Want to hear a bold claim?

“15 seconds a day to a brain that is more receptive to the positive.”

More receptive. Not instantly positive in all situations. Part way thought the month, how’s it going? I met with a friend today and we noted how this “silly” challenge results in actual change.


One of the cardinal rules of counseling is helping clients to learn how to create enough of a beat for their brains to kick in. All of us make better decisions if our brain is engaged and we are not merely reacting.

#15secondsaday slows me down enough for my brain to ask “what is good here? What is worth noting? What can I savor?” Sound familiar?

Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

I’ve heard this verse, what? A gabillion times? I don’t tend to think of Paul channeling Polly Anna. Maybe he’s not. Maybe Paul knows how challenging it can be to notice—let alone—meditate on things that are






—of good report

—has any virtue (notice how low the bar is!! Be encouraged)

—if there is anything praiseworthy (again, surely we can note something, right?)

Why be #DistractedByBeauty for #15secondsaday? Because life is hard. Because much of our consumer culture feeds on fear. Because scarcity is more automatic than savoring. Because my brain doesn’t seem very teflony towards the negative; instead, those velcro hooks are more like vice grips at times.

This discipline is not just for the Polly Annas of the world, it’s for the Pauls too. I have been enriched by looking daily for a nugget I might have missed. But I’m not the only one! Want to see beauty variety? Look on Instagram or Facebook for #DistractedByBeauty, #15secondsaday, or #FightTeflonBrain. Soul food, my friends, soul food.

It’s not too late to join the challenge. Your day one can start today. Or tomorrow. Or whenever. Paul reminds us being #DistractedByBeauty is for the long haul.

Like other spiritual disciplines, this one is open to personal adaptation.

ideas include:

  • Participate by daily taking a picture and tagging it #DistractedByBeauty on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Take a moment to explain what drew you in, what it makes you think about, or who it reminds you of.
  • Search for #DistractedByBeauty and slow down enough to look at the image. Savor the description.
  • Choose a daily cue such as your morning cup of tea, laying your head on the pillow at night, or starting your car (riding your bike, paying the cab driver, or taking out your subway card). The trigger reminds you to take a few seconds and recall a positive comment, nature, kindness extended to you, or person in your life. Savor the memory.
  • Set an alarm on your phone or fitbit and take 15 seconds to savor the positive in your life.
  • Invite family members, teammates, co-workers, or friends to join in the challenge.

15 seconds a day to a brain that is more receptive to the positive. What an invitation, eh?!

So, I’ll ask again, how’s it going? What have you noticed as you have made little velcro hooks in your brain for the positive to stick a little bit more than it might have?

Truly, I’d love to hear!


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