Focused Awareness: Take It All In

eyes-of-imagination-dreams-can-come-true-31082845-1024-702Our first post will hone in on cultivating Focused Awareness. To be fully present is to be able to experience the moment. To be aware is to know what surrounds you. And to focus means to be able to point the lens of refined experience precisely and with clarity in the direction you have chosen.

What does the phrase “to be fully present” mean to you? Questions you might ask yourself in arriving at your own definitions may be:

What is it that I choose to give my time, energy and awareness to in my daily life?
How do I focus that awareness to inform my actions?
What is the outcome of that choice?
And, am I fully present in the receiving of that outcome?

These are just a few of the questions for consideration when crafting the intention of Focused awareness.

For the most part we are so conditioned in modern society to move at such a rapid pace that although we feel that we are progress issuing forward and taking its all in as we go along, the reality is that we are missing many of the simple high points of what being a physical and incarnate being hash to offer. We are in effect on auto pilot and asleep at the wheel!

Stop!

For me, the concept of being fully present involves engagement. Not simply occupying physical space, but bringing all of my awareness into that space and the time captured in that moment. This requires that I stop and allow the space of time to really see what surrounds. This giving pause enables me to incorporate sensorial experience; emotional response; mental analysis and allows me to formulate my next actions from a place of discernment and a focused intention about how to move next. This may seem like many steps to be taken in the singular moment of being presented with choice, but it is these singular moments that in accumulation form the foundation of our life experience.

Look!

Observation is our best friend when we are cultivating focused awareness. When we are in the act of observing we call upon a variety of related sensorial skills that stimulate the correct responses and reactions. Select a location where there will many people passing through that location. A coffee shop**, train station or mall are excellent places to observe. Then, just sit quietly taking in everything that surrounds you. As you scan all of the scenario, select a singular person or action to focus more definitively upon. Make note of as much of the detail as you can about what you have chosen as your point of focus. Make note of how you feel about what you are observing. What emotions are invoked? What thoughts are moving through the inventive mind? What memories (if any) may present themselves of yourself in a similar situation? Breathe into each and every identifier that passes through your being. When you are ready, shift your focus back to the entire picture once again.

Listen!

The next step in focused awareness is the act of listening and tuning into what information has been received. Some may consider this the intuitive self or being psychically active. The truth is that to some degree we all have the ability to perceive events and people that are not of this time line or corporeal existence. The key lies in the ability to tune out distraction and settle into that receptive state of being.

Listening to the inner voice of guidance is something we all actively engage in; whether it be the inner critic who tells us we are unworthy or the conscience that speaks up when moral dilemma looms large or the inner champion that encourages and pushes us to our greatness. Using this Inner listening is the informer that processes what we have been actively focused upon. When we make choice to be fully present in our lives, the inner voice has more to say because we are feeding it more to comment on.

Going back to the exercise of observation; after you have spent some time taking in all the information and detail of what you have directed your focus towards, silently retreat to your inner landscape. Breathe deeply calling forth a receptive ear and open mind to receive the deeper wisdom of the synthesized product of your experience. Listen for guidance and the relevance of what you experienced to your own life. Perhaps the lesson of what you have observed is one of being more cautious about what information your provide to a stranger. Perhaps the lesson was one of benevolence and seeing the direct impact of a kind word, charitable offering or soothing touch. Listen and learn from these experiences of full engagement.

Move!

The ultimate goal is one of movement and action. Whether we choose to be co-creators in the paths and subtle nuances that flow through our life, we continuously move in one way or another. To have focused intention as we move through our day means to respond, rather than re-act to what the present moment has to offer us.

In conclusion….

The steps I have outlined may seem daunting and like too much trouble to go through. You may also be thinking that the time it will take to be mindful and go through each will delay everything you do. And, to some degree you are correct. However, you have already been exercising your Focused Awareness simply in the reading of this post. You made choice to click on the link and then made further choice to turn your attention and time to reading it. And, hopefully those actions have set off a course of curiosity, debate and more in your response to what I have proposed. It is all a matter of choices made.

The aspiration is one of balancing and learning what is deserving of your careful dismantling of a given situation and what can pass through without further scrutiny. This discernment comes from the intentional practice of using a small increment of time to purposefully be fully focused and engaged; such as what I suggested in the observation models. The results are a more satisfying experience of everything in your life.

As example of one of the ways in which observation and application of Focused Awareness can open up the creative self, read through the writing indicated below. This entire experience and the poetic product was the result of 20 minutes!

** The Cost of Doing Business
This is a post I wrote in December of 2010 while sitting and observing at a Starbucks. Enjoy!

Next Post:
Time to Re-Think It
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