Thus, if we had an innate mental body image, I would expect that, in a limited number of cases, subjects with standard bodies might have an utterly bizarre body image and not just a modulation of the standard body image (Figure 21). This is not the case. Travelling mindfully on public transport If you travel on a bus, train, or plane, you're not in active control of the transport itself, and so can sit back and be mindful. Most people plug themselves into headphones or read, but mindfulness is another option. Why not exercise your mind while travelling? If commuting is part of your daily routine, you can listen to a guided mindfulness exercise or just practise by yourself. If you think you'll go deeply into meditation, ensure that you don't miss your stop by setting the alarm on your watch or phone. The disadvantage of practising mindfulness in this way is the distractions. You may find yourself being distracted by sudden braking or the person who keeps snoring right next to you. I suggest that you practise your core mindfulness meditation in a relatively quiet and relaxed environment, such as your bedroom, and use an mindfulness exercise while travelling as a secondary meditation. Ultimately there are no distractions in mindfulness: whatever you experience can be the object of your mindful attention. Here are some specific mindfulness experiments to try out while on the move: See whether you can be mindful of your breath from one station to the next, just for fun. Whether you manage or not isn't the issue: this is just an experiment to see what happens. Do you become more mindful or less? What happens if you put more or less effort into trying to be mindful? Hear the various announcements and other distractions as sounds to be mindful of. Let the distractions be part of your mindful experience. Listen to the pitch, tone, and volume of the sound, rather than thinking about the sound. Listen as you'd listen to a piece of music. See whether you can tolerate and even welcome unpleasant events.

For example, if two people are talking loudly to each other, or someone is listening to noisy music, notice your reaction. What particular thought is stirring up emotion in you? Where can you feel the emotion? What happens when you imagine your breath going into and out of that part of your body? A desperate situation may not be of your doing. I do not lay blame. This next part requires a content warning regarding childhood sexual abuse. One thing he told me stood out: "It is widely unrecognized that childhood sexual abuse is remarkably common." I didn't recognize it, either, until I requested interview subjects via Facearticle. The response was overwhelming; the stories heartbreaking. It's not just the rate of obesity that is affected by ACE, but depression, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, suicide, and addiction. And they're not small effects; they're orders of magnitude higher. As I pointed out in article 1, self-compassion is key. The hole may have been dug for you before you reached adulthood. If you're not already engaged in it, professional therapy may be of benefit in dealing with the negative consequences. Nothing in this article is about self-blame. If you need additional help, please seek it. One benefit of a quantum change, William Miller writes, is that it can involve a "release from longstanding patterns of negative emotion." It can help release you from fear, anxiety, and depression. Core values shift; sometimes this involves forgiving others, and sometimes it's about forgiving yourself. Hitting rock bottom is about reaching a "breaking point." There is a sudden transformation. Miller writes in Quantum Change: "Major change simply must occur because the person is unable or unwilling to continue in his or her present course." In a moment, identity is reorganized into something far more cohesive.

For the person who reaches such a breaking point, there are often competing desires and interests. It is like multiple personality disorder in reverse. The pieces of identity are reordered. "The crisis is resolved by that person becoming someone new." Unlike the old one, the new identity is stable. "Those things that hurt," Benjamin Franklin wrote, "instruct." More likely, subjects with innate phantom limbs might derive their body image from two easily available sources: their residual sensorimotor input and the observation of other subjects with a standard body structure. It is undeniable that such patients feel an understandable desire to emulate or feel like their peers. As to the former issue, namely the residual sensorimotor input, it is worth acknowledging that no patient has been born so limbless as to be bodiless. All these subjects have some sort of residual somatosensory experience that--at least in principle--can be used to approximate the limb-experience they lack. It would be akin to the well-known experience of flying during dreams. Although it is quite common to experience flying during dreams--either by floating freely in the air or by flapping one's arms--one does not feel anything like what one would feel if one were actually flying, unless one has flown before. Thus, although one might dream of flying, such an experience is not the result of any innate purposeless flying experience mysteriously stored in one's genes. Rather one composes flight, like any object in one's experience, out of other actual experiences--flapping one's arms, floating freely, going forward, moving upward, lying on soft pillows, swimming, and so on. Phantom limbs are ordinary hallucinations while innate phantom limbs are extraordinary hallucinations. It's very likely that innate phantom limbs have never occurred in the most pristine form as they have been assumed to occur. They are the reshuffling of available sensory-motor experience and strong expectations, organized with the help of an innate body schema. Consciousness is an intrinsically temporal phenomenon. The word intrinsic emphasizes that consciousness is not conceivable outside time, change, and becoming. Consider an obvious analogy, speed, which is an intrinsically temporal phenomenon. In nature, one cannot separate speed from time. One cannot separate a wave from a particle either.

One can split the notion of Barack Obama from the notion of being Michelle's husband. One can split the concept, but not the human being. Likewise, no experience occurs outside becoming, change, or time. Speed is change of location. Experience is change of what one is. Experience is change in what exists, namely becoming. Change is becoming. Experience requires change. The world requires change too. I argue that time is the unfolding of experience and thus of the world. Time is not an external box inside which things happen; or an additional dimension. I wonder whether the notion of time--as something over and above change, experience, and reality--can be set aside. Traditional time is a useful abstraction--akin to the Galilean object or to Newtonian absolute time--to describe how experience, and thus the world we live in, changes and becomes. However, we never experience time as such. We experience change. Allow your mindful awareness to spill into your walk to wherever you're going. As you walk, feel your feet making contact with the ground. Notice how the rate of your breathing changes as you walk. Allow your body to get into the rhythm of the walk, and enjoy the contact of the surrounding air with your skin as you move. Not only is doing mindfulness meditation and exercise at home convenient, but it also helps you to enjoy your everyday activities as well.

Then, rather than seeing chores as a burden, you may begin to see them as opportunities to enjoy the present moment as it is. When you wake up, breathe three mindful breaths. Feel the whole of each in-breath and the whole of each out-breath. Try adding a smile to the equation if you like. Think of three things you're grateful for - a loved one, your home, your body, your next meal - anything. Then slowly get up. Enjoy a good stretch. Cats are masters of stretching - imagine you're a cat and feel your muscles elongate having been confined to the warmth of your bed all night. If you want to, do some mindful yoga or tai chi. Then, if you can, do some formal mindful meditation. You can do five minutes of mindful breathing, a 20-minute sitting meditation, or a body scan meditation - choose what feels right for you. The word 'chore' makes routine housework unpleasant before you've even started. Give your chores a different name to help spice them up, such as dirt-bursting, vacuum-dancing, mopping 'n' bopping, or home sparkling! The great thing about everyday jobs, including eating, is that they're slow, repetitive physical tasks, which makes them ideal for mindfulness. You're more easily able to be mindful of the task as you do it. Here are a couple of examples to get you started. Recently, one of my clients who works from home found mindful dishwashing a transformative experience. She realised that she used to wash dishes to have a break from work, but when washing up she was still thinking about the work. By connecting with the process of dishwashing, she felt calmer and relaxed, renewed and ready to do a bit more creative work. Be aware of the situation.