Here is the full transcript of internationally renowned mindfulness expert Shauna Shapiro’s TEDx Talk on The Power of Mindfulness: What You Practice Grows Stronger at TEDxWashingtonSquare conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: The Power of Mindfulness- What You Practice Grows Stronger by Shauna Shapiro at TEDxWashingtonSquare
If in rush-hour traffic, you can remain perfectly calm; if you can see your neighbor’s travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy; if you can love everyone around you unconditionally; and if you can always find contentment just where you are, then you’re probably a dog, right? We hold ourselves to these unrealistic standards of perfection and then we judge ourselves and we don’t live up to them.
The thing is we’re not supposed to be perfect. Perfection isn’t possible, but transformation is. All of us have the capacity to change, to learn, and to grow no matter what our circumstance is.
As a professor and scientist, I study how people change, how people transform. And one of the most effective vehicles I’ve found is mindfulness. My own journey into mindfulness was unexpected. When I was 17, I had spinal fusion surgery, a metal rod put in my spine. I went from a healthy active teenager to lying in a hospital bed unable to walk. And during the many months of rehabilitation, I tried to figure out how to live in this body that could no longer do what it used to do. The physical pain was difficult, but worse was the fear and the loneliness. And I simply didn’t have the tools to cope.