Open-Focus Alpha Synchronous Paradise

Alpha-Synchrous Brain Waves

Open-Focus is the quickest path to meditation possible.  Virtually instant. All you need to do is focus on space. And you can learn to do this with the short video below.
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Bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy

Reading, Research, Writing – Bibliotherapy

Motivated by what he describes as blinding depression and crippling anxiety, Andrew Solomon, author of “Noonday Demon” set out reading, researching, and writing –bibliotherapy – about his own recovery and the range of treatments for depression. One world opened into another, like biting off chunks of Alice’s magic mushroom. Continue reading

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Insight Meditation

MeditationVipassana or Insight Meditation

Insight Meditation focuses attention and awareness on thoughts, feelings, urges, emotions, and sensations without attachment and without judging. Continue reading

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Insomnia? Don’t give a s ––t!

Paradox

Sleep can be one of the most challenging paradoxes in our lives. According to the National Sleep Foundation about sixty million Americans suffer from insomnia.

The paradox is if we try to fall asleep we won’t. We fall asleep by not caring. If we have an important day coming up, though, how can we not care whether or not we get a good night sleep?Insomnia Counting Sheep

Chronic Insomnia

Chronic insomnia spanned my 35-year employment. I arrived to work late or barely on time every day. Mornings required enormous will power to wake up and keep from falling back to sleep.

Nothing worked but medication. I had access to a neurologist at large Japanese hospital who prescribed just about any sleeping medication available. So I rotated powerhouse medications from Sunday to Thursday nights to keep from getting addicted.

I wonder how many “experts”  have chronic experience with insomnia. There is no one-fit solution. Most solutions offered do not apply to chronic insomniacs. None that I have tried deals directly with the paradox.

Try to fall asleep; your brain will not let you. If you don’t give a s––t whether or not you fall asleep, if you are tired eventually sleep comes. But your brain knows whether you are pretending not to care or if you are the real deal.

Insomnia & Meditating

Now I am self-employed. If I have a bad night, I semi enjoy the time awake. It is the only time I have to meditate and meditation has proven benefits. From thirty-five years experience I am totally aware I am not going to sleep if I care at all. Now that I don’t care, most nights I sleep.

I always wake up two to four, even five times each night, but next day I find myself asleep short bursts while working at my computer. I learned not to keel over and feel refreshed after just a few minutes of sitting-up semiconscious sleep.

At night when I meditate, I breathe deeply. Shallow breathing causes a buildup of carbon dioxide that brings on a stressful, sometimes panicked –state. If you can’t sleep, try to relax and breathe deeply.

Thinking about issues in your life is a trigger for insomnia. Meditation and Metacognitive Therapy are ways to deal with this. I will blog on Vipassana Meditation, aka Insight Meditation.

One thing I’ve learned in this long life is to live with paradox.

 

Self-help books that help:

Total Self-Renewal through Attention Therapies and Open Focus

Metacognitive Therapy: Distinctive Features

The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body

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Procrastinate (almost) No More!

ProcrastinateCan’t Get Started

I’m envious of someone who gets to work on a project without getting sidetracked. I’ve met a couple of people who seem not to procrastinate. But I’m not alone when I veer off to emails, clicking through to Smithsonian, Literary Hub, Quora and New York Times articles. By the time I get back to my project I can’t get started.

I procrastinate. But now I’ve taken an essential step by recognizing and admitting to procrastinating.

We put off what is hard for the future and do what provides us instant reward. This is known as “present bias”.

It’s too late to get started. I’ll get a fresh start tomorrow. But tomorrow is the same loop.  One morning I wake up at 4 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep. I write notes all over the place reminding me a deadline is coming due.

Just Get Started

What works for me a good deal of the time is to agree to sit down for five minutes and just get started. Some of the time I work five minutes. Some of the time I get involved in the project and keep at it longer. Some of the time I get involved enough to accomplish a lot. Usually it is somewhere in between.

Break Large Tasks Into Smaller Tasks

It helps to break work down into small manageable chunks. Instead of being overwhelmed, agree to at least sit for five minutes with a small chunk.

Getting started though, takes putting aside perfectionism. It takes getting started when you’re not in the mood.

Procrastination is an ongoing project. So it is a win win whenever I sit down and get started. I overcome procrastination and I sit down with my project for at least five minutes.

Works Almost Consistently

You may read this and think it overly simple. It is, but it works fairly consistently for me.

If you want to make a change in your life, you have to do more than read. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, most people trip over the truth, get up, dust themselves off, and walk away.

You need to take action. You need to walk up to a prospect, make a call, send an email or text. You need to get out to the gym no matter what you do – Set a half hour to stay at the gym.

Take a small step forward.

Saint Augustine & Me – Procrastination

 

 

Self-help books that help:

Total Self-Renewal through Attention Therapies and Open Focus

Metacognitive Therapy: Distinctive Features

The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body

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Saint Augustine & Me – Procrastination

We all procrastinate. Even the saints. Saint Augustine records in his “Confessions” that after years of sexual hedonism, it was time to return to Christianity. So he prayed to God for chastity and continence: “Give me chastity and continence, only not yet.”  (Procrastination with Chutzpah) Although he abhorred his way of living and wanted to change, he kept deferring the change until “tomorrow.”

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Procrastination

In his 2012 book, “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, “ Frank Partnoy says that in most situations we should take more time than we do. In fact, the longer the better. We should delay any decision until the last possible instant. If we have a year we should wait 364 days. Continue reading

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Liar Paradox

Battling AI

The liar paradox has been used in science fiction to shut down artificial intelligence (A I) unable to process paradox. In the original Star Trek series,  Captain Kirk and Harry Mudd disable an android holding them captive. Continue reading

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Metacognitive Mindful Meditation

nirvanawikimedia-commons-public-domainMetacognitive Therapy (MCT) is a form of mindful meditation.

Step back mentally. Shift focus from thinking about problems to patterns of thinking. Observe thoughts as passing events, as a detached observer, without judgement or action.

Attention Training Technique, a Metacognitive Therapy MCT strategy is a form of mindful meditation. MCT interrupts repetitive styles of negative thinking with a palette of preprogrammed sounds helping you to shift from self-focus to external focus. Continue reading

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Dynamic Change

Learn From Your Enemy

Scifi Man standing over unconscious girlISIS is synonymous with mass killings, abductions, and beheadings. Bad Guys! But we should learn what we can from our enemies. And what some people have focused on is resilience. ISIS is tremendously resilient. They are masters of dynamic change. Continue reading

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