Distraction. The necessity of our our humanly devices, which have now become the heartbeat of our humanly tasks, have us in our heads nearly All. Day. Long. As a result, we’ve become busier, more distracted and more disconnected from the immediate world around us. Ironic, isn’t it? How our devices can show us, teach us, and connect us to this amazing world we live in, but disconnects us from the most important thing that keeps us grounded: our mindfulness to the present, and the awareness of our breathing body.
Despite our best intentions, we will always find our way back to thinking, doing, solving, watching, texting, scrolling, fixing, or numbing. Do we notice the angst arising within us from too much head space, too much screen time, too much stress and anxiety? Maybe the truest test of how we evolve in our human journey, is how well we tend to ourselves gently and lovingly when we feel the severence of our mind, body, and spirit.
One simple practice can help. It’s faster than running, cheaper than hot yoga, and more accessible than forest bathing. It is the simple practice of Embodied attention. Embodied attention is more than tuning in to the senses, but feeling how our body responds to everything we see, hear, touch, and taste. It’s savoring the space we occupy and the our relationship with the swirling, sensory experience around us. Embodied attention can be a practice of reverence if we come alive to the wonder and awe of every detail. We don’t just see, but we feel the colors in the room, the way the light hits the walls, the sounds coming from our surroundings. We begin to notice what our breath is doing— does it slow down, does it speed up, or are we holding it? When we look out a window and notice the way the trees shake in the wind, or a bird swoops, what does our body do—what does it want? Can we stay with the senses, can we stay with our body without going back in our thoughts? Without judgement or the need to fix?
We can make anything into a waking meditation by giving our bodies the space, intention and attention to feel the energy of a moment. Embodied attention reminds us we are a living organism that needs sun, water, and movement to feel alive. When we remove thought and judgement, gratitude naturally tends to fill the spaces. Gratitude is not just an idea, it is a real emotion that radiates and feeds our cells from inside out. We know we need experiences to connect us to all that is greater than what’s in the palm of our hand or a screen on the desk. We need more earth, wind, water, fire, more green. We need more uninhibited wildness.