Paying Attention

First off; About 7:45 this morning I saw the Red Squirrel again, sprinting across the yard and up the old pear tree. Then when I went out to the woodshed to get some firewood, I noticed a fox in the upper pasture. Ki* was the darkest red I’ve seen, almost no white. Gorgeous! Ki trotted out to the behind the Oak and then rolled around in the dried grass, then ambled off into the south tree-break. Just at the edge of the pasture and the beginning of the tree-break, ki stopped, maybe to mark the spot with scent. Ki did not appear to be hunting. Then, true to form, a deer walked cautiously across the top of the pasture. All before 8:00 AM!

Now, the good news: While neuroscientists have shown that we, humans have a propensity to pay more attention to and remember the negative things that happen over our lifespan and on a daily basis, if we can stop and pay attention to the good things- for just 15 seconds- that will embed them in your memory.

“Neuroscience can now demonstrate the brain indeed has a negative bias; the brain prefers to constellate around fearful, negative, or problematic situations. In fact, when a loving, positive, or unproblematic thing comes your way, you have to savor it consciously for at least fifteen seconds before it can harbor and store itself in your “implicit memory;” otherwise it doesn’t stick. We must indeed savor the good in order to significantly change our regular attitudes and moods. And we need to strictly monitor all the “Velcro” negative thoughts”.
(from Richard Rohr’s daily meditation, today)

The bad news is that our attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to a mere 8 seconds! (less than a goldfish at 9 seconds). This was reported in a study done by Microsoft that I read via DailyGood (yesterday).

More good news: there are ways to expend your attention span! Here are some:
1. drink more water
2. exercise
3. avoid the use of electronic devices as much a you can

The above 3 are also from the DailyGood yesterday, 2/17/16.

From my personal experience during this first week of Lent; I am finding that my fast from using FB is having good results, and I am hoping to have a very different relationship with social media after Easter. It is said that in order to break a habit or create a new one, one must do it, or not do it for 21 days.

Anyone interested in joining me in fasting from FB (or twitter, or texting, or using these kinds of things while “multi-tasking”/working) for the rest of Lent, or just the next 21 days?

blessings, Amy

*ki is the replacement for he/she/it (for living things) recommended by Robin Wall Kimmerer in her book Braiding Sweetgrass as well as in her article in YES! magazine a few months back. It is from a Native American word, and the plural is kin!


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