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Notice what doesn't insist on your attention


After a recent workshop, a woman shared with me a meditation exercise she came up with that isn't about noticing her breath, hearing sounds, or observing what's in front of her. She goes to her favorite park, sits down, closes her eyes, and notices the air. Its temperature. The way it moves. The way it touches her skin. The aromas it sometimes carries.

This appeals to the Kansan in me. It's in my bones to be soothed by gusty wind, but I need to be reminded to be on the lookout (or feel out) for the less obvious ways the world touches me. It does so continuously, yet nearly always imperceptibly until I remember to be curious about it.

Her exercise became the theme of my formal (timed) and informal (going about my routine) practice throughout the weekend. The fluctuating spring temperatures made the exploration extra rich and delicious. I could feel the chill in the air getting warmer as the sun came up. It was easy to savor how comforting the breeze felt as I walked Baxter. Its subtlety added just the right mix of challenge and payoff during my Sunday morning run. 

Haruki Murakami observed something similar in his first novel, Hear the World Sing:

"The wind has its reasons. We just don't notice as we go about our lives. But then, at some point, we are made to notice. The wind envelops you with a certain purpose in mind, and it rocks you. The wind knows everything that's inside you. And not just the wind. Everything, including a stone. They all know us very well. From top to bottom. It only occurs to us at certain times. And all we can do is go with those things. As we take them in, we survive, and deepen."

I highly recommend this exercise. It feels like observing nature’s breath instead of your own.

We think we don't have time to notice our perceptions directly, but strategies like these help us realize it's not about finding or even making time. It's about simply exercising a willingness to drop the illusory comfort of our plans and fears to yield for a few seconds or minutes to the sensations and perceptions that we're so used to swimming in that they've become invisible.

Restorative Yoga with Kit


I'm excited to be leading an afternoon workshop with Kit Spahr at the All Life Community for Integrative Well Being on Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 1:00 to 4:00.

Kit's mindful approach to yoga lead to my taking the leap into attending the silent retreat that launched my daily practice. Even when we aren't teaching together, our classes are an extension of our ongoing conversation about paying attention in real life. We are both more interested in questions than answers and if you listen closely, you can hear each of our voices in the other's.

We will be using both restorative yoga and mindfulness practices to offer ways to get better at savoring restful states, staying curious about their variations, and remembering (always the hardest part, right?) to be on the lookout for them. We hope you will be able to join us for an afternoon of cultivating your relaxation palate in order to get better at finding restfulness that's lurking in ordinary life...even in restlessness

Space is limited, so please email Kit to let her know you're planning to attend. 

Keep an eye on my other class options including another Saturday morning retreat at the Amelita Mirolo Barn on May 28. 

AWARE Right Now


The word is out about Uber. Even if you've never used it, it's very likely you know that it's a way use your smart phone to connect with an available driver and pay for the service using the app. 

What if there was a way to reach an experienced mindfulness teacher in a similar way? What if you could describe your interest (the need to focus or relax), your experience level (1-5), and the amount of time you have to practice using an automated text-based system that finds a teacher who can check in with you via a video or regular phone call. 

This is what a new startup based in San Francisco is developing. It's called AWARE and I'm all set up to take on-demand requests. I've already done a few even though the program doesn't officially launch for at least another month. 

Check out what one of my guidees had to say about it. I love curious skeptics! 

I have a feeling we'll be hearing more about this one in the news when it takes off and I'm looking forward to sharing strategies with people all over the country and possibly even the world. I'm imagining a person who is wide awake in the middle of the night being able to connect with someone who can walk her through an exercise for settling down and getting some rest. 

Recent Attention Grabbers

Recent Blog Posts

Keep in touch between newsletters by following me on Facebook, signing up for a class, calling to discuss individual coaching, or recommending an attentional fitness workshop in your workplace

Take care, 

Daron

"Rest in the Unrest"

savor sensations / you find in your body / that aren’t begging /for your attention 
Copyright © 2016 Attentional Fitness Training, All rights reserved.


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