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Pause Your Machinery: “Upsets”

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


Pause and Reflect -Getty Images

Pause and Reflect
-Getty Images

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 yourown 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.


  • Think about whether you’ve had an upset in the last few days. You may have had more than one, but just choose one of them, preferably the one that has the most power over you, perhaps even days after the event. Write down whether the upset was the result of an unfulfilled expectation, a thwarted intention, or an incomplete communication.


  • Write a description of how you reacted to the upset. What did you say? How did you act? If you reacted to another person, describe how your words and behavior seemed to affect him or her.


  • Reflect on your reaction. Write down whether it was a mindful or an automatic response caused by your programming. If you reacted on automatic pilot, describe how you could react mindfully if you have the same upset in the future. (Because you undoubtedly will!)


  • 14 Aug, 2014
  • Posted by Steve Fogel
  • 7 Tags

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