Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finding Balance in the Storm

We may work really hard to create a life that is more balanced, a job we love, and a community of nurturing and caring people, but eventually the storms with come. It is inevitable. The storms and chaos that shows up out of nowhere is a natural part of life, and although those times can be reduced, we need effective tools to stabilize ourselves in the midst of the storm.

So I thought I might talk a little bit today about controlling your attention. If you look at your own life, the times when you have been thrown off course, knocked off center and thrown for a loop, what is the common denominator, what did you do with your attention? Often, we get distracted, something hits us and we get so wrapped up in the fall out, that we forget our course and the goals we are working towards. We forget for a moment that we have a choice in what’s happening. Sometimes the choice may be just to direct our attention back to the goal we are moving towards, instead of on the storm that is fluctuating around us.

This is a lesson that has been present in many religions and spiritual practices for ages. It is no different than meditation or yoga, the core idea being to bring your attention back to the moment. It can be a challenge for many of us, when we are so trained to put all of our attention and energy on the drama or chaos right in front of us.

So how do we learn to control our attention? Practice. The first step is really recognizing that you have a choice. When something turns everything upside down, stop in the moment and realize you have the power to choose how you handle it. There are lots of practices that will help you strengthen your control of attention, yoga and meditation are one example. I also often use a candle exercise where you set a time clock for 10 minutes, sit in front of a lit candle and put all your attention on the flame. When your attention wanders bring it back.

The key is to strengthen your attention muscle. The more you bring your attention back, the stronger your control will get and the more attention and energy you will have for you goals. Don’t expect to find perfection, our mind loves to get distracted. Yet if you learn to control your attention, you will find calm in any storm. This is one of the keys to stability and it leads to more balance physically, emotionally and spiritually. Attention is also one of the main components to manifestation, but we can talk about that another time. For more information on ways you can utilize and manage your attention, check out my workshop coming up in October.

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