A posting on Facebook caught my attention and I eagerly clicked on it.  It was an advertisement from a Virtual Assistant for "Stickies".  Post-it notes for your computer windows. It is a very advanced, sophisticated, free program that almost sucked me in!  But let's face it, whether it is a physical slip of paper or a virtual piece of paper, it is NOT organization at it's best and it is NOT helpful for people with ADHD.  OK, that is my opinion but it is also a hard lesson learned over and over again.  They are so darn convenient.

Fast and efficient are often opposites.  Grabbing for a post-it quickly to write down information can mean another unfiled piece of paper hanging around, or worse, a lost or forgotten number or date which equals a lost opportunity. Taking a deep breath and saying to yourself or to someone else, "give me a minute to get my planner or PDA out so that I can put it in the appropriate place" can be rewarding on so many levels.  It cuts down on the step of re-entering the info.  It insures that you do not loose the info.  It reduces anxiety and brain-strain.  It is the self-caring thing to do.  "Stickies" are not.  Here's a tip; before checking your phone messages make sure you have your 'message book' in front of you.  It cuts down on the hastily grabbed scraps of paper, back of envelopes and post-it notes that pile up and get lost.  Be kind to yourself. mindfulness matters!

Messy-notes-thumb7824236 Moleskine-planner+ipod

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I just read an article about a Professor in Dublin who is claiming that many of the famous people that were considered genius' throughout history probably had ADHD and produced their work due to the ability to hyper-focus.  "Clearly ADHD is not a guarantee of genius, but the focused work-rate that it produces may enable creative genius to flourish"

My first thought was 'wouldn't it be wonderful if we could turn it on and off like a light switch, wow'.  Although, I have read that people with ADD – ADHD do train themselves to do just that.  Hmm…  I believe that there is an emotional component to hyperfocusing.  When we like something, really enjoy doing it, then hypefocusing happens even when we do not want it to (that is when the egg timer becomes your best friend!).  However, hyperfocus on demand for tasks that we 'have to' do, well, that is another story.  

Take this blog entry for instance; I made a promise to Scott Lewis that I would write a blog entry this morning and have it posted by 12:30.  I am trying really hard to hyperfocus on this but my stomach is rumbling, my foot without a sock on it is cold, the recyclables need to be taken out and the cat is pacing like a hungry lion.  That is just a few of the thoughts that are distracting me at this very moment.  Hmm, where is that light switch?  How do I turn it on?  

I can focus on what needs to be done at any given moment but hyperfocusing is a different story, a different skill dare I say.  A skill is something that we develop and use on purpose when it is called for.  So that brings me back to whether or not it IS something that can be developed, whether or not it IS a skill?

According to Wikipedia: "Hyperfocus is an intense form of mental concentration or visualization that focuses consciousness on a narrow subject, separate from objective reality and onto subjective mental planes, daydreams, concepts, fiction, the imagination, and other objects of the mind. It is the normal state that occurs during hypnosis, especially at theta levels".

In an article in ADDitude Magazine, Larry Silver M.D. says that College kids "go into a state of intense focus to get work done".  Is that true hyperfocus?  The author, Royce Flippin states: "…the tendency for children and adults with attention deficit disorder to
focus very intently on things that do interest them. At times, the
focus is so strong that they become oblivious to the world around them.
AHA! There it is, "oblivious to the world around them", that is the key, the difference between focusing and true hyperfocusing!

I am putting it out to you, my readers, to answer this question.  Is hyperfocusing, true hyperfocusing, a skill and can it be used on demand?

and remember Mindfulness Matters.

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Hello all of you wonderful people who have tried to befriend me and get to know me over the past two years.  I have been 'missing in action'.  I'm Back!

For 2 years I steadily traveled back and forth from Vermont where I live, to Florida where my elderly, ill folks lived.  I tried to run my therapy practice, my coaching business and my life while helping to take care of my parents. Unfortunately my writing suffered. Actually, because of the pain, I've been blocked  most of those 2 years.  Over a 2 month span I lost my Mother, Father and closest Aunt/ally.  We just had another memorial service in New Jersey last weekend so that all of our relatives could attend.  This huge, 3/4 of ones life, huge chapter of my life is physically closed.  Emotionally and cognitively it is very active.

I am ready to start writing again. I feel the need so strongly.  And here I am on this website, "" choosing for some unknown reason, to write my first blog entry in a VERY long time. This must be "home". Thank you for that very needed and special feeling. 

So, here I am, all of my grown-ups are gone.  That truly makes me the grown-up.  Me, this professional woman with ADHD and so many years old (a woman has to have some secrets), so many years as an adult,  I am the grown-up that I have to depend on and get cudo's from, and hear the opinion of… ME.  How strange. How sad. How?

