Pay Attention To Your Life!

Article by Make The Days Count Contributor Judy Mosley


The alarm goes off. Quickly, you slam the snooze just praying for five more minutes. And, you get them but feel even worse after the alarm rings again. You get up, already feeling the dread seeping in. It’s not waking up that’s the problem, it’s facing whatever it is that makes you feel “just not right.”


So, what is it? Your relationships? The pain in your body? The boss that dries up your heart the moment you walk in the door? Is it the daycare that you just don’t feel right about or those five pounds you were going to lose? Maybe, it’s your finances? Whatever it is, you just wish the feeling would go away. You try everything to make it disappear. You explain away your fears, making excuses for things that just “aren’t right.” Or, you just ignore them.


And there lies the challenge! None of us can ignore what’s going on around us and to us. Everything that comes into your life has come for a purpose. Even the feelings that you just can’t shake, no matter what you do to be rid of them. You have been given a gift and these gifts can change the course of your life. It all depends on what you do with them.


It’s time for each of us to pay attention to our lives No more rationalizing, making excuses, or ignoring the problem. Stop hitting the snooze and open your eyes to what’s really going on around you. This is your life and it’s so important!


But, where do you begin? What are the first steps?


First, realize that you, as a human being, are powerful. Every action that you take, every word that you say or don’t say, has a rippling impact on the world. Even something as simple as a smile can spread far beyond what is imaginable.


Second, realize that you have a choice. Perhaps not in the circumstances, but ultimately in how you respond to them. For example, simply choosing to smile whether you feel like it or not is a positive impact on others, and before you realize it, your own mood is brightened.


Third, start by being aware of your space. For example, when you eat that morning doughnut, what is your body’s response to it after the initial taste of pleasure? Do you feel better about who you are, after eating it? What happens physically? Do you start to feel bloated? Maybe, even more hungry? Another example can be used regarding other people in your life. When someone walks in the room, what is your initial response? Do you feel relaxed or more threatened by their presence? Ask yourself why you feel this way. Don’t let, “I don’t know” be your final answer. Be willing to dig deeper. Take yourself and the responses that follow, very seriously.


Fourth, find someone to discuss what you are experiencing in your life that will be present with what you have to say. This is a person who will not dismiss what’s going on inside you, no matter how crazy it sounds. Also, talk to someone who will let you vent and help you find a solution.


Which leads me to … be open to change. Change how you think about some things and/or give yourself permission to change your mind. Seasons change, people grow up, fashions change (thank heavens!) and the list goes on. We need to change in order to be fully alive human beings. By refusing to change, you are shutting out the future that could be in store for you. Be open to thinking in different ways. If you are having trouble in relationships, realize that the person that you want to connect with has different needs and what you are giving them, may not be fulfilling them. Start paying attention to their words. Look in their eyes and listen to the words that they say. Watch how they response when you say something. Don’t dissect every little thing, but be present and accept what you are seeing, without letting your thoughts pile onto this person. And, sometimes, you just need to change your mind. Many things that we say yes to are very minor and often they are things that we don’t need or need to do. What about the new baby sitter that you just hired but don’t feel right about? Get a new one! The safety and integrity of your child are more important than the feelings of the babysitter.


Finally, at the right moment, take action. Don’t give in to fear, or the doubts of past experiences. Walk in the truth of the present moment. Make every step full of purpose and clear intention. Your life may not look like those around you, but people are looking to your life as a guide. You matter! What you do matters! It will not be easy. But, breathe free knowing that you are doing what Life has called you to do and that is something that you will never regret.


“Choice of attention – to pay attention to this and ignore that – is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.”
-W. H. Auden


“To pray is to pay attention to something or someone other than oneself. Whenever a man so concentrates his attention — on a landscape, a poem, a geometrical problem, an idol, or the True God — that he completely forgets his own ego and desires, he is praying.”

-W. H. Auden


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Posted on 15 November, 2008 in Balance, Career, Finance & Family, Fitness & Health, Helping Others, Spirituality
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