By Shara Ogin
Attention and Intention are the driving forces that shape all our experiences.
The only thing that can exist is what we put our attention and then perceive it to be so. Where ever our attention is placed, our reality is formed. “What you put your attention on IS. If your attention isn’t on it, it AIN’T.”
Arguably, we as humans have our conscious attention on a very small percentage of that which is happening in the world around us. That means, you are only having a fraction of the available experience available for you here today.
We have 5 senses, each of which we could put a large or a small amount of attention upon.
Each of these senses we can choose to focus on from either our internal state or our external.
All five of these sensory systems are being employed most every second of our days, unconsciously informing our conscious reality. However, we can choose to focus more intently on one specific sensory system at a time.
Why is this important you might ask?
Because it will provide a qualitative shift in our life experience.
It is so surprising that you can craft your world differently in the blink of an eye. You can change the experience of being locked in your body of pain for which there’s no way out of the suffering, to one of experiencing the excitement of learning new fascinating things about yourself.
Consider the possibility that your life is in fact a grand warehouse, where anything can exist and that your attention is a tiny, little flashlight. What ever aspect of your life you choose to shine the light upon will come to the forefronts of your attention.
Often though we might find there’s too many things going on in the warehouse. The warehouse is full of too much stuff requiring our attention.
I’m sure many of us can relate to being in our home and having so many things on our plate. We might feel lost, overwhelmed, scatter brained. Some of us may have difficulty even knowing where to begin (what to attend to first). Sometimes we find multi-tasking will get more jobs done at once, yet then we must ask ourselves if it is at the cost of quality or efficiency.
The solution here is to choose one thing and focus in. If there are many things on your plate, then chunk all the things down to smaller categories. Like a phone number, 10 digits are difficult to remember, yet if you chunk it into a prefix, area code, and then four digits, its much easier to remember.
Our difficulty with focusing our attention doesn’t have to do with some of us being better at it, it has more to do with an issue of how directed we focus our attention.
Most (non-yogis) people have very poor awareness of themselves. After I perform a Feldenkrais session on my clients, I’ll then ask them how they feel.
Yet most people will have no idea how possibly to answer such a question. They may respond with words such as “good,” which is really not telling me how they feel at all.
We have become unaware of the relationship of one part of ourselves and how it communicates or relates to another. In a sense, we have dampened or desensitized our ability to feel.
If you are sitting down, ask yourself the following questions:
• Which hip bone is making more contact with the chair seat?
• Which vertebra of your spine are touching the back of the chair. Can you count the number???
• Which vertebra is pushing the hardest into the back of the chair?
As we go through this process of learning to hone in our attention to finer minute detail not only can we become better painters, better trapeze artists, better tennis players, and better yogis, but the greatest gift of all is that we’ll get to truly know ourselves on such a finely attuned level.
We continue to see the world through our own self imposed filters. When we describe things as good or bad this is merely in relationship to our own self imposed interpretations. Every second of the day you are creating your reality, the world around you is the closest approximation of you. Not the conscious you, the unconscious you. At every second of the day you have a choice as to how to shift your attention and then how to interpret that which you are attending to.
Shifting your awareness is as effortless as moving your wrist. Whatever you want to shine your light upon already exists, it’s merely your attention that is shifting from seeing, feeling, tasting, hearing, or experiencing the world as good or bad, hot or cold, beautiful or ugly, imperfect or perfect.
Attention is how you create the world how it is. If your attention is on pain, your world will be in pain. If your attention is on the parts of you that feel good, your whole world for at least that mere moment will be feeling good. So why not choose to feel good?
What is it you’d like to most shine your flashlight of attention on today? What sort of beauty awaits to be painted in the shimmering silo-quay of your heart and mind?