Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Power of Focused Attention
This summer I was blessed with having my 7-year-old grandson, Jaden, spend seven days with me. This was the first time we had such a block of time together, just the two of us. So you can imagine all the plans I had for showing him the best possible time. We did have a wonderful week together, and pretty much had worn one another out at the end of each day. Yet, what I came to realize is that even had we stayed home the entire time, it would still have been a wonderful week simply because we had time to place focused attention on one another.
I was also reminded how a child puts this focused attention on everything they do, from talking with O'ma (that's me) to exploring my garden with the telescope we got at the Science Center, or painting in the studio. A child is constantly high on life because of this focused attention.
A few years ago I attended a conference in Palm Springs, California organized by the Center for Noetic Sciences. Here I participated in a workshop that taught the art of focused attention. We were shown how putting focused attention on a complete stranger could create a connectedness between the two of you in a very short time. We also learned that "focused attention" is the key to keeping love alive in a marriage, or actually, in any relationship. In other words, we were shown the "power of focused attention."
The importance of focused attention is something I experience every day in teaching drawing and painting. The more I can get a student to "focus" on what they are drawing or painting, the more they are able to capture its essence in their artwork. And the more I can get a coaching client to focus on what he or she really wants his or her life to be, the more likely he or she can make that happen.
And so, today I'd simply like to remind you to practice "focused attention" as you go about your daily life. It is a part of being present in the moment, a part of seeing how each experience can be your teacher and/or your inspiration. It is also key in knowing what you are feeling or needing. Focused attention means being fully aware of what you see, hear and feel in each moment of your life. It will keep the child alive in your and give you a natural high.
Thank you Jaden for reminding me of this.