So, Just What Is Essential to You?

This is a Valuable Commodity: Protect Yours

 

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What are you watching? Listening to? Thinking about over and over again? In other words, to what and/or whom are you giving your most valuable attention? 
 
I caught one of Elizabeth Gilbert's Instagram videos last week. While discussing the issues around trying to be creative during this pandemic she quoted her guru from India who said, "My senses are servants to my mind." Not the other way around. You direct and control your senses with your mind. Your senses don't control your mind.

It got me thinking about the immense power we have over our own attention. I know I'm dealing with all of this pandemic business the way so many of you are, with divided attention and short attention spans. 

Attention. What a fibrous word.  

Attention is a noun meaning "the act or state of applying the mind to something." Or, "consideration with a view to action." Or, "sympathetic consideration of the needs and wants of others."

Observation. Notice. Absorption. Concentration. Engrossment. Enthrallment. Immersion.

I say attention is a fibrous word because our senses are all connected to our minds by energetic fibers and to our brains by connective tendons and tissues. Our attention, therefore, is ignited by our senses.

    "For a lack of attention, a thousand forms of loveliness elude us every day." – Evelyn Underhill, English writer

I recently wrote in a post about Connection, "As human beings, we are receptors in constant connection... Our eyes and ears connect us to our world. The attention economy is all about grabbing our eyes and ears, our attention. And, then engaging that attention until we fully connect. That’s the end goal. To win and own our connection by holding our minds and hearts. It’s one thing to capture your attention, but to make a connection that leads you to click, to watch or read, to share a post, to make a decision, to purchase, to change a belief, to vote… that’s everything today."

    "A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention." – Dr. Herbert A. Simon, cognitive psychologist
 
Because here's the truth: your attention is one of your most valuable commodities.
 
And, here's another truth: no person, place or thing can possess a piece of your attention unless you give it to them. Your attention is so valuable that people, places and things spend millions, billions, on obtaining it for their purposes or profit. 
 
It kind of makes you stop to think about your attention a little differently, doesn't it? Something of such high value deserves careful, thoughtful and loving consideration. 
 
I know, for me, I'm taking a much closer look, in isolation, where my attention goes and stays. The challenge has been to settle my attention for a sustaining length of time. Which is why I'm paring down. Directing my attention only toward things I consider vital: connecting deeply with my circle, focusing on my purpose work, reaching out in service. Everything else? Not so much.

    "The best present a man can give a woman is undivided attention." – Usher

I think that goes for everyone. When you choose to give someone or something your attention, do so intentionally. Undivided. Focused.

Start noticing. What are you watching? What are you listening to? Where is your attention divided?

What are you thinking? Pay attention to the thoughts you give credence to as well. If it's a thought that doesn't serve you or others well, then release your attention to that thought and move on to one that does.

Search for a higher thought to attend to.

    "The greatest act of love is to pay attention." – Diane Sawyer

Take time from now on to notice and direct your attention, intentionally. It could be one of the best and most valuable things to come out of all of this.

Photo by Jamie Haughton on Unsplash

 

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