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Fresh Living

I’ve been thinking about attention a lot lately–different kinds and how I can possibly get a handle of directing it a little better–lately it’s kind of an unpredictable boat, sometimes staying exactly on-course, other times getting swept out to Facebook sea before I even know what”s happened.

Today, I became ultra-aware of at least two kinds of attention. Holly and I blog here five days a week. And today, with five hours of scheduled meetings, I forgot, and then ran out of time to blog. I think part of that is obviously sheer busy-ness, part is about the different qualities of attention required for different tasks. Running around to meetings leads to total busy-brain mode (there’s a name for this, but, ha, I forget), a scattered attention that takes in as much as possible, without really zeroing in on anything. Writing is a more focused, flow kind of attention. My brain has to completely settle down and shift gears if I want to string coherent sentences together. Probably why I much prefer writing and editing or talking to one person at a time to running around–being in that focused flow is much more compatible with my nature. But when I’m in broad-busy-attention mode, I so can’t remember what the other kind is like that I temporarily forget the tasks associated with flow. (Possibly a dog-ate-my-homework excuse, but I really have noticed this tendency a bunch lately.)

All of this sort of thing is covered in a book I’m reading called Rapt by Winifred Gallagher–it’s a wonderfully readable exploration of all the different kinds of attention and how we can harness the latest neurological studies on attention to focus our brains appropriately and therefore actually change our lives. From noticing our negative inner dialogue to not multitasking. I highly recommend.

And now, bed is competing for my attention, from flow to some nice beta waves. It can have it. Long day. ‘Night!

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