Cissy Brady-Rogers
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Archive for 'train your mind'

Some wise person once said that discipline is remembering what you really want.**

It took a lot of discipline for me to show up and stay for 20 minutes in centering prayer today. In fact, it’s taken a lot of discipline to show up most days these past few weeks.

In one of his daily meditations from the Center for Action and Contemplation this week, Richard Rohr reminded me that the union I desire with God is realized not by trying to achieve it, but by surrendering to it. He said that prayer is surrender.

Centering prayer is a prayer of surrender. As Father Thomas Keating wrote in his book, Invitation to Lovethe psychological content of my 20 minutes is irrelevant to the outcome. While I use my centering word to let go of mental material and come back to my center in God’s love, the goal isn’t to not rid myself of awareness, but to surrender myself to God’s presence and action within me.

For me, showing up to centering prayer isn’t the most difficult part. It’s staying still for 20 minutes that I find challenging. The past few days I couldn’t do it. I opened my eyes to see the minutes left on the timer and moved my body about trying to find a more comfortable position. But I stayed present to my intention to surrender. I stayed with myself and God for 20 minutes. I think Keating would say I succeeded!

What I really want is to rest and trust in God’s love. There’s nothing I can do with those 20 minutes that is more essential to my well being or the well being of the world than for me to surrender to God’s love. As Thomas Merton wrote in his Letter to a Young Activist, the highest good I can do will come not from me, but from my allowing myself, in obedience of faith, to be used by God’s love.

What I really want is to surrender my compulsive need to be active, engaged, doing and producing. What I really want is to strengthen my capacity to just be present with myself. What I really want is for all of my doing, activity, engagement and production to expand love within myself and the world around me.

According to Rohr, Keating, Merton and the teachings of many spiritual traditions, the best thing any of us can do in order to be better lovers, is to surrender to a Love greater than ourselves.

Contemplatives practices teach us to surrender. And they demand discipline.

If discipline is remembering what I really want, then asking myself what I really want is essential for staying with the practice in those moments when I’d rather do something else.

The spiritual path of discipline isn’t about force or willpower. It is a path of surrendering to the “Divine action” within us. As Merton puts it, they free us from the need to prove ourselves so we can be more open to the power that wants to work through us, without our taking the credit.

Remembering what we really want, identifying our “Why” can be an important support for showing up and staying on those days when doing, engaging and producing look so much more attractive.

Why do you want to be more disciplined in your spiritual practice?

 

**When I discovered this quote 10 years ago on the internet, it was attributed to Albert Einstein. In the meantime, the internet is full of references attributing it to some fellow named David Campbell. Go figure!

Last week I received an email from a colleague. She’s learning how much more effective self-acceptance is than self-hatred for motivating positive health behaviors. She told me what I’d said  the last time we met kept coming to mind: “I love myself more as I get older because there’s more of me to love…”
I don’t remember saying it. But God knew I needed to remember!
Most of the time I’m content with aging, grateful for the wisdom and sensibility of growing older and I accept my body just as I am. But last week I looked in the mirror a few times and felt that old familiar sense of shame and dissonance flood my body and mind. My particular body story combined with living in a body-shaming culture, I don’t expect to ever “get over” it. And I’m not sure that’s either realistic or necessary.
My mantra when that old story of “I’m not okay just as I am” shows up: “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.” And repeat as needed until dissonance vanishes.
 
Sometimes that’s not enough. I need time to work my way there. Not with compulsive exercise or dieting…but with breathing in God’s love, naming the shame, writing in my journal, talking to my husband or a friend.
As Brene Brown has confirmed with her research, shame thrives on silence and secrecy. When we can name it and tell another about it, it loses its power.
Glory be to God in Christ, we don’t need to remain silent about the shame that so easily entangles.
With the season of summer comes more body shame activation opportunities. And each one is an opportunity to breathe in God’s love and let go of shame.
I take a deep inhale and pray, “Lord, have mercy.”  I exhale and pray, “Christ, have mercy.” And will repeat as needed!
Don’t let shame win! When it hits you, take a deep breathe and remember how deeply, fully and unreservedly loved you are by God, just as you are right now.  If that cloud of shame is still hanging around after a while, call a friend and talk about it.
Let’s not let shame have the last word this summer!
May the final word be LOVE.

