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I’m passing along this YouTube through my old blog site because I want to make sure you get to see it. It can raise the awareness of others of how hard it is when people with learning disabilities are not valued for their gifts. Also PLEASE subscribe to my new site so you will be informed of new blog posts.
Hi friends and Blog followers,
I’ve moved my Emerging from ADHD/ADD blog to a new location. Please continue to “subscribe” to my blog to get my latest exploration of the gifts of ADHD and other related topics. While you’re there, check out my website…and spread the word!
Do you have this gift…the ability to “discern an overall pattern from a mass of detail” ? To see the “forest for the trees” is an ability for many ADHD/ADDers. This cultivates a very optimistic state of mind, knowing with confidence that “where there is a will, there is a way”. ( I just love idioms!) So, If you “see the forest” you might have found this to be very useful in any number of situations including brainstorming meetings, creating art or designing just about anything. There is also the added benefit of being able to stir up a lot of interest from others around your idea since you see it so clearly in your mind’s eye and your energy can become a magnetic force to help others see what you see. SO if this is you, you’re in good company with Alexander Graham Bell, Walt Disney, Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart , Agatha Christie and Einstein!
To figure out the goal is a very important step in getting anything done and your ability to “see the forest” can help you do just that. To not lose sight of your goal because of “all the trees”, however, is equally important. Details can quickly zap the energy of anyone, but especially those with an ADHD/ADD mindset. How do we keep the beauty of the clearly discerned goal and break it down so as to not feel overwhelmed and disempowered. How do we feel energized even in carrying out the details? Instead of beating yourself up, recognizing the internal drag we feel from being faced with details is the first step. This points to a need for self-care which is so essential for maintaining a healthy mindset. Exercise is a great daily de-stressor and can help you let go of unnecessary worry around what needs to get done. Also, if you haven’t discovered the power of mindfulness in letting go of an overwhelmed and busy mind, perhaps this is a good time start. I have found that daily meditation has the power to stop my “hamster wheel” mind from trying to sort through details and helps me to relax into the beauty of the moment where I can begin to prioritize. If you would like to connect with a great meditation teacher listen to Tara Brach here briefly talk about the value of meditation. http://www.tarabrach.com/new-to-meditation.html. She offers many resources on her website to cultivate mindfulness, including a “how to” guide.
Having the support of self-care in your life, you can now focus more clearly and energetically on your goal. One way to do this is to visualize it accomplished. Close your eyes and really do this. Go over what it looks like and feels like to have made it a reality! Also, look at all the benefits to yourself and others that will come from this accomplished goal. Then from this place take some time to move back, step by step to all the steps it took to get there. Write down what you noticed it took to make it happen. Allow yourself 30 minutes to do this exercise. Look at your list and do any necessary refining. Now the fun begins! Your forest can now become a reality!
And remember, you have a unique mind that is gifted with an ability to envision great things for others. Take the reins and make them a reality!
I felt focused in the garden yesterday in a not so focused kind of way. Perhaps you’ve experienced great days like this too. Spring feels as if it has finally arrived in NC to the point of not turning back. (at least it BETTER NOT!) Yesterday it felt like the energy in my body was crying out to merge with the energy in nature. Sap was/is flowing everywhere! Without an end in sight I set out to my overgrown yard and followed up on one task until it led to the next. It was like an improvisational dance making sense every step of the way, but completely unplanned. First was the planting of the azalea I bought 2 weeks ago…Right in front of the kitchen window. Digging the hole felt wonderfully physical and helped disperse some built up energy that I’d been storing up for at least a week! Then it was on to raking and pulling up vines. Again, moving felt wonderful and I felt productive as ivy began to disappear and a yard began to take shape. Then the falling decorative vine beckoned me to give it more support around the porch posts. Now, it stays up nicely, softening the posts and integrating them into the garden. Looking at my clock I discovered that 3 hours had passed and I felt happy and satisfied with my accomplishments.
