...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wandering Mind- Aging Cells?

You already knew that practices that encourage mindfulness and being present in the moment were good for your spirit. Now a biological marker is being studied, linking mind- wandering with aging. The University of California, San Francisco study defined being present in the moment as an "inclination to be focused on current tasks" and mind wandering was defined as "the inclination to have thoughts about things other than the present or being present elsewhere."

Interventions which support mindfulness, compassion, and acceptance are associated with increased activity for an enzyme called telomerase, which protects and replenishes telomeres. Telomere length is an emerging measure for cellular and general bodily aging. 

Dr. Epel
The lead author, Elissa Epel, Ph.D. concludes : "Our attentional state- where our thoughts rest at any moment- turns out to be a fascinating window into our well-being... In our healthy sample, people who report being more engaged in their current activities tend to have longer telomeres."

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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