What wants attention

What wants attention right now? I find this to be one of the most helpful and meaningful invitations I can use in Focusing?

Usually, in our everyday lives we like to feel we are in control of things. Indeed, it appears we are. We can acquire things instantly over our mobile devices, we can get information more or less whenever we want it. We can contact people in a moment, and even expect immediate response! For most of us in the modern developed world,  we have so much "control" and all of these have huge benefits... and yet somehow this adds to the big illusion that we can somehow control our experience.

So often, we can approach inner work like Focusing or meditation with the same attitude of control. We may think we can just create a better experience, or push out the uncomfortable one so we can feel better. I spent the better part of 12 years trying to make myself feel better in meditation by pushing away unwanted experience...without much success i might add!

I am reminded of something I read about Malidoma Some - a contemporary West African spiritual teacher.

In his village people didn’t have electricity, but they obviously had ways of creating light at night if they wanted to.  At night they might say “let’s turn the lights off so that we can see.”  Malidoma had been away from his village for a long time, since the age of three.  He had been kidnapped and brought up in a Catholic monastery and when he came back nearly twenty years later he wanted to get the light going one night.  He was told, “no – if we light the lamps, we won’t be able to see.”  You can’t see anything real in the daylight.  The only thing you see in the daylight is what you want to see.  When you turn the lights off in the night, you see what wants to be seen, which is a whole different story.  (Credit to Reginald Ray for sharing that story)

When we go inside with the idea of control, perhaps all we see is what we want to see. The invitation to our body to lead us is like turning out the lights and saying " you chose, you show me what is important today" Finally it gets a say!

"What wants my attention" is a direct invitation to our bodies to lead the way. It opens up the possibility that something else in us might have a knowing about our lives. This knowing is not just about today or right now, it is connected to a much bigger knowing about what would carry our whole lives forward, about what would move us towards growth and unfoldment.

And to me it often brings a huge sense of relief to simply relax and open to this knowing. For a while I can let go of the reigns of control and just be with myself. All i need do is listen with curiosity.

If you are use to starting with a life issue or theme in Focusing, then why not try starting with this? and see where the body takes you.

and when we open in this way what does want attention? well, my next blog post will come to that.
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