases disturbing emotions such as anger, fear, worry, confusion, and doubt, and increases positive emotions such as patience, loving, kindness, openness, and happiness. With this shift, one can increase their resistance to mental distress and diseases, increase the healing capacity, and promote well being. Also, using a test for gamma waves, it suggests that one with a compassionate state using contemplative exercises had a higher order of mental integration. To implement mental workouts in my life to be able to foster my psychological health, I will begin to integrate the mental workouts two times daily into my usual daily routines. Also, I will make the time that is necessary and needed for myself to meet this goal to become a better person internally and externally.