Monday, July 23, 2012

Stop, Drop and Breathe

The first step in the SURF model is to Stop. This is not to suggest you stop thinking, as if you could if you wanted to. A common metaphor for a busy mind is a monkey with its tail on fire. In the midst of a craving or even in the chaos that may proceed a craving it may seem as though the mind is on fire as it consumes your attention in trying to solve the immediate problem...PAIN. This could be the pain associated with physical withdrawal or the emotional pain resulting from a fear of loss or abandonment. It occurred to me that we could use stop drop and breathe to help better describe what it is we are talking about. The fire in the mind is fed by our attention much like oxygen feeds a traditional fire. By stop we mean stop feeding the fire and by drop we mean drop the thinking process in favor of the feeling process. The process of dropping our attention creates a vacuum that can be overwhelming. Kind of like the old adage of "Don't think about a pink elephant...good luck! The breath is the simplest and most effective way (for most)to fill that void. Practice is the key, Stop Drop and Breathe can be used whenever we notice the Monkey's tail is on fire. Aloha, Steve