Do Not Focus On Me

#12

Step 1

Chose an object of your attention: for example, an apple that you are eating, a book that you are reading, or a video that you are watching on your smartphone.

Step 2

Find as many distractions around to keep your attention distanced from the object defined in Step 1. Try to concentrate on each such distraction to lose your initial focus.

Reflection questions

  1. How many times a minute is your attention coming back to the chosen object, despite all the distractions?

  2. What’s a powerful distraction for you?

Free Associations

#11

Try doing free associations in writing for several days in a row. 

Set a time limit, say 20 minutes, and write down everything in your head. Try to speed up during this time until you can write no more as your thoughts are more rapid than your hand. 

‘Automatic writing is one way of getting people to understand that there is “something inside them besides themselves”’ (Johnstone, Keith - Impro. Improvisation and the Theatre, Routledge, 1981, p.121). You will bypass the censorship of ego and your current mindset and neuro pathways, and get access to a deeper you. Maybe the writing will tell nothing to anyone, but the process will train your mind to be spontaneous and creative.

My story with this practice.

In 2016, as an entrepreneur in the learning business, I was on the verge of closing my business due to a personal confusion about the many roles I could take (coach, trainer, consultant) and about the coach - businessman lack of boundaries. I exercised with free writing and for several days I filled pages and pages of ideas, fears, possibilities. Looking over this production the next week, It was clear to me what I had to do and how I had to position myself on the market.

Debrief

  1. What seems to emerge from all you have written?

  2. What is a deeper meaning of all those scribblings?

Pretend

#10

Step 1: Position yourself at such a distance from another person that you can barely hear one when one talks in a medium voice.

Step 2: Start the conversation and make sure you can not hear everything the other person is saying, but only around 20%. Change the distance accordingly.

Step 3: Continue the conversation even if you are not able to hear everything.

Step 4: Increase the distance/ lower the voice.

Debrief:

  1. How did each of the two try to make up for the rest of the inaudible conversation? What was the quality of presence, attention control and listening while trying to do so?

  2. What was the essence of the conversation for each of the two?

What If? How Else? Why Not?

#9

During a whole day, for 100 times, ask yourself only these three questions when presented with any situation or problem: 

Why Not…? 

How Else…? 

What If…?

Have a kind of journaling of the experience and the next day look over the journal.

Debrief:

  1. What was different in the way I felt yesterday?

  2. What was different in the way I used my attention?

Follow Me

#8

In pairs, Person A will follow Person B for half an hour in everything the other is doing:

Step 1: Person B is allowed to do everything. Sit, stand, walk, exit the building, buy stuff, etc.

Step 2: Person A follows and tries to mimic everything Person B does: style and rhythm of walking, speed, movements, posture, etc. The following should be done at any distance and with any degree of accuracy.

Debrief:

  1. How much did Person B’s attention to himself grow due to knowing he is being followed?

  2. How much did Person A’s attention and presence increase due to closely following Person B?

  3. What changes into Person A’s mindset and heart-set due to mimicking Person B’s body-set?

  4. What changes if the two persons increase the accuracy of the mimic and also decrease the distance?

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