Paying attention: where your focus really is

Paying attention is a crucial component to our lives. It’s the most basic form of love.

Nothing in your education has taught you that what you notice is important.

verlyn klinkenborg

It’s a fun exercise to ask ourselves why we like the things that we like. We all have favourite songs, favourite foods, favourite brands and so on, but we seldom think about the story behind each preference.

When we take the time to understand ourselves better, we gain a new level of awareness. We’ll find clearer ways to focus on the activities or life projects that we truly care about.

At the same time, awareness goes beyond observing what we like. It’s also about paying attention to what we pay attention to. We are exposed to so much information from different platforms that it’s difficult to distinguish between the content that makes us escape to a comfortable reality and the content that nurtures our minds.

So the question is, where is our attention?

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Seeking a balanced life: you can’t have it all at once

Thoughts on slowing down have led me to consider the meaning of a balanced life.

What does that exactly mean? It looks different to each one of us.

This poem by Kenneth Koch, though, is a game changer at least for me.

Poem originally published in The New Yorker, May 18, 1998 P 80.

What’s true is of these three you may have two and two can pay you dividends but never may have three. These are the strongest verses in my opinion. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and if you think about it, there’s truth in it. You can’t have it all at the same time.

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Making art from a place of authenticity

I’ve come across a few articles where creators (or “creatives” if you like this term better) wonder if they should be making art related to the effects of the pandemic. Or if they should be doing things where the main theme is living in confinement for months.

I find that question interesting. While our lives will be marked forever by this once in a lifetime event, some of us will want to stay away from that theme while making art. Other creatives, though, will let out their thoughts in their upcoming endeavours.

On the other hand, I believe the pandemic is not a theme. It’s the door that leads to a different place to create.

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