To the left we focus attention inward, observing with stillness. To the right, we focus attention on our thoughts, ego, identity, and judgments.
Where you bring attention determines your day. Focus on the ego, engaging thoughts, leads to misery.
Direct attention inward and discover the freedom of now.
Simple thought, simple decision, huge consequences!!
Christopher Wilhelm Eckersberg
To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean.
In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.
Being present not talking or occupying yourself with idle thoughts. We let go of filling our mind and space with distractive thoughts or emotions.
We can train the mind to be here, listening intently absent of thought, clearly focused and calm.
Photobotos, Crater lake
Jose Ortega y Gasset Quote:
(1883-1955) Influential philosopher who focused on the individual perspective
“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”
As Rick Hanson proves in Buddha’s Brain, “What fires together wires together.” What we ignore withers!
Pay attention to now, ignore thoughts and heal.
Our ability to direct our attention impacts our mental well being more than any other action. Example: A row of commercial buildings stands before us. All the buildings look similar from the exterior. The buildings have thirty feet high walls that we must climb to access the roof. The buildings represent our thoughts and emotions. Where we place our ladder determines everything!
It does not matter how fast you climb the ladder, each building offers a limited palate. If we choose an angry, resentful thought (building), happiness and peace of mind do not exist in that building.
Our daily practice of following the breath allows us to not judge and save the ladder until we want to activate a thought or emotion. We build a little more space daily, so letting go of the ladder gets easier.
Complex childhood PTSD has forced us to choose some of these thoughts as coping mechanisms to survive. Now we can integrate those parts that are stuck in childhood.
We are perfect however the trauma thoughts are obscuring our view at the moment. Trauma is not a life sentence. PTSD does not play defense well against a daily mindfulness practice.
C:PTSD can not fuel if we stay present empty of thought and worry. It loses power everyday we ride the breathing track.
This is the minute to minute struggle for control of your mind.
The past traumatic experiences cause the brain to desire to have you engage thoughts and disassociate into PTSD symptoms. The goal is to desire to stay present and bring our attention to the present moment.
The battle happens quickly and results are long-lasting.
We can bring attention to our breath or emptiness with our eyes closed for a minute during our busy days. When we find ourselves engaged with thoughts, stop, pull back and bring attention to the breath. See how many breaths you can take without engaging thoughts. Practice and improve. Make it a daily game of healing.
Improving this skill can improve your symptoms 50 %. Where else on your own can you impact this disorder and heal everyday?
To the left, we direct attention inward, towards stillness.
To the right we direct attention on thoughts, worries, past and present!
Where you direct attention determines your day, your week, your life!
Where could this lead?
Symptom free, maybe?
Directing attention is a learned skill. The benefits of this learned skill are that it changes perception, calms anxiety, tames terror, and slows any urgency for worry or self doubt. Directing attention integrates and changes our view of the world, and in turn, ourselves.
Bringing yourself to now at anytime of the day for a moment.
Simple things like this, practiced repeatedly, integrate our trauma and limit the time we disassociate. This one practice will greatly help shift the thought process and give your brain time to relax and recover.
The ability to focus and concentrate in the ‘here and now’ is the key to controlling attention. Equally important is the ability to re-focus when concentration is interrupted.
“My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple…get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win. Channel your energy. Focus.” Carl Lewis
Bottom Line: Intense focus and concentration are key elements of ‘The Zone’ which is the highest mental state for performance. Using cue words and routines help to control your attention so you can thrive amidst distractions.