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(The teacher pauses to allow participants time to set up and settle.) Once you have found a position that is comfortable, allowing the eyes to close, or equally softening the gaze, looking down toward the floor in front of you. Have you thought about how to discipline your tongue? The tongue is the body part that controls everything we say or don't say and eat or don't eat. The tongue can be the most challenging body part to discipline, for the words it speaks can be nefarious, benefiting no one. As I mentioned in the introduction--but it doesn't hurt to repeat it as a reminder--the words you speak are essential. They can inspire or deflate, ignite or extinguish, drive you to action or move you to despair. The words others use against us have power. However, the words we use against ourselves are infinitely more powerful: I am not worth it. I can't. I give up. We have all used those words against ourselves at some point in our lives, and the results can be devastating. I'd like to share with you a story about how powerful the tongue is, as reflected in the words you speak. John and JoAnn were avid bicycle riders in a local bike-riding club in San Francisco, where the hills are very steep. JoAnn always had an issue with riding up the steep hills. She consistently said, I can't ride up steep hills, although she had never tried climbing up a hill on her bicycle before. John encouraged JoAnn to speak positive words and start believing that riding up an elevation was not a big deal. On their next ride, JoAnn successfully climbed up the steep hill because she told herself that the slope was not a big deal. As she began pedaling, she spoke words of power by saying, I can climb this hill, and it's not a big deal. She made it to the top of the hill. You have to choose which way to think.

It's a choice. Only you can make that choice. No one can force you to think more positively. But once you do start thinking more positively, it's useful to reinforce positive thoughts and behaviours so that they become a habit. A simple but powerful way to develop a positive mindset is, at the end of each day, to think of three things that went well. You can simply reflect on what those things are at the end of the day - while you're brushing your teeth or as you go to sleep - or you may want to write down what those three good things were in a notebook. After I use a credit card, I put the card back in my billfold, and then I pull it out and check to make sure that the card is there before I leave. I didn't always have this habit. Once in France I ruined a day of vacation for us and our friends by losing my credit card. We turned the place upside down. We retraced our steps. We, not speaking French, got the desk clerk to, reluctantly, call where we had been last. Finally I got him to call the credit card company to cancel the card. Right after that I found the card in my shirt pocket, where it doesn't belong. I was brave enough to show it, rather than to hide it or throw it away at that point. I did not impress my wife nor our friends, nor the desk clerk, who was already pretty much not impressed. Time for a new rule. All of these rules and habits and checking may sound kind of compulsive. They are. This may sound like a restrictive or constricting way to live, or that it takes a lot of time.

It isn't and it doesn't. Once it becomes habit it really takes no time at all. It beats the heck out of not doing it, even when the mistakes don't occur too often. Talk about time consuming - have you ever lost your credit card? Or driven off with the gas nozzle? Or backed into another car? Now there's time consuming for you. I suspect that this rule, strategy, habit and checking approach won't sound so restrictive or time consuming to someone with ADD; you know what it's like if you're not using these tools. They only need to be small, simple things; for example, it could be that a friend sent you an encouraging text, or your cat or dog did something amusing and you watched something good on TV. Perhaps for the first time this week, your train arrived on time. Maybe someone told you something you found useful and interesting, you heard a favourite song on the radio and you found something you thought you'd lost. Noticing what's good really encourages positive thinking, because when you think about the positive events and people in your life, you groove those neural pathways that help to establish positive thinking as a habit. Whether you've had a good day or not, identify and reflect on the small pleasures that happened. Just make an effort every day for a couple of weeks to identify the good things in your day and then think about them for a few minutes. You will soon find yourself actively looking for things to appreciate and, after a while, it will become second nature. You can find something to make you smile in the simplest of things but it helps if you keep your eyes open for them. Doing this not only helps train your mind to think positively, but if you've not had a good day, you are learning how to identify the positive despite difficulties and disappointments. So yes, you missed the train, for example, but it was a really good cup of coffee that you drank while waiting for the next train, or you received an amusing text from your friend while you waited. And no, you didn't get offered the job or a place on the course, but at least they did give you some helpful feedback. And although the cinema was full, there were no seats left for the film you wanted to see, you went to a restaurant you hadn't been to before instead and the food was excellent.

The summer I was fifteen, I worked on a farm for Shady, my uncle's friend. One day he told me to get in the truck. His shot gun was in there. I was used to a gun that only held three shells; Shady's held eight. Shady drove me out to a field, and there were more starlings than I'd ever seen. He told me to shoot them and I let go. They were so thick in the trees that you thought one shot must kill twenty or thirty, but usually only four or five fell at a time. They would fly off and we would drive to the next tree and I'd shoot a bunch more. It wasn't very sporting but it was kind of fun (I can't explain why.). Finally Shady said, "Alright, let's go." I got back in the truck. I set the gun between us with the barrel pointing up. Although I was very well trained and responsible in gun safety, I hadn't pumped the gun to make sure it was empty as I should have, and I didn't have the safety on. In the back of my mind I thought we might run across another thick flock and he might stop again. Shady asked, "Is it empty?" and I said, "Yes, sir." because I had counted my eight shots and I knew that it was empty. He reached over and pulled the trigger and I about messed in my pants. I had counted the shots, and I knew it was empty, but I hadn't pumped it, and I didn't know that it was empty. I never expected a grown man to rely on my word for something serious. It's hard to explain what I learned that day, but it had something to do with growing up, being responsible, and standing behind your word. I saw myself, my relationship to other people and my place in the world differently after that. And I learned something about checking, not assuming.

You may be finding, as you pay attention to the breath in this way, that the attention moves to thinking, to sounds, or perhaps to sensations elsewhere in the body. This is perfectly natural. This is what minds do. Once you notice this, the choice is to return the attention to the sensations of breathing wherever you best sense the body breathing. In this way, you are supporting the possibility of letting the focus on breathing be an anchor to the movement of each moment, a way to be present for each moment, rather than be governed by thinking about the past or worrying about the future. (This invitation reminds participants of the intention of the practice, normalizes the pull of attention, and assists them in bringing bare attention to the movement of experience.) Step back and take an honest and realistic look at what you can do right now without aggravating your pain. This may be different from where you were before your health change, but you are starting from now. Even if you can only do a very small amount of exercise safely, that is the place to start. Try seeing how long you can do an activity before the pain gets worse; it may take a few careful tries before you find the right level. A good step toward the right amount of exercise in your daily life is to set a small, achievable goal for yourself. Try to set a goal that is specific, reasonable and meaningful to you. It helps to start by thinking about what sort of change you would like to see, then set a short-term goal (that might take one week to do) and a longer-term goal (that might take six to eight weeks to do). Your goal does not have to be about doing something physically; it can be about thinking, learning or talking to someone. Some examples of learning goals could be: "I will read about local fitness programs on the Internet tonight" or "I will watch an exercise video today." Keep in mind that if the goal does not feel important to you, it may be time to think about a different goal. I want to exercise so I can get strong enough to get back to doing team sports with my friends. That feels too stressful right now, though, so I think I'll start with the goal of reading the handout my physio gave me about accessible gyms in my area. Now, taking a few moments to notice the weight of the body sitting here, the contact points that the body is making with the chair, the floor, with itself. Noticing the physical sensations arising from the body, both from the surface of the skin and from inside the body. (Teacher pauses to allow bare attention of sensation.) As you pay attention to body sensations, you will become more aware of the sensations of breathing. You might be most aware of the breath coming in through the nostrils and leaving from there as well.