Utilizing the energy of ADHD towards productivity can be very affirming, as it was for me yesterday. So often we feel “less than” as we try to do our jobs and complete our tasks according to the standards of others. This may be the world we live in and we would help ourselves by creating systems that allow us to do our jobs well. But if we are to value who we are we must balance this with allowing our brains and bodies to be productive in ways that are natural to us. So, find that sweet spot in your life where your sap flows and productivity explodes. Ask yourself , “Where have I felt great satisfaction in doing something in my life?” Was it gardening, cleaning, doing art, making origami, washing your car? Write down your areas of satisfied productiveness. I would bet you will uncover some pretty amazing ways you can enjoy feeling energized and productive. I know I did and I can’t wait to start again!
“Works well under pressure”. Perhaps you could use that one in your resume! It is a gift that many of us with ADD/ADHD rely on in getting things done. You may know the energy I speak of. The task(s) is floating around in your head for a few days or perhaps for weeks and THEN (!) the due date appears on the horizon, or maybe even at your feet! And everything falls into place and you focus, often miraculously, getting it done! Whew!! I don’t know about you, but I’ve relied on this attribute for years. I know well this way of being productive and it has rarely failed me in producing crystal clear results. But I’ll admit that sometimes there’s been a price to pay. Along with the push to get “it” done there has often been an accompanying moderate to high level of stress and other things in my life don’t always get the attention they deserve. But thank goodness, one of the things those of us with ADD/ADHD are good at is problem solving, and for me it has come down to finding a few good structures and tools that ensure the job gets done without an inordinate amount of self-torture.
One tool I love is my prioritizing chart. I get to sort my head full of tasks into 4 categories. Picture it like this: a square divided into quadrants. Top left reads “#1 Quick Wins”. Top right reads “#2 Major Projects”. Bottom left reads “#3 Fill in Jobs. Bottom right reads “#4 Thankless Tasks”. With my dry erase board prioritizing chart being the depository of my list of tasks, I’m now in the driver’s seat of how I spend my time, I think more in advance of a deadline and pace myself, lessening my chances of leaving out something important, or of pulling my hair out in a last minute panic.
When you have strengths in some areas and not in others, its always good to find other people or tools to help you with your deficits. That is where my 2nd helpful tool comes in. Smart phones, if you have one, have built in calendars where each day can be updated with the “to do” list for the day. With built in reminder alarms, ( perhaps a sweet bird chirp!) smart phones can help you pace yourself with tasks and free your grey matter for that out of the box thinking you do so well. I check in with mine each morning and evening to update it with what’s important to me.
So ask yourself, does using a deadline “work me” or do I want to “work it”! With enough experience at utilizing deadlines to (excuse me), get my butt in gear, I choose to “work it”. With these tools I get to keep my energy that helps me focus and create great things, without the stress of wondering what I might be leaving out.
To learn more about the prioritizing tool check this out:
Are you a creative ADDer? One of the more positive hallmarks of someone with ADD/ADHD is that he or she may “exhibit enhanced creative abilities”. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences “finds some truth in the increasingly popular theory that along with the thorns of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder comes a rose: increased creativity.” If we could ask the likes of Einstein, Mozart, John Lennon, Ann Bancroft, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Agatha Christie today, perhaps they would have responded to this discovery with something like, “But of course! And I would rather have ADD than be less creative!” Their outside the box” thinking has brought us such new perspectives on who we are and what is possible to experience in life. Like these creative thinkers, you too may have felt something that you were burning to express. The task for you and me is whether or not we will shine the light on our intuitions and creative ideas and bring them into the world for others to experience. By doing so you would be expanding other’s lives as well.
But maybe you haven’t found this so easy to do. You may have held back on expressing your gut feelings and creative insights for fear that you might “rock the boat” or “put your foot in your mouth” or create something shocking! Perhaps you’ve sensed your typical “divergent” thinking or your “ ability to generate spontaneous, often unexpected ideas or solutions” as having been met with puzzled looks and misunderstanding. A less than enthusiastic response can be enough feedback for us to cower back, run for cover and start playing it safe again. Well, that doesn’t get us anywhere! I want to encourage you, and me, to be courageous and find ways to express that creative genius that is bubbling up within. More and more I believe that we are each here to bring to the world something no one else can. It is just up to us to listen for what that is and do what we can to bring it forth!
If you’d like to read more about the study on creativity and ADD/ADHD here is the link: