Private 12: Focus your attention 

Well, I took steps re. last session’s exhortation to jump in to life and have an old laugh with it etc. I took this blog off maintenance mode (as it’s been on for a year…) and added a bit more clarity to the About page. I also added Yoast. (Ergh..) I noted (later) that it left me feeling grumpy and edgy irl. But there we are. If I’m interested in my lived experience being useful for others, I have to break out of the bubble of privacy. Which is ironic given the apparent title of the current project.

Curiously, in a meeting at the university yesterday, someone mentioned a lecturer by name (quite reverently!) as if we would all know her. I noted the name down thinking, hm, that’s odd. Just looked her up and… she’s a researcher in applied autism interventions. Maybe I should contact her about DoDs and therapeutic journaling. I think (and actually it was a wonderful mental health PA who suggested this to me) that this journaling practice is not far from the Wise Mind approach of DBT


Thank you for the loud nod! I wanted actually to talk about Attention today.

The other day I thought, and noted down:

My attention is finite and it is my most valuable commodity.

Attention = creation / energy / manifestation / potential

…therefore use it carefully

So, wise inner voice. What are your thoughts on my Attention and how I currently use it?


Bit harsh…

But useful, right? By Scatter-gun we simply mean widely spread and directed across many ‘targets’. The targets are all those sources of ‘reward’ you are interested in. They are the targets of your ‘Drive’ system (and nucleus accumbens) which seeks dopamine, stimulation, progression, achievement. 

And I am getting better at absorbing and anchoring (‘maximising’) those ‘wins’ by noting down my ABCDs daily. I worked out that noting Achievements, Blessings, Confirmations and ‘Done!’s gives me satisfaction and also relief and the motivation to continue. It offsets the temptation to stress out, jazz-hand, overcook and blow-a-gasket by not knowing when to just ruddy stop. And it is better than setting one goal and suffering the dismay of missing it. Instead, I am now a optimistic whale cruising the ocean guzzling scrumptious ABCD-krill all the darn day long.


How do I focus my attention more effectively?

Ways to focus your attention more effectively: 

  1. Minimisation of ‘drama’. You’re getting really good at this now. (My G is a great coach/role model tbh.) We are seeking the reduction of any kind of inflammation: physical, neurological, emotional. This is key. Reduction in inflammation is key. So, reducing the alert response, or surprise response, or dismay response, or fear response, is beneficial to wresting back control of attention. (I like the irony of that statement the day after ‘Brexit’ day…) My friend: no drama, no reaction, no revulsion, no taking a stand against life… (I get it. Peace.) Yes. Peace. 🙂 
  2. Imagine your brain, or third eye, or forehead, as a red laser beam of attention: it’s constantly pointing its little red light at something. Are you aware of what you are gifting your attention to at any moment? What if we called that beam a ‘tractor beam’ – one of those magnetising, attracting light beams extending from UFOs to ‘collect’ objects?! What are you directing the magnetising tractor (aka ‘attractor’) beam of your attention at? What are you attracting towards you? (Ergh… Too much gawping at politics… Quite a lot of looking at conflict and mental illness too, I note…)Image result for tractor beam
  3. Select the themes or outcomes or objects you would consciously choose to be magnetising into your consciousness and life with your powerful ‘tractor beam attention. (Well, the opposite of politics, conflict and mental illness, I guess. So: empowered communities, peaceful relationships and wellbeing recovery…)
  4. Find models and role models you can rest your attention on. (I’m thinking Findhorn, Pema Chodron, Peace Pilgrim, Caroline Myss, Tami Simon (founder of Sounds True), Louise Hay, Karla McLaren (Language of Emotions, author), Helen Shucman (ACIM Scribe)… My ‘poster girls’! And I notice I have only chosen women… Let’s add other souls I have been moved, educated and inspired by: Eckhart Tolle, Matt Kahn, Daniel Siegel…)
  5. Now link their work to your Mission for this year: ‘Share Tools with the Newgens’ – or simply ask yourself, ‘What do they do?’:Findhorn: courses, workshops, work experience 365/24/7
    • Pema Chodron: teaches meditation via retreats and books
    • Caroline Myss: teaches spiritual development via retreats and books
    • Tami Simon: created a multimedia platform to be able to link millions of reader up with the great minds of our time
    • Louise Hay: created an international publishing platform to be able to link millions of reader up with the great minds of our time; her own books too
    • Karla McLaren: wrote an incredible book to educate people about emotions
    • Helen Shucman: scribed a truly transcendent, miraculous book
  6. Can you sum it what they do? ‘Publishing and teaching in personal development.’ Is this my world???!  I notice my judgment against ‘personal development’ – ha, hello Shadow! What about my client practice? Ah, I guess it’s this too: these are all ways I share tools. And what are the tools all for? I suppose it’s those themes: empowered communities, peaceful relationships and wellbeing recovery.
  7. Ask yourself what life would look like if your kept your tractor beam attention on that which you have consciously chosen. To sum up the above more clearly, I am saying my attention would be on:
      • Publishing, teaching and private practice in personal development, sharing tools that foster empowered communities, peaceful relationships and wellbeing recovery.
    • And what it look like to keep my ‘tractor beam’ on this mission?
      • Liberating. Freeing. A relief. Positive. Right in the centre of shadow space – which is great – my shadow/ego wants the ‘anti-‘, the drama, the negative and is suspicious of situating our actions in the positive, optimistic, conscious… It wants to say that all that is wishy-washy and a luxury for the privileged. It wants to say that down-and-dirty is where it’s at… But down-and-dirty, focussing attention on the negative is a Sisyphean task because it simply creates a replication of the so-called unwanted state… Image result for Sisyphean task
      •  I’m reminded of the peer support training I was studying yesterday. It encouraged people with lived experience of poor mental health to consider the difference between sharing their ‘illness story’ (the lows, worst bits, devastating outcomes – aka the personal ‘drama’) versus their ‘recovery story’ (the learning, the tools, the encouragement – aka the personal development)
      • I’ve held back from ‘teaching’ personal development because I thought you had to be on top of it to teach it, but it is, I guess, my Special Interest, so why not at least just share what I am learning and value for myself, because none of us have nailed it, and to progress further with something, you have to start teaching it (eg in yoga – that’s a thing).
      • The final point I’d make is that, under the laws of the tractor beam, focussing my magnetising attention on the positive aspects and on (say it!) personal development would draw it all closer to me, and that would be good for my health and relieving and fun and liberating and a way of my adding better vibes to this planet. Amen.

