Let us agree up front that whatever is good for ADDers is
good for everyone. Let us also agree that we will not get lost in the blinding clutter,
paralyzing verbiage or the noise of argument. Accept these ideas without making judgments.
Like the cohorts here at Hyperthink/Ink, I am a connector
of concepts, a "bridger" between similar and dissimilar, of ADD and non-ADD
ways. I am grateful to have this place in cyberspace to share some ideas on attention, as
it is vital to healing.
At first I was lost in the complexity of presentation.
Since I can easily bridge off to outer streams of consciousness where no one would want to
follow, or even bounce over the chasm, missing the bridge altogether, I, like many others,
get lost in details.
Since diagnosis and treatment for ADHD, I have been able to
assimilate and recall so many resonating connections, that I cannot discern where my own
thoughts have become interwoven with the thoughts of others.
I CLAIM NO ORIGINAL THOUGHTS. My desire is to share some of
the focusing pearls found along my current path in the hope to help other bouncers
"shim" their own magnetic core (gratitude to MRI), thus revealing their own
balanced center. In Magnetic Resonance Imaging we call this "THE SWEET SPOT".
By retracing this path, my hope is to freely (you don't
need health insurance or an HMO referral) help you to attend to the healing inner balance that you already
have but may have forgotten or lost somewhere in the clutter.
The Acorn of Possibilities: I AM GRATEFUL FOR ADD! Yes... you heard me correctly. I am grateful
for those SHADOW crazymakers inside me that have been recently revealed. Most of you are
familiar with these three shadows (detailed below), but too many of us are not. Many, like
me, have been clueless in cluesville!
A Shadow is analogous to an undeveloped or negative twin of
a positive attribute (gratitude to Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way). For example:
A critic might be the shadow of a blocked or unrevealed writer. The critic's crazymakers
keep the critic from developing his skills for many individual "reasons" or
excuses (gratitude also to Angeles Arrien, The Four Fold Way).
A shadow is also like an unrevealed ACORN, a seed of
something big and strong. Like the mother who lives through her son's musical talent
instead of revealing her own talents.
I am grateful for that very painful moment near the end of the 12
hour OzzFest concert I attended with my son, when he completely deleted my role as musical
inspiration and nest-egg provider. Truly shocked, it was yet another wake-up call, I asked
my resilient self; "Self, whose acorn is this anyway?" That is when I began to
re-evaluate my role in this life (gratitude to Mary Wolfe, James Hillman and Thomas - Care
of the Soul - Moore).
The Trio Known As RID: The particular crazymakers of
ADD are our shadows named Distractibility, Impulsivity, and Restlessness. I like to
remember them together as RID! It gives me a grin to imagine them as impish types in my
To heal yourself, you must be grateful for these guys.
Instead of trying to hide them or scare them away, THANK THEM.
Thanks to Restlessness: I am grateful to restlessness because it has kept me moving. It has
permitted me to reframe myself as a seeker. It has helped to develop the art of bouncing
which, if shared is quite contagious, and the dancing rhythms that can result are bonds
Resonance and intuitive communication can evolve if our
shadow restlessness can be focused. Restlessness sparks our natural curiosity which is the
source of intrinsic motivation. My friend RESTLESSNESS has been with my ancestors since
anyone can recall. I come from a long line of bouncing characters most of whom I can now
reframe as HUNTERS (gratitude to Thom Hartmann).
Even among the most quasi-domesticated among my forbears
were inventors, nomads, musicians, rebels, bag ladies and builders of foundries and
stills! Curious George might be a direct ancestor for all I know.
I am grateful for restless curiosity that disabled the
capacity to even FOCUS ON THE CARROT! What carrot?
You hunters have seen that carrots on sticks destroy our
childrens' and many of our own intrinsic explorations in favor or external rewards of the
Restlessness has preserved my capacity for living in a
tent! I don't want to carry around so much STUFF!
I desire simplicity (Not to be confused with simple or
simplistic). Like my bag lady Hunter grandmother, I would like to carry my agenda in a St.
Vincent DePaul shopping bag (gratitude to Helen Eichenlaub and all the other Oak Trees
related to my ACORN).
