Over the last several months, beginning with Dave Mochel's Full not Frantic Training Our Brain Class, I have committed to a morning ritual consisting primarily of reading, writing, exercising and mindful breathing. So that I can complete this ritual without distraction and without compromising my family, I wake at 5:15 so that I finish at 6:45 when I wake my three girls (wife included) with their daily breakfast in bed.
This morning as I was exiting my reading phase and moving into my mindful breathing component, I noticed Bubba, our 90 pound Labradoodle sheepishly looking at the ground as if he had done something bad. I immediately knew what had happened, as I have seen that sad look many times over the last 7 years. So I scanned our rug (the only rug we have in the entire house of hardwood floors) and sure enough, there it was. An enormous pile of throw up, and I mean a big, big one!
So I went and found the dust pan, a rag, some household cleaning product, and a stack of paper towels. With my hand, I pushed most of the wet pile into the dust pan. Then I wiped with a dry rag as much of the throw up as I could. Next, I sprayed the cleaner onto the spot and scrubbed it with the rag. Then I threw away the paper towels, threw the rags into the washing machine, and I walked outside to the hose and sprayed off the dust pan. Then I went back inside, called for Bubba, and proceeded to bring him outside as I sat down on my front porch rocking chair to do my breathing practice.
And as I was in the midst of my first few breaths, focusing my attention on my belly rising and falling, and the sensation of each breath moving into my nostrils, a thought popped into my head. "Hey, did you notice that you didn't freak out this morning when you discovered Bubba's throw up on the rug? What was that, dude? You always go nuts when he does that, especially when it happens in the morning."
And then, I smiled, and laughed to myself, as I noticed my internal dialogue, and my response back to myself saying, "Wow, that was really cool. I am actually improving. I am actually changing my patterns, stepping out of my grand canyons and forming new paths. Awesome!"
And then I quietly returned to my breathing practice. This morning's event is something we all experience. It might be flushing the toilet and it doesn't flush. It might be pressing the button on the coffee maker, and it doesn't turn on. It might be waking your daughter up with breakfast, and the first words out of her mouth are "Ugh, I don't want oatmeal again Dad!"The event itself isn't the point. The response, however, is. And in this case, this morning, I noticed that I have made progress.
The progress is very much like improving our fitness, working out, or training for a sport. When we analyze each workout, training session or practice, on a day by day basis, we may not notice improvements. Or the improvements might seem so small, or they may appear one day, only to mysteriously vanish the next. But it's in times when we are faced with a challenging situation, or when we take time to reassess our strength, or cardio, or balance after six months of training, or we play an opponent we haven't played in a year, we may notice just how far we have come. We may observe how all the hard work, all that deliberate practice, all that commitment to show up and improve - how it's actually working, how it's actually paying off! And so it was with today's Throw Up Challenge. And in those times, or in those games, or in those workouts, or in those life moments of challenge, we can take a moment, pause, and observe our progress and appreciate our efforts and commitments to ourselves. And say, "Way to go! Keep it up. Keep practicing and moving!"
REFOCUS: Train your brain for balance, freedom and connection
What: 8 Week Course held on Tuesday Evenings
When: 7 - 8:30 PM March 29 - May 16, 2016.
Where: Physical Focus
With: Dave Mochel, CEO of Applied Attention and an internationally recognized speaker, teacher and coach.
Cost: $240 per person; $160 per second person in same household.
Registration: Register via prepayment and sign up at Physical Focus or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limited Space: Space is limited so register early as we expect this class to fill. Scholarships may be made available if space permits.
Details:Life is full of demands and distractions. The ability to REFOCUS changes everything. The key to overall well-being and optimal health is consistently putting your attention and energy into what matters most.
My Personal Testimony: This will be our second offering of this class. We held our first 8 week class from October through December of last year with 15 participants! Before the first class, I was very excited and enthusiastic while at the same time concerned and nervous. At Physical Focus, we base all our approaches and methodologies on science, and I didn't want to lose that, thinking that we might be crossing the line into the alternative, hand holding, touchy-feely kind of world.
But that wasn't at all what Dave's class, coaching and techniques were. Based on the latest research and evidence in Neuroscience, this was literally training for our brains, a MIND FOCUS. A way to observe our thoughts, and refocus our attention. And Dave's course has positively impacted my health and my entire approach to life more than anything I have ever studied or integrated into my life before. It has even transcended the impact Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People made on my life decades ago. I believe this approach to brain training, or mind focus to be the starting point for taking ownership of our overall health, energy and happiness." Michael Allison, President Physical Focus Inc.
Feedback from past participants:
"This is the best thing I have done for myself in decades. It literally changed my life!"
"Everyone should take this class. I am not kidding."
Note: Sign up even if you can't make all 8 weeks. We will provide podcasts and additional resources for participants who need to miss a class so that they can continue along with the 8 week progression.