V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #17: Attention

The quality of our lives is determined by the focus of our attention.

 – Cheri Huber

As a child, I had a recurring dream:

I’m crouched under a large, wooden chair, and Mickey Mouse
is headed my way with a kettle of boiling water, intending to
scald me, and no matter how much I scream, no one hears.

I grew up in a very chaotic home.  Attention was hard to come by.  Everyone was distracted, and in hindsight, I would say, grasping just to survive.  I adapted to this mode of existing very well, until I had children, and realized that I wanted to give them something better.

I didn’t want to be that mother that put housework ahead of quality time. I hated that I was short-tempered and that no matter how hard I tried, I never felt in control.   I wanted to be fully present in their lives.  But of course, the ideal does not always translate into the day-to-day living, and old habits die hard.

The drive to be a good role model for my children is what led me down a spiritual path.  It is what helped me recognize that the patterns of my childhood were destructive and that in order to change, I needed to be aware – to acknowledge what wasn’t working.

It’s a process.

Yesterday, after a particularly gruelling stroll down memory lane, my psychologist mentioned a series I might be interested in:  Sounds True.  I googled it and found a podcast:  Sounds True: Insights at the Edge.   I started with Cheri Huber’s episode:  There’s Nothing Wrong with You.  The title, and Huber’s words resonate.

I especially like her insistence on attention.

This week, I invite you along with me, to be attentive: in the moment, to the voices in our heads, to the nuances around us.  How often do you find yourself distracted, and what happens if you bring yourself back to full attention?

Look forward to your responses.  I think this challenge lends itself well to the creative spark in all of, be it poetry, anecdotes, photography, or other.

To Participate:

  1.  Create and publish a post on your blog.
  2. Tag it VJWC
  3. Link back here or leave a link in the comments.
  4. Revel in the creativity of our community.
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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

40 thoughts on “V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #17: Attention

      1. I do too, Christine. I visited with my therapist this week and she said many women are feeling this way (and should). She said she is not certain who she is angrier with – the suits who perpetuate this indecency or the women who turn their backs and support them. We both agreed that patriarchy still has a strong hold and women suffer as long as it does. The good news is that we are speaking out. Poems like yours leave no room for uncertainty – we have had enough.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes I agree. It worries me deeply but it has affected some friends much more. What was Pro Choice has become His Choice. We have stepped back to the Middle Ages allowing ourselves to be regarded as property. They stand on the backs of women. There is a poem on my site called History Repeats which I wrote s month I’d do ago. It is “telling”
        I’m happy you empathize VJ and are not an enabler 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It is amazing how much becomes possible if we put some attention to our inner constant chatter. It often tells harrowing messages no one would say to a fellow human being but we are quite happy to tell it to ourselves. I survived my childhood with not paying attention and learning it now. It’s worth it. Thanks for this challenge 😚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting topic. I find that ‘attention’ and mindfulness are very similar. If I’m not mindful, I’ve put strange things in the fridge in the past. If I’m not mindful, negative thoughts, once started, pick up speed like being on a roller coaster ride and I’m living in the past, instead of enjoying the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think the two overlap, although attention also has to do with where we are putting our energy in the moment – such as someone who views the world as out to get them will find that the world is out to get them.

      Liked by 3 people

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