WFF Family Outreach Recovery Programs
The tough part of being acquainted with the Wildland Firefighters Foundation is that you are probably here because of a loss. For that we are so very sorry. We wish that were not the case but if it is, please know that you are surrounded with friends, please feel safe and feel assured that we genuinely do care about you. We are dedicated to you and will be here for you when you need us.
It's important that you know and feel confident, that you are not alone.
Within our Family Outreach Programs, we teach a variety of recovery tools and we hope that you might find them useful. The first tool that we teach and encourage that you make a habit is the tool of focus. We want focusing to be a natural part of who you are. I would like to suggest that you make a conscious and concentrated effort to practice making focus a part key part of your world starting today. It has proven to be one of the most valuable new habits that you can master.
At this juncture, I often hear one of two responses to this suggestion and they are: 1) I am focused; or 2) I can't focus and it's too much to ask me to right now. The second response is the more authentic reality. If you feel certain that you are in focus, I am happy for you and that is good but I would like to suggest that you continue reading and practice working on the 'tool of focus', anyway.
- Choose a trigger word that feels somewhat like a reprimand to you. Mine is bogus which reminds me that it is bogus to practice negative behavior.
- Make a promise to yourself to pay careful attention to what people are saying to you. Listen so carefully, that you could repeat the conversation accurately.
- Drive with your attention completely on how your hands feel on the wheel, know that your mirrors are in perfect alignment, know where you are, how fast you are going and details around you. In fact, drive somewhat like you did when you were first learning how; exaggerate paying attention.
- Read with such focused attention that you don't need to go back and re-read what your eyes just scanned over.
- Watch television; a sitcom or a movie with such focused attention that it does not take the realization that the credits are rolling before you are aware that you missed the entire program.
- Do not find yourself regretting having not heard what a child was saying to you or the shared thoughts of a special friend who needed your listening heart.
- When you catch yourself daydreaming, slap your hands together sharply and firmly say your focus word. The hand clap will sting a little, the noise of your hands clapping provide audio as well as your voice saying your trigger word giving you a clear reminder that you had checked out. Practice doing this now. The action will bring you back into focus quickly.
This exercise is effective but it takes work and dedication to make living in focus, your new habit.
Please... take a focus walk everyday. It will do so many things for you. First, a focus walk has a specific protocol with a specific purpose. Anything more that happens and makes you feel better, only enhances it. However, it's important to follow the rules, when you take your focus walk. Wear comfortable walking shoes, comfortable clothes and appropriate to the weather conditions. A focus walk should be taken at least once every day and preferably two or three times each day. The suggested distance that you should walk is easily determined by you. Walk as long or as little suits you. The more you practice, the easier it is to establish the habit yet it's up to you. Once you step out of the door, be very aware of what you hear, see, smell and feel. What you see, what do you hear what do you smell and what do you feel? Feel the temperature of the air on your cheeks. Is it cool? Is it warm? Is it nippy? Do you feel heat from the warmth of the sunshine? Is there a breeze and do you feel it in your hair or around your face? Listen to the sounds of your own footsteps, actually see the neighbors smiles, smell the soft fragrance of the season, touch the bushes you walk by. Enjoy the unlimited opportunities to hear, see, smell, feel and know. Be able to recall what you saw, felt, smelled and heard on your walk when you get home from each one of them. If you tell me that you don't need to do this, and that you are already focused, I will smile and tell you how glad I am for you. If you tell me that you might work on the focus tool, I will support you and encourage you to work on it with all due diligence. It's so important and it helps in a plethora of ways. The first thing you will notice as you start to practice learning how to focus, is that it's not as easy as it initially sounds. The second thing you will notice is just how out of focus you have been.
If there is anything that we can do please call or email
Wildland Firefighters Life Challenge Program
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