CT meditates: a comedy (9) Notice, Shift, Rewire

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So I’m coming back to Start Here. One of the precepts of the book that I’m most enjoying is the idea of NOTICE-SHIFT-REWIRE. Of course, read the book to get the complete impact of this powerful idea. This is part of meditation practice, to be more aware of your body, your breath, the task at hand, to improve focus and reduce distraction.

The crux of it:
NOTICE: be present. Use meditation or whatever tools you have to be present in the moment. Stop thinking about the past, about the future, what your calendar says, and place your focus on NOW.

SHIFT: when your mind inevitably drifts off to another idea, topic, worry, concern, SHIFT back to being present, back to your breath. The wandering is inevitable; do not feel bad about it, the importance is to SHIFT when you NOTICE.

REWIRE: Perhaps the most powerful piece: spend 12 seconds feeling grateful that you were able to successfully SHIFT back to focus. Each time you are successful, REWIRING reinforces the good behavior and it becomes a little easier next time.

Funny story? One of the co-authors also stars in a short video describing the process of NOTICE-SHIFT-REWIRE. He is a PhD, lives in Boulder, and has a healthy Boulder-ite glow, and looks like a youngster (to this 50 year old, anyway). Watching the video, I noticed myself disbelieving that any youngster could teach me anything useful. What does THIS GUY know about Buddhism? Hegel? Kant? Confucius?

And then, I listen, and come to realize that he is REALLY SMART and ties these traditions together cleverly with modern neuroscience, and then I get over myself.

Remember: those coming on the journey: 3 minutes of meditation every day! I’m holding both of us accountable to this important habit!

CMIO’s take? Young people can also be smart.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, University of Colorado Health; Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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