Today I’m saying YES to continuing my Lenten practice of staying in my own lane–especially with social media.

Emerging research indicates that the sense of connection afforded by social media may not be worth the price: fear of missing out, depression and social media compulsions that cause reasonable, moral people to act in ways that go against their deepest values.

My recent 10 day fast from social media confirms the finding that happier people check social media less often. I also spent more time reading and engaged with my work and relationships. No wonder I was happier. I had more mental energy to give to the people, projects and passions that are important to me.

Every time I engage social media I invite hundreds of other people’s worlds into my consciousness. Every Facebook post I scroll past registers in my mind, whether I acknowledge it or not. My brain must process and decide to by-pass ads and ignore posts that I might stop and view if I had all the time in the world…but I don’t.

Mental energy is limited. The brain uses more energy than any other organ–up to 20% of total expenditure in a given day. The seemingly small task of scrolling through posts for a few minutes, deciding which to engage and which to pass, depletes mental resources needed for more important and meaningful engagements.

Yes is a mindset, an attitude, a way of being in my life that feels the fear of missing out if I don’t check out Facebook or Instagram, then chooses to keep focused on the here-and-now of my own life.

Yes to being faithful to the present moment.

Yes to being here now.

Yes to staying in my own lane.

The sacred space of my mind needs clear boundaries around engagement with social media. I’ve known this forever. I want to stay connected with loved ones, see their kids grow and watch their pets do stupid tricks. I want to use social media for good. I don’t want to be used by or used up by social media.

What about you? What do you notice about the impact of engagement with social media on your life?

Are you using it?

Or is it using up precious energy and time that you’d prefer to invest elsewhere?

 

 

 

 

Lent commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting, praying and being tempted by Satan with what my former pastor Darrell Johnson calls “the world’s trinity” – power, possessions and control. As one New Testament author wrote: Because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those being tempted. That’s the good news we enter Lent with: we aren’t alone in our struggles. God gets it. Lent is a time to reflect on our lives, acknowledge temptations to be conformed to the culture around us and take stock of our investments.

In our media-saturated, often too busy lifestyles, many people, things and opportunities invite attention. The internet is a vast network of lanes going an infinite number of places. Thanks to technology we don’t even need to leave home to engage with hundreds of people and travel the world.

Every day I delete dozens of emails from retailers and service providers I subscribe to and organizations I value. I’d love to investigate the new brain book that Amazon recommends or the workshop offered by the Center for Non-Violent Communication. But to do so takes me on detours that eat up time, energy and, potentially, money. I delete 90% of what enters my in-box, but don’t unsubscribe because I think “Someday, I might want to go down that path…”

I like to keep my options open.

Cissy, Marva, Kathy and Diane

Cissy, Marva, Kathy and Diane

But, as my prayer partner Marva’s dad so wisely counseled her on many occasions, I need to stay in my own lane!

When Marva came home, complaining about some person or circumstance over which she had no control, he’d say “Marva, you’ve just got to learn to stay in your own lane.”

For Lent, I’m choosing to practice staying in my own lane!

- When I find myself tempted to open a superfluous email or click on a link to who-knows-where, I’m going to take a deep breath and stay in my own lane.

- When I am on the road and become frustrated with how others choose to drive, I’m going to take a deep breath and stay in my own lane.

- When I feel irritated because my husband left crumbs on the counter, I’m going to take a deep breath and stay in my own lane.

A deep inhale, followed by a long, slow, pursed lip exhale, activates the calming system of my body and brings me back to center. It’s a quick way to down shift my nervous system when it starts to amp up in response to the excitements and aggravations of life. It’s a powerful tool to bring my attention back to myself, let go of what I can’t control and change what I can–my own response.

I know I will fall short. I’ll probably veer into  Dave’s lane at least once by the time we go to bed tonight.

Thanks be to God that in Christ, I am already forgiven. And that’s exactly what makes Lent possible–I can reflect on how far short I fall because I walk into my darkness with Christ at my side. Before me, behind me, to my left, to my right, over and under, all around me. Nothing can separate me from God’s love. He’s in my lane with me, ready to help me bring my attention back where it belongs.

That’s Great News for this driver!

