Attention and Energy

Sunbathing Seals

When there is pain in your body it is hard not to focus on it. However your attention is known to enhance the pain. We naturally resist pain, but our resistance actually increases its experienced intensity. Most of our perception of pain actually arises from fear and resistance. Our focus and tension also increases the clenching of surrounding muscles adding to our discomfort. While it is not easy, allowing the pain to be present and mentally creating space for ease around it, can help reduce it. Quietly feeling the “pain” allows the mental components to dissipate. This allows the surrounding muscles to relax, and even the physical pain is lessened.

When we put our attention onto anything, two things happen. Our attention has the primary creative power to give form to the formless, to create space for something to come into being, or to create more space for it to be what it already is. In the case of pain we can create more pain, or we can practice creating acceptance and space for the pain to minimize.

Secondly, where our attention goes, there goes our energy. This is true for objects, people, aspects of yourself, old memories, ideas and concepts. It is a fundamental and universal principle of consciousness. In small and large ways we get to choose all the time. It is the foundation of the spiritual teachings to choose love over fear. It is a practical choice that aligns your energy with what your soul desires.

Energy is energy, but it can take many forms. It doesn’t matter what form we apply it in, what matters is where we apply it. This is why resistance generally feeds what we resist. Once your attention is on something, your energy will go there. This is why people would rather have you angry with them than ignore them. Ignoring something, disengaging, takes your energy away, brings it back to you. You can then do something resonant with it.

If the attention you are projecting matches that of an idea or person, it simply increases the existing state. Anger feeds anger, love feeds love. If it is in contrast, then the object of your attention can match it and choose to change, or resist it and it will drain them. This later dynamic is subtle and to succeed depends on the clarity of your intention.

When dealing with something that does not resonate with you, move your attention to what does. Feed what you want rather than resisting what you fear or dislike. Hold that positive vibration or image; if you can, even in relation to what is disagreeing with you. Carefully release any resistance, or that underlying character will compromise your intention. When in doubt it is better then to simply focus elsewhere.

All spiritual traditions have practices that help you to focus your attention on your essential Self and on Spirit. They include practices for undoing all the inherited psychological pictures that engage us automatically with various external focuses. Freedom comes as you learn how to consciously guide your attention and keep it focused on who you truly are and what you want to create in your life. When we can control our attention, our energy will stop feeding many things that do not nourish or support our essence. Owning your attention you will own your energy and power.

(© 8/2016)

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