Choosing What to Give Attention to

Removing attention from some people and activities and making a conscious choice of where to focus attention has been a personal journey these last 7 years or so.

It has resulted in a much quieter, more peaceful and definitely a nearly drama free life.

It’s not an overnight switch, rather a hundred small daily decisions over a long period of time

The motto is ‘many small movements in a consistent direction’.

That direction is health, wellbeing, spreading kindness and healing.

Some harmful actions and behaviour that I have been dropped since I started –

  • Maintaining relationships that bring stress or drama
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, biting my nails, eating too much or unhealthy food
  • Undercharging in business
  • Apologising for fucking everything !
  • Talking when listening is more beneficial – dropping the need to give advice, sound clever, attention seek (and forgive myself quickly if I do)
  • Talking nasty to myself about myself
  • So much focus on me. Rumination.
  • Losing weight, have loved the effect of that

And this is what I’ve maintained and added

  • Twice daily walks in natural environments-this is both exercise and a chance to be nurtured by the beauty. I give my full attention to the textures, the light and shade, the smells. I’m present during these walks, and I have fun, identifying new trees, playing chase with the dog, taking beautiful photos.
  • Resting whenever I want with no guilt, the gorgeous sofa whenever I feel like it.
  • Making my indoor environment beautiful, cosy and comfy – a candle on, a daylight light for winter, plants and flowers all around and fairy lights on all year round, and I have lots of side lights on all the time – low voltage of course. In winter a bright house really makes a difference to my mood.
  • Buying a robo-vac – one of the best decisions I’ve made. Turn it on, go out, and come back to a clean house (especially good if you have a hairy dog!)
  • Making new friends by joining courses, and groups who are more on my wavelength
  • Looking after my appearance, doing my hair even if I can’t be bothered, I do always feel better. Treat myself to the hairdressers regularly for a wash and blow dry. Moisturising my skin, this is a recent one. Experimenting with nail colours. (Saving money £60 a month by doing it myself!)
  • Chatting to people I encounter. This is so energising all round. I love spontaneous encounters and short chats in the park and at the checkout, with plumbers, postmen, neighbours.
  • Showing care to employees, remembering to ask about their thoughts on current issues, their kids and relatives, asking if they had a good weekend, being generous where possible.
  • Looking out for friends in difficulty, sending a note asking after them, visiting and bringing food to an elderly friend who doesn’t go out much in winter. Calling my mum or dropping in for a cup of tea
  • Getting work in on time, good for a sense of achievement.
  • Retraining for a totally new career which suits my slower pace and gives more back to people. Psychology has been a major hobby all my life and it feels wonderful to gain a qualification in it. It’s also very stimulating to me, and confidence building having to go through scary new experiences.
  • Congratulating myself for what I do well, and do when it’s been hard, and sometimes for getting through the day. Talking kindly to myself.
  • Feeling grateful for the abundance in life, and remembering to do that has beeen a great habit
  • Living minute by minute. Breathing. Consciously from the stomach is my instant go to when I’ve got caught up in stressful thinking.
  • Being around more happy people and getting over my fear of happiness slowly
  • Practising mindfulness, noticing thoughts that tempt fear and lightheartedly dropping them before they turn into a story
  • Forgive myself more quickly (for procrastinating and saying the wrong thing etc)
  • Read mind enriching material
  • Go to bed really early and get 7.5 hours sleep a night
  • Wear only comfy clothes and shoes especially cosy comfy socks
  • Save money by buying second hand clothes and furniture, in discount supermarkets for food, and by not buying much
  • Cycle in the park regularly
  • Keeping the house tidy-order in my environment and next to no clutter is good for my mental health.
  • Making my bed super duper comfy with a 4 inch down mattress cover, feels luxurious and I sleep better
  • Only doing actions I feel like it, and not feeling guilty about that. Fewer shoulds and shouldn’ts
  • Eating only when I’m actually hungry, and not overeating. Not using food as entertainment
  • Not shaving my legs, just don’t feel like it
  • Sleep naked for years. Feels wonderful.
  • Having a dog for giving and receiving love
  • No arguing ever with anyone
  • Listening to happy music and dancing and singling regularly

It’s been a transition getting to this age of 54. And it’s actually really rather enjoyable. So many new ways of being to be discovered. Making peace with peace and getting to like it now.

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