So much in life is seeking/ begging for attention…our attention. The culprit can be virtual…television, social media, emails…, or marketing messages, people (work or home), even our inner world solicits regular attention through thoughts, sensations, and feelings. Our attention is virtually called upon 24 /7.
How do we respond… where do we place attention? On what do we focus? Without discernment and tools to help us, we can feel torn apart as if by wild dogs, wearing us out in unrelenting demand. Do we know how to pay attention to our own needs and desires? We are often ill-equipped to navigate this unknown territory of thoughts and feelings, and expect outsiders to give us the listening, appreciation and love we crave. Yet until we learn to pay attention to our own inner callings and learn to respond, we are unable to understand others, and also at the mercy of others’ good or bad will. We can learn to understand what truly makes us happy and cultivate happiness like a seed we seek to grow, as well as learn to care and soothe our pain and suffering.
Suffering exists; it is a fact of life, cited as a noble truth in the Buddhist tradition. Both humans and sentient beings suffer, and all deserve care and relief. Hard wired as we are to survive and avoid pain, we often are unable to face suffering, preferring to run away from it, be it our own or that around us. Sometimes we even inadvertently add to suffering in our fear and unskillfulness in dealing with it, yet by learning how to suffer, by giving it our attention, we can step into healing.
As humans, we are conditioned to focus on doing, to the detriment of being. We don’t know how to pause anymore, stop, take stock. We multi-task, push, check things off a perpetual list and make life “one damned thing after another” to quote Winston Churchill. Then we wonder why we’re stressed, feel unfulfilled and unhappy…why our relationships are unsatisfactory and why life seems to be speeding by without authentic happiness and fulfillment. We keep speeding, running, like a hampster on a wheel, trying to catch up with something… lose touch with the present moment and become addicted to worry and constant thinking, about the past or the future. What happens to the present? We’ve lost it…
Three words can help us change this focus and come back to life now: Sit, Stay, HEAL.
If we learn to stop, pause and tune in to what is happening now, we can begin to heal the fear, shame, and confusion we are terrified to feel, and connect with ourselves to heal and reconnect with what is essential and important in life.
Sit. Take time to meditate…pause…reflect. Become mindful of what’s happening within as well as without…sensations, feelings, thoughts….as well as the outer world . Observe with curiosity and interest, and let things pass by like clouds in the sky. Begin to watch phenomena arise from the river bank instead of jumping into the current all the time . Stay. Stay with this. You’ll undoubtedly find that stopping and watching your inner world is more difficult than it sounds. Thoughts demand attention….feelings may feel scary…something to avoid or dismiss, particularly difficult, uncomfortable emotions such as fear, anger, shame….How to stay with them?
Try. Stay with gentleness and compassion, and in this mindful staying, allowing, and paying attention to what arises, bring kindness and compassion … Healing will begin to take root. Understanding and insight dawn, producing natural transformation and change.
SIT. STAY. HEAL. This simple practice of mindfulness and loving kindness can change the world… first your own, then the world at large. Try it. It takes time to make this a regular habit, but it offers a path to freedom and happiness…I promise. If you feel you want guidance and support in this new venture, don’t be shy- reach out and ask! Learning something new often requires a teacher or guide, so ask. Don’t let your life be controlled/dominated by doing. You’ll never get to the end of your ‘to do’ lists, and you’ll always feel stressed while you keep trying. Learn to pause, step back in the driver’s seat of life and pay attention to what is essential and important…before it’s too late. Life has a way of flying by, so Carpe Diem!
For support in cultivating your personalized mindful, healing practice, contact me… we can discuss coaching options or a meditation practice to help you return to yourSelf and come home.