Owning your attention.

Photo from my iphone of the sun dancing in my backyard.

I have been feeling a bit stuck lately.

Writing has not come easy. Going to sleep has been harder. I haven’t even wanted to practice yoga. Yet, these little bursts of unstuckness come at me like road signs; riding down a gravel road and spotting a little lake, seeing a spot of magical sunlight dance in my back yard, reading an article, seeing a beautiful design on someone’s desktop as I walk through the office or hearing the outburst of genuine laughter  in a meeting.

I’m a huge Jonathan Harris fan.

I talked with him about coming to speak at the FIRE session one year. It was a delightful conversation (or two) about his next journey to witness life. He quietly crackled with excitement as he told me why he’d have to say no to us. It was a very kind and thoughtful no.

I think he was going to live for a while in some remote village.

Well, incase you haven’t heard, Jonathan has redesigned cowbird.com (a library of human stories). It’s worth a look. As I rambled around the stories and photos on cowbird the other night, I saw Jonathan’s own wise words about navigating stuckness.

You can read the whole thing here.

What really grabbed me were these last few thoughts. (I’ve edited them down a bit):

“We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have…

Inside each of us is a little ten-year-old child, curious and pure, acting on impulse, not yet caring what other people think. Remember what you were doing at ten, and try to get back to doing that thing, incorporating everything you’ve learned along the way.

When I was ten, I was writing words and drawing pictures. Maybe that’s the path out of the stuckness.”

Me? When I was ten, I was paying attention to everything.

All the bits and parts and pieces of my life. It wasn’t so much about what I was doing, as it was about how I was doing it.

So maybe I haven’t really been stuck after all. Maybe I have just not been paying attention.

How will you pay attention to your work and your world and your life today? How will you “own your attention”?

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