MEDS Day 46: Today I am practising Switching Attention

I am grateful for yesterday’s…

  • beautiful day’s work coaching a team of university students to pitch for funding to do an artistic project (they were successful)
  • feeling in my flow with the work, facilitating others’ potential and innate gifts
  • being able to go to the shops and get food
  • going out with loved ones to a restaurant – laughing, sharing, eating
  • small oxytocin fest with my Love before the end of the day

And so today. It’s a highly significant time. Tomorrow is 11/11, marking 100 years since the end of WW1. My heart is full. I’ve been (like everyone) full of tears about these days and the recollection of grievous loss of precious life. I am open to change. I am open to learning. I am ready to walk through tomorrow’s gateway with a firm intention to detach from my Old, and embrace my/our/the collective New. Now is the time. These are the days.

I had a powerful session reading Reality Transurfing this morning. Perfectly, sadly, it touched on the subject of alcohol today. Look at this brilliant assessment:

‘Alcohol is pure energy. When you drink alcohol you get energy on credit. Alcohol induced euphoria is like an energy advance and the subsequent hangover the return {repayment} with interest. You always have to give back more than you borrowed. Pendulums never give away energy for free without profiting somehow from the transaction.’  (p592 Reality Transurfing)

Yes, I really resonate with the idea that alcohol is a ‘pendulum’ that lends you energy and then takes it back with interest – either as a hangover, or just by having stolen your mental energy and time, which otherwise you could have used to meet your actual goals of the heart (eg. being with family, completing your work for the day).  Zeland adds tobacco, coffee, tea and even chewing gum into this category – any substance which appears to give a quickly-delivered burst of comfort. energy,  relief or euphoria. And then this:

‘Positive energy is never emitted in such large quantities.’ p594.

Yes! Let’s say it again for emphasis…!

‘Positive energy is never emitted in such large quantities’ [as are delivered, in bursts, by negative energy sources, like alcohol]

Indeed! Meditation, qigong, walking, breathing exercises…. all take time, patience, trust…before gently, subtly, the benefit is softly delivered…. the uplift occurs gently…. Maybe this is why I’m reticent to give the time required to the healthy activities. My dopamine-grabbing brain is just loving the burst-delivery mechanisms!

So how to spring ourselves free of the dependency on the little ‘bursts’ of energy we come to crave…? Zeland writes: 

‘All dependency arises because the arrow of attention has been caught in the pendulum’s noose. In order to “come off the needle” you have to switch your attention to something else. Will power is rarely enough to free yourself from the noose in the same way that you can only get a song out of your head when you switch to a different tune. A harmful habit is as a rule accompanied by a specific script and set of scenery…. There is only one way to pay off all your debts and walk away from the grievous bank: change the script and scenery. If is not difficult to do, you just have to do it and then apply a little imagination.’ (RT p596)

I knew immediately what that meant for me: to switch my attention, as a matter of priority, from my current (professional/personal/speaking in the world) themes of ‘mental health (aka illness)’, addiction, death and dying, suicide prevention, disability, welfare systems, loneliness…. to the positive opposite: healthy living, wellness, human potential! 

Well, I instantly felt my toes curl… I can’t go out into the world talking about ‘health, wellness and human potential’! (I can even hear myself saying it in a mocking voice..!) And noting this took me straight back to a few pages earlier in RT (p581-583), when I had been struck by the reminder of the rules  of pendulums, which Zeland notes the Indigos (like me) came to push against and to hold themselves to the rule of the transurfing:

  1. Pendulums’ rule is: “If you want to survive, do as I do” (CONFORM)
  2. Transurfing rule: “Be yourself, and allow others to do the same.” (BE TRUE / FOLLOW YOUR BLISS  / As a bright student said yesterday, ‘Find out what you love to do and then keep doing more of it.’)

Well, the part of me that recoils from ‘talking about health, wellness and human potential’ is the part of me which recoils from Pendulums – and gets round the sadness of not following my bliss by using substances for energy burst. On the other hand, the part of me that wants to talk about health, wellness and human potential, is the part which is being swept up warmly into the Alternatives flow, happily, naturally and… without (egoic?) resistance.

