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Guest writer, Elisha Goldstein, is a leading teacher for Muse, the creator of the six-month online coaching program – A Course in Mindful Living – and author of many best selling books.
The most invaluable resource we have in life is our attention.
Consider for a moment, what we pay attention to and how we pay attention determines where our energy goes and what we bring into our life.
If you put your attention on your worries or future catastrophes of the past, that’s the energy you’re going to drum up in the present moment. In turn, that energetic state influences your perception, the actions you take and the consequences that follow.
I’ll give you an example:
Let’s say you had a terrible morning.
You had a bad sleep, the hot water was out and you got a letter from the government saying you owed them a good chunk of change.
In this state of frustration, you take a walk outside and you notice a friendly acquaintance coming toward you. As they get closer, you smile and wave and they just look at you and walk on by.
What do you think? How do you feel?
Okay, now flip it.
Imagine having a great nights rest, a restorative shower with your favorite bar of soap, and a letter from some lottery organization saying you just came into a great deal of money.
Now play that same scenario back, what do you think, how do you feel?
If you’re like most people, you had different thoughts and emotions, even though the situation of the acquaintance walking by you was exactly the same.
What was different?
What you were focusing on in each scenario, created a different energetic state and that influenced your perception, which of course cycles on itself.
Unless we’re intentional with our attention, our brain is going to have its way with us and that’s how we wake up years later and say, “how did I get here?” It’s essential to understand that we are not victims of the environment that surrounds us. We can train our brains to relate to these situations differently.
Through practice, we can teach our brain what is important to pay attention to in respect to the life we want to live. That starts with training your focus!
The reality is, to do this is very simple. When you practice riding a bike, with some level of repetition, you get better at it. The same is true for playing an instrument, walking, talking and even eating.
Training your brain to attend to what matters to you is no different. Practicing meditation, with some level of intention and repetition, is a way to get increasingly better at focusing on the way you want to be in the world.
In other words, if you want your brain to give weight to the things that will help you be more present, joyful, grateful, have stronger relationships, be more focused at work, meditation is a way of telling your brain… “Hey, this is an important thing I want to focus on in my daily life.”
It starts with this moment right now!
Written by Elisha Goldstein, a leading teacher for Muse, the creator of the six-month online coaching program – A Course in Mindful Living – and author of many best selling books.