Thanks to Impulsivity: I am am
also grateful to impulsivity. That little IMP was cute and funny until age 35 when
suddenly everything became SOOO SERIOUS! What happened?
Up to that time, this "hunter" was not afraid to
take a chance or try something new. Frequent "foot in mouth" disease and wet
underwear was worth the price for laughter. Send in the clowns (gratitude to Judy
Impulsivity has helped me learn to develop quick reflexes
and keep my sense of humor. I love to try new things like scuba diving, skiing, and kung
fu when already decades older than most "non-Hunters." When our shadow
impulsivity is taught to pay attention instead of bungie jumping or barreling over Niagara
Falls (a secret childhood wish) we find a healthy form of bouncing called RESILIENCE.
Dancing all night and trampoline exercise are other forms
of healthy and healing bouncing. Time spent DANCING IS NOT SUBTRACTED FROM OUR ALLOTTED
TIME ON EARTH (gratitude to Izaac Walton, Native American Indians, and Laura Nyro).
Thanks to Distractibility:
Last but not least, I am grateful to DISTRACTIBILITY!
Distractibility has kept me LATENT, i.e late-blooming. Of course, when unfocused, this guy
has helped me to be also LATE!
This forever- ten- minutes- late routine can really destroy
Most non-ADDers interpret lateness as "willful."
I learned this the hard way. You don't want this kind of wake-up call! Better to be handed
a pink bus ticket to the lower outlands than to be late for a surprise meeting of the full
partners held in your "honor."
But, latency has been very very good to me (gratitude to
Saturday Night Live). I am grateful for the latency that allowed me to loose a few decades
in school, collecting credentials without knowing what doors they could open. I am
grateful for the experiences I might have missed if I didn't follow my nose down every
trail forgetting that I was not in the mainstream.
If distractibility can be taught to focus you can reframe
all those UNBLOCKED moments as ECLECTIC views on life. No dogma would or could stick on
this gal! Old patterns are only lightly stuck, like postellettes. There are times I had so
many different Post-It notes partially stuck on me that I felt like CHICKEN WOMAN,
complete with feathers.
Without the more common patterns one can be truly more open
to new ways of looking. You can become NONJUDGMENTAL. This is good! But without focus, you
can become "so open-minded that your brains might fall out!" (sounds like I
should be grateful to Mark Twain or the Buddah or Dali Lama or Rasmussen?).
THE LESSON IN HEALING IS TO SHOW GRATITUDE FOR ALL THAT IS
YOU OR HAS BEEN THE PREVIOUS YOU. Gratitude is a feed-forward process, just like
attention, and it grows exponentially.
Louise Hay has written a book recently, which is a
collective of many authors writing on gratitude. I discovered this book in my usual
distractible, restless and impulsive (but also synchronous) ways as I followed my nose to
the local bookstore (gratitude to the Open Mind Bookstore) where this little voice
whispered "Hey you!!" "Excuse me? Are you talking to me?" "Yes!
YOU! Try practicing GRATITUDE."
"Is someone saying anything?" "Yes! You! You
are the semi-dried-up ACORN who thinks she might be a healer, are you not? Well, just
simply tell everyone to start right here and now to pay attention to gratitude. It is the
simplest and most prolific method to heal yourself, your community, your world, and the
So each morning I pay attention to watering my ACORN with
gratitude. It is the Universal Salve for healing internal and external wounds. I am
grateful for this realization.
Each of us has a unique way to express this SPICE. Start by
find gratitude for the aspects of your life that seem to be CRAZYMAKERS and gently disarm
AMONG THE MANY THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR, TO NAME A FEW: I
am grateful to my webmistress for her great works! I am grateful for all the
"WAKE-UP" calls that have stung me in the past. am grateful to be able to read
and connect. I am grateful for the opportunity to become the best "co-parent"
who ever got lost in a 23 year marriage. I am grateful for latency, resilience, intrinsic
motivation, "stop and think" medication, my ADHD sons and to all those
cyberbuddies who share, help and heal, and all the "angels"...you know who you
Gratitude is great for the head, heart, body and soul. And
it's free of charge.