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Notice how the air flows in and out of the body. Observe what you are thinking and feeling. Make room for these thoughts. Open up to your thoughts: allow them to be there without holding onto them or trying to push them away. If you like, you might imagine that you are watching snow swirl around in a snow globe, waiting for it to settle. Some people find it helpful to silently say to themselves, "I don't like this feeling, but I have room for it" or "It's unpleasant, but I can accept it." Listen to your values. What do you want to turn your energy toward? Connect with your values by asking yourself: "What do I want to be about, in the face of this experience? What do I want to stand for? How would I like to act, so that I can look back years from now and feel proud of my choices?" Decide on actions and do them. Commit to actions that will take you toward your goals and values. As the program progresses, the teacher will move away from the construct of the three layers into a contemplative dialogue commensurate with his own maturation as a teacher (embodiment). In lieu of the three layers, the teacher uses the five agents of change as a conceptual frame to animate the dialogue. He will be holding the themes and agendas of each session (protocol) in mind when he is listening to his participants' responses after having facilitated a meditation practice. He is always referring the participants back to that practice when they move into thoughts about the past or future (mindfulness practices). In the meditation practices and the cognitive exercises, he assists them in making the link to everyday life, and during inquiry, he monitors group process and reinforces individual and group learning. The fifth agent of change, the embodied mindful presence of the teacher, remains salient throughout. Food planning requires laser-focused actions. Planning in itself is an action. Shopping correctly is an action.

Reading labels is an action. Not eating out is an action. All of these actions add up. Laser-focused means that your goal is always top of mind. Even when you are making exceptions, you do it intentionally: I am going on a vacation for a week. <a href=''>I</a> will allow myself to have . <a href=''>What</a> you may find out, surprisingly, is that sticking to your food plan on vacation actually makes you enjoy your time more, because your body feels great. <a href=' '>Food</a> planning requires bottomless discipline. <a href=''>You</a> live in a world intent on making this hard for you. <a href=''>Advertising,</a> family gatherings, food-focused events, work obligations--they will all challenge you. <a href=''>But</a> you are that Olympic athlete with bottomless discipline. <a href=''>Finally,</a> these actions take you to a place of deep beauty and inner worth. <a href=''>They</a> form a well that you can draw upon. <a href=' '>You</a> gain and use deep beauty and inner wealth as you practice determination, actions, and discipline around your food choices. <a href=''>Remember</a> this: Nobody can put food into your body except you. <a href=''>This</a> is all about self-care. <a href=' '>Nobody</a> else has the control. <a href=''>Only</a> you. <a href=' '>So</a> here are six important rules to live and eat by. <a href=' '>How</a> have I helped someone by having this quality? <br /><br /><a href=''>What</a> challenges have I overcome by having this quality? <a href=''>How</a> has this quality helped me in my work or day-to-day life? <a href=''>When</a> you have low feelings of self-worth, your negative thoughts distort your perception of yourself and you overlook the positives. <a href=''>Identifying</a> your good qualities and explaining how, why and when you have each quality can help you to see your own worth and so contribute to good self-esteem. <a href=''>Acknowledge</a> your positive qualities and the things you are good at. <a href=''>Get</a> into the habit of identifying and thinking positive things about yourself and create your own personal affirmations. <a href=''>You</a> may have come across the idea of positive affirmations before. <a href=' '>An</a> affirmation is simply a positive statement that is true. <a href=''>I</a> live in the present and am confident of the future. <a href=''>I</a> feel safe in the rhythm and flow of life. <a href=' '>My</a> outer self is matched by my inner well-being. <a href=''>Nothing</a> is impossible and life is great. <a href=' '>Once</a> you notice a difficult thought, you may choose to try to change it. <a href=''>You</a> can do this by challenging the thought, or replacing it with a coping thought that you have chosen. <a href=''>Thoughts</a> that increase stress or pain are sometimes self-defeating or inaccurate; in these cases it can be useful to "talk back" to thoughts. <a href=' '>If</a> you answer "no" to any of these questions, then it may be helpful to change the thought to something that