Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Flexibility Of Attention

We must learn to use our thinking mechanism to better supervise our moods.

We tend to look at our current circumstances and allow them to dictate our mood. And yet we have the ability to CHOOSE what we pay attention to.

So while we are generally not able to decide what mood we will be in - what emotion we will feel right now - we CAN choose what to concentrate upon. And whatever we choose to concentrate upon will affect our mood because we inevitably hold beliefs with regard to the object of our concentration.

If our priority is to maintain a good mood, we must be flexible enough to move our attention away from any thought or outside circumstance that feels unpleasant. Without that flexibility of attention, one is stuck paying attention to whatever thought or event is currently taking place - regardless of how it feels.

The intention to focus only on pleasant thoughts and circumstances must be coupled with a flexibility of attention for that intention to manifest as experience.

I have found, through my experience, that having the flexibility to move my attention AWAY from unpleasant thoughts and TOWARD pleasant ones is my/our single most difficult challenge.

My analytical and egocentric mind has always, throughout my life, dwelled endlessly on my perceived shortcomings, failures, and lacks. I see now that because I was expressing and focusing upon such limiting beliefs about myself, I was encountering them in my experiences - those beliefs were translated into my actual experience (that Reality 101, folks!).

In some ways, it is quite amazing that I have gotten to where I am now given my propensity for feeling sorry for myself and for thinking myself to death.

And yet now, as I apprehend how all of this works, I can see clearly how I have consistently allowed my circumstances and my beliefs about myself to dictate where my attention is. And as I take the wheel of my attention and learn to steer it deliberately toward pleasant thoughts and ideas and circumstances, it is a pleasure beyond words to begin to see the new and affirming beliefs I am choosing to focus upon being translated into my current and future circumstances.

And, I might add, I am indebted to more than a few teachers for such progress...

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:54 AM

    This is fantastic! I'd love to hear more about how you steer your attention to where you want it to be. Do you have some trigger that allows you to notice when you are focusing on negativity? Is there a time when you want your attention to remain on what you perceive as shortcomings or faults?

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  2. The key lies in your emotions. The way you FEEL is letting you know whether or not you are focusing upon what you desire.

    When you are experiencing a pleasant emotion, you are focusing upon something that you value and desire, and you are allowing that to be a part of your experience now and in the future.

    When you are experiencing an unpleasant emotion, you are focusing upon something you do NOT want, and you are currently resisting what you DO want from being a part of your experience now and in the future.

    So your emotions are your guide - your trigger, so to speak - which is not what we have been taught. We have been taught that emotions are REACTIONS to things - circumstances, thoughts, etc. In actuality, they are a precisely tuned communication to let you know whether your are in alignment with what you value or out of alignment with what you value.

    So by simply paying attention to how you FEEL, and consistently searching for thoughts and ideas that feel good, you will be allowing what you desire to be part of your experience - now and in the future.

    To answer your last question - when you are focusing upon your perceived shortcomings, it does NOT feel good - because shortcomings are not something you value. Or desire.

    You are certainly free to focus upon them, but doing so exagerates those shortcomings and ensures that they will be part of your perception and experience.

    It also perpetuates the illusion that you are unacceptable in one or more ways - which you are not!

    (Unless you believe that you are...)

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