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Pause Your Machinery: What Kind of Horse are You?

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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.


Think back on the story of the the three types of horses.

  • Describe in writing the kind of horse you are. Is there a kind of horse you would rather be? If so, write down which one.
  • Think mindfully about which door you want to choose: 1, 2, or 3.
  • Write down your choice.
  • Think mindfully about whether up to this moment the fear of awkward pain is keeping you from choosing a door. If so, describe what you imagine it will be like if you choose the door you want to choose, what kind of pain you believe will follow from the choice, and why you fear that you will be unequipped to cope with it.
  • Review what you’ve just written. Now review what you’ve writ­ten in earlier exercises about the self-judgments, traumas, core issues, fears, and beliefs that have created and are embedded in your programming. Are the fears you have about choos­ing a door the same as or similar to the fears you identified as being part of your default programming? Do the limitations you described yourself as having that make you afraid you don’t have the ability to cope with awkward pain stem from self-judg­ments that you’ve identified in earlier exercises as part of your default programming?
  • If you recognize that your fear of awkward pain is coming from your default programming, then the solution is to resolve to be mindful so that, instead of continuing to be controlled by the past, you will be in the present, where you can mindfully choose a door that will stop you from being or becoming a frog in hot water.


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

  • 13 Apr, 2015
  • Posted by Steve Fogel
  • 19 Tags

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