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It made the reading come alive. Daffy was on time this morning; sometimes he arrives a little late for his talks. His shirttail was tucked into his pants; often it has come out and is flopping loose. However, three buttons on the front of his shirt were unbuttoned and there was a stain on his pants leg. His hair was OK; sometimes it's kind of a mess. But what mattered is that it was a good talk. How a teacher embodies mindfulness is an essential and potent ingredient for the delivery of Yoga. Indeed, we consider it to be one of the five agents of change that we examined in earlier chapters. In addition, we see the process of embodiment deriving its foundation from an understanding of the historical (and spiritual) roots of mindfulness. In the chapters preceding this one, we looked at embodiment from the perspective of the teacher-participant relationship focusing on the employment of a teacher's understanding of the three marks of existence and its expression in the contemplative dialogue. We highlighted the specific skills of bare attention, open-monitoring, and discernment as crucial qualities of mindfulness. A teacher's intimate and experiential knowledge of these harvested from her own practice (her embodiment) will influence how she teaches them to her participants and be one of the most, if not the most, critical agents of change. Now, think of a situation you are currently facing that scares you or makes you feel anxious. What are you most afraid of? You might, for example, be afraid of jeopardizing your job if you complain about someone else's behaviour. You might be afraid of telling someone how you feel or you might be anxious about telling someone what you do and don't want to happen in a particular situation. Remind yourself that you have been courageous before and you can summon up your courage again. That's positive thinking! Ignite the fire and deep beauty within you every day. Make no excuses.

Evaluate and review your progress biweekly. When I was a kid, somehow I got dirtier at recess than anybody else, and I frequently tore the knees out of my pants. My shirt tail was usually flopping out. Now I often spill food down the front of my shirt. I frankly don't understand how anyone can eat without doing that. I made a bib holder with little alligator clips and wire. If I can remember to take it, I clip my napkin in front of me when we eat messy food, like at a Mexican food restaurant. My wife gets exasperated when I mess up my shirt again. "Oh, Doug!", she says. She does our laundry and she can't always get the stains out, so it causes her trouble. Occasionally she spills some food on her clothes. I always reassure her, "It could happen to anyone." Choose the location carefully where you raise a concern with someone. It is always best to avoid confronting someone in front of their friends, family or colleagues, as they may feel embarrassed. You are not likely to get their best communication, and the attempt may damage the relationship. Focusing on why you're doing something and what you want to achieve, keeping that in your mind, can help prevent feelings of doubt, uncertainty and fear creeping in, because you're thinking positively. Have courage and you open up all sorts of possibilities. We've all heard of constructive' criticism but if you're like most people, you rarely respond positively to even the most well-meant of criticisms. <a href=''>At</a> best, we interpret a criticism as a negative judgement on our thoughts and behaviour and at worst, we receive criticism as a personal attack. <a href=''>Of</a> course, it doesn't feel great to be told you're not doing, looking, talking or behaving as someone else thinks you should. <a href=''>Criticism</a> can cause you stress and upset and trigger the sort of negative thinking that erodes your self-esteem and confidence. <br /><br /><a href=''>Sometimes</a> it is helpful to talk at a coffee shop or on a walk in the community, since there are other people around, but the setting is still reasonably private. <a href=''>Completely</a> private settings can work well, but be very careful if you feel at all unsafe, and especially if there is any potential for violence from the other person. <a href=''>(Again,</a> if you are in a relationship where there is any risk of violence, please seek counselling support before changing your communication style.) Sloppiness is a basic part of ADD. <a href=''>We</a> can be aware of that and develop strategies to help. <a href=''>We</a> can try checking ourselves before we go out or we can find someone else to check us. <a href=''>Some</a> wives are happy to do that. <a href=''>We</a> can put napkins on the front of our shirt when we eat. <a href=''>(Daffy</a> read this and suggested a tarpaulin). <a href=''>We</a> can organize our desk tops, folders and files. <a href=''>We</a> can put things away when we finish using them. <a href=''>Yes,</a> we can. <a href=''>Daffy</a> says that ADD gives some gifts along with the disadvantages. <a href=''>He</a> says he has a high tolerance for chaos and that he can function well in a chaotic situation. <a href=''>I've</a> read that we tend to do well in a crisis, that we may be the calmest person around. <a href=''>I</a> think that generally applies to me, although not always. <a href=''>It</a> may