Annabel Beerel

Mindfulness: The Power of Attention

by Annabel Beerel, PhD

We are all gifted with a very powerful awareness technique and that is the power of attention. Many of us forget, or perhaps ignore, what this amazing power can do for us and for others. What will children not do to get our attention? What animal, plant, or living thing will not respond to loving attention? Is there truly anything we cannot change if we give it our devoted attention?

By training our minds on someone or something with a focused, unbiased attention, we can literally move mountains, tune into the vibrations of the universe, solve seemingly insurmountable problems, change our cellular composition, and heal ourselves and others. The power of our consciousness, attuned, focused, funneled, and directed in open, accepting and unhindered attention, is the most powerful force we know of.

What is this attention? It is not any old attention. It is a special quality of attention. An attention that is precise, focused, open, inviting and non-judgmental. An attention where we are totally present. An attention that is embodied. We are not nodding, talking heads! We are in our bodies and our bodies are part of our paying attention. We are all there!

Having quality relationships with others requires this type of attention. Our undivided attention. The more we pay mindful attention, the clearer and more authentic our engagement will be. Our attention improves the quality of our experience and that of the other.

Managing requires our attention. The more disciplined and attentive we are, the better we can manage ourselves, help others to manage themselves, and the better problem-solvers we become.

Leadership depends on mindful attention. Leaders need to be alert to what is happening in the present moment in an exquisite and inquiring way. They need to be attentive, observant, open and curious about the future as it presents itself in each moment.

Unfortunately, daily life is filled with attention gobblers. These include our mechanical habits and behaviors. Stress, anxiety, the continuous digital bombardment, our multitasking tendencies, living in the past and the future and not in the present, fear, lack of confidence and self-esteem and tiredness…and this is to mention a few!

Lack of attention leads to all kinds of problems. We miss important cues. We miscommunicate, misunderstand, make mistakes, are in misalignment, send and receive misinformation, respond with mistiming. In fact, life is one big MIS! And the price is high! We underperform, ruin relationships, have accidents, fall into unintended ethical misdemeanors, let others down, and worst of all, let the beauty of the fullness of life and the unique offering we can bring to it slip away.

Maybe today, this moment, can be a call to RESET our minds and our attention. With a deep breath we can set the intention to pay attention with a new dedicated awareness. We can make each encounter an experience of crystal clarity. We can make each action one that is truly aligned with the present moment. We can give this minute everything we have got, all of it. From head to toe, from mind to body to soul.  How differently we will be and feel! How differently others will be and feel! And what an organization we will shape!