The Drummer and the Great Mountain
A Guidebook To Transforming Adult ADD / ADHD
a soulful, comprehensive, and holistic support system for artists and creative humans.
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Release in Spring 2014

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What’s Inside


The Drummer and the Great Mountain (story)

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The Hunter-Farmer Theory

Chapter 3: Am I A Hunter-type?

Chapter 4: The Hunter-type Brain

Chapter 5: ADD/ADHD and Addiction

Chapter 6: Life Visioning

Chapter 7: Navigating Emotions

Chapter 8: Spirituality

Chapter 9: Exercise, Diet, and Supplements

Chapter 10: Time Management

Chapter 11: Tips and Practices

Chapter 12: Creating a Support System

Chapter 13: The Creative Life

Chapter 14: Pulling It All Together




1. Introduction

Finding A Better Way
I’m One of You
Transforming ADD/ADHD, Not “Healing” It
Going From ADD/ADHD to Hunter-type
A Holistic/Whole Systems Approach to ADD/ADHD
What Will Be Covered
Who Is This Book For?
How To Use This Book

2. The Hunter-Farmer Theory

The Hunter-Farmer Theory Explained
Scientific Backing for the Theory
The Hunter-Farmer Theory as a “Working Model”
Our Institutions Tend To Favor Farmer-types
Hunter-Gatherer Societies, Ritual, and Creativity
Female Hunter-types
Hunter-types in the Present Day
The Wise Means of Survival in the Modern World
Hunter-types in Today’s Hyper-connected World
Hunter Tendencies Manifest in Different Ways for Different People
Hunters, Adaptation, and Creativity
Hunter-types in Our Modern School System
Hunters Learn By “Doing”
Hunter-types, Domesticated
Staying Clear About “The Goal”

3. Am I A Hunter-type?

Hunter-types, ADD, and ADHD
Am I a Hunter-type?
Hunter-Type Quiz
Tabulating Your Score
The Shortcomings of the Medical Assessment
This Isn’t Something New
The Many Facets of a Hunter-Type
Identifying Your Strengths and Areas You’d Like To Improve
Strengths and Challenges (CHART)
Moving Forward

4. The Hunter-type Brain

Neurotransmitters — Your Brain’s Electrical System
Dopamine: Focus, Motivation, and Learning
The Big Question
What Makes Us Unique — Lower Levels of Dopamine
On-board Dopamine vs “Stimulated” Dopamine
The Potential Benefits Of Lower Dopamine Levels
Creative Thought As Dopamine Stimuli
Low Dopamine, Restlessness, Stimulation Seeking, and Innovation
Symptoms of Low Dopamine and Other Causes
Impulse Control and Low Dopamine
“Getting Caught” By External Stimuli In the Modern World
Serotonin — The “Good Mood” Neurotransmitter
It’s About Effectiveness
Food, Exercise, and the Brain
Our Ancient Hunter-Brain In the Modern World
The Long and Short of It
Hunter-Types and Sensitivity To Food
Medications and Neurotransmitters
Wrapping Up

5. ADD/ADHD and Addiction

Connection Between ADD/ADHD and Addiction
What Is Addiction?
Why Are Hunter-Types More Prone To Addiction?
Lower Levels Of Dopamine, Addiction, and the “Survival Brain”
Self-Medicating Through An Addiction
Why Recovery Programs Often Fail For Hunter-Types
Amino Acid Therapy and Nutritional Support In Recovery
The Role of Diet In Recovery
A More Holistic Treatment Plan
The Importance Of Recovery Programs
Moving Forward

6. Life Visioning

Finding Your “Fuel”
A Whole-Systems Approach
Having a Compelling Vision to Move You Forward
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
Inspiration as Fuel
The Power of Perspective — Knowing What Is Possible
Moving Towards Mastery
Re-imagining Your “Work”
Nature Thrives On Diversity
The Visioning Process
The Essential Components of “Visioning”
Visioning Step 1: Getting Clear About Your Talents and Skill-Sets
Visioning Step 2: Mining Your Day-Dreaming For Clues
Visioning Step 3: Long-Term Goals In Specific Areas Of Your Life
Visioning Step 4: From Long-Term Goals to Short-Term Goals
Visioning Step 5: From Short-Term Goals To Doable Actions
How to Work With Goals and Action Items
The Final Step: Visualizing Your Goals – Creating “The Map”
The Vision Board Process
Create A “Vision Video”
Overcoming Blocks & Staying Inspired
Knowing What “Lights You Up”
Dealing with Discouragement As You Are Re-Imagining Your Life
Re-Imagining How You Make Money
Getting to the Essence of Money
Money As Energy and Gratitude
Many Paths To Success
Next Steps

