Energy Flows Where Attention Goes
I recently read and article by Gregg Krech on 4 points of Japanese psychology that really resonated for me. I thought I would pass the main points along.
Since so much of life is beyond our control, this skill is essential for our well-being. We can’t control other people, of course. Neither can we control the weather, the traffic, the stock market, or the price of gas. We can try to influence the external world, making our best persuasive efforts, for example, but we cannot control the outcome of our efforts. We can’t even control our own feelings or thoughts. We tend to overvalue our attempts to change what we don’t like and undervalue our capacity to accept what is.
2. Co-existing with Unpleasant Feelings
Learning to take action in a constructive and appropriate way, even when we don’t feel like it, is the essence of self-discipline. With practice, we can learn to tolerate uncomfortable feelings, rather than needing to monitor and change them into more pleasurable feeling states. We can learn to focus on what we are here to do, and allow our feelings to rise and fall, as they will. We can coexist with our feelings, rather than being derailed by them.
Our experience of life is based on what we pay attention to. Most of us put very little energy into developing skillful attention, but it can change the way we move through our lives as well as the experience we have moment to moment. Too often our attention is on our selves — our feelings, our thoughts, our ideas, our plans and regrets. This inner world can become a prison that prevents us from connecting and engaging with the richness and wonder of life around us. Working skillfully with attention is one of the most profound ways of enhancing your life.
Our relationships are generally what we most value in our lives, but they present us with some of our toughest challenges as well. The ability to reflect on ourselves is the key to maintaining healthy relationships, as well as cultivating a general sense of gratitude for all we have and for our life itself. Self-reflection often humbles us and softens our hearts to the challenges of others.
If we build our lives on a foundation of mindfulness, gratitude, compassion and purpose, then we have a sense of guidance in our lives, with meaning woven through our days.”
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