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Our Mind - Is it nothing more than a spoiled demanding childish thing?

Updated on September 27, 2012

Hopefully the title grabbed your attention. And that is exactly what this article is about – attention. My claim about our sometimes lazy and petulant minds might be outrageous to you, but if we are honest, we could rightly say that most generally, we are using our minds to constantly stimulate, please and manipulate. I don’t manipulate, you say. Do you divert conversation to go back to what you want to talk about? Do you push aside ugly or unpleasant thoughts or indulge in thoughts of others that might help you feel better or superior? If you are very honest, and if you said yes, that sounds a little like manipulation to me.

So what? You might feel that using our minds to control our current conditions or feelings is exactly what is it intended for, but I propose a different approach. What if you could experience, with even the smallest things in your life, larger and more meaningful moments? What if instead of ticking off moments of the clock and wondering where they went at the end of the day, you had a conscious awareness and choice about the things you paid attention? What if instead of you paying attention to the nagging voice in your head that repeats, like a broken record; “You’re an idiot”, “You’re failing”, “You are out of control”, “You don’t deserve it” – you could feel peace. love, and joy in your mind.


What you pay attention to – expands!

The above statement is not some airy fairy spiritual who-ha. This is the truth and you can prove it in your own experience. Attention is like the pointing arrow to awareness and consciousness. Wherever our attention is pointed, that is where we will be going. A spiritually or personally empowered person will point that arrow right where he/she wants it to go. Towards love, joy, success, abundance, and so on. Others that might be taking a little life snooze, will allow the pointed arrow of attention to just float around like a crazy gyroscope going wherever the shiniest bauble at the time takes it.

What about our attention to our loved ones, co-workers, friends, and neighbors? Are we pointing the attention arrow towards them while we interact with them, or are we vacillating our arrow of attention back and forth at such a speed, that sometimes it just becomes a big blur?

What might it mean if we were to develop the skill of attention to whatever it is that we choose? (Choice being the operative word here – because a large part of our attention deficits are due to our allowance of attention being pulled from us, instead of us directing the attention.) Well, here are just a few of the things we might experience if we began to pay attention to, what we are paying attention to.

· Better relationships

· Enhanced self awareness and self approval

· Expanded understanding of objects, events, people, or information

· Deeper meaning to our lives, and the objects, people and experiences in our lives

· “Stretched” moments – meaning they are fuller and more satisfying

· Improved clarity and direction

I never knew being the grown up (mind) was so awesome!

Allowing yourself to be 100% attentive to even the smallest of things, like looking at a glass or glancing at your son at the dinner table, will always expand the experience. You may notice a reflection of a beautiful flower in the glass, which pleases you, or you may notice the way your son eyes get darker and wider as he talks about things that bother him, which subsequently gives you an idea of how to better support him. These small things may lead us to take a new perspective on things or feel certain feelings at a deeper and more meaningful level.

Paying attention is never a waste of time, as many might argue, in fact it is a value add to the concept of time well spent. The opposite method of attention, which is the barest skimming of objects and experience in order to absorb and process as much as possible, is the serious waste of time because you may take in more, but you have nothing left to process it with. It just starts to become a bunch of clutter. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor, and work on developing this skill. Attention is the portal to a deeper awareness about all things. What might you discover if you give yourself and others the gift of paying attention?

Here are a few ideas on how to improve your level of attention:

Start an attention log – I know, I know, there is a log or a journal for everything. But you can add just a few quick notes into an existing log or begin one for this exercise. The idea is to jot down the top few things that appeared to catch your attention the most through the day. Then begin to look for patterns. Sometimes journal work, if done honestly and with regularity, self corrects the issues you want to address. For instance, after a few days of jotting down what caught you attention, you may develop methods to stop paying attention to those things naturally.

Let’s say that you noticed that for several days you paid attention to the fact that your boss has not given you credit for something you did (that you thought was amazing), and you also notice that this makes you feel really pissed off when you think about it. After a couple days, since you know thinking about the boss thing gets you in a bad mood, you choose to think about adding some new skills into your job set instead and begin to focus on that activity. Next thing you know, you are getting an accommodation for your self-starter attitude from your boss. You realize that you haven’t been paying attention to your pity party for over 2 weeks.

Wear an attention getting trigger – Use a bracelet, piece of jewelry, charm, or something you see every day that reminds you of your quest to be in charge of your own attention. Make it bright and colorful to attract attention. Be creative and fun with it.

Linger – Develop a habit to linger over whatever you catch yourself paying attention to. You will begin to notice things expanding right away. New things will be discovered. Once you begin to linger with your attention, take note of how this impacts your mindset and how it changes your relationships.

Saying No – If you notice certain things you pay attention to that you really don’t want to anymore – then stop paying attention to them. Like if you think the news of the day makes you feel nervous and frustrated – turn the TV off! If you have a habit that annoys you and you want to stop, like biting your nails, stop thinking about it, and when you do think about it – stop. No criticisms, no rolling the eyes, just stop thinking about when you catch yourself thinking about it (or doing it.).

Nice to meet you!

Joleen (Bridges) Halloran is the author of Finding Home - Breaking Free from Limits. This book represents over 10 years of research and inspiration in the topics of personal and spiritual empowerment and provides readers with a pathway to overcome limits and discover authentic divine qualities in their lives and to live a life of unlimited freedom. .

Beyond Joleen's professional life, she is an avid reader and researcher of books related to her special passion, which is metaphysical and spirituality topics. You can find out more about Joleen's book at her books website,www.breakingfreefromlimits.com. Additional articles of a spiritual and inspirational nature can be found at the book's website as well.

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