Posted by Ellen Sichel on October 13, 2011
I walk my German Shorthaired Pointer daily and I am awestruck by her ability to completely focus on what she sees.
There is one house that consistently has bunnies, which are her favorites. She stops, lifts her front paw and straightens her tail. No matter what else is happening around her she stays in full point, just staring. Then she will move forward slowly, without disturbing the bunny. She takes one little step at a time while stopping in between.
There are times I want her to walk more quickly toward the rabbit, but she is unmovable. She teaches me about complete focus.
The ability to be absorbed in the moment is a life-long practice. For the pointer, it is a natural instinct, but for humans I think we need to constantly remind ourselves to notice what is around us.
Now, when we pass the house with the bunnies, I too focus and look and see if they are out. I really pay attention and am aware of details that I never saw before.
I guess you can teach an old human new tricks!
Let me know in the comments if you are able to notice what is around you.
Posted by Ellen Sichel on July 11, 2011
Often when your have a problem, your lose your ability to see a solution. The mind gets in the way and your vision is clouded by your perceptions, resulting in perpetuating the problem. You are left feeling drained and frustrated.
There are simple techniques that will help you take a closer look at the situation.
Try this next time you have a problem:
- Get still for a moment and take a few slow breaths.
- Focus your attention on the problematic situation and watch it without taking it personally, the way you would watch a movie.
- As you watch, pay close attention to the part you play in the movie focusing on the images in front of you. If you start getting an opinion, take a few breaths.
- Identify the problem that you see on the screen, including your part, with a neutral point of view.
- Now, think of one thing you can do to move into the solution. It might be as simple as a shift in attitude.
Let me know in the comments below what happens. Were you able to detach from the move long enough to see a solution? If not, let me know in the comments below what you think happened.
Posted by Ellen Sichel on May 2, 2011
Walking is something we do to get from one place to the other without much thought. For most of us we walk with ease, at the speed we choose.
Have you ever been walking and the next moment you are stumbling? There is no need to pay attention to the mechanics of walking because we walk automatically. When you trip it is because your mind is not where your feet are planted.
When you learn something new, you pay careful attention to detail and do it mindfully.
Take a few minutes and experience walking as if you were first learning to do it. Practice paying attention to each and every step.
Try this slow motion walking:
Try to notice each and every movement with no particular destination. You can keep your hands by your sides, or behind your back. You can do this indoors or outside. Keep your focus straight ahead.
There are 5 steps:
- Moving Forward
- Placing Heel first
- Shifting you weight
- Push off with your toes
Keep totally focused on this slow motion walking and see what you notice.
Was it difficult? Easy? What did you learn from this experience? Let me know in the comments below. You are welcome to ask any questions.
Posted by Ellen Sichel on March 14, 2011
Stand with your feet parallel to one another, a few inches apart. Stand with your body upright and look straight ahead with a soft gaze.
Bring your awareness to the connection to your feet on the floor and notice how your weight is distributed.
Is there more in front of you feet, or in your heels? Is it even? See if you can even out your weight, even feeling the connection of sides of your feet to the floor.
Take an easy inhale, and an easy exhale. Keep your awareness on the connection of your feet to the earth as you continue with easy breathing.
This simple tool will calm your mind and body and bring you back to the moment. It is great to use when you are out and about during your day.
Try this next time you are waiting on line and let me know how it went in the comments below. Did it help avert growing frustration? Were you able to keep your attention the connection of your feet to the floor? If not, what do you think happened? If you have any questions, please ask.