Attention Dynamics is a new generation of mind skills for connecting with your life. The nineties brought meditation, the zeroes were big on neuroscience, and Attention Dynamics pushes beyond both to bring forward simple, elegant ways to cultivate everything from effortless focus and creative productivity to rapport and deep listening, to leadership presence that owns the room and invites your audience to feel what you feel. Attention Dynamics is based on how the mind works in real life.
Quieting the mind lets you give complete attention to your work, your life, or being with people you care about. Attention Dynamics offers you direct access to advanced brain-management skills that are similar to ancient Buddhist practices, but based on modern psychological innovation through the research of Dr. Glenn Hartelius. Attention Dynamics is a simple, elegant way to shift your state of mind into quiet concentration or restful, rejuvenating calm—quickly and easily.
For example, Attention Dynamics focusing skills are designed for ordinary, healthy minds, but are powerful enough help even people with attention deficit disorder (ADD). Sara grew up being told that she had learning disabilities. She was diagnosed with ADD, Inattentive Type, along with problems in reading comprehension. “I was always in special classes,” she recalls, “where they would help me with my homework but not really teach me how to do it.”
When she graduated from high school, her Senior-year English teacher told her, “You are 18 years old and you don’t know how to write a paper. Who failed you?”
In college, she lived in the library. While her friends were out being normal college kids, she just studied—often having to read the same page several times. “I would get to the end of a page, and have no idea what I just read,” she says. Writing was just as difficult. “I used to feel like I didn’t know what to do, like I couldn’t even write a sentence correctly. I would pull all-nighters just to write a three or four page paper.” She came to believe that learning had to be hard, because she was not really capable of understanding things. Sara got through college, but worked harder than anyone else she knew. She got through her master’s degree with the help of an editor, because she believed she was incapable of writing papers by herself.
In the first year of her PhD program Sara learned Attention Dynamics techniques for focusing, and she experienced a radical shift. Now, she reports, “I only spend a quarter of the time reading—it takes me maybe half the time to read something, and I don’t have to read it twice. I read it, and I get it—I can have a conversation about it.” She had a similar improvement in her writing skills, turning out a good short paper in just a couple of hours. “Everything comes with more ease,” she says. “When I do the inner work, my mind doesn’t wander.” She is currently doing well in her PhD studies, succeeding with far less time and effort than before.
Rachael’s challenge is a common one, and the fact that she did not learn how to focus in grade school or high school should not be blamed on her teachers. Few methods exist to teach the skill of focusing one’s mind. Now there are simple solutions that can work for many students and adults who struggle with focusing their minds.
These skills also help people with presence–the secret language of relationship. For years Adrienne had noticed something about reactions from others to what she said or did—responses that made her feel as though she had done something out of place. As she did not grow up in the U.S., she usually ascribed it to cultural differences. Yet she felt there was something more to the story too, even though she could not put words on it. She tried to describe this “something” in her first session, using a recent example from the workplace, and was delighted and surprised to hear her issue described as a very particular subtle inner stance—one that, as described, resonated with her experience and gave her a clear way to understand the dynamic.
Adrienne learned how to hold her presence in a different way, and later shared that she no longer felt as though she gets the same sort of blowback from things she says or does. In fact, at a recent conference she noticed that she was approached by many more people than usual. Changing her inner posture made a difference in how people related to her.
by Glenn Hartelius, PhD