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As I studied, and later taught dance, I realized I am one of hundreds of people challenged by right and left. The right- left challenge comes from having attention deficit. Attention deficit means that the attention or consciousness of the individual is fixated, dispersed or attenuated. Lack of attention causes us to function “on automatic” and forget what we are doing. We cannot track moment – to – moment because our attention drops out. Attention deficit is caused by emotional, physical and mental interference. Attention deficit can be improved and even eliminated, first by understanding it – then taking action to resolve it.

What Causes Attention Deficit

Three things cause attention deficit: Negative Emotions, Thoughts and Painful/Uncomfortable Physical conditions. If you live in these emotions, thoughts or physical conditions day in and day out, then your attention wears down.

  • Emotional Interference: Anxiety and fear cause attention to be scattered. Anger and worry causes attention to be fixated; apathy and grief attenuate attention.

  • Physical Interference: Pain and exhaustion cause attention to attenuate.

  • Mental Interference: Being overwhelmed by doing more than one can capably do causes attention to be dispersed, fixated or attenuated.

What Solves Attention Deficit

I was one of those people who lived in a morass of unwanted emotional, mental and physical conditions from childhood. I successfully resolved this challenge through meditation – through dance as a meditation as well as seated meditation in which I focused on being in present time for an extended period of time every day.

Meditation is the act of deliberately focusing attention and intentionally tracking moment-to-moment in order to cleanse thoughts and emotions, thus boosting attention span. Being in present time turns off “being on automatic” (functioning automatically without consciousness), replacing it with consciousness. With time, meditation has the side effect of calming one down and improving attention span overall. Attention is like a muscle, when it is exercised it improves. It all comes down to focusing on the moment regularly.

I began applying meditation to my life and to dance practice in my twenties and have been doing it ever since. Eventually, I stopped dancing automatically and could keep my attention on each moment and movement without distracted thoughts and emotions, and without forgetting what I was doing. Over time with regular meditation one comes in to the present where things are calm and non-threatening, and where conscious behavior with intention and attention is the new norm. I recommend it for my fellow right-left challenged dance friends!

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