7. Navigating Emotions

The Emotional Life of a Hunter-type
Biochemistry and Mood
“Energy In Motion”
Needs Are The Life Force Itself
My Personal Journey Into “Needs”
The Connection Between Our Feelings And Our Needs
Why It’s Important to “Name The Need”
What’s Happening In The Brain?
Effective Actions To Meet Needs
Needs Are Like Vitamins
The “Needs-Actions” List
What is a “Doable” Action?
Identifying Multiple Ways to Meet a Need
Where To Place Your Needs-Actions List
Schedule Actions With Reminders
Going From Doable Actions To Habits
The Chronic Unmet Needs of Hunter-Types
Understanding Anger and Rage
The Breath And Emotions
Wrapping Up With “Needs Awareness”
Developing A Conscious Inner Dialog
“Start Talking to Yourself”
An Inner Dialog Example
Inner Dialog Essentials
The Importance of Self-Empathy
“Don’t Get Full Of Yourself”
Transforming The “Inner Critic” — A Misdirected Need for Excellence
The Journaling Process, Step-By-Step
Journaling For Planning and Problem Solving
Journaling On Your Computer
How to Organize Your Journal On a Computer
Journaling Tip #1: Make It Enjoyable
Journaling Tip #2: Don’t Worry About Spelling or Grammar
Journaling Tip #3: Be Mindful of Privacy
Journaling Tip #4: Have Your Journal With You At All Times
When to Journal
“Expectation Is The Mother Of Frustration”
The Work of “Emotional Integration”
Transforming Depression
The Biochemical Link
The Psychological Component of Depression
A Disconnection From One’s Needs
Creativity As Medicine
Suicidal Thoughts
Working With Overwhelm
Why Are We Are Prone To Overwhelm?
Overwhelm Tip #1: Map Things Out
Overwhelm Tip #2: Talk Things Through
Overwhelm Tip #3: Get Some Rest
Anger and Overwhelm
Being “Pressured” By Someone
Life Coaching: An Effective Long-Term Solution For Overwhelm
The Weather Patterns of Hunter-types
The Down Day
What Chills You Out
Transforming Procrastination
Hunter-Types In Relationships
Intimate Relationship Challenges
Relationship Drama Spikes Dopamine
Making Someone Else Responsible For Meeting Your Needs
Making Clear Requests
Social Situations
Challenges In Social Situations — Sensitivity to Sound and Noise
Learning to Navigate

8. Spirituality

The Essence of Meditation
“Watching Your Breath” Meditation
The Basics
Noting Your Experience
Other Notes on the Process
When To Do This and For How Long?
Our Thoughts Create Our Reality
The Intentioning Process
The Practice Of “Being Grateful”
Meals As Spiritual Practice
Meaningful Rites Of Passage
Unconscious Rites of Passage
Intentional Rites of Passage
A Ritual of “Letting Go”
Living More Consciously

9. Exercise, Diet, and Supplements

Putting It Into Practice
Why Try The Natural Approach First?
Everyone Is Different
A High-Performance Sports Car
My Health Journey

The Hunter-Farmer Theory As It Relates To Exercise
Why Exercise?
Designing Your Optimum Exercise Program
Cardio Workout Ideas
Finding What Works For You
Finding Your Exercise Routine
Assessing An Existing Exercise Routine
Running And Jogging
Secrets Held In Fresh Air
Putting Exercise On Your Schedule
Exercising With Others
Exercising If You’re Not Currently In Shape
Breathing Exercises While Working Out
Exercise in Cold Environments
Dealing With Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
“Track” Your Exercise Routine
Wrapping Up: Exercise As Medicine

“Realistic” Means Sustainable
A Hunter-type Friendly Food Plan
Why Natural?
The Powerful Affects of Food On Brain Chemistry
The “Modern” Diet
Rise Of The “Health Food” Movement
No One To Blame
What This All Means To You
The Emotional Component of Food
Designed To Be Addictive
The Basics
What to Avoid
Foreign Chemicals Take Energy To Process
Refined Sugar
What Goes Up Must Come Down
White Flour Starches and High-fructose Corn Syrup
The “Artificials” — Colorings, Flavorings, and Preservatives
Identifying “The Artificials”
What To Eat
Higher Protein / Lower Carb
Paleolithic Diet – “A Hunter’s Diet”
Not All Proteins Are Created Equal
Why Organic, Free-Range, and Grass-Fed Are So Important
Dangers of Too Much Protein
So, What’s The Problem With Carbohydrates?
Fast Carbs vs Slow Carbs
The “Good Fats”: Essential Fatty Acids
The Importance of Live Greens, Vegetables, and Fruits
Hunter-Types As Vegetarians
A Diverse Diet is a Healthy Diet
Deficiencies & Food Allergies
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Checking for Deficiencies – Blood Tests
Identifying Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Underactive Thyroid
The Feingold Diet
Creating Your Food Plan
Revisiting “The Basics”
Big Breakfast vs Small Breakfast
Tips For Transitioning What You Eat
How to Transition Effectively
1. Be Clear About the Goal
2. Know “The Essentials”
3. Find Healthy Replacement Foods
4. Shop At Your Local Health Food Store
5. Commit To “2 Weeks”
6. Slip-ups Happen
7. Don’t Bring It Home
8. “Good” Is Often Better Than “Perfect”

Types of Supplements
Supplements By Category
Iron — Too Much Of A Good Thing
2. Brain Food
3. Natural Stimulants
Why Avoid Coffee?
Why You Should Avoid Most “Energy Drinks”
4. Natural Sedatives
Shopping For Supplements
An Effective Supplement Plan: The Basics
Isn’t This Going To Be Expensive?

