Attention and Focus

It is true that I have been away a few days. Just when I was starting to like this blogging thing, Life got in the way. On the way home on Tuesday, I experienced a harsh result of a lack of focus; I rear-ended another car at a stop light. (We were sitting still, the light turned green, I eased forward, while attending to something inside the car, and I slammed into the rear end of a large SUV.) My car was drive-able but the front end was smashed. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t had any warnings. The previous week I broke two pairs of reading glasses within a few hours. Since I was not paying much attention at the time, I guess God decided that I needed a bigger reminder to pay attention and stay focused. As if that wasn’t enough, I had more bad news. While I was waiting for the police to clear this mess up, I received a email critiquing my latest essay for my PhD. It also inferred a lack of focus on my part. I was definitely detecting a disturbing pattern here. I needed to get it together…fast. On Thursday, I was invited to do a training session on using to emotional moments (good and bad) to promote personal and professional growth. I feel that it would be terrible for me to feel unfocused when handed such a great opportunity to help my fellow teachers. My first step was to discuss this issue over lunch with my wife. We talked about where our inner lives were and it struck me that the problem was a lack of focus. (I realized that I was only about 80% there when she was talking to me.) When I got home, I decided to go to YouTube to figure out what was the best way to handle better focus. After checking out a few videos, I realized that the definitive answer was in my unconscious all along; meditation. I had been introduced to the practice around 2003 by a friend who was a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka. (Ironically, he made contact about visiting us about the time I broke the sets of glasses. Still not paying attention to what I should!) At the time, I used it to help with my explosive anger. After making a habit of about 60 minutes a day, my temper became much more manageable. However, in the years since then, I have been doing a lot less meditating. This speaks to how much I need to return to this practice. It is not the answer to everything but it may be the missing piece I am looking for in my path for personal and professional growth.

Attention and Focus

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