Your attention itself is essentially your greatest resource. As I see it, managing your attention well is a key to fulfillment and to developing the resilience we all need in these times. Lyedie
It is mid-January. The frenzy of resolution-making is settling down, and I find this to be a good time to hunker down into the basics so as to set a solid trajectory for the year. So please bear with me, and consider your attention itself as a resource — I'm defining attention here as being the flow of the most essential energy particles that you direct (consciously and/or unconsciously) as you move through life. Within this definition, thoughts and feelings are forms of attention.
Here are a few questions to help you explore and assess how resourcefully you are working with the essential currency of your own attention.
1. Locating your attention: Where has your attention been in the last hour? Has it been out the window, on your best friend in high school or, deep in the project you've been working on? Has it been in the past (remembering), the present (now), or in the future (planning)? Have you been directing it, or has it been commandeered somehow?
Here is a surprisingly beneficial little practice: Stop yourself a few times a day and just notice where your attention is located. Setting a timer on your smartphone to prompt yourself to take note of this will gently help you awaken to your attention. After all, where your attention is is where you are. Choosing to notice, in and of itself, is an act of taking control and directing your attention.
2. Then there is the quality of your attention: What is the quality of attention you are giving to this moment? Is it focused and penetrating, or is it diffuse and receptive? As you consider these words is your brow slightly furrowed as you engage your focused attention in an effort to understand, or is your brow soft indicating that your quality of attention may be more receptive? What kind of attention you give to what, and when, can make a big difference in the quality of your experience and the quality of what you produce.
3. And how do you decide? How aware are you of your default priorities? Do you tend to put attention on making progress or tending to things? Do you approach challenges by springing in to action, seeking perspective, fostering others, or nourishing yourself? Which of these areas do you privilege in your approach to life?
Getting back to the basics of working with our attention and energy provides foundational support to working effectively with the balance of work - rest - play - collapse that is critical to developing resilience. This can allow for making good contact with the ache of our longings, and then to getting around to fulfilling them. As the prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief, so aptly revealed to to me many years ago, “My favorite class is still Ballet I.”
I hope you have found this helpful in some way. If you are looking to make a shift in your approach to life — to developing your resilience and to getting on to fulfilling those longings, click here to learn more about working with me. Or go ahead and just schedule a discovery session with me.