PAULINE: But you might be able to, as a last resort? LENNY: I suppose so . PAULINE: Have you thought of anything else? LENNY: No, I don't think there's anything else I can do. PAULINE: Have you considered getting any kind of job now? It could be part time or full time. Just until you find one that you really want? LENNY: No, I've been pretty focused on getting the kind of job I used to have. For example, many individuals choose to utilize movement mindfulness while they're out walking, focusing on the motions of their legs, the way their feet rhythmically step onto the pavement, and the feeling of sunshine on their skin. Whatever the form, movement meditation always involves slow motions combined with mindfulness. Here is one example of a movement meditation, and you can use these steps to create your own movement meditation practice that works best for you (Flarey, 2012): Sit comfortably on the floor. Close your eyes and become aware of your breathing. Follow your breathing by swaying rhythmically (like a tree swaying in the wind) and align your breathing with your body. Rest your hands on your chest and become aware of how your breathing causes your hands to rise and fall as you inhale and exhale. Slowly begin to stand up and be mindful of how your hands reach to the floor, how your legs unfold, and how your legs and spine extend until you are standing upright. As you stand, focus on how your body is feeling. If you feel any discomfort, an itch, an ache, or any unwelcome sensation, adjust your position till the feeling subsides. Driving is a great example of being plugged in. You're not just looking at pavement directly in front of you.

You watch the road ahead, the other cars, pedestrians, and anticipate potential hazards. And you're able to do it simultaneously with no fear or tension. And then there is focused. When you are focused, you are paying full attention. You are on guard because you think it's possible you could be harmed. All your senses are engaged and you are probably tense. Focused is total concentration. Let's look at the driving example again. Her version of the I can't do it' story was:I can't start dating, because I don't know how to talk to guys; I get so nervous, I just clam up. His version of the story was, I can't do it because I might fail and lose a lot of money. <a href=''>His</a> story was short and sweet:I can't write! Alexis's version went: I can't do it because it's too scary. <a href=''>I</a> don't know how she'll react. <a href=''>I'm</a> too scared it might happen again. <a href=''>Over</a> the past five years, I have spoken on this topic to thousands of people in Australia, UK, the US and Europe, to widely varying audiences including doctors, lawyers, police officers, business executives, CEOs, psychologists, counsellors, therapists, coaches, psychiatrists, athletes, entrepreneurs and parents' groups, and I always ask this question:Is there anyone in this room who can honestly put their hand up and say that they do not have some version of the I can't do it story? So if you can't stop your mind from telling you the I can't do it' story, then what are you supposed to do when this story shows up? <a href=''>The</a> three most common solutions you'll encounter are a) challenge or dispute the thoughts, and look for evidence to prove they're not true; <a href=''>PAULINE:</a> What do you think of the idea? <a href=''>LENNY:</a> I don't know. <br /><br /><a href=''>I'm</a> so tired these days. <a href=''>PAULINE:</a> Do you think you'd need as much energy if the job were just part time? <a href=''>What's</a> the worst that could happen if it turns out you are too tired? <a href=''>LENNY:</a> I guess it wouldn't be a big deal. <a href=''>I</a> could just quit. <a href=''>PAULINE:</a> Do you want to make that part of your Action Plan this week? <a href=''>If</a> it turns out you can't work at all, we can brainstorm other ideas: maybe you could get a roommate or a less expensive apartment, or move in with someone else temporarily; <a href=''>Investigate</a> Invalid Conclusions <a href=''>If</a> you cannot remove the discomfort, just acknowledge that it's there and turn your attention to other parts of your body. <a href=''>Start</a> to focus on the different sensations throughout your body by concentrating on one area of your body at a time, beginning with the top of your head. <a href=''>Take</a> your time. <a href=''>Be</a> mindful of every sensation you feel as you slowly move your attention to your forehead and then to your face. <a href=''>Be</a> aware of the sensation in your cheeks, ears, nose, mouth, and chin. <a href=''>Continue</a> moving your focus through each area of your body until you finally reach the sensation in the soles of your feet. <a href=''>Gradually,</a> bring your attention back to your entire body and then begin to focus on your heartbeat. <a href=''>Let</a> your body move to the rhythm of your heart and be mindful of how your body feels as it sways to and fro. <a href=''>Turn</a> your attention to your arm and lift it up high as if you're reaching for a small object on a very high shelf. <a href=''>Focus</a> on the way your arm extends, stretching upward, and feel how you raise your heels and balance on your toes to reach as high as possible. <a href=''>When</a> you were learning to drive most likely you were focused, rather than just plugged in. <a href=''>Your</a> hands gripped the steering wheel tightly. <br /><br /><a href=''>You</a> slowly rolled up to an intersection and sat there for a minute while you checked three or four times for oncoming traffic. <a href=''>Do</a> you remember that tension you felt? <a href=''>Do</a> you remember checking and re-checking everything you did and everything around you? <a href=''>That's</a> being focused. <a href=''>It's</a> impossible to stay focused continuously. <a href=''>Yes,</a> it's a little paranoid but more importantly, it's not healthy. <a href=''>Your</a> body isn't capable of handling that level of stress and the adrenaline rush that goes along with it for an extended period. <a href=''>When</a> you are out in public, stay plugged in. <a href=''>Now,</a> you may like to try these things out if you've never done so before. <a href=''>However,</a> given that these solutions are the ones that almost everyone will suggest to you, I expect you've already tried them. <a href=''>And</a> if you have tried them, you've undoubtedly recognised that a) they require a lot of effort and energy: b) even if they do give you temporary relief from negative thoughts, your mind just keeps on coming up with new ones: and c) when you leave your comfort zone to enter a genuinely challenging situation, these techniques don't help you very much. <a href=''>SO</a> WHAT'S THE ALTERNATIVE? <a href=''>If</a> you're familiar with ACT, you know what's coming. <a href=''>But</a> if you're not, you're probably wondering:So what am I supposed to do then? Am I just supposed to ignore these thoughts? Or grit my teeth and put up with them? Or try to push them away? Or try to distract myself from them? While an automatic thought might be true, the meaning of the thought to the client may be invalid or at least not completely valid (as illustrated below), and you can examine the underlying belief or conclusion. PAULINE: So it looks as if you really can't concentrate well enough to do your taxes.

LENNY: Yeah, I feel so bad about it. PAULINE: What does it mean about you that you can't? Or what are you afraid will happen? LENNY: It shows there's something wrong with my brain. I might never get my concentration back. PAULINE: Okay, can we look at that first? Is there another explanation for your difficulty in concentrating? Work toward Acceptance and Valued Action Be aware of every movement your body makes as you reach for that object. Now, do exactly the same with the other arm. Now, walk around slowly. Focus on your movements and how different areas of your body work in unison to make your movements possible. Feel the sensation of your feet moving across the floor, and how your legs and shoulders move with every step you take Return to your sitting position and be aware of how your knees bend, your body folds, and your hands support you as you lower yourself to the floor. Start to focus on your breathing in the same way you did at the beginning of the session. Follow your breathing by swaying rhythmically (like a tree swaying in the wind). Align your breathing with your body, close your eyes, and relax. This basic method is just one of many variations of movement meditation. This is especially important when you are in familiar surroundings as your mind tends to zone out when it gets comfortable. Notice the things around you and if something doesn't look right, then zoom in and focus.