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Pause Your Machinery: Acting Mindfully and Changing Behavior

Your Mind - high res

Stop and take a moment to “pause your machinery.” The concepts and techniques I present throughout my latest book, Your Mind Is What Your Brain Does for a Living, require mindfulness to learn and master, and this brief written exercise will give you the opportunity to rest, step outside the pattern of passive reading, and bring yourself into the present moment to reflect and see how the information I want to share with you can be integrated into your own life.


Keep your written answers, because they will be valuable for you to review and refer to later. You may want to buy a notebook or open a computer file so that you can keep all of your responses together in one place.


  • Review the list of seven lessons and mindfully reflect on them one at a time to help you see where you are regarding the relationship or situation you’ve identified as being, or potentially becoming, a frog-in-hot-water experience. For example, what lens are you seeing the relationship or situation through that is keeping you in it and triggering you to act the way you are acting?
  • Are you experiencing transference, as we’ve defined the term in this chapter?
  • Are you looking for someone else to solve what is really your problem and upset with that person because he or she is not solving it for you?
  • Are you in denial about your pain or other aspects of the relationship or situation? Are you bargaining? Are you angry? Are you depressed? Have you accepted that it is a frog-in-hot-water relationship or situation?
  • If you’re in a frog-in-hot-water relationship, does it have the three qualities of a terminal relationship (both parties are not having their needs met; both are in pain; and both have no way of resolving conflicts between them)? If so, have you and the other party recognized the possibility to change it to being a fulfilling relationship (both parties are having their needs met; both enjoy the relationship; both can resolve their conflicts)?
  • Write a description of where you are on the journey from intel­lectually being aware of how your programming is putting you in a frog-in-hot-water or potentially frog-in-hot-water relationship or situation to behaving in a new, mindful way that will create the possibility of fulfillment instead of pain.
  • If you haven’t started acting mindfully to change your behavior, describe in your notebook or computer file what is preventing you from doing so. Now describe what you need to do in order to make mindful choices about it.


An excerpt from my recent book, Your Mind Is What Your Brain Does for a Living, now available at Amazon.

  • 11 May, 2015
  • Posted by Steve Fogel
  • 19 Tags

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