ADHD Coaching E-Zine  
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                                                                                     lindsay hilsenbeck
                                                                                                               usa 510 669 1152
      Mindful Meditation Body Scan      
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Hi there,

Spring is beginning to show up, here in California. Blossom trees are popping out all over.  Great affirmation of the cycle of life - the visual confirmation of new beginnings gives me a jolt of excitement.  Sadly my mother-in-law is very ill, prognosis not good, so it's a bittersweet thought that as spring arrives this year and the flowers begin to bloom, she'll likely fade away. Very tough on the family...

I've decided not to begin the blog at this time.  No one was super keen to change the format, so for now I will continue to write the E-Zine.  But please feel free to email me your thoughts and suggestions on how I can improve it so it truly serves you.

And this month's article is about starting a mindfulness practice.  Not easy when classic meditation is about NOT paying attention to your thoughts - an oxymoron for ADDers.  So I hope my modified version appeals to you, works well, and whets your appetite to develop a practice of your own.

 Mindful Meditation Body Scan

Cultivating some sort of mindfulness routine is great for your mind, body, and spirit.  But a classic sitting meditation can be a tad tough.  So to begin a practice, try my mindful meditation body scan.  If you do it regularly, you will gradually gain more control over your focus, reduce tension and anxiety, and feel calmer and more grounded to boot.

Just closing your eyes alone will cut feeling overwhelmed.

So there are two steps to success...

    1. You need to get into the habit of doing the activity

    2. You also need to be able to stay focused on the activity

1 - I work best if I create 'rituals'  for myself to remind me to do something habitually.  Using a 'to do' list or verbally committing to a plan just doesn't work for me with self-care strategies.  What does is a ritual that I have thought out in detail, decided exactly when I will perform it, and attached it to a habit that is already in place.  For example, I already had my early morning ritual of making a pot of tea and journaling - so it was relatively easy to add a 'Mindful Meditation Body Scan' to this already established routine.

2 - To do the scan, I get comfortable and close my eyes.  You can lie down or sit.  Starting at the top of my head, I bring all my awareness to this spot and visualize scanning my head.  I use a visual of a laser light slowly rolling down - then take it back up and roll it down again - repeat.  (I've obviously watched way too much Star Trek at some point in my life!)

Move down your body, scanning 'bars'  of yourself as you go.  When you find an area that is uncomfortable (maybe tight or sore), stop and 'breathe deeply' into that place - in through your nose, out through your mouth; maybe tighten the muscle and let it go until it begins to relax and realign.  Think of breathing in health and wellness and channeling it into the spot.

If you want to mix it up, go up one side of your body and down the other.  Or do your back half and your front.  Use different colors.  But take your time -  laser focus on each section, and if you find your mind wandering away, bring it back VERY gently - no critical self-talk - just peacefully continue.

You might find you can stay more focused if you repeat out loud what part of your body you're putting your awareness on.

Often important ideas and thoughts come up as you scan.  If you think you might forget, keep a notepad and pen handy and jot down a couple of words to remind you -  or perhaps quickly record your observations - then go back.

I like to do this exercise twice a day as part of an extreme self-care ritual.  But sometimes I do a scan just for a few minutes while waiting for an appointment or queuing at the bank.  Your body holds a lot of wisdom, so it's well worth touching base with it routinely and hearing what it has to say.  Next trick is to do as it suggests; e.g., 'I'm tired and I need a nap.' Maybe I'll address that next month!

When you have finished, have a big stretch and breathe deep.  You're good to go.  Namaste. 

 Client Kudos
"With Lindsay's help, I'm moving towards my goals and organizing my life more than ever before.  The biggest difference this time is that the structure and organization she's helping me establish are full of creativity.  The 'work' feels like play and fits my personality in ways that excite me and uncover the positive about myself.  My motivation is suddenly intrinsic." 
Allison North

Lindsay Hilsenbeck ACG  CVGG
ADHD Coaching & Consulting
ph 510 669 1152