It was far from my normal dinner, especially with it being College basketball’s annual March Madness event and all. But Friday night, instead of bringing home some Thai food and watching college basketball, this wingman found himself at a small dinner party seated next to Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the brilliant founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR), best-selling author and internationally known meditation teacher.
Sitting with us at the table were Neuroscience Researchers, Professors of Religion, Wellness Leaders, my sister Sandy, and my brother-in-law Jack.
Have you ever been in a really cool setting, like my dinner last night, and have your sister call you by your endearing family name. That’s right, you may know me as Michael, or Wingman, but now Jon Kabat-Zinn knows me as Mikey. Like that old TV commercial, “Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything”. Ahhh… family.
So there I was, in the seat of honor, next to the guest of honor. How that happened is still a mystery to me, but the whole esoteric nature of life seemed to dominate the conversation so perhaps my privileged seating was just another example of such.
Jon, oh yeah, we’re now on a first name basis, was in Providence, RI, doing some workshops on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Brown University’s faculty, staff and students.
I was there because my brother-in-law, Jack, is the Dean of Brown University Medical School, and was unable to drive due to a recent surgery.
That’s right, the wingman was there as his driver.
Right time, right place sort of thing?
Or maybe my dinner with Jon was some sort of karmic reward.
After all, I was supposed to be in Malaysia, then Australia, Indonesia and finally, South Korea, where I’ll be spending some time with my friend and teacher, Zen Master Jung Bong Mu Mu. My trip had to be postponed though, due to a weird confluence of circumstances, where both my sister Sandy, and Jack, had some medical issues and needed me to drive them around. And then, my 89 year-old, mother took a turn for the worse.
I was grounded.
When you live a nomadic existence with no permanent address, you would think you were always just, “in the moment”. But in truth, itineraries, reservations and airplane tickets are planned and arranged months in advance. So, in my current circumstances of being a wingman for my sister and brother in law, and a caretaker for my mom, all of my current travel plans have been thrown out the window. It was the perfect time to be reminded of the importance of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s primary philosophy to be present in this moment.
And with our trip postponed, our plane tickets canceled, and without a clear vision of what’s coming next, I realized that this “be in the moment stuff”, is easier said then done. But if there is one thing I’ve learned as a wingman, it’s that I can practice it. So practice I do.
And as I practice being in this moment, I’m reminded that you never know what the next moment will bring. Last Sunday, I was driving to the Newark airport in one moment, and the next, I had made a U-turn and was heading back up to Providence. Who could have foretold that because of that moment, that U-turn would have led to my dinner with Jon.
As Jon says, “Give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.”
And so I do.
What capped off the evening was when Jon learned of my video Wingman minutes, he gifted me a practice.
So please, join me in doing Jon’s Wingman Minute practice by clicking below and taking 5 deep breaths and being present in this moment.
If you want to know more about Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness based Stress Reduction program, click here. https://www.mindfulnesscds.com
If you want to check out a very cool wellness website from someone from the dinner party, click here… http://beta.nutmegaspirin.com
+ Everyone in our Wingman Mastermind group has been making great progress toward achieving their goals, so much so, that Jan and I decided to start another one shortly. I’ll send out the info soon. Email me if you are interested in joining.
++ You can practice with me every morning, by just clicking on my web site at www.beyourownwingman.com.
+++ If you want to improve your positive energy, increase your level of success, and begin living the life you desire, feel free to contact me for individual on-line sessions with both Janet, an LCSW and Psychotherapist for the past 20 years, and myself.