Attention is like the sun’s rays. Whatever we shine it on looks clearer and brighter. Whatever it lands on increases.
Attention is a kind of focus. It’s a way of allocating energy and resources. Whatever we pay attention to receives more of our energy, and as a result, it grows.
Have you ever stopped to wonder what it is you pay most attention to? A lot of people pay attention to the future. Their minds are full of what ifs and if onlys. They experience anxiety and fear of the unknown. If you’ve got a good imagination it’s easy to spend a lot of time thinking about what hasn’t happened yet (and what might never happen!). Other people pay a lot of attention to the past. Their minds are full of memories of the past…..the bad times, the hurts, the wounds…..or the good times (which are now gone). The interesting thing is that you only live in the present. The past is in memory, and the future is in imagination, the present is reality.
If you focus your attention on past bad times, they loom larger in your life. If you focus on future fears, they also loom larger in your life. If you focus on the present, you experience more of the here and now. And whatever you choose to pay attention to in the present is what you’ll experience most strongly.
Meditation practices are ways of training your attention, so that it doesn’t get pulled this way and that by habits or the demands of others.
Morning pages are another interesting way to explore where your attention is hanging out! (that’s a habit I need to re-establish!)
Becoming aware of what we’re focusing on gives us choices – the choices to decide whether or not to focus on that as much as we are doing, or to focus on something else instead.
Whatever it is we pay attention to increases, colours our whole life, becomes our whole world.