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Mindfulness: Living Through Challenges and Enriching Your Life In This Moment by Richard W. Sears

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Chapter 5When Things Go Terribly Wrong

Sometimes we become so overwhelmed that our ability to cope breaks down. We will likely need professional help when this happens, but mindfulness can be a powerful tool on the path to healing.

Several years ago, I was teaching a martial arts class, and began feeling thirsty, with a sharp headache near my left temple. As I was talking in front of the students, demonstrating a gun disarm technique, I became very light headed. This had happened occasionally when I was in graduate school after standing up too fast, and it would pass quickly if I lay down for a few moments. Because I was talking in front of everyone, I just kept going, hoping it would pass. First my vision faded to black, and then the entire right side of my body went numb and lost all muscle control. I collapsed to the ground, though somehow I curled the left side of my body to control the fall. I felt something strange under my head. Stephen Hayes, the 10th degree black belt founder of our system, just happened to be there watching. Later, he told me that I went down so smoothly that at first people thought I did it on purpose, perhaps to demonstrate how to do the technique from the ground. He told me he must have unconsciously known something was wrong, because he placed his foot under my head to catch it.

I lay on the floor as everyone looked at me, unsure of what was going ...

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