What are you paying attention to?

sea-1433060_960_720“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”

José Ortega y Gasset

What we’re attending to in any given moment quite literally becomes our reality in that moment. We can only consciously experience that which we are attending to. However, we can be attending to things, people and experiences quite unconsciously as well. The kind of person we are influences what we pay attention to and what we pay attention to shapes the kind of person we are. As we consciously change what we attend to in ways that are healthy and meaningful to us, what we attend to can support the person we would like to become.

How much of our attention is spent noticing the faults of others? How much of our attention is spent worrying about the future or ruminating on the past? How much of our attention is grounded in the present moment attending to people and events in realistic and healthy ways? How much of our attention is focused on ourselves and is it in healthy or unhealthy ways? How much of our attention is spent cultivating contentment and well-being, recognizing all that we have to be grateful for? How much of our attention is spent longing for people, events and circumstances to improve so that we can be happy? We have an attention budget. There are limits to what we can attend to and to the time we have available to attend to them. It is important to choose wisely, for our attention is a limited resource with a significant impact on our lives.

When we look at the big picture, it is easy to see how what we attend to shapes our experience. If we spend much of our time being critical of others, worrying about things we have no control over, or focusing on what we don’t have, consider the impact on the person we are and our level of well-being. Conversely, if we recognize our own value and worthiness, and cultivate a sense of gratitude for all the kindness and opportunities that have been given to us, as well as the resources available to us, consider how that affects how we attend to others and the situations that arise in our lives.

I invite you to attend to others and the activities you engage in in ways that reflect the qualities you value. When you notice yourself attending to thoughts and activities in ways that are counter the person you want to be, shift your attention to those that support the person you want to be. – John Bruna, July 5, 2016

MLP Community 1The above is a an excerpt from one the daily emails sent to the members of the Mindful Life Community. I invite you to explore our community and consider joining.

Copyright © 2016 John Bruna. All rights reserved.

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