the little red book of mindfulness

Up and Out: The Little Red Book of Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is not hard to understand.

Understanding mindfulness is not mindfulness.

Practicing mindfulness in your daily life is a process, a habit, that once you embrace and understand can make significant improvements in your quality of life and even your health.

Up and Out

Interrupting sadness and loneliness with a random question or tangent.

There is an amazing global community based on compassionate listening and co-counseling.

Re-evaluation Counseling is a technique for listening in an active and participatory way. I recommend you look for an RC group in your local area. As part of the coaching process (which can tend to sink people into their emotions and release of those emotions) we used something called an “up and out.” This idea works even when you are alone. Here’s an example.

“What are your four favorite flavors of ice cream?”

What we are asking of our brains is to think about something completely unrelated to what’s upsetting you, and give a list or some ideas. This is a form of distraction. Not all distraction is bad. What we’re doing here is interrupting the spiraling thoughts with a task that the mind can accomplish effortlessly. Thus, our minds want to solve the question and complete the challenge.

Coffee Toffee Crunch
Mint Chocolate Chip
Pistachio Almond
Natural Vanilla

And with a simple minor redirect we derail the monkey mind. It helps if the prompt is random. Just reset your thoughts in a different direction.

Here are a few other examples.

What were your first three cars?
What are you going to do right after we’re done?
Do you know the brand and size of the tires on your car?

The more nonsensical the better. Give your brain or your friend’s brain a simple request to help lift your thoughts out of their loop of distress.

Finding new ways of upping and outing myself.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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