Are You Paying Attention to What You’re Paying Attention To?
The Buddha once said, what we think, we become.
It’s a very simple concept to understand and yet a very difficult practice to master. Most of us are aware that we feel a certain way or that our lives seem to be going in a certain direction, but we have no idea how we got where we are. We always get where we are because we focus our attention on certain things and then experience the results. If we don’t like the results we are living, we’d better shift our attention onto something better.
Letting Go of Fear
Are you spending most of your life focusing on things that scare you? Not having enough to cover the mortgage or wondering if you marriage is over? If you focus on these things long enough you start to dwell on them, meaning you live there, inside of the negativity and fear. Negativity and fear become as real and solid to you as the four walls of your house.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer I was scared out of my bleeping mind! How can you not be terrified when doctors are telling you you have 3 months to live? But if I had chosen to spend those 3 months living in that fear, I would have created the very thing I feared – my demise – when what I wanted to do was create health. I could not have created health by paying attention to my illness. I could not have created joy if I was paying attention to sorrow. And I could not have created gratitude if I was paying attention to the ‘oh woe is me’ voice that was chirping away all of the time in my head.
Letting Go of Anger
How much time would you say you spend every day going over and over the things in your head that pi** you off or make you feel disrespected? Do you spend most of your commute time preparing yourself for a day filled with angry interactions with your boss and coworkers and then replay those interactions all the way home? Why do you suppose those interaction happened in the first place? Could it be because you were so focused on them to begin with? You were so focused that you FULLY EXPECTED those angry interactions to happen. And they happened. And now you will expect more angry interactions and those will happen too, which will cause you to fully expect even more interactions to happen. The only way this vicious cycle will end is if you start paying attention to what you’re paying attention to. In this case, your anger.
Anger helps to bring about dis-ease. If you’re spending a majority of your life angry and aren’t even aware of it, you’re setting yourself up for bad, bad things – trust me.
Show Your Ego Who’s Boss
Most of the negative emotions we give our attention to are a direct result of our egos running our lives. It was our ego that became defensive when someone at work disagreed with our idea. It was our ego that got bent out of shape when that idiot on the highway cut us off. And it was our ego that got its feelings hurt when our spouse didn’t notice we got a haircut.
Getting control over our egos starts by paying more attention to what our egos are feeling every day. When we feel angry – we can either quickly react to it – or stop, breathe, and figure out where that emotion is coming from.
If we feel scared or apprehensive about something – we can either react to it – or stop, breathe, and figure out why we are feeling this way.
Here’s what I know from personal experience – we have the power to transform our lives and create what we really want – whether that’s superior health, wealth, relationships… whatever. But the first step to all transformation is awareness, and that means paying attention to how you act, what you think and feel throughout the day.
Just the simple act of paying attention to our thoughts and feelings empowers us to change our lives.
Stop giving so much focus and attention to the things in your life that are no longer serving you. Once you start paying attention to what you’re paying attention to, you change who you are being in your life and how you are experience the world.
Get ready to show your ego who’s boss. Start a meditation practice. Learn more by downloading the Goody Bag here.