Monday, March 1, 2010


I'm reading a book called RAPT - Attention and the Focused Life  by Winnifred Gallagher.  The material is fascinating even if the writing is dull. The book reads more like a scientific report.  However, it confirms my little project here. She writes on page 49:

Even in very difficult situations, if's often possible to find something to be grateful for, such as others' loving support, good medical care, or even your own values, thoughts, and feelings.  Focusing on such a benign emotion isn't just a "nice thing to do," but a proven way to expand your view of reality and lift your spirits, thus improving your ability to cope.
The premise of the book is that what you focus your attention on helps create your reality. Therefore, if you tend to focus on the negative things in life, you experience life in a negative way. Certainly, my experiment with looking for the beautiful moment each day has enriched my life and lifted my spirits. By recording something every day I am creating a pattern of joy and happiness that carries into all aspects of my life.

I'm quite fascinated with the whole concept. Imagine four people hiking up a gentle mountain slope. One person has a bird book and binoculars and is focusing on locating and identifying birds. Another carries a wild flower book and is busily identifying flowers. Another stops repeatedly to take in the panoramic vista that presents itself from such lofty heights. The last person has a blister on their heel and is limping the whole way.

Each person has walked the same trail and arrived at the same destination at the same time, however, each person has had a vastly different experience based on what they focused their attention upon. It's amazing to realize that the person right beside you is experiencing life in a totally different way from you. That no two people experience life in exactly the same way. We truly create our own realities by what we focus on and equally by what we tune out.

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