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When my now twenty-something daughter turned three, she started to show an uncanny ability to focus her attention. She would search a muddled box of a hundred broken crayons, and within minutes retrieve the exact match to the one she had used hours or days before on an unfinished picture. That year she discovered the magic of making an idea come to life right before her eyes. Her intention, a laser-focused combination of will and delight, was simple and direct.

The Ornish roadmap of healing guides us with steadiness and resolve

We sat, hour after hour, coloring. She seemed undeterred by the insignificant detail that her skill was still developing. Her attention was nothing less than devotional. And later in the day, as if inventing the wheel, she would declare: “I know what we can do, Mom—how about coloring?” These are sweet, indelible moments etched into my memory and forever in my heart.

The enduring lesson for me is the efficacy of the intention and passionate attention of my little Zen master. To this day, she continues to happily and successfully focus on writing songs and singing, her new job managing seven departments, and on her close friendships that she cherishes above all else. She has achieved quite a bit in her young life as a direct result of these traits.

As adults, our lives are jam-packed with countless tasks, duties, and obligations. Our everyday intentions are legion. Our attention, more often than not, is fragmented and scattered. It’s often only when something unexpected happens such as a loss, a diagnosis, or a tragedy that our laser focus returns. Suddenly, everything except this one issue quickly fades into background fuzziness. Our newly heightened, undivided attention helps us to take it all in order to be able to give and receive help. This is when, together, we are able to move mountains.

What if we could bring this degree of intention and attention into our everyday health choices instead of letting a crisis force us in to it?

The answer to that question lies at the heart of the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine. I have professionally facilitated and personally practiced the Ornish Program for many years. I have learned clearly and simply how it works. The combined effect of all four lifestyle elements: what we eat, how we manage stress, how much we move, and how much love and support we have, creates the transformative experience. It involves showing up every day with my intention and attention focused through the evidence-based application of these valuable tools.

The Ornish roadmap of healing guides us with steadiness and resolve. We learn the everyday practice that we need to develop the kind of attention and focus necessary to maintain and promote our good health.

What’s the most meaningful step you could take today in attending to your everyday health?

Contributed by

Mimi O' Connor
Group Support Specialist

Hearts linked, together we heal…

Better Health Begins With You...

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