Body Resources: Attention

It still amazes me how many resources we carry around in our own bodies to help us cope and thrive in daily life.

For instance:


We can move our attention, our awareness, around like the beam of a flashlight.  Where it is at any time is a choice, though it is hard to acknowledge that sometimes. 

I direct my attention toward filling the dishwasher—the feel of plates, the sound of glass touching the rack, the look of silverware clumped in its compartments. Attending to elements of the task creates ease and the satisfaction of sensory information flowing in to the body.

On the other hand, as I fill the dishwasher, I can direct my attention to a belief I have that I shouldn’t have to be doing this. As I attend to the barrage of thoughts that follow, I feel put-upon, resentful, annoyed, and impatient. My attention is on thought rather than the concrete encounter with this task.

It seems we are powerful and powerless at the same time. The choice of where to direct my attention determines what I experience, more than the task itself does. Even though there are so many things we do not have control over, we can create our world, moment to moment.