 

 

This morning at my conditioning class one of the other students commented that for him exercise was a “necessary evil.” I immediately jumped into my cheerleader mode: “Just imagine how good you’ll feel afterwards.” He was friendly enough but clearly wasn’t buying into my attempt to re-frame of his view of reality.

It got me thinking about the destructive power of habituation and conditioning. We get stuck doing things the way we’ve always done them and  let our limited view of reality and ourselves create attitudes that undermine our efforts before we’ve even begun. We’ve all said things like: “That’s just the way I am…” or “I’m just not a person who…” or “I’ve never liked…” or “I’ve always…”  While there may be valid reasons for viewing exercise as a necessary evil, but it certainly isn’t contributing in a positive way to anyone’s life.

It also got me thinking about what emerging research reveals about identity. Historically Western philosophy, theology and psychology have tended toward a static view of the self: there is an “I” that I am becoming/finding/developing. Freud dubbed this the ego. But post-modern thinking and neuroscience studies on the brain and mind indicate that the “I” that I think I am is not as set in cement as many of us believe.

Circumstances change.

People change.

Change happens.

For many years I’ve struggle with getting things done in an orderly, systematic fashion. I tend to be random, intuitive, spontaneous, sometimes impulsive, and on a bad day tending toward chaotic movement in so many directions that I fall into an emotional tailspin which can end in an meltdown. And that is not a pretty sight. Just ask my poor husband!

Thanks be to God that the scenario has changed over the years. I’ve changed. Through mindful awareness, centering prayer, yoga and other mind-body practices I’m better able to regulate my energy and attention.  I rarely go into tailspins anymore and it’s been a very long time since I had a meltdown. I still tend toward randomness and spontaneity in accomplishing non-appointment related work. In fact this morning my calendar tells me I’m supposed to be clearing out my email in-boxes. But I had an inspiration to write and made an executive decision, spontaneous as seems to be part of my creative capacity, but not impulsive. I evaluated the decision in a mindful manner, aware that the in-box project remains to be tackled.

Consistently exercising the capacity to focus my attention and stay present through these practices has strengthened the connections between the executive brain (at the front of the head behind the forehead) and the emotional and survival centers in the middle and back of the brain. Neuroplasticity is the technical name for the brain’s capacity to develop these new neural pathways that are integral to our capacity for change.

It isn’t as much about my efforts to change as it is about opening to the Spirit of Grace that does for me what I can’t do for myself. It isn’t trying harder, but softening each time I fall short of my ideals and asking for help. Change happens when I am willing to be changed and engage in practices that make myself available to be changed.

Jesus asked a man who’d been an invalid for 38 years if he wanted to get well. The man responded with his static view of himself and his reality, reciting his scenario as to why change wasn’t possible. We all have our versions of this story: “It’s always been this way…”

In another story Jesus met a man whose son had suffered convulsions since childhood. His response to Jesus’ statement that everything is possible for one who believes is one of my favorite prayers: “I do believe, help my unbelief.”

Unbelief is the crack that opens us up to grace. God does for us what we can’t do for ourselves, not because we have 100% belief, but in the midst of our unbelief.

The first question to ask ourselves isn’t “Can I change?” but “Am I willing to be changed?”

Holding onto a static view of ourselves or reality not only is ineffective, it isn’t true! If you’re a person who “hates exercise…” or “doesn’t like to eat…” or “has always eaten…” or “never could imagine yourself….” then you’re in good company. Many of the people Jesus healed were in exactly the same position.

Will you choose to believe, in the midst of your unbelief?

Today I choose to move at a mindful pace in the unhurried rhythm of God’s grace. After posting this blog I’ll get back on schedule with gratitude that degree by degree I am being changed. And while one hoped for change is that I’ll continue to grow in getting things done in a systematic, orderly fashion, I trust that today’s version of that is good enough for today.

What version of who you think you are might you need to let go of in order to have the life your really want?

Are you willing to be changed?

I smashed the tender pad of my pinkie finger between the dumbbell and it’s home on the the rack during a workout last week. It was only 5 pounds. But squished between two pieces of metal, my poor pinkie didn’t have chance. It hurt like crazy for a few moments. A blood blister quickly formed–my body’s way of saying “Hey! Watch out. Don’t be so mindless.”

