Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 9.15 – Paying Attention

REFLECTION: After months of hunkering, huddling and hibernating, spring has sprung in Saskatchewan. And not just according to the calendar (which rarely ever gets it right), but according to life in the ‘hood. Signs of the season are everywhere. 

Snow all but evaporating under the high-sky sun. Robins singing up a storm, scouting nest sites. Bikes rolling down the streets. Kids swarming the playgrounds.  

If you listen carefully, you can hear the tulips calling to each other:  Wake up! Wake up!  Well – I made that one up – but the rest are true!

And, to top it all off, yesterday I sipped a cup of coffee in my shirtsleeves in the great outdoors.

Yep – there is no other season that brings such an awakening feast for the senses. And, there is no better time to practice tuning in and paying attention. 

ACTION: Why bother honing your awareness?

Well, some teachings suggest that the most practical first steps in navigating the ups and downs of life are simply to see and to notice – to catch reality on the fly. 

Current teachings in the field of emotional intelligence describe tuning in to the emotional state of self and others as critical for maintaining solid relationships and interacting with respect and empathy. 

A clear awareness is an essential base point for much of the action we might choose to take in our personal and professional lives.

How do you help a client or a friend, if you haven’t tuned in to the underlying needs in their current circumstances?

How do you wisely choose your next action on any front, if you are disconnected from your own senses, operating on over-ride, oblivious to current state? 

This is the season to tune up and tune in. Put your senses to work and see what you notice this very moment, throughout the rest of the day, and over the course of the week. 

Paying attention pays off!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: ”Just watch what you’re doing right now; watch it carefully, attentively, and witness the amazing slowing down in the simple presence of attention.” – Toni Packer

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Coming To Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness – a great reflective read authored by John Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion 2005.

READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s Pause message, On A Budget, reader YD writes: Thank you for making me stop and think about how I choose to live my life. I suggest there is a key element missing from this issue: the concept of time is important for some activity and not important in others.  For example, I may choose on a given Saturday to NOT worry about time at all (thus not feel guilty if I’m ‘behind schedule’, not feeling stressed out because my to do list is not all done, etc.)  Granted that in some other situation, setting a time limit and living with the 80% solution is most appropriate and a very useful strategy indeed. To summarize, I’m suggesting that one should first ask, “Is it worth measuring time for this activity?” before one allocates a time limit.

Posted under Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines

This post was written by Pat Katz on April 15, 2009

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