Saturday, January 11, 2014

Balancing Attention

We all tend to have difficulty paying attention sometimes.  Maybe we are sick or something is laying heavily on our minds.  Today, it is as if we are constantly over-stimulated by things that desire attention.  Besides the obvious...loved one, TV, phone calls, watching the road while we drive...the new era of electronics that ring or buzz every time you get a new "notification" has us being called from our other attentions.

I wonder what it was like when there was nothing to pay attention to expect what you chose to pay attention to?  If there were no phones, cars, cell phones, iPads, TVs, and so on...then we can chose to pay attention to something that might have more meaning to us.  The fist thing that comes to my mind is nature.  I love being out in nature where the only thing you can the natural side of nature.  No electronics or anything man-made.  The sounds of leaves rustling or the sound of crickets chirping.


In an effort to balance things that make up my life, I have decided that I want to be the one who choses what I pay attention to.  I no longer want to feel compelled too pay attention to the things that buzz or ring, or make any other noise.  I will get to them when I decide it is time for these machines to get my attention.  Meanwhile...I want to be in charge of my attention mindfully.

I love thinking mindfully.  When I can isolate a thought or a feeling and simply enjoy it for what it is.  When I can enjoy the feel of warm grass beneath my feet or hard, cool floor...I block out everything else in the world and experience it.

I love when I can do this with people too.  When was the last time you gave someone 100% attention?  Not just make believe you were listening to them...really hearing them.  Being completely with them in the moment.  It is hard to do, isn't it?  There is always a ton on my mind.  I want to start to balance my attention so I can decide what gets my attention.  I am finding myself with my attention split almost all of the time these days.  Not only in half.  I would guess I would be luck to only have my attention split in half.  I would estimate that my attention is split at least 10 ways at any given moment.

The goal.

Focus my attention whenever possible.  Focus on only one thing.  I am sure it will take a lot of practice.  It is Zen.  Zen is always practice.  It is the awareness that I am excited for.


Of course there will be times at work, or at life in general that I will have no choice but to pay attention to many things at the same time.  I want balance though.  I will start making efforts to give myself the gift of isolated attention beginning today.  Maybe, if I do it right...I will become happier about what I do pay attention to and feel less guilty about the things in life I miss by paying attention to the wrong things.



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