Have you noticed that when you pay attention to something, really pay attention, other things fade and you lose sense of time and space. It’s more than just about focus, it’s what our brains filter out.
In a world of distraction, interruption and the seduction of social media, knowing what to give our focus to can be challenging. We have such wandering minds.
Have many tabs have you got open right now? Or Apps? Do you try and do too much?
Paying attention is the key, or so it seems. Whether it’s driving, crossing the street safely, learning a new skill, writing (and reading) blog posts. It’s paying attention to the details that makes the difference … to the details of our surroundings, the details in our relationships. The details in the details.
Being attentive is being curious … and taking the time to explore and discover whatever there is to know about something.
There’s a fabulous show here in Australia called Have you been paying Attention. “The topical comedy show where comedians turn this week’s headlines into outrageous punchlines”.
I’m picky about what I watch on television these days and I rarely watch the news. Give me an uplifting documentary or a feel good movie any day. Or something that makes me laugh, but’s still informative, like this show.
Have you been Paying Attention features a panel of intrepid quizzers including regular funny men Sam Pang and Ed Kavalee, amongst other guests who are asked questions relating to what’s making headlines each week.
Tom Gleisner is the witty host who keeps things ticking along. The show is filled with humour, jibes, hilarious comebacks and interesting titbits about show biz, sport, music, entertainment and politics. It’s not only funny but keeps us up to date with current affairs.
Pay attention to people that make you laugh, make you feel good, lift you up and those who are always there. Take note of the big picture too.
As I write this, mid August, I’m noticing all the signs that tell me Spring is on its way.
There’s wattle appearing on trees, vibrant yellow against wintry blue skies. Flowers are blooming.
Paying attention to the details can sometimes take a bit of effort. It’s a bit like a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly. It needs to go deep, to keep us focused for longer periods of time.
For this week really pay attention and just notice.
- Feel the warmth of the sun on your back, the breeze in your hair.
- Notice the food you eat, savour every mouthful and the way it tastes.
- Be curious about the world.
- When you’re walking notice how your feet touch the earth.
- Practice attentive listening, without interruption.
- Read a long book, slowly. Less scrolling, more focus.
- Work in full screen mode, on one thing at a time. Close everything else. Stop multi tasking and just do one thing, properly.
- Memorise something every week.
- Notice the words you speak, to others and to yourself.
- Try five minutes of meditation. Notice your breath. Notice the sensations in your body. Listen for outside noises. Notice everything, without judgement.
That’s when the mundane becomes magical.
Right now is all we have, the present, and, as cliched as it sounds, it really is a gift. As artists, with the world as our canvas, we all have the ability to create a great masterpiece, if we focus and pay attention.
Where are you putting your attention? It all starts with being aware.
Here’s wishing you all an amazing, awesome and attention filled rest of August.
In light and love
Here’s lookin’ at you kid! He looks pretty attentive doesn’t he?