Choice Awareness Training exercises (continued)

Choice Awareness Training is designed to leverage a greater sense of freedom-to-change, to awaken the living zombie, to facilitate change-process (see a more detailed description of Choice Awareness Training in Make a Choice When It Doesn’t Matter and Open Your Hand to Open Your Mind and Circle of Choice).

The Circle of Choice – Practice Version

(if you are new to this discussion, see Circle of Choice first)

Draw at least one mindful circle every day.  Slow down enough to consciously take in all the options available to you at the moment:  the hand you’ll draw it with, the placement of the drawing on the page, the starting point, the direction, the diameter, whether you will bring the ends of the line together or not.   Use this exercise as an alarm clock for your mind.  Time this exercise strategically, before the events in your daily life that are fraught with compulsive mindlessness. 

For example, if you tend to find yourself on the defensive during business meetings, right before you go in or when at the actual meeting, “doodle” a circle, mindfully, consciously.  Allow this moment be a metaphorical reminder that this time you will not do what you usually do, you will go a different route: you will not defend, you will explain instead, if asked;  instead of anxiously volunteering pre-emptive justifications, you will calmly wait to be asked and if asked about your course of action or your performance or your opinion on a given matter, you will explain (rather than defend) or share (without any unnecessary self-deprecatory qualifiers).

Here’s another example: say, you have a bit of road rage.  As you get into your car, before you put into gear, before you pull out of your parking spot, draw a mindful circle to wake yourself up to the interpretive options at your disposal.  Sure, you can think as before, that everybody’s stupid, or you can remind yourself of the option to recognize that everybody’s doing the best that they can: if they could be – at this moment in time – any more attentive, organized, skilled in their driving, then they would be.

In short, as you use this choice-awareness meditation, keep asking yourself: what are the vicious circles that I am stuck in?  What are the loops of my mindlessness?  And as you identify them, time your choice-awareness circle-drawing meditation at critical times to awaken yourself to an alternative interpretation of what is.

Encircle yourself within the field of self-supportive choice awareness.  And, of course, enclose others within your field of compassionate awareness.  Choose to share your choice-awareness know-how within your nakama* (with those who are within your inner circle of significance).

*Nakama: Japanese for “circle of friends”



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    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2010). Encircle Yourself With Choice Awareness. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from


Select books by Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.:
Mindful Emotional Eating Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment

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