Depression (The Biochemical Connection)
Natural Anti-Depressants
Sleep Problems

Experimenting, Tracking, Assessing, And Refining
Planning, Scheduling, and Reminders

10. Time Management

Projects, Action Items, and Scheduling
Action Items
Putting the Pieces Together
High-Tech and Low-Tech Time Management Systems
A Paper-Based Planner — The Low-Tech Approach
Paper-Based Action Item List
Time Management Systems For The “Tech-Friendly”
What If I Don’t Have A Mobile Device?
Calendar Software
The Action Item List (High-Tech Approach)
Using a Separate Action Item List for Specific Projects
Reminder System 1: Calendar Software
Reminder System 2: Email and Smart Phone Reminders
Effective Note-taking: The Basics
From Goals, To Milestones, To Doable Actions
Break Up Complex Tasks Into Smaller Ones
Creating A “Balanced” Schedule
Knowing Your Edge
Scheduling With a Mindfulness Of Your Natural Tendencies
Creating Your Weekly Schedule
Case Study — Scheduling For Balance
Maintaining a Balanced Life While Pursuing Your Goals
Scheduling With The Needs/Actions List
Making Peace With Not Achieving Your Goals “On Time”
Don’t Let Your Action Items List Rule Your Life
Remember: Life Gets Messy
Recurring Events And Reminders
“Burn” Then “Burnout”
The Art of Time Management

11. Tips and Practices

Restructuring Your Life To Be “Hunter-Friendly”
Improving Your Mental Focus
Tips for Designing Your Systems of Organization
Physical Filing Systems
Effectively Dealing With Mail
Reduce Junk Mail
House Cleaning
Avoid Creating Clutter
Computer File Systems
Date All Documents
Mind Mapping
Schedule One Day Each Month For Finances
Automatic Bill Pay and Financial Software
Money Management Software and Reminder Systems
Dealing With Debt
Start a Financial Support Group
Finances For Those Self-Employed
Working For Yourself
Creating An Optimal Work Environment – Internally and Externally
Have Good Systems In Place
Work Scheduling
Working Out How Much To Charge For Your Services
Know How Long Things Will Take
Don’t Overbook Yourself
Seek Out Support
If Possible, Avoid Homework
Take Time To Unplug
“Simplify My Life” Session
Hunter-types and Travel
Survival Strategies For Hunter-types In The Modern World

12. Creating a Support System

How I Discovered Life Coaching
What Is Life Coaching?
The Birth of the “4 Step Life Coaching Process”
Addressing the Affordability Factor
The “4 Step” Life Coaching Process
Session Length
The “4 Steps”
1. Review
How To Work With Your Goals List
The Needs-Actions List
2. Check-In
Carry-over Items — Reviewing Notes From Last Session
The “Check-in” Process — For the Client
3. Brainstorming and Problem Solving
Problem Solving
4. Scheduling
Closing the Session
A Few More Notes for the “Coach”
Some Final Notes on the Process
Be Mindful About Who You Choose To Be Your Life Coach
How To Find a Life Coach
Life Coaching With Friend Or Family Member
Arranging A Life Coaching Session
Pulling Together A Life Coaching Group
Making the Most of “Group Life Coaching” Sessions
What To Do When a Group Dissolves
Maintaining Good Support Systems

13. The Creative Life

Making a Living As An “Artist”
Who Is “An Artist”?
Helpful Skills for the Hunter-type Artist
Creativity, Consistency, and Completion
Developing A Habit Of Completion
One Stroke On the Canvas
Working With Clients
Balancing Your Creative Projects With “Client Work”
Client Skills
1. Educate Yourself
2. Know Your Limitations and Set Clear Boundaries
3. Manage Expectations
4. Create Smart Billing Schedules
Marketing Yourself
Build Your Mailing List
Tracking What Works
Cultivating a Successful “Inner LIfe”
Knowing What Inspires You: The Key to Long-term Creative Success
The “Home Stretch”
Managing the Ups and Downs
Dealing With the “Post Project Dip”
The Life of an Artist

14. Pulling It All Together

The Final Product — What It Looks Like In Practice
It’s Never Going To Be “Perfect”
It’s a Lifelong Journey
We Learn Best By Teaching


A Guidebook to Transforming Adult ADD/ADHD

a soulful, comprehensive, and holistic support system for artists and creative humans.
Join our growing community.

Get 2 FREE Chapters, weekly tips, and event notifications.

Find Us On:  natural add natural add
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information on this website (podcast, articles, etc.) is intended solely for the purpose of personal growth, and not as a replacement for professional psychological support. The views and opinions of the hosts and guests of our podcast are not meant to be taken as medical advice. It is very important seek the help of a qualified medical practitioner when making any shifts to psychiatric medication you may be taking, or if you are experiencing extreme psychological distress.
©2024 Michael Joseph Ferguson, all rights reserved.