partly have to do with our ability to hyper-focus. <a href=''>If</a> you would prefer to have another person there for the discussion, you might choose a mediator that you both feel comfortable with. <a href=''>(Never</a> choose a child for this role as that is not fair to the child. <a href=''>A</a> counsellor or trusted friend is a better choice.) If embodiment is a significant factor in teaching Yoga, then a training program will need to find some way to emphasize this. <a href=''>So</a> how does a professional training program go about creating opportunities within its training pathway for the development of this way of being? <br /><br /><a href=''>It</a> is an unusual feature to emphasize for the acquisition of competency and is not one that is identified as a necessary teaching skill to foster in most other professional clinical programs. <a href=''>Most</a> professional mindfulness training centers tackle this through identifying the value of a personal mindfulness practice but how they go about incorporating it varies. <a href=''>Stretches</a> may provide some relief for people experiencing pain related to sciatica (backache). <a href=''>However,</a> people with backache should speak to a doctor before doing any sciatica stretches, to avoid further injury. <a href=''>A</a> doctor or physical therapist may recommend that people perform several of the following stretches each day. <a href=''>Start</a> by standing tall with feet together. <a href=''>Lift</a> the affected leg straight out in front of you and rest the heel on a ledge or table that is just slightly higher than your hip. <a href=''>Keeping</a> the knee straight but soft, bend forward at the waist, keeping the spine straight until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg. <a href=''>Hold</a> the stretch for fifteen to thirty seconds before releasing. <a href=''>Return</a> to the starting position then repeat on the other side. <a href=''>In</a> some cases, the criticism isn't fair and has more to do with the other person's issues and expectations. <a href=''>It's</a> not a criticism, it's verbal abuse - insulting, offensive and entirely damaging. <a href=''>But</a> in other cases, the criticism is warranted; it's something you may need to consider and act on. <a href=''>How</a> can you tell the difference between criticism and verbal abuse? <a href=''>Verbal</a> abuse fails to provide any pointers as to what it is that you can improve on. <a href=''>As</a> in this example:You're a f***ing idiot - a waste of time and space - you never get things right.' Criticism, on the other hand, describes behaviour that can be improved on. For example, `This is not what I asked you to do. You haven't done it in the right way.' Daffy is very creative, and he says that comes with the ADD. I'm pretty creative; I get a lot of great ideas. I just have trouble implementing them and they often go nowhere.

I tend to not follow through. I've had to make a determined commitment and effort to follow through on this book, for example. For a while I was stuck and it was just sitting stagnant. This was because I suddenly realized there are already a lot of ADD books out there and that this one may not get published, or at least it will take a lot of work on my part to get it published. That seemed overwhelming; it's hard enough just to write it. But then I had the happy thought, "At the least I can put it on the internet and people can read it there." So here I am, writing again. Our best move with our creativity is to generate our great ideas and then to find someone else we can delegate them to in order to get them implemented. What if the other person says "yes" to your fair request, but then doesn't change? This may be a good time to add a consequence. To be effective, consequences should be: As a prerequisite, some centers require their trainees to have sat a silent teacher-led meditation retreat before entering training, thus stressing the utility of such training as an important foundation to have before being trained. Other centers request that trainees state they have a self-determined personal practice but not that they have been on a teacher-led silent retreat. Once a trainee has been accepted into a program, most centers then require their trainees to go on retreat at least once a year during the period they are in training. It is then expected that an established Yoga teacher will continue to sit annual silent teacher-lead retreats and maintain a daily meditation practice. We are fortunate that in many countries, there are mindfulness meditation retreat centers that provide the support for such sustained periods for silent practice. These retreats are often led by experienced teachers in the Buddhist tradition in sequestered settings. Explain exactly what will happen, and when it will happen. Instead of "Shape up or you'll be sorry!" try "Please help cook dinner tonight, or I will order takeout food." Set a consequence that will take care of your needs, rather than trying to punish or embarrass the other person. You have to follow through with the consequence that you set, if you want to be taken seriously. If you really feel that it's best to change your mind, do so right away or not at all, otherwise people will learn that you will give in if they persist. If it's a genuine criticism, you can learn from it.