Attention and Reaction

I was sitting around this group in Pai, Thailand when I met someone who really shaped the way I’ve been thinking for the last few days. We were all in deep conversation, talking about past experiences, some stories a little heavier than others, and he just sat in silence and listened. He observed everything going on around him without inputting out of turn and took in every word said and how it was phrased. I remember asking him how often he meditates and he started off by telling me he’s in a constant state of meditation with everything he does. I remember after a 3 hour conversation, I had a eureka moment where I finally felt like I could control my own life and emotions, after year and years of dealing with anxiety, I have this feeling now i’m able to shut it down when it starts to arise. Constant state of meditation seems like a lot of work but it’s really as simple as where your attention goes and the reaction that’s followed.
I’ve been growing rapidly on this trip to South East Asia and it’s coming to an end. I had this consistent feeling the change I was hoping for wasn’t happening, what I learned wasn’t to its fullest extent and nothing has felt… different from life before. It was a weird feeling that I hadn’t completed what I wanted to while here. This is where attention and reaction comes in. What you focus on day to day is what your giving your energy to. No matter what that is. You could have a spoon, it’s just a spoon. You could sharpen it to use it as a weapon, or you could use it to your your coffee. Everything is neutral before you put an idea or thought into it. This could even be a friend. Most of the time they are just fun and relaxed, but what if one day they came to you upset and asking for help? You can give them the help they need but don’t give so much energy you let your vibe fall out of place. You choose how you react to any situation, maybe your calmness is what they need at the time. We have this tendency where if someone starts complaining or expressing parts of their live we go on with “I know exactly how you feel because I …..” and now our focus is on a past negative experience in our life. Your attention should be on them, because each person has a different life and will express themselves and nurture their problems in different ways.
Say you have to help a friend because they are frantic. They will do everything in their power to make you feel the feeling they are having. They will focus on catching your attention to get you at the same vibe they are at. The best thing you can do in this situation and keep to the state you were at and help them pick it apart, and change their vibe to yours. By doing this you keep your peace without giving it away for (most of the time) something you can’t change. By bringing awareness to them also about what they are paying attention to and how they are reacting to it and giving negativity more focus, they might be motivated to look at the situation differently.
For another example, maybe a friend is doing something that upsets you, hangs out with a certain person you don’t get along with, goes out with a boy you were once seeing, or maybe their attitude is different than it usually is. If you can’t come to conclusion that it is okay for them to do with their life what they want, then cut them out. No one says you have to keep certain people around if being around them makes you upset. You can also be friends with someone without taking interest in that part of their lives. You can completely disconnect the fact they are having a friendship or relationship with someone, especially if it doesn’t show up in your life or has the attention brought to it. You have the choice to let things like that bother you, so choose your reaction. Pretend you don’t know for your own sake. You have the time now to focus on and take care of your own life. By choosing this lifestyle of basically not giving a crap but still keeping contact with the people who really make you feel good, you can keep your own peace. So before you react, ask yourself if that’s really what you should be putting your attention to, and once you choose where your attention goes, ask if the reaction your about to give with worth giving peace away for.
Pai is really amazing for understanding this. You could be talking about something and instantly have that something happen, or be talking about someone who you need to see and instantly they show up. This is because a lot of people out here focus their attention on things they want in life with a positive attitude, so life delivers. You constantly run into people with the exact same story as you and people who just want to keep peace with each other, and within days of focusing on what makes you happy, everything seems to make you happy. Call it Paradise but I’ve learned more from Pai than any other place I’ve been just from peace. We search for happiness consistently without realizing we’re just looking for peace. Change your focus, change your outlook, life will eventually change for you when you start to listen.

*If you have any questions or would like to chat about different experiences you’ve noticed in your life and how to have a peaceful outlook on whats being delivered to you, feel free to contact me!