will work better for you. <a href=''>For</a> example, Renee was worried about going out with her friends. <a href=''>Even</a> though she was looking forward to seeing them, she was also afraid that her friends would not understand her pain and depression. <a href=''>Renee</a> decided to ask herself the three questions above. <a href=''>It</a> can take time to change well-worn patterns of thinking. <br /><br /><a href=''>You</a> can help your brain to grow and strengthen new neural pathways by repeating helpful thoughts. <a href=''>All</a> well and good, but for an affirmation to be most effective for you, it's got to be specifically about you; it has to be personal and believable to you. <a href=''>With</a> the exercise above - where you identify a personal quality and describe how and why you are like this - you create your own personal affirmations. <a href=''>These</a> personal affirmations are more likely to be effective for you because they are personal. <a href=''>So,</a> create your own personal affirmations - write them down and keep them where you can read them as and when you need to. <a href=''>When</a> I was teaching at the medical school, there were a lot of meetings. <a href=''>A</a> lot of meetings. <a href=',d.ZGU&cad=rja'>I</a> almost always got there on time. <a href=''>And</a> I would be the only one there for a while. <a href=''>Nowadays,</a> as I've said, I have things I can do while I'm waiting and so I don't waste the time. <a href=''>But</a> I hadn't worked that out back then, and I realized that I was wasting a lot of time by arriving at meetings on time. <a href=''>So</a> I quit worrying about it and quit rushing, and I got there when I got there, just like everyone else, and that seemed to work just fine. <a href=''>I'm</a> not recommending making a habit of tardiness, which is typical ADD behavior and can be annoying to others. <a href=''>I</a> am suggesting that we don't have to feel rushed and that usually, being late is not a big deal, especially if it's not a habit. <a href=''>However,</a> I do recall one administrative meeting at the medical school that I missed entirely. <a href=''>I</a> didn't forget it, just got caught up in other things. <a href=''>At</a> that meeting my friends and colleagues discussed the shortage of manpower that we were all suffering. <a href=''>They</a> brainstormed and problem solved and determined that the obvious solution was to cut the manpower in my area. <a href=''>John</a> Rush, who I previously mentioned as the model ofNo', was in charge of the overall area but wasn't at the meeting. Later he came to my rescue and rescinded that decision.

But I never missed another one of those meetings. So, you see, occasionally the answer to the question, "What does it matter?" may be that it could matter a lot. But the question is well worth asking. If old ways of thinking are like well-worn paths across a grassy field, practicing new thoughts is like treading a new path. With time, the old paths will grow over and the new paths will get smoother. The more you rehearse coping thoughts, the easier it will be to recall them during times of stress or pain, and the more natural they will feel. You can use the "Coping Thoughts" worksheet to help you choose some helpful thoughts. Consider writing them down and keeping them in places where you will see them often. For example, you could put one on a sticky note on your mirror, or note it in your day planner or smartphone. Saying the thought out loud will help it stick in your mind. For best results, practice saying your coping thoughts every day for at least 30 days. As a guide to some of the characteristics embedded in inquiry, we see the following as important aspects: The teacher actively engages and embodies what he understands to be the central attitudes of the practice. He holds the agenda lightly, becoming comfortable with uncertainty and acknowledging not knowing what may show up in the group. He learns to lead his participants by following their responses, being sensitive to the verbal and nonverbal expressions by the group members. He actively listens to participants instead of formulating his responses while they are speaking. He continually asks himself, "What am I hearing?" "Do I really understand what this participant means?" checking his assumptions and asking for clarification when needed. He listens for narration, expectations, interpretations, and explanations, and when these show up, gently interrupts or brings into awareness these habitual ways of relating to experience. He engages a participant in conversation while at the same time attending to the rest of the group. He elicits key thematic points, helping the group make links to the rationale or utility of any practice or exercise as they apply to life and difficult mind and mood states. He brings curiosity to help participants enhance the granularity of their attention and tolerance for distressing events as they occur.