[I have a friend who was super-cool and maybe somewhat aloof at school. A few years ago, I became aware via social media, she had opened a beauty therapy business. That was so out of conformity with the norms of our previously shared intellectually-snobbish world. I wondered how she had found the courage to face down everyone’s presumed snobbishness?! I recalled that maybe she had addiction issues along the way? Anyway, clearly, something powerful had happened for her to bust out of our collective consciousness (or unconsciousness)  and be herself. I have been heartened by watching her revel more and more in her work and art and skills and business online. Meanwhile the civilised elite, sit at home chafing against the callings of their one true heart…. ]

So. Time to bring it all together for today. There’s work to be done!

The ‘switch’ mechanism. Can you play with that today? 

I guess so. In what way?

Switching attention is best done accompanied by embodied action. So can you practise ‘switching’ by moving into a different activity and mode physically? Get used to the feeling of getting energy by positive action, rather than by knocking back substances such as coffee, alcohol, tea, chocolate, food for quick bursts of energy. 

So often when I teach mental health and ask people how they look after their own wellbeing they laugh (note the giveaway) about running purely on coffee, cakes, biscuits! Ho ho… feed the pendulums, why don’t we?!

Softly. Switching out of the ‘quick fix’ pattern needs compassion to self and other. 

So are you asking me to kind of zig zag in terms of what I do today? What about rebranding myself…? I’d like to say I work in ‘health, wellness and human potential’ and suck up the pendulum-shocks.

Softly, sweet one. Just get agile at switching activity, without hesitation or deviation. Train your brain to follow your will. 

I’ve got lots of writing / work to do today, at the laptop

The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique

Perfect practice ground. Use the Pomodoro technique to mix up activities. You will find that you get used to wrenching yourself out of the head-zone, and it becomes easier. And then 20 minutes at the laptop is used efficiently, because you know it’s only 20 minutes. And then you’re up, to run round the block for 20 minutes, or call a friend for 20 minutes, or … well, as much as possible, use the next 20 minutes to ‘give yourself a break from the benefits of civilisation (p597). Then work again… 20:20:20… 20 mins of laptop… 20 mins of something uncivilised / simple  / chopwoodcarrywater … and repeat. 

You wanted to switch your attention human potential. Here’s your first lesson. 🙂 

Haha. Ok! I hear you. Sounds crunchy and inconvenient and possibly brilliant!

There we go. Lift off – with naturally-induced energy, not fuelled by fixation / caffeine / heart-dodging. Welcome to health and wellness. 

I’ve had a look at the Pomodoro website – and this video

  1. How many pomodoros required for an activity? Learn to estimate accurately..
  2. Protect your pomodoro time
  3. Use part of your pomodoro times for recap and review

Pomodoro times are 25 mins, plus break = 2 per hour

We are suggesting you focus on Switching Attention – so shorts bursts of 20 mins on a roll. It may be that you are effectively going Work / Break / Work / Break. That is find. This is what we are suggesting you do. 

Then I shall! I’ll set my alarm for 20 mins and just keep resetting it. Let’s see how we go…

Today I am practising Switching Attention.

Hm… I’m suddenly imagining that mastering Switching Attention is actually a really good way to refine Holding Attention.. Right?! Let’s see. It’s 12.15. I’ll start at 12.20pm. I think I had a dream about this a few years ago… 

Softly. Softly. Rest in awareness. This is a gentle discipline, not an obstacle race… 

Got it.






EXERCISE? YES! 2 x bursts of 10 minute trots! 



DRY today? NO

MORNING: My muesli; coffee and cream; chicken soup, spinach, raw celery, pate

AFTERNOON: Indian takeaway box from supermarket; organic red wine


IN BED WITH MY BOOKS BY 10pm? NO – Saturday rules

Screens off:   /       Lights out: 12.30

Wake up the next day:       8             Total sleep: 7h


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