Intention / Attention

Sarah Twichell had a new post at her blog today that, shortly and sweetly, illuminated the mundane disaster that unfolds in the middle of my, and I suspect many other peoples, spiritual lives.

All of those sayings about the importance of goals and the examined life serve to remind us that we are in motion.  If we aren’t steering, then we are swept along.  (Perhaps we are swept along anyway; I consider this a matter of personal theology.  But either way, the choice is to go where the current takes us or to steer.)


And just a few sentences later…

 To what do you regularly give ten minutes of your undivided attention?  Your job?  Your loved ones?  How about your body, the news on television, Facebook?  Your gods?  But one good way to change is to add in what you do want to have and let things you don’t need fall away.

Sometimes I feel that in my life I am like the little kid addicted to sugar who is hiding behind the curtains furiously sucking down pixie sticks.  Surely some kind of parental figure is going to come around the corner any minute and force me to start eating vegetables, right?

Until then, I tend to ___ ALL THE THINGS.  Etsy all the things.  Facebook all the things.  Pagan blog all the things.  Downton Abbey all the things.  If you don’t have a clue what I am talking about, do yourself a favor.

I often say in the rooms that the relationship between what we get out of a spiritual effort and the actual size of the spiritual effort is really kind of insane.  We tend to get a lot for a little.  Sometimes I joke that the Divine is a little bit of a people pleaser, maybe a little co-dependent. But seriously, the benefits of doing what Sarah is talking about– for example, taking out TEN MINUTES- is vast.  Those ten minutes could mean 24 hours of an open and free heart.  And how often do we sacrifice those ten minutes to another ten minutes on Facebook? Why are we shortchanging ourselves? Why are we robbing ourselves?

She ends by asking, “What are you steering towards?”  And this reminds me, that my intention is only as good as what I am paying attention to.

I have to be mindful.  I have to be the adult demanding the vegetables.  I have to make my attention align with my intention.  I have to begin each day in meditation and prayer to even have a chance of hell of this happening.

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2 Responses to Intention / Attention

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! (Also, I cannot tell you how often I say practice all the things?)

    If it’s not presumptuous, I’d like to offer you the following reassurance:
    I believe that when we don’t do the things that we know are good for us, it isn’t about us being crazy or bad people or anything like that. Instead, it’s about us having stuff — real, legitimate stuff. Because of that, I’ve found it useful to approach the situation of “I want to do X but am not doing it’ (right now, for me, X = going to the gym) with the idea that I probably have a non-crazy fear around it and can work with that fear, if I can identify it. (For me, the fear is that I won’t stick to it and then I’ll feel unreliable, and the solution is to only make brief or short-term commitments until I’m convinced I can stick to a longer one.)

    I’ve also learned the following amazingly useful phrase from T. Thorn Coyle: Because it is my will to _______, I am willing to __________. I use it almost every day.

    Wishing you clarity and strength in your practice.

    • 12StepWitch says:

      Thanks for dropping by!

      I love that phrase from Thorn. I need a pocket sized Thorn I can just carry around in my purse and pull out when things get rough and go, “Ok, what NOW?”

      Good luck eating your veggies =) I went to 6:30am yoga today, so I feel off to a good start…

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