Personal Tips

Cohort Homework: Suspension of Attention

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For those of you that have taken the first of the Pathwise 10 Essentials, patient you know about Suspension of Attention. This concept explains the idea of grounding yourself in the physical world as a means to balance your thinking brain. It’s a form of active meditation that aligns the different inputs: fligh/flight or freeze; emotions; and cognitive thinking. By doing this, see you gain more insigt and can react more appropriately during times of fear, ambiguity and stress. You will find a clarity and understanding of what the other person’s intention is, beyond what he or she is not saying.
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We have very similar and repeatable physical patterns that emerge, when we are feeling threatened or have emotional unbalance. These physical patters, or “triggers” may be a tighness in the chest or jaw, flush face, or maybe even a nervous habit or desire to run away. All of these are clues from our primitive brain that we are in danger. The brain doesn’t know the difference between a tiger about to pounce, or your boss calling you into his office unexpectedly. However, you have a powerful tool that will keep you from diving into your self-preservation patterns that make innovation and creativity impossible.
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Once you realize you are being triggered, then your response is to Suspend Attention. We do this by thinking about a body part, or connecting with our physical environment. Your homework for this month is to:
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1. Recognize your trigger – How do you respond when things heat up? Do you know what you do next? Do you fight, freeze, flee? Just taking inventory is a huge step in recognizing and making conscious the patterns that may not have helped us the way we wanted them to in the past.
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2. Practice Suspension of Attention by thinking of a body part. You can think of your foot on the floor, fingers touching each other, or anything that interrupts the pattern enough to give you and opportunity to assess the situation and CHOOSE a conscious (rather than unconscious) response.
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Let me know how you do and share with us your experience of Suspension of Attention. Enjoy!

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