Mindlessness, also described as “spacing out,” “daydreaming,” or being “absent minded,” is a default setting we fall into as a way to conserve energy, avoid unpleasant thoughts and feelings, or soothe ourselves. Shut off from direct experience of our body and sensory capacities, we lose track of where we are and what is happening in the moment. Mindlessness can also result when attempting to multitask. How many times have burnt or cut yourself in the kitchen because you were trying to keep track of too many things at one time? Even something small, like the conversation I was having while putting the dumbbell back, can distract us enough to lead to injuries.

To further bring home the “pay attention to what you are doing” message, just the day before my friend Sally talked about how mindlessness contributed to falling and breaking her elbow: “I wasn’t paying attention as I walked down the stairs.”

Sally Evans - I want to be like her when I grow up!

A paragon of health in her 70’s, she spoke about how it drove home the importance of mindfulness, especially as we age and our bones become more fragile. Earlier in the week I’d learned about a former student who is bringing mindfulness to the Southern California Railroad company where he works. As we know from stories of railroad accidents, when a 200 ton locomotive is involved, one mindless move can be devastating.

Sally broke her elbow walking down stairs she’d traversed hundreds of time. I pinched my finger doing a task I’ve done hundreds, if not thousands of times over the past 30 years. Coincidentally, earlier in the workout my trainer pointed out that most gym injuries take place in the transition into and out of exercises, not during the actual working phase! The same is true in yoga. My shoulder injury 2 1/2 years ago came during a transition from one pose to another.

Mindfulness is being where you are, doing what you’re doing–mind and body together in time, space and activity. Research indicates immense mental and emotional benefits, including stress reduction, decreased emotional reactivity and increased ability to focus attention. Whether it’s in the gym, at work, in the kitchen or anywhere else, mindfulness is good medicine!

For more on mindfulness check out my past blog or visit the website of UCLA Mindsight Institute founder Dan Siegel who offers free MP3s of simple practices. It will be good for your health.

I woke up today feeling unmotivated to get out of bed, uninspired by the day ahead of me, pondering what it would be like “if only…” I got up anyway.

As I made my tea and prepared breakfast, I looked out the window at the clear blue, crisp Southern California morning, heard the sparrows chirping and the doves cooing and decided to change my attitude. Just because I woke up feeling discouraged doesn’t mean I need to spend the rest of the day there.

Legend wants to know: What will you choose today?

Attitude is largely a matter of choice–especially for those without psychological conditions. But even those who suffer from mood disorders benefit from learning to shift their focus from what feels most natural (discouragement, sadness, suffering) towards something more life-giving. Our attitude impacts everyone around us, including our pets. When I’m in a grumpy mood, my dogs stay away. When I’m lighthearted they draw near. Same with my husband. The energy I communicate through my attitude changes the way others experience me and will reinforce whatever state I’m in.

Thoughts and feelings come and go. To a large extent we don’t have a lot of choice about the content that appears on the screen of mental awareness. But we do have choices about what we will do with what shows up.

Attention is the mental process that enables us to selectively concentrate on one thing to the exclusion of others. It is like a spotlight energizing whatever it shines upon. Deficits in attentional capacity contribute to all sorts of psychological, academic, occupational and life problems. It’s an essential skill for navigating the details of daily life, managing resources like time and money, and making health behavior changes. Without a strong capacity to focus attention on what is life-giving, we are prone to dysregulation of all sorts.

The apostle Paul knew about the power of choice and attention regulation. From a Roman prison he wrote these words of encouragement to his brothers and sisters in Christ who lived in the city of Philippi: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence or anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Powerful words from a man in prison. Like Nelson Mandela and other inspirational leaders throughout history, Paul didn’t let feelings evoked by unpleasant circumstances dictate his mood. He chose to set his mind on something bigger than his own miserable condition–specifically his faith in the God who radically interrupted his previous life as a persecutor of the Christian communities and called him to serve the very people whom he’d previously sought to destroy.

Twenty years ago I wanted desperately to do what Paul wrote about, but didn’t have the mental muscles to do so. I’d read biblical instructions telling me to choose to think differently, but couldn’t actualize it in my own daily life. I was largely subject to whatever thoughts and feelings rose to the front of my mind. In those days, “uninspired and unmotivated” might have set the tone for my day.

