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As I sit to write this blog, after months of total writer’s block, I can’t help at laugh at the irony of my topic.  I have struggled lately to focus my attention long enough to write anything of merit, so ironically today I choose to write about the power of attention.  Recently I became aware of a disheartening statistic: the average American only has an average 20 second attention span. That means that at this point in my blog, the majority of people reading will already be off doing or searching something else.  Quite disheartening to this former journalism and communications major.

But since I tend to be someone who challenges norms and attempts to change people’s common habits and perspectives, hang with me a little longer.  Let’s dive deeper into this sorry state of Attention Deficit Disorder, a somewhat new (in the past 20 years) diagnosable disorder that has continued to see an upward spike in cases.  As society moves to a faster and more immediate need for gratification, we should step back and explore the immense power of the mind.

photo-9Our mind is created, according to Ayurveda, of three main energetic qualities; sattva, rajas, and tamas.  Sattva, the purest form of creation brings us the qualities of stability, harmony, and virtue of being.  Sattva gives us the experience of being content, and is the underlying principle behind our intelligence. Rajas, the second guna of the mind, gives us the quality of distraction, turbulence and activity.  It it the energy behind our self-motivation and is the principle of energy.  It can create pain and suffering when overly stimulated.  Tamas, the third guna, gives the quality of dullness, darkness and inertia.  This is the heavy and obstructing energy that contributes to decay and death.  Tamas causes illusion and is the principle of materiality. By learning to observe the subtle nuances of our mind, we can then begin to shift from living a life of illusion to one of pure potentiality.  We begin to notice how our thoughts take us through an emotional roller-coaster. However, by practicing the art of mind-control and manipulation, we can create the qualities of self-contentment.

Our mind imitates its environment.  As people become more accustomed to the speed and frequency of life through technology and instant communication, the mind struggles to keep up with this need for speed.  Our mind needs space – visual, inner and cultivated – to give the Self the sense of true freedom.  What is true freedom?  It is experiencing life as the master of your own power of attention.  If you don’t claim your own power, someone else will for you.  We experience this daily with our media.  They decide what is important (well, corporate interests decide, pundits repeat, people listen, and judgement is made.  But that is a rant for a different day.), and our mind clings to those opinions and ideas.  The instant reporting of “world” events almost never have anything truly relevant to our current life situation, yet they have an incredible power to create a deep sense of fear.  Suddenly we find ourself living a rushed life, competing with time, making decisions based on fear, and forgetting how to live peacefully.

So how do we cultivate a steady peace of mind?  First and foremost, by connecting back with nature.  Go outside.  Take a walk without your phone.  Disconnect for one hour a day, or better yet, one day a week.  Choose your friends wisely, and only surround yourself with people of pure heart and intention, whenever possible.  If someone exudes negativity in your life, or literally sucks the energy out of you, quietly send positive energy back to them and walk away.  Turn off the TV.  Don’t engage in negative and visceral gossip or “news”.  Choose your words carefully, and listen more.  Most importantly, never give up your independence of judgement.  Cultivate your own inner voice and as my esteemed teacher, David Frawley says, “never let someone else’s thoughts, judgements or perception into your ind who you wouldn’t let into your home.”

As we teach ourselves, and most importantly our children, how to slow down and cultivate kindness, we may find that our self-fulfilling prophecy of attention deficit disorder is created by our lifestyle, not our genetics.  If we slow down, find gratitude in everything, and give our mind the space it needs to just be, without creating a story with our thoughts, we may find our mind to be like a peaceful and placid lake, where even the largest rock thrown only creates a temporary ripple.  And then maybe, just maybe, we might read to the end of the story!

 Peace and Namaste… ps….looking for a peaceful all-levels yoga, ayurveda, live music beach retreat?  Join me Feb. 27 -March 5 at Maya Tulum Spa and Resort in the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula.  Easy flights to Cancun with a shuttle 90 minutes south to Mayan Paradise.  Check out my events page on my website or email more for more info.  I have a few cabanas still available!!!  Photo below is from a local artist from Tulum….



Ayurveda, Yoga, Healing, Nutrition, Columbia Gorge, Health, Crohn’s Disease, Food,

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