What do you pay attention to?

In this time of seasonal busyness and new year intentions, how can we use the simple act of paying attention to help us move toward our goals? Well, for one – how do you know what you are paying attention to? It isn’t always obvious. And if we are feeling stuck, we are probably giving more of our attention to things that we don’t even realize!

Forget Me Nots

Here are some simple integral exercises you can do to discover where your attention is going:

  1. Turn your attention ‘inside your head’, that area of your skull behind your eyes, between your ears. If you detect interior talking or visual images, this is your interior thinking process occurring, affecting you in subtle ways.
  2. Turn your attention to your physical body, your skin and breathing. If you sense a tingly vitality, or sense of dullness or tightness, this tells you where your physical energy is moving – or blocked.
  3. Turn your attention to how you feel in groups, with family, colleagues or friends. Where you feel connected or disconnected will tells you know how group norms are affecting you
  4. Turn your attention to what standards and expectations you hold, or are expected of you in your organization.  

What you turn to, to determine ‘what success looks like’ will tell you how social systems shape you.

So – what to do once you have discovered more about where your attention is going?

  1. Breathe deeply into it and let it move – it may not last forever!
  2. Exercise some ”free won’t” ; stop doing one little thing that you would habitually do. This frees up some energy for a creative new response.

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