Great! That was an excellent process. 

Thanks, ‘Wise Mind’. 🙂 Why is the phrase ‘personal development’ so crinkly to me?

Because that has been your secret space for healing and sense-making. You have felt ashamed of ‘needing’ personal development… which is priceless, because (as you do well know) the non-Sisyphean task of personal development is precisely what we are born for! 

It’s interesting… In both my mental health training and conflict resolution work what people are really learning and benefitting from is indeed ‘personal development’ learning how to be more present to their feelings and those of others, learning how to communicate more authentically, developing empathy and compassion, understanding boundaries and self-care…

A note. I’m not happy with the phrase ’empowered communities’. I had it earlier as ‘united communities’ which wasn’t right either. I’d like to change it to ‘compassionate communities’.

Beautiful. That is it. Spot on. 

Also… I think ‘wellbeing recovery’ is a little on the down-side. Can I change it to ‘sustainable wellbeing’? I kind of mean, auto-generating, or self-sustaining – you know, where we can look after ourselves. I don’t want it to be confused with ‘green’ or ‘environmental’ – that’s not what I mean. Let’s try it.

My work:

Publishing, teaching and private practice in personal development, sharing tools that foster compassionate communities, peaceful relationships and sustained wellbeing (or: wellbeing recovery?).

Talking ‘aloud’ about personal development feels like a minor kind of ‘coming out’. What even is it defined as?

‘Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. Personal development takes place over the course of a person’s entire life.[1] Not limited to self-help, the concept involves formal and informal activities for developing others in roles such as teacherguidecounselormanagerlife coach or mentor.

I like that: awareness, identity, talents, potential, human capital, employability, quality of life, realisation of dreams/aspirations, life-long learning… Yes. I dig all of this. I’m not (ha!) ashamed to say it!

We should think not. Do you know how many young people are yearning for true development in these areas, and are instead being faced with an education system which tells them that exams on a knowledge-based curriculum is all they need to focus on? 

You’re saying, I should get over myself..?

Dear soul. Yes. Be the teacher, guide, counsellor, manager, life coach or mentor. For heavens’ sake, all your generation should be acting like this for the New Generations – offering a hand, eagerly passing down what is known, delighting in watching the younger generation immediately make it even better! Instead, you all have your heads in your TVs, phones, own children (only) and own careers. Find your sense of responsibility as a world citizen, not to preach, but to enable the NewGens, who are crystal pure, to unfurl themselves. 


Focus your attention (tractor beam)

PS. Later in the day: After going for a walk, we pulled in to the shoppers’ car park of a local market town, and there was a wall with an unusually beautiful mural… of UFOs with tractor beams. <3 It transpired later, that the hill we’d just walked up outside the town, is famous for UFO sightings. So, ha!, the tractor beam of my attention attracted tractor beams!

PPS. I worked on the statement further:

{Practices} Publishing, teaching, speaking and mediating in order to

{Mission} share tools for experiential personal development that foster 

{Vision} compassionate communities, peaceful relationships and sustained wellbeing




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *