Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Coastal Carolinas

The Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

by Brooke J. Justason

The practice of mindfulness provides the opportunity to pause and reclaim the power of the
present moment. As we are all students, this allows us the potential to shift the awareness and start fresh in any moment. Touching into a space of presence, wisdom is at your fingertips along with love and creativity; there are so many possibilities. The freer one becomes, the closer one arrives to their truest self.

This may all seem like a fairy tale to some—one you may dance through only in your dreams. However, dreams really do have the power to become reality. In  yoga, there is something called the gunas, Sanskrit for strands or qualities that make up this current life and the universe as we
know it. There are three gunas: tamas, rajas and sattva. Tamas provides us with our foundation, rajas give it vitality and breath, and sattva permeates it with consciousness and compassionate awareness. There are certain environments and lifestyles that help to nurture our reality, cradling it within one of these gunas.

Nearly two years ago, I was sheltered in a greenhouse overlooking the Shelton Herb Farm at my transplanting station. I was cranking out some Malabar Spinach babies and I stopped to take a
deep breath. A tranquil moment with nature—moments we may so rarely get to enjoy as we
shift into the hustle and bustle that comes with adulthood. Flashbacks of playing in the dirt with
my brother arose, lifting rock after rock to collect worms and running to the little pond in our backyard to throw them to the abundant fish and seemingly monstrous frogs. I felt so grateful
to be able to rediscover this part of myself and to be able to do this as an occupation. With this drastic change in occupation, my mental health flourished, my physical health was strengthened and my morals became virtuous. Many moments of bliss followed with gratitude, only to be empowered through the toughest situations. It was a beautiful domino effect on my overall
well-being that nature helped to initiate. This state of being is known as sattva.

I had been working at the farm for about a month then, coming out of the stressful environment of waitressing. As a 19-yearold woman, I made the conscious decision to explore uncharted land for someone my age, valuing happiness over money. Little did I know that this would guide me to a sattvic state of being. Spending long days on the farm, outdoors in every sort of condition,
I realized where my values, interests and strengths lie. I truly believe if I had not pursued this alternative path from the typical norm today, I would still be residing within the tamas state of being.

As my final semester approached at University of North Carolina, Wilmington, I began to think more in depth about what I wanted to get out of my 480-hour internship for my major, Global Public Health. Just the thought of leaving the farm, the place I felt that permeated my being with
compassionate awareness, shook me up. As I was guided to Nan Cameron at the Cameron Clinic of Oriental Medicine, we decided this could be a good fit for us both. As I shifted my external environment, from a full-time farmer to a fulltime intern at the clinic, there were many
internal shifts as well.

Now I realize what it’s like to find freedom in any moment and rediscover this power that one best sees fit for oneself, and the world at large. I encourage every reader to acknowledge what power they can take back that has caused possible limiting beliefs on their self. Something as
simple as going for a walk all by yourself, getting our hands in dirt, buying some ingredients for a week of nourishing smoothies, giving yourself that nurturing environment to reach that sattvic state of being—life has a plethora of possibilities of which you can define. I thank my mentors Margret Shelton, Elizabeth Hewitt and Cameron, who have helped me to reach where I am today and to this frame of mind I have now.

Brooke J. Justason is currently a student at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, graduating in Spring 2021 majoring in Global Public Health with a minor in Yoga Studies. 
The Cameron Clinic of Oriental Medicine is located at 1928 S 16th St., in Wilmington. For more information or to make an appointment, call 910-342-0999 or visit The Shelton Herb Farm is located at 340 Goodman Rd., in Leland. For more information, call 910-253-5964 or

Cameron Clinic of Chinese Medicine

Cameron Clinic of Chinese Medicine

The Cameron Clinic of Oriental Medicine offers the time-tested traditions of Pan Asian Medicine combined with integrative and functional medicine practices Read More »