jusummerhayes

Paying attention

"Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it."
— Mary Oliver

Seriously, I could leave it there.

Then again.

Perhaps sit with the few words from Mary Oliver's poem, Sometimes, and consider if you have everything you'll ever need to lead a good life — rich with meaning.

But we seldom do.

Pay attention!

Instead, we're somewhere else, never fully present to what the moment offers.

Then again, what's arising now is what arising (as tautological as that sounds), and if that means you're off on another anger-fuelled rant, melancholic episode or you're suffused with grief, then that's where you're at. 

I could go further and say that even though it doesn't feel the same as when we focus and bring all our attention to the thing at hand — even the ugly thoughts that suck our energy — it's still arguable that we're paying attention but perhaps not astonished, save to the extent that we can't seem to ride a less anxious wave.

I suppose what I'm saying is don't be fooled into believing that you're life has to be one way only and not anything or everything else — i.e. it's very often a mess. 

Indeed, to my mind, and you may not agree, there is way too much marketing and brand identification with topics such as mindfulness and meditation to be really useful. Much better to admit to being the full catastrophe!

All that said, if we can get out of heads, meaning we stop overthinking everything, then there's at least a lightness to life or a little less darkness. 

In summary: pay attention to everything even the fact that you're sometimes, or more often than not, swimming in an ocean of melancholy and not just the perfect, crystal clear waters that we all imagine is the locus of happiness. 

Blessings, Ju

Photo by Valery Rabchenyuk on Unsplash 


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