The support of professionals, friends, cousins, and the social networks that I have built is what I will purposely fill this empty hole with.  That is a big part of the "How?".  Trust in myself and allowing the grief process to transcend all 5 stages is a really big part of the "HOW?".  And the biggie for me, 'writing' is a very big part of the "HOW?".   Again, thank you all so very much for being there, here and everywhere. mindfulness matters

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I would like to offer a sincere apology to all of my readers, followers,
subscribers, fans, friends and ADDers for not publishing this blog for so many
months.  The illness and then loss of my mother and my special aunt along
with the terminal illness of my father has kept me on a plane, in flux and
writing in private. Cleaning out the house of 61 years of marriage, and the
belongings of a family with ADHD, along with my grief, has clogged the creative
writing part of my ADHD brain as well as my heart. 

Multi-tasking and balancing is more difficult when an ADDer is grieving.
Prioritizing and choosing what to let go of can be difficult for people with
ADHD and we have to work very hard to achieve balance.  Our moods,
schedules, activities, projects, tasks, joys, passions, play, work and various
roles that comprise our life are all affected by our grief on a daily basis.

Like the playground “see-saw” of my childhood, everything in our life
that we must balance hinges precariously on that middle point of production.
Being the smallest kid in my class each year meant that the other kids were
always able to hold my end of that see-saw up in the air.   An ADHD
coach is an amazing help in helping to form and maintain that middle
“axle” that keeps you balanced.

As a child I struggled to ground myself and keep my playmates in the air. (I
started see-sawing with younger kids!).  As an adult and an ADHD Coach, I
use mindfulness and mindfulness meditation to calm ground and balance

Grief, two businesses, writing/publishing, and continual trips down south would
seemingly be enough to clog the creative process.  The difficulty of
letting go of my parent’s possessions and my overly sentimental attachment to
these historical ‘mementoes’ that they collected over the last 61 years has
taken up way too much of my emotions and time.

ADHD and Emotions, ADHD and Possessions, ADHD and Time management, ADHD and
Grief: there I’ve been and still am but I am also back in the world of
blogging!  mindfulness matters!

Matters Coaching

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Monday Morning

Monday morning, too many choices, too little caffeine. Stay focused and mindful to survive and stay on track. tea – black!

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Try New Things

I have ADHD. I am going to take a weekend workshop titled "write a book in a weekend" with Donna Kozik and Suzanne Evans. I am excited because I have been trying to write 2 books for more years then I can count. This could be it!

Being brave and knowing that ADHD makes some things a little (OK, a lot) harder, hopefully does not stop you from trying new things and growing in new directions.  Just remember, having ADHD also enhances your creativity and your flow of ideas!  Talking to the teacher or facilitator before signing up and telling them that you have ADHD and would like to know their experience teaching or leading the subject matter with this population, as well as any concerns you may have, allows you to reduce any fears that may be stopping you.  Asking if extra time and help will be available if you need it and making those arrangements up front also allows you to bravely go where you have not gone before (thank you Gene Roddenberry). 

Try it. The new year is at our front door; open it up and invite in your dreams.  Have the welcome message be: "hey dreams, you are getting fulfilled this year so come on in".
Remember, mindfulness matters.  Take care, smiles and cheers, judi

Mindfulness Matters Coaching

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How is a person with ADHD like a race horse? 

Hopefully you have been to a racetrack or seen a horse race on TV. Often you will see a horse that comes out of the gate like a bat out of hell. No matter how hard the jockey tries to rein him in, to structure the pace so he can last till the end, he just can't stop the horse from flying past all the others.  Half way through the race our horse is 3 lengths ahead of the rest. As they are coming around the last turn and heading for the finish line, there is no sign of our horse. Sadly, he does not finish the race because somewhere in the last quarter stretch he stumbled and hurt his ankle.  The horse limped off the field as the jockey tried to understand what happened so that he could explain it to the horse's owner and trainer who were both furious and frustrated. 

The next time the horse raced the same thing happened. He shot out far ahead of the other horses and went flying as fast as he could. One could almost 'see' the look of pure joy on his face. This time the jockey had a bit more luck trying to pace him for the long race.  After being only 1.5 lengths ahead at the half way point he continued to pace him as best as possible. Alas, our horse came in last.  Almost 2 lengths behind the rest.  The horse got the signals from the jockey this time but just couldn't give 'it' up completely. 'It' of course was the excitement of rushing headlong into something he loves and perhaps even hyper-focusing along the way??

