I’m a (cognitive) guinea pig. [Day 2]

Just joining in? Be sure to understand what I’m doing as part of the “Embodied Technology change process.”

In a nutshell, Blackwell would have me do the following today:

Create your trigger. “Find something in your regular environment that happens a dozen to two dozen times a day. Maybe it’s a certain doorway you pass through, or a cell phone, or a color, or whatever works for you. Each time it happens, try to focus your attention and notice that you are noticing. This is the process of setting a trigger. Try a couple out until you find the one that works for you, and then pick it.”

Try to notice what it is I pay attention to. What do I see or hear? What “grabs” my attention at certain times? What do I notice? Write these things down in a journal or notepad or something.

Modeled after the Iroquois Thansgiving Address, we’re learning a cultural technology to build a sense of gratitude for all the things in the world. “The first element is people. Who are you grateful for in your life?” Write down the list here or in your journal or notepad or whatever.

My answers are …

What in the world do I do 12-24 times a day? I could easily think of 3 things I wished I did that many times a day, but alas, since they do not actually happen I cannot use them. What then? I decided upon everytime I thought about a friend or family member. Yes, this would be my trigger. Strangely enough, I think of friends and family all day long despite what many of them might think (due to my poor record of emailing or calling). It’s true, though. I think about some friend or another at least that many times a day. With trigger in mind, I made myself aware of it every time it happened.

As for attention, all I can say is that I’m highly acute to dramatic changes in sound and smell. I spend most of my day staring at the computer screen or with my nose buried in a book so that all I visually notice are … words. Anytime I heard a bird, lawnmower, chainsaw, car horn, or dog barking, I looked out the window adjacent to my desk. Whenever I heard people’s voices in conversation as they walked by, I listened, but did not turn to look. And when I finally got to go outside and rejoin the human race, I noticed runners and cyclists everywhere. (I always notice runners and cyclists, though. I always wonder if I might know them from somewhere …) I also noticed that it was a beautiful, cool, and pleasant evening.

Who am I thankful for? I’m thankful for different folks for different reasons. They essentially fall into one of three categories: Family, Friends, and people who have made an impact upon me (irregardless of good or bad). My family members are: Mom, Dad, Diana, Grandma, Granddad. Then followed by my (many) friends: Florin, Jon, Paca, Sam, Berta, Athena, Aaron, Luke, Beej, Rob, Jenn, Lorraine, Richard, Nate, Worrel, Brent, Chuy, Leslie, Raffi, Elbert, Cole, Iwe, Tiina, Laura, Claudine, Shannon, Ava, Brian, Corey, Melissa, Emily, Kevin, Lynn, Marisa, Nicholas, Mr. Somma, and many more … I’m also thankful for those “others” that cannot be easily defined in any way: Joshua, Krok, Kephart, Micki, Jessica, Lisa, Jillian, Roussell, Welsh, Mike, “Vollenda”, “BBB”, “Kylie”, and “Eric” … just to start with.