STOP. STOP THE WORLD FOR A MOMENT, AND TAKE STOCK. ON WHAT ARE YOU PLACING YOUR ATTENTION?
I recently had an idea around attention. I had been thinking on the notion of how powerful our attention is. How our attention is what really enlivens our ideas, our pursuits, the fruits of our labors - and the world in general. I think about what people are paying attention to - on the internet, on television, in movies, in families and friends around us, on politics, on government, on fears, hopes, desires, dreams and on and on.
It occurred to me that it might an interesting exercise for us to stop and take stock of where our attention is placed. Take some time and stop the world, still the mind and then gently ask ourselves where our focus is on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and more importantly, moment to moment basis. One way to start would be to simply make a list of our daily focus of attention, from hour to hour.
Perhaps the moments in between chores, job and home, quiet moments at home or in the car between places are the gems. What are we thinking of when we don’t have to be engaged with an obligation - where are our daydreams taking us? (or are we busy on our blackberries, or compulsively checking our email or facebook as we walk past the computer, just out of habit?)
I am guessing that even just doing this exercise will enhance our conscious presence of mind and awareness of our thoughts in a constructive way. Perhaps we’ll notice the bird singing outside our window, or remember the dream we had last night that got covered over by busy-ness as soon as our feet hit the floor this morning.
I think it’s those thoughts that flit by when we are in between that sometimes have the most to offer. And that it is important to create or allow for these spaces in the between, where we can wake up to our true voice underneath it all. And remind ourselves to come back to center and pay attention. Real attention, with presence.
And in doing this, my guess is that we will notice some areas of focus that we can allow to fall away - that aren't really constructive.
In reading over this post, I am struck by the way we use the term, to "pay attention." Imagine that our attention is actually a currency (current=energy) much like money, but in reality more dear. If we think about our attention as valuable as (really more than) money - how does this affect how we "spend" or "pay" our attention?
What are you paying attention to?