So, how is a person with ADHD like a race horse?  I suppose a better question to ask would be HOW can a person with ADHD stop being like that race horse whenever we start a new, interesting and exciting project?  First we have to break down the steps, parts, tasks, sections, portions… of the project. Pacing ourselves means structuring our time by writing down in our planner When and for How Long we are going to do each and every part of this project. If it is an ongoing project it means restructuring our time to include this new task into our life.  Savoring the parts we like instead of rushing past them can help to continue on with the part of the 'race' that normally would lose our interest.  Putting down into that planner When and under What conditions it is OK to start the next project is also helpful.  Win, Place or Show, it helps to continue to show up by planning the pace and listening to that jockey in our head. 
And remember, mindfulness matters!
Mindfulness Matters Coaching®

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Facebook | The BridgeMaker

Quoted from

Facebook | The BridgeMaker

"My two business’ keep me busy. My clients are moving forward. My cat is eating again after losing 3 lbs. The Autumn leaves in Vermont are worth dealing with the freezing cold. I love that I am starting my day this way along with the Law of Attraction Daily Quote. Thanks Alex for being a grateful human’ being’ that is ‘doing’. jj"

This was my re-entry into the Social Networking mileau. I took a few days off to focus on fun, friends, house and catching up on work. As a person with ADHD I find it difficult to maintain my pre-set limits on the internet. The more that I use Facebook and Twitter for business, the more demand on my time it takes. This is also a problem for my clients that I am coaching. How interesting to be working on solutions to this problem together. 

Sticking to my schedule, using my timers, including my new timer program, and seeing a "playback" movie of everything I did on the computer compliments of the program "TimeSnapper", has been putting me back on track. SERIOUSLY, you have to watch a movie of how you spent your hyperfocused Sunday morning in order to "snap out of it" for good!  mindfulness matters!

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Virtual Help – HELP

When a person with ADHD receives Virtual Assistance from support personnel we often end up in ADHD Driven Hell (see my article written for “HOW MANY COACHES DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A LIGHT BULB?”… or “What’s My Role Now?”). 

Thanks to the efforts of a nice guy named Phil from Feedblitz, I somehow(?) found my missing subscribers. Unfortunately, despite his time and efforts, I still do not know how to add people who have said yes without having to build a whole new newsletter.  I somehow lost all of my subscribers while trying to add another list.  Despite the efforts of a nice woman named Barbara from Eclectechs, my website is still in transition disarray, aka; it looks totally wacked out.   Andee, the web developer who was making changes got rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. I'm innocent on that front.  So now Barb is trying to make it look like it did instead of what it does but has not been able to yet.

The problem is, trying to describe and explain verbally to the helper what is visually in the mind of someone who is kinesthetic by nature. Also, their knowledge might tend to have them moving faster and assuming more technically then we are able to comprehend. Ah the ADHD brain. And then of course there is the verbal 'teaching', instructions and observations coming from this virtual support person.

How to process and respond is always a challenge. Taking notes and instant messaging or emailing is helpful. Allowing for time out in between each piece of the project which needs to be broken up in places so that you can have time to gather your thoughts, the helper's instructions and what you want to say after it has been well thought out is also helpful. 

One last though; it seems that I always tackle these virtual projects on a Friday which is mostly a home office based work day. Unfortunately if what we are working on is not complete, we are stuck with it for the weekend. So, time to rethink Virtual Assistance Day.  Always remember, mindfulness matters.
Mindfulness Matters Coaching®

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Monday Morning Motivation and ADHD Fugue

According to the definition of fugue is:
2.Psychiatry. a
period during which a person suffers from loss of memory, often begins
a new life, and, upon recovery, remembers nothing of the amnesic phase.

Whoever came up with that definition must have had ADHD in mind!

Monday Morning is absolutely the most difficult time for me to get myself motivated and focused. Working from home, alone and always tired after the weekend for some unknown reason, adds to this dilemma. In order for me to get any work done at all it involves true concerted (not Concerta, concerted!) effort on Sundays between me, my planner and all of the business roles that I maintain.

Where to find the motivation is easy enough because I have tons of work to do and I love what I do. Hmm, well, I love working with people and I love writing articles but what about all the other stuff, the have-to’s? Aha, that’s it. I discovered that I was planning the most unpleasant or unknown part of my workload for my most sluggish time slot. Making phone calls and finishing or even starting paperwork on a Monday morning is a set up for entering the ‘dead zone’.

Restructuring my workload to do something on Monday mornings that engages my interest and appeals to my inner alarm clock (in order for it to want to function and resonate loudly) is the answer to the Monday Morning Motivation Fugue. I also have found that a more active mindfulness meditation is called for on Mondays. If I sit with my eyes closed I will fall asleep. If I do a walking meditation I am juiced and ready to work.

always remember… mindfulness matters.

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