jusummerhayes

Paying attention

There is the desire to be a “knowing” and to have something to “know”, to have an “observer” and something “observed”. But these ideas of form and separation are false. There’s just this – [D gestures to everything around and to himself.] It’s empty of form. It’s empty of message. — Darryl Bailey, Dismantling the Fantasy: An Invitation to the Fullness of Life (p. 24). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition. 

Good morning.

It's just after 5 am; I can hear the birds exploding in uniform chorus. The sun is up, and from what I can tell, looking through my wooden blinds, it's going to be another nice day. 

This post is short.

In fact, as churlish as it sounds, I could invite you to consider the import of the title and that would be enough.

But I need to say a little more.

Paying attention shouldn't be contrived, nor should it be branded as another must-have thing in our personal development lexicon.

It speaks for itself.

Truth is, as I've said so often, you don't will your will but you can, if you're so inclined, consider how much of life you're missing and missing out on by not paying attention.

I'd wager a great deal. 

In fact, you may be so focused on the future or grieving for the past, that you overlook the only truism of life; namely, this moment is all you have. 

And if you look hard enough, there's more than enough here, right now to occupy your attention-wandering self.

Oh yes there is.

If you follow me on Twitter you'll have seen me Tweet this:

And the more and more I reflect on the poem (not the words per se but the idea), I come to see for myself that if only we could live our life minute by minute, we'd might see the world anew.

Right now, what's going on? 

Consider (inter alia) the thoughts in your head, what you see, what you hear, what you feel, what's being said and everything that might be going on that you can conceive of.

Do you get my point?

Just imagine bringing that level of reverence and love for each minute to the next hour, day or month. I know I'd benefit from not losing my attention so easily by constantly dreaming about things — and I think I'm reasonably good at this but even I see how easily I'm distracted.

Then again, you might dismiss this as another vacuous exhortation. Fair enough. But I'd wager that if you think about the times in your life where you've felt most at ease with yourself and others, it might have been because you were paying attention that or there was very little thinking going on about your extant circumstances. At least for me, that's the beauty of paying attention: my mind goes very quiet, not to the point of complete silence but not far off. In that space, life feels very open, alive and there's no need to be anywhere else.

I'd love to know what you think.

Do you think a deliberate practice of paying attention is something that could help us in making more of our lives?

Anyhow, have a lovely day.

Take care.

Blessings, Ju


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Photo by Luca Laurence on Unsplash

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