Paying Attention Posted on 6 Aug 00:00 , 19 comments
Growing up, my teachers often said, “Pay attention.” But they never told me how to pay attention, and rarely why to pay attention. Usually, I was paying attention – to my friends, or my day dreams, or my doodles. But why is attention important? And how do you learn to pay attention to how you pay attention?
Attention is important because where you pay attention shapes what you experience. So this month, just for fun, notice where you place your attention. Can you see how what you pay attention to impacts your experience? What you place your attention on tends to grow. Quantum physics tells us that our attention shapes what comes forth from probability into form. Almost scary, when you think about it. You have enormous power to shape both the world you see, and your experience living in it.
Place your attention this week on sensory input. Notice what you see, taste, hear, touch, and sense. How do you relate to what you are experiencing? What thoughts move through your awareness? Judgements? Fears? Raising my children, I told them to use their inner guidance system. What makes you feel more open and uplifted? Lean that way. Lean in to love, ease, joy. Sometimes it is as simple as opening your awareness to what is. Your attention can be a shining spot light. Focus it where you want, and with conscious purpose. I recommend that if there is a way to lighten the moment …. choose it! (In life, you must be present to win.)
Exercise: Visual focus
This video leads you through visual cues, however, listening to your environment will have the desired effect as well.
In this exercise, you experience that as you observe the world around you, you are more engaged in present-time attention. This brings you into more sensitive connection with how you are experiencing the present moment, potentially interrupting habitual patterns of auto-pilot, monkey-mind, or hamster-wheel. If you don’t know what any of those are, it is possible you do not need any help with mindfulness. You are a master. If, however, you usually run a line of chatter non-stop in your head, and fill in any open spaces with your phone, please keep reading.
One thing I saw today that touched my heart was …..
Beauty and kindness exist in the world around you. Train your eye to watch for it, and recognize it when you see it. Also notice your body’s response to it when you do find it. Does your face begin to open into a smile? Does it touch you in a way that brings tears to your eyes, even if you don’t know why? What did you see/hear/observe today that made you notice in a deeper way, or made you feel connected to something bigger?
No restrictions on time or length. A single word is often enough. If your attention is vivid, each entry can give you a little brain boost every time you read it. Remember, what you pay attention to tends to grow.