Like many of my brothers and sisters in Christ, I needed more than just good information and the power of the Holy Spirit within me to live out the transformation Paul describes in his letters. I needed mental muscles to access the power of the Spirit and mind of Christ.

The good news is that attention is trainable. Consistent use of mental and spiritual practices that work the aim and sustain part of our brains can strengthen attentional capacity. Over time the effort of intentional exercise of those neuronal pathways leads to what interpersonal neurobiologist Dan Siegel calls “effortlesss traits of living…” which make setting our minds on what is life-giving possible.

Fifteen plus years of exercising my aim and sustain muscles through yoga, centering prayer and mindful awareness of all sorts, have enabled me to practice what Paul wrote about to the Philippians. If I’d stayed in bed with discouragement this morning, I might still be there.  Instead, I chose to get up and into action, to set my mind on what I really want–to be inspired and motivated. That got me moving in the right direction. Then I chose to notice the beauty of the day. That shifted me a few degrees more toward a positive mindset. Then I chose to show up to my blog and share my experience, strength and hope with others. That leaves me feeling inspired and motivated for the day ahead.

If you struggle with choice and attention regulation, instead of suffering through another day of “trying to get focused” or “trying to change your mindset” I encourage you to invest 20 minutes exercising the attentional muscles of your brain through a guided practice. Transformation is possible when you have the mental muscles needed to access the power of the Spirit of life within you.

Join me for weekly Christ-centered yoga classes at Fuller Seminary and Glendale Presbyterian Church or come to my June 21st “Self-Care through Self-Compassion” workshop.

For online resources, Dan Siegel shares downloadable audio practices as well as lots of other resources on his website. His Mindsight book is a wonderful introduction to both theory and practice related to mindful awareness.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 21 years ago. Far from thankful, in spite of my doctor’s assurance that I had less than 5% chance of re-occurrence, fears of all sorts filled my mind that Thursday as we celebrated at my brother’s home.

ThanksLiving with Pam & Deni

A year later I was grateful just to be alive. More connected than ever to the gift of each day, being alive with eyes to see the beauty around me and soak in the love of family and friends was enough.  We gathered a few loved ones for a simple meal to celebrate life on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. A friend designated it a ThanksLiving party. It became a tradition and we’ve been celebrating ever since. A week after our 21st ThanksLiving Sunday event, I’m still soaking in the gratitude that filled our home a week ago.

ThankLiving is a lifestyle of giving thanks for whatever good will come as we seek to be a loving presence in the world. Whatever the circumstances, gratefulness is good medicine for the mind. I didn’t know the power of gratitude in 1992. Since that time, when I get to feeling fearful, anxious, worried or resentful, I come back to gratitude–making a mental or physical list of all I’m grateful for in the moment. It reminds me that just being alive is a gift!

My great uncle Solanus Casey lived a life of gratitude — a ThanksLiving lifestyle. He became known for his practice of thanking God ahead of time for whatever good would come as he trusted God’s providential care for all beings. His love for the poor and suffering endeared him to people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. When in died in 1957 over 20,000 people attended his funeral mass in Detroit. He didn’t do anything remarkable. He just showed up each day to comfort and pray for the troubled and to serve food to the hungry. People said that just being in his humble Christlike presence ministered peace and consolation to their troubled minds and hearts.

Solanus followed the biblical teaching that giving thanks in all circumstances is God’s will for us. I spent a great deal of energy in my younger years trying to “find” God’s will for me. I thought God’s will was about circumstances: who I married, what job I had, where I lived. But time has taught me that God’s will is about being a loving, Christlike presence in the world. In whatever circumstances I find myself, who I am and how I respond is the key to living the will of God. And gratefulness is the perspective that gives me eyes to see the goodness of life, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Pam, Todd and I celebrating 50 years of combined life post cancer diagnoses!

Last Sunday we hosted our annual ThanksLiving open house. Loved ones came and went all afternoon and evening. As I enjoyed reviewing photos from the day, I noticed how many of our friends are also cancer “survivors.” And all of us are survivors of something. Gratitude helps us move through the difficulties of life. When we can’t see any good to be grateful for in the moment, we can thank God ahead of time for whatever good will come. It reminds me of the following prayer reflection used by Solanus during his life.

