You might be aware of the movement of the ribs as you breathe in and out or the movement of the belly, rising with each in-breath and releasing with each out-breath. Taking these next few moments to bring your attention to where you best sense the physical sensations and rhythm of breathing, and allowing the attention to rest right there. (The teacher pauses to enable participants to find a bare attentional focus on the physical sensations of breathing.) JoAnn's success came from speaking the powerful words of I can, which gave her confidence. Yes, I can. I can do it. I am strong. I believe. Yes, there is power in the tongue, which must be disciplined when you speak. Additionally, the tongue controls foods we crave, where our taste buds tell us what and how much to eat. Unless you take control over your tongue, it has the power to get out of control and lead you to develop numerous addictions and cravings. In short, the tongue can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Often, the tongue has the power to ultimately rule over what comes in and out of your mouth. Sometimes, the tongue can leave a person fighting with himself or herself: The battle is between what the mind thinks and what the tongue speaks and/or eats. How can something so small control us the way the tongue does? Have you thought about how to discipline your tongue? You can further increase your positivity by being positive with other people. The most straightforward way is to be kind to other people and all living things. Being kind and being compassionate creates a positive mindset; it gets you into a cycle of positive thinking and behaviour. Why? Because when you make an effort to be kind, you have to actively look for opportunities to be kind; to think in positive ways.

People appreciate positivity, and the more you share it with others, the more you are practising it in your own life. If you are caring and supportive to other people, you are likely to get a positive response from them. This will help you feel more positive about yourself and how other people perceive you. Help other people and, in the process, you help yourself. You may feel you have little to offer, but it only has to be a cup of tea, an invite to dinner or an offer to help someone with a task or chore. You'll lift their spirits and see yourself making a positive difference at the same time. Plan for kindness; small actions you could take in your daily life. Think about what you might do to show some kindness, then you're more likely to spot opportunities when they come up, when, for example, you notice someone in need. It could be that you give up your seat on the train or bus to someone who needs it more than you. Or that you help someone struggling up the stairs with a baby buggy. We all have innate kindness and compassion but sometimes it takes a reminder to tune into it. You only need to be a little aware of other people to start seeing opportunities to help. It doesn't have to cost anything or take much time. What goes around comes around - and with kindness it really does. Being kind to others increases your own chances of someone being kind to you. I volunteer in the State Penitentiary about once a week. Twice I've walked into the prison with a pocket knife in my pocket, which is way way way against the rules. So now I have a check list for getting ready to go into the prison: check my pockets: no knife, no money; be sure I have my badge. This is a mental check list, though I've considered writing it down: knife, money, badge, the right shoes, pack lunch. Then when I reach the prison, another rule: check all my pockets again before I leave my car.

This is like the check list pilots use before taking off. For fishing, I use another principle: prepare ahead. This is related to checking, and it also eliminates rushing. Once I drove all the way to the river and found that I'd forgotten my rod. I also once leaned my rod against a tree while I was cleaning fish and I drove off and left it. When I got back it was gone. So I have yet another rule: when I drive off from the river, I check to make sure my rod is in the car. So anyway, I put my fishing gear in the car the night before. There's no rush, and I can make sure I have it all. Then in the morning I look again to see that it's all there. The way a rule works is, you always have to follow it or it will not become habit. So I don't say, "Oh, I checked it last night so I know it's in there, so I don't need to check it again". No, the rule is check it, so I do. I don't need to remember a check list for the fishing, I just need to remember "four." Rod, vest, boots, wading stick; four things. If you add to your physical activity very gradually, this will help to avoid pain flare-ups. Think in millimetres instead of kilometres! You can think of this as being like a "Type A Turtle": very persistent, but expecting slow progress. For example, try to increase your activity by no more than 10% per week. Wow, I can't believe how little 10% is! I've been trying to increase my exercise way too quickly.

I think I need to slow down and just start with wheeling for five minutes. I think I can do five minutes safely, and build up from there. Finding your therapeutic window for exercise usually takes some trial and error. Here are some ways you can make adjustments to your exercise or movement routine to keep moving safely and to find the right level of activity for your body. Remember: as your body changes over time, you may need to keep making adjustments. This FITT principle is a real gem. I feel more confident now that I can adjust my exercises if they are not working for me. In the past, I used to feel like I failed if something I was doing caused me pain. I just didn't know what to do. Now I know I can play around with how much I do, or how intensely I'm doing it, and if one thing doesn't work, I can try changing the movement in another way. Many people struggle with difficult thoughts and emotions that arise when pain comes up while you move. Sometimes it helps to remind yourself that--as unpleasant as the emotion might be--it will pass. Brain scans show that most emotions last only 90 seconds if you give them space. When you have had pain for a long time, your nervous system can become more alert for signs of danger. Movement can more easily trigger pain, and flare-ups can happen. If you do have a pain flare-up after you exercise, don't be hard on yourself and try not to get too frustrated. Take it in stride as best as you can, and see if you can learn something useful that will help you in the future. It may be helpful to review Chapter 9 of this book for ideas about pain flare-up planning. You are right: any movement you can add to your day will make a difference. Moving slowly and with awareness can help you to discover what movements feel safe.

Over the next moments, continuing to practice in this way... Allowing the breath to be in the forefront of your consciousness and noticing when the attention moves off that focus, waking up to that moment, and then gently bringing the attention back to the sensations of breathing. (The teacher pauses here again, allowing participants to continue to practice this present moment focus.) In a few moments, we will be coming to the end of this sitting meditation practice. Allowing the eyes to open or widening the gaze, taking in the surroundings of the room. Taking a moment or two here before transitioning into the next moments of our time together. (The teacher is stressing that all components of the practice from beginning to end and beyond are worthy of attention.) In this example, the teacher sets up the practice in a way that creates the preconditions for intentional attention and a move from doing to being mode. She uses invitational, kind language and periods of silence to allow the participants to practice using bare attention. She is guiding them to direct their focus to the sensations of breathing as an anchor, and in a nonjudgmental manner, normalizes the inevitable pull of attention. This is important because the language of the guidance promotes a kind approach to movements of mind that are so easily perceived as failure, often resulting in harsh judgments against the self. This normalization supports the beginning of observing this movement of mind, stabilizing attention, and promoting openness to experience without adding anything else to it. Emotional control will help you in every area of your life. Emotional discipline demonstrates acts of kindness in the midst of a storm: when you are arguing with your partner or love interest, when you are stuck in traffic and someone cuts you off while you are driving, when you at the grocery store or a restaurant and you are not happy with the customer service, or when you are sitting in a boring meeting at work and you want to leave but can't. Developing emotional discipline is not the simplest thing to do and will require practicing patience. Sometimes you may find yourself just walking away from a situation to avoid conflict. Perhaps the more spiritual way to safeguard your heart is by taking the high road. Emotional discipline will test you when you want to say the wrong thing but are disciplined enough to say and do the right thing. A perfect example was how I handled Liam and his mistress (chapter 2). Trust me, it wasn't easy for me to keep my cool for the first twenty-four hours after I found out that Liam was having an affair. In that case, I used emotional discipline to maintain the wisdom to bridle my tongue from the words that were swirling around in my head. Because I applied emotional discipline, it helped remove me from a negative situation and be safe.