1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1063: The Flow of Attention
Oct 7, 2019
The older I get, the more I realize that some situations do not require my reaction. I can decide where my attention and energy flow.
-source unknown, shared by Molly in Fort Thomas, KY
Energy follows attention. When we hold an intention and give it attention (whether consciously or unconsciously), our energy and the energy of the universe respond.
-Personal Transformation and Courage Institute
shared by Patricia in Springfield, VA
There is a lot going on these days, and there are a lot of channels of information that we have access to. I don’t necessarily mean channels on television, although there are certainly still plenty of those. I’m thinking in terms of channels of communication: phone calls, texts, emails, written notes, and even the lovely face to face conversations that still happen every once in a while. And that’s before we even get to all the channels of social media with the TikTumbleReddits and the InstaNextDoorLinkedIns and of course the FaceTweetSnaps.
There are so many things are vying for our attention that we are becoming simultaneously overwhelmed and numbed out by all the possibilities. I’m certain I am not the only one grappling with the twin afflictions common in our always connected society: an addiction to the constant stream of news/updates/distractions available to us, and at the same time a desensitization that serves to protect us from the overwhelm. I know that I often feel deprived when I distance myself even temporarily from the constant stream of What’s Happening, and at the same time I sense I am less impacted by any of the specific stories that are contained within these streams.
There is an antidote available to us when we are sufficiently motivated to take back control of our attention: choice. We can decide to be more conscious and more proactive in our decisions about what we attend to. We can also purposely limit access to devices and other distractions either by temporarily shutting them down or placing them in another room (I’ve been using the “Screen Time” setting on my iPhone to more consciously monitor my screen time and it has made a big difference). These choices can be challenging at first since maladaptive habits can be stubborn and addictions get embedded in our psyche as well as our biochemistry.
Still, with patience and persistence, we can reap the rewards of directing our attention to that which we view as more useful and more enjoyable ways of spending our time and energy.
The Ripples Guy
p.s. Speaking of attention, thank you for focusing some of your attention on these weekly splashes of inspiration. They wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying to assemble if they weren’t being read and spread. #uRock