Attention Opens The Door

Preface

Themes: 
attention
embodied intelligence

What Are You Doing?

It is a privilege to be Carly’s friend and guide. She is obviously not an honored guest, a celebrity or foreign dignitary, but she deserves being treated like one, with that same heightened level of care, empathy and respect. To do so takes time and attention. Being present is increasingly rare today. The earth is spinning at more or less the same speed, but inside we humans, psychologically, the world is not the same at all. Ten years ago, in 2007, we crossed a tipping point. Human consciousness was jump started into exponential acceleration. Most now carry a mobile computer in their pocket or handbag that buzzes, beeps, and flashes pictures, grabbing our attention, 24/7. Every time it does, we become less attentive, less present, less sensitive to what is taking place here and now, in and between ourselves and our honored guests. Imagine being deep in the Congo and discovering that your guide is oblivious to what is happening, standing there, enchanted, staring at the palm of his hand. “Wake up,” you say! “Be here now!” That is what loving and caring for Carly does. She wakes me up.

Themes: 
attention
fathers

What I learned from Carly today


Carly Elizabeth was no longer an infant, or even a toddler in my eyes, even though technically ‘toddler,’ meaning to walk unsteady, bridges all the way to age three and Carly is now just racing up to two years young. It is hard to put a finger on what changed exactly, but it did. I am amazed how sensitive, alert, perceptive and even sophisticated she is. I’ve never heard the term sophisticated used to describe a two year old. Who’s not paying attention?

Themes: 
brain development
attention

Quiet or Scattered

Traveling with Carly Elizabeth, 22 months today, has been a rich adventure for her and for me. Neither she nor I speak the language. People all around are talking about all sorts of things but what she and I mostly get is energy, hints of emotional context, but very little content. This creates a very unusual vantage point, at least for me. I get to experience, more or less, what Carly is experiencing, and the best word I can think of is energy. Suddenly all the people and things we encounter are big or little, intense or calm, loud or soft tornados of swirling energy, bumping into the other and changing as they react to these collisions.

Themes: 
attention
ADHD
storytelling
media

Take a walk on the wild side…

We haven’t a clue. Like Humpty Dumpty, all the science and all the text books can’t begin to touch the billions of years of living intelligence Carly expresses each moment. We live in our cognitive bubble which is the very tip of our intelligence iceberg, the vast majority of which operates silently beneath our conscious awareness. We think we are so smart, so educated. We haven’t a clue!

Themes: 
attention
innate intelligence

Every Moment Matters

Every moment matters, especially the early formative moments. There is no ‘down time,’ no ‘get out of jail free.’ This is the moment. Who and what we are is defined by how we live this split second. Don’t miss it. More to the point; don’t mess it up!

Themes: 
parenting
attention

Marinated Minds

My wife and I went to a meeting for several hours. When we returned we both remarked that Carly Elizabeth had changed and indeed she had. No surprise here. She is changing every moment. We simply aren’t acute enough to notice. This morning she climbed the wood stairs hefting one of my shoes then scooted down, face first, carefully and skillfully on her way to the leather sofa that she now uses like a baby trampoline, exploring the bounce and uneven surfaces, smiling and uttering a variety of sounds as if to say, “there!” It was only a few weeks ago that she began to walk. Today it is a near constant joyful run. That is how fast her constant changing is.

Themes: 
attention
technology
child development
media
screen time

More Precious Than Gold

Themes: 
parenting
attention
listening

Radiant Attention

The shared attention between parents and children, between all of us really, I maintain, is telepathic. Recall Rupert Sheldrake’s studies on feeling watched and with animals. The question, of course, is the degree that we are sensitive and attentive to this subtle radiant communication. Sadly, mostly we are not which leaves our young children, who are innately sensitive and aware, stranded and disconnected.

Themes: 
attention
parenting
media
technology

Attention

It must have been in the mid 1970’s, sitting at the counter of the local health food store a drop dead gorgeous young woman pulled up. I commented on how beautiful she is. This turned the conversation. ‘Life is all about attention,’ she said. Now, that’s a Wow insight! In 2004 biologist Rupert Sheldrake published stunning research on the feeling of being watched. You know, turning your head at the red light and the person in the next car is looking right at you - attention. I was about fifteen feet away. A mother was looking after her two-year-old on the grass, a puppy resting near. I made no physical gesture. The moment my attention landed on the puppy, the tail began wagging, head up, ready to play. Fifteen feet is a long way. It was attention.

Themes: 
attention
parenting
para-normal experiences