Shifting Attention

‘Energy flows where attention goes’ might be an energy law, but it’s also practical common sense. Whatever you focus on has your attention in that moment, and it becomes the filter through which you perceive reality.

It isn’t just what you focus on that matters, its how you focus on it; the thoughts, feelings and attitude you bring to that focus. There is nothing wrong with focusing on a glass that is half empty if you are able to accept and value that half empty state. Everything has a blessing in it if you look for it. This doesn’t mean downplaying or ignoring the pain, the losses, the hardships and injustices and pretending they don’t exist….. it just means fleshing the story out a little and seeing the bigger picture- developing a broader perspective that can see the glass as half empty AND half full.

The best wisdoms are often paradoxes.

When my attention is focused on something, I like to remind myself that what I am focusing on, and how I focus on it…. are choices. I like to come up for air and have a look around. I might decide to dive back in again but re-orientating on the bigger picture, even for a second, helps me get my bearings. It gives me perspective and a greater capacity for non-attachment. It helps me remember that my perspectives and perceptions are choices.

If I don’t take ownership over my perspective and steer it around a bit by shifting the angle, I get locked into narrow thinking and all-pervasive, habitual moods. I don’t want to be single-faceted. Neither do I want to live my life inside a small box while a delightful array of possible perspectives go by unnoticed. I love exploring possibilities, perspectives, point of view and moods. I love diving in and out of the rainbow of life and exploring all its different colours.

There are some paths I might not choose to walk but I find myself exploring them vicariously though others. I listen, read, ponder, imagine, dream….

My family find it highly amusing that I rarely dream as myself. In my dreams I am usually a character in a story having an adventure. I might be a fish swimming, a young man courting a princess, an old lady laying on her death-bed, a visitor in an alien land or a student of flight. Flying dreams are always my favourite. It’s the feeling of freedom I love them most. How delightful that I can explore life through other people’s stories, through my dream-time adventures, through books of fiction and history, with my imagination and my capacity for observation.

I am all of this and none of it. I am myself and everybody else. I am all of the stories and none of them. I am here in this moment while also being connected to future possibilities and past history. I love to hold an expanded sense of awareness and to then zoom back in and lose myself in the magic of a heightened emotion, a tragic story, an exhilarating physical accomplishment, a look shared between myself and a loved one.

Sometime I love to hold multiple perspectives at once. Other times I love to float and by tossed where my emotions, mind and body might draw me. Sometimes I love to know my separateness, my ego, my identity, my uniqueness. But I also enjoy losing myself in the world around me, expanding my heart, knowing my wholeness and exploring what it might feel like to be someone (or something) else. No wonder I don’t have everyday kind of dreams!

At times, I choose to be well and truly at the helm of my own mind, steering attention deliberately in order to get the most from this marvellous experience we call life. At other times, I let go and let Life steer, or I let a friend or a stranger take over for a moment…. because I am curious, I want to be open, I want adventures that take me beyond where my own psyche is capable of taking me. I take calculated risks and I prefer not to be an island unto myself.

Blessed Be