It is said that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
The poet J.D. McCatchy captured this essential fact beautifully in his observation that “love is the quality of attention we pay to things.”.
It’s a no brainer. Before we can create anything worthy of other people’s attention, we have to learn to manage ours.
Our world is the outcome of what we pay attention to. Period. Attention is the currency of achievement.
Being present is the best present we can give ourselves. And to others. There is a curious power in being present. When we are present, we see the other person more clearly. We communicate better. We make lasting connections.
Unfortunately, in our always on, go-go-go world, being with someone who is fully present and therefore offering attention is rare.
Good work and great art comes from deep focus and deep work. Our ability to be prolific, create art that resonates, that strikes a chord , tug at the heartstrings and hit people in the face with a crowbar depends on our ability to focus.
Consider for a moment the kind of mental world we can construct when we dedicate significant time and attention to deep endeavors.
“Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer,” Simone Weil observed as she considered the relationship between attention and grace at the peak of her short life. “Attention without feeling,” Mary Oliver wrote a generation later in her beautiful elegy for her soul mate, “is only a report.”
It’s hard to carve out time and space for work or art that matters if we’re always distracted by things don’t.
So, how much art have you made today?
” I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door “. Marla Gibbs