By Alia Aurami for Enlivening Edge Magazine
In times of multiple crises like these, what are you choosing to pay attention to? How do you decide what is most important to pay attention to?
Even in the best of times, we all encounter plenty of “good news” and plenty of “bad news” that suggests we are headed into either very wonderful or very awful potential futures. There’s far too much going on, to take it all in. Our attention is often drawn to what’s “in the air.” The anxiety floating around us is far more contagious than any virus. We often feel that if we overlook something in the all-too-in-our-face bad news, we or others will suffer.
Most of us have some freedom of choice about what we give our attention to. We are necessarily always exercising that choice, given our limited supply of attention.
The consequences of our choice are profound. They possibly hold the key to whether the various current crises for humanity put us into the kind of world we’d want, or the kind of world most of us wouldn’t want.
Do we choose to give our attention to the things happening now that suggest a future we want or one we don’t want? For example, do we choose to focus on the abundant but not so in-our-face examples of kindness and compassion out there, and the wonderful new ways of living and relating that are being experimented with as the new normal for many?
If we do, then maybe our ‘spirits’ will be lifted. We will find ourselves in a state that’s even more contagious than anxiety is. Being an oasis of calm, and choosing to be creative and optimistic in the face of our own and others’ fear, anxiety, and pessimism will almost certainly contribute helpfully to those around us.
Current events are requiring us to look at and acknowledge things that are happening that perhaps we would rather not look at. The approach of choosing to pay attention to what we want more of requires us as part of changing things to also notice the many current contrasting examples of human behavior that match the emerging visions and values. We would do well to notice the many instances of people building together a future very much better than the present.
This approach doesn’t require being in denial about any facts, even horrifying facts. It does encourage us to contemplate the effects, on ourselves and on others, of what we focus on most often, most intently, with the strongest feelings.
Our choices for our attention have significant consequences, helping or hindering our effectiveness in co-creating our collective quality of life. We can use these times of crisis to get creative even in the face of various disasters in our lives.
How does that work? If we look around and choose to pay attention to examples of the kind of world we want ourselves and others to live in, we are thereby directly, immediately experiencing it to some extent right now.
We don’t have to wait for it. We can participate in our desired or undesired future now, depending on what we choose to pay attention to. This is captured in the saying “The future has arrived – it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
We at Enlivening Edge, in our offerings to the world, are passionately dedicated to connecting you with people who are currently co-creating the kinds of organizations we would all like to see more of in this world.
These are parts of the desirable “emerging future” that–if you choose to pay attention to them–you can experience right now.
That experience is, for all of us change agents, energizing, uplifting, and nourishing—fuel for our ability to keep co-creating more organizations, initiatives, groups, that match our values and our vision.
EE Magazine offers hundreds of people sharing with you their organizations, tools, practices, projects and views—people who could, if you choose to pay attention to them, help you co-create more of your desired future in your work. EE’s Events Calendar offers dozens of opportunities each month for you to discover and connect with local and online groups, workshops, and other events aligned with our shared desired future.
Our Facebook Community has almost 1500 members. What projects, requests, hopes, and views could you discover there with a bit of attentive browsing? All are offered in the spirit of supporting one another in our co-creative efforts to increase the instances of our desired future that are present now in this world.
EE Community Conversations are the most immediate, intimate way to make deep connections with others like us, dedicated to the best possible world, working to make that happen, and offering inspiration, belonging, and real support. Participants in these Zoom calls say this is the most vivid, impactful way they experience their ideal future, here and now.
Focusing too much on the unwanted that’s happening now, or anticipated, runs our well of life energy dry—simply because we are experiencing it now because it’s what is in our attention. What will you choose to focus on? Whatever it is, will it drain you or energize you?
Are you called to co-create a more wonderful future with our authors, contributors, participants? Are you called to help co-create EE to host spaces where we collectively can support each other in such challenging times, and can help each other pay more attention to what we do want?
Our attention is an extraordinarily powerful co-creative force determining what future will emerge from the current crises. Let’s use our collective attention wisely and joyfully to amplify our power to transform our world .
Please share in the comments below.
Alia Aurami: Within Enlivening Edge, I energize a variety of roles to express my sacred life mission: to amplify our human capacity for living, working, and relating within shared higher consciousness. That optimizes the chances of success of transformative changes, by operationalizing collective and spiritual intelligence to help organizations be efficient and effective. I delight in creating and amplifying synergistic connections toward all that!
Thanks to all my colleagues who offered great suggestions that improved this Editorial immensely.
Featured Image Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash