Your attention creates, so it's fun to train your attention to create the things you want. The easiest way to train your attention is by keeping it simple: stay focused on your breath. The longer you practice keeping your focus on a single object (or thought), the more control you have over the mind. The more control you have over the mind, the less negative thoughts you think that muck up your life, and the more positive awareness you have of the depth, light and love in life.
When you're just coasting along in life, training your attention through meditation and conscious breathing keeps your focus muscles strong. But say something big didn't go your way, and now you are dealing with disappointment, anger, or self-doubt. Below is a process to take advantage of your high contrast circumstances to train your attention.
1. Notice the patterns in how you've been feeling.
I woke this morning after tossing and turning for hours, unable to sleep. I felt irritated that I was unable to sleep.
Across the bed, my cat was itching away at some kind of allergic reaction. I felt irritated and helpless.
I checked my email. I didn't get this teaching job that I applied for. I felt irritated because I'm going to have to tell my mom. It feels like I just got stamped with "Loser."
I know that I've been caring what other people think. Irritating. I tried to impress my parents. Beyond irritating. I tried to impress the person who interviewed me. Absolutely grating. I started compulsively checking my email again, looking for ego boosts. What comes after grating?
2. Deliberately direct your thoughts with a conscious creation exercise.
Once she heard the news, Kelly reminded me to do a Self-Doubt Alchemy worksheet. I cried and felt sorry for myself for a couple minutes, but then I took her advice and filled out the prompts:
What I'm afraid others think or say about me: "Failure! Not good enough! Cocky! Unprofessional. Wrong. Stupid. LOSER."
What I know to be true: "I'm not afraid to fail. My worth is not based on external circumstances. I am in the right place at the right time. I'm beyond professional. I am confident in my teaching. I am changing the world. It's working out. The universe is up to its tricks. I'm smart for following the flow. I am winning by breathing."
3. Dream a bigger world for yourself.
So I didn't get the job. Although my ego took a huge blow, I know I'm onto bigger and better things. The contrast of this situation has caused me to create a bigger and better world, where:
- I don't care whether my parents are happy with me or not.
- I'm not checking my phone for positive feedback, looking for other people to tell me my worth.
- I am my reason for feeling good--I know my worth.
- I keep my attention on my connection to source, giving it out only to things I truly want to invest in.
4. Find some new thought patterns that feel good.
No more attention on the itchy cat. No more attention on the failure. My attention is fixed firmly on my third eye and on my breath--my connection to source. Fuck spending my limited attention on what I don't want. What I notice, I get more of, and I can choose to notice other things. I can choose new thought patterns, like:
- I am a success because I am present in this moment.
- I am a success because I am breathing consciously.
- I am a success because I am connected to source.
- I am a success because I don't give a fuck what others think.
- I am a success because my happiness is independent of circumstances like jobs or health.
Today, when someone asks me how I am, I'll say, "Great!" Because I am. I am alive. I am conscious. I am awake. And I know something bigger and better is coming my way. And when it comes, I'll be just as happy as I am now, because my happiness is independent of circumstances.
5. Say a little prayer and leave it in the hands of the universe.
I release my drive to achieve. There is nothing I can do. I am allowing my existence to unfold like a flower. Life, guide me with your flow. I'm paying attention.
Since I used these five steps earlier, I've made peace with the situation (it's not what I really wanted anyway), and now feel excited about the new opportunities coming my way. This high contrast moment has caused me to finely hone my attention, and now I feel like I have a tool with which to create something outta this world. Thanks universe!