Life is to live and life is to give and talents are to use for good if you choose.  Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be strong. Do not pray for tasks equal your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks, then the doing of your work shall be no miracle but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at the richness of life that has come to you by the grace of God. But everyone needs someone–knowing that somewhere someone is thinking of you. (A reflection used by Solanus Casey, OFM)

Kari & I - grateful for Life!

Pam, Deni, Kari, Todd and I have also survived many other trials. We keep showing up each day, thanking God when we remember and doing our best to be loving Christlike people in the world. Whatever troubles you face this season, may you have eyes to behold the richness of life that has come to you by the grace of God and to thank God ahead of time for whatever good will come when the darkness is so thick you can’t see anything good yet. The miracle isn’t in the circumstances, but in the transformation that will come in your own heart and mind as you open to the grace of God that transforms us degree by degree into more loving Christlike people.

It’s Friday afternoon at 4:50. The sun is setting and I’ve got a list of unfinished tasks. My energy is running low. My mouth is dry. My attention is waning. What shall I do?

Chill out. Take a break! Now!

promoting good health with Legend & Skye

My helpers in restoring equilibrium

I went outside, picked up dog poop, checked out the rising crescent moon.

Nothing like a few moments of solitude and silence to provide a mental reset.

What’s the power of solitude and silence?

Intentional inward focus with reduced input from the outside sources creates space for the mind to re-organize, to ground and center internally.

Solitude, even a few moments of it when done in an intentional way, can do wonders for restoring mental equilibrium.

The critical part is being present to the moment, with an intention to withdraw. If I’d picked up the poop with an intention to “hurry through it” so I could get back to the computer, it wouldn’t have the same impact. The simple choice not to focus on the next item on the list and to keep my attention on the dog poop, being where I was, not where I intended to go next, made the difference.

Many things can activate this inner stillness that restores mental harmony. The form is a tool to harness and direct mental attention away from external distractions and draw within. Brother Lawrence entered such a state when he “practiced the presence” of God  while working in the kitchen. Meditation of all forms help usher us into a similar state.

This blog is dedicated with love and gratitude to Legend and Skye who made today’s break possible!

In a NY Time article advocating equipping children with cognitive focusing skills, Daniel Goleman sites a study indicating that ability to manage attention is a better predictor of financial success and health than either IQ or SES of family of origin!

When it comes to physical, mental and spiritual health, regulating attention is critical.

specificity, focus, control

The physical therapist who guided my shoulder rehabilitation last year had a mantra: specificity, control, focus. It’s all about working smarter, not harder and longer. The more I focused on working my rotator cuff muscles and not compensating by using other muscles or momentum, the better my outcome. I could spend many hours mindlessly going through the routines while distracted by an audio book or watching television and not make the progress I did by spending half as much time with specificity, focus and control.

And so it is with any part of our lives: regulating attention is an essential skill, especially as opportunities to be distracted increase.

Recent studies highlight the potential of benefits of mindfulness training for treating female sexual dysfunction. For reasons beyond the scope of this blog, many women grow up in varying degrees of disconnection from our sexual awareness. Thus, disconnection from arousal or the capacity for pleasure and orgasm. Simply learning to “tune in” instead of “tune out” can make a big difference in our capacity for sexual satisfaction.

If the connection between regulating attention and sexual health intrigues you, consider joining me for the Soul & Sexuality at Eclessia church in Hollywood beginning October 20. I’ll introduce a Christ-centered form of attentional prayer as a tool for supporting sexual health.

In the coming years I suspect we will see a lot more about the implications of simple mindful awareness practices on mental and physical health, as well as success in other realms of life.

In the meantime, here’s a simple exercise to work your attention regulation muscle. Read through the exercise, then set a timer for a minute to practice. With eyes closed, take a long full inhale, followed by an even longer, slower exhale. Purse your lips like you’re blowing up a balloon to help you regulate the exhale. Then bring your full attention to your breath and just notice your breath. Notice the feeling of air as it passes into your nose, through your throat into your your lungs. Notice your chest or belly slightly expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale.

That’s it.

Doing this exercise a few times a day can be a powerful start on increasing your attention regulation capacity. Who knows, you might even improve your health!