It's during times like these
that it is more important than ever
to remember a single thing…
You create your experience.
Now, hear me clearly. I’m not saying that you create your circumstance, that is, what is happening around you. I’m saying that you create your experience, that is, what is happening inside you. Each one of us creates how we feel. We create it by what we choose to focus on. We create it by what we choose to listen to. We create it by what we choose to think about. We create it by who we choose to spend time with. And on and on…
The trouble is it’s easy to forget that we do have a choice. Especially in times like these. I’ll confess… Yesterday, I let my circumstance get the best of me.
I allowed my outside to poison my inside. I turned on the news. I looked at my 401K. I thought about my upcoming trip on an airliner. I thought about my aging mother’s susceptibility. And I created a fair amount of misery in the process. But then, I caught myself and chose to change my focus… I brought my attention back to what was *really* happening,
to my here and now… I was sitting in my home office.
The birds were chirping outside my window. My beloved chihuahua, Hanuman, was curled up by my side. My breath was deep. My mother was fine.
No evidence of any problem, anywhere. And instantly, I felt better. Calm. This is no magic trick.
Or maybe it is, but even so, it’s a magic trick each and every one of us can pull off. Today. I call it INTENTIONAL CULTIVATION. It's a practice based that combines two of ancient concepts from yoga and meditation... Dharana (concentration) and Sankalpa (intention).
Intentional Cultivation invites us to participate, you guessed it, intentionally, in the creation of our moment-to-moment experience. To participate intentionally in the creation of our internal state, of how we feel. Like the photographer who creates an album of beauty by choosing to aim her camera at a series of instances of splendor in her world… In each moment, we too create our own experience by choosing to aim the camera of our attention at what lifts us up or what drags us down.
beauty and calm… or fear and anxiety… It’s our choice.
Now, to be clear.
Nothing here is to recommend putting our collective heads in the sand.
No one is suggesting that we blatantly ignore the world in which we live. But it is to say that, for so many of us… we too often find ourselves suffering, miserable, afraid, or anxious.
All because we have a habit of pointing the camera of our attention at what is loudest instead of what is most helpful.
So, by all means, do what is prudent. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Stay at home if you feel sick. But at the same time, remember: You have more control over how you feel
than you may realize.
And you can exercise that control by attending to where you point the camera of your attention. So the question is… What kind of photo album will you create today?