#1 THREE GIFTS IN ONE: SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
We introduce our Five-Part-Series with “Three Gifts in One: Something for Everyone.”
Here are the three gifts:
Wise Counsel from Denzel Washington
Practice Paying Attention
Let’s Get Started!
Gift #1 Pause Purposefully
For now, I would like to share how today’s writing finally came into my head and off the keyboard.
In the sunroom with a cup of coffee, a window of solitude, and a journal, I recorded no less than fifteen new ideas for blog topics and related content I could share with you. You see, I never lack for ideas. The problem with this strength is that it can be overplayed and become my Achilles Heel.
This website would never see the light of day if I had one more good idea and still failed to craft a finished usable product. Realizing that I was off to the races yet one more time, I threw on the brakes. I stopped, I paused. Like the Pause button on the remote control, I hit the pause button on me and my brain. Okay, so maybe it was more like someone throwing the emergency switch at a railroad crossing—it required greater force than a mere remote control gesture.
Now what? I’ve got myself on “freeze” momentarily, but now what do I do? Oh yeah. Pray. Ask for wisdom from above. Ask for heavenly wisdom, higher wisdom. OK. Done.
Then my eyes fall on the line at the bottom of the Serenity Journal in which I write. I see the words, “My purpose in writing is to encourage you…” That’s it! That precisely describes the predicament at hand.
I want to write something that will encourage you. I want to share with you what has been given to me so generously by others. As a friend said yesterday upon hearing my enthusiasm for this work, “Joyce, this is about legacy.”
Yes, it is about being a good steward of all the wisdom and knowledge that has been given to me in these 60+ years of life. I make these notes at the breakfast table: strengthened, encouraged, edified, equipped. Put simply, may I be helpful to you in any way I can.
Still on “freeze frame,” I pause to consider the sights and sounds around me, and those of the wondrous season just past. To me, they feel like gifts from above. The question arises, “If I could give our guests the greatest gift, what would it be?”
I don’t know if it would be the greatest, but it would be among my top picks: The Gift of Paying Attention.
In a minute, I will offer you a method for cultivating that gift, but before I do, let’s jointly push the pause button. Why would I go to such lengths to share an illustration of pausing in action? It seems important to notice that you had to pause long enough to listen to what I had to say in order to get to what I am about to say. I had to pause long enough to get my proper bearings before I could get clear on what was worth saying. The Pause is the portal to seeing what we couldn’t see clearly while in motion. So today should you choose it, you get the first of three gifts—a window into how this occurs.
Gift #2 wise counsel from Denzel Washington
Now let’s turn to Gift Number Two: Denzel Washington. Yesterday I listened to a Commencement address in which he said: “To get something you have never had, you must do something you’ve never done.” If slowing down as much as I am asking of you this day is as hard as I suspect it might be, perhaps it’s the something you’ve never done that may get you something you have never had. I encourage you to give yourself the gift of Denzel Washington in this four-minute YouTube segment. Writing of this kind, unique to the blog world, is something I have never done before. I wonder what gift awaits me that is “the something I have never had.” Butterflies abound in my stomach as I wonder.
See it here: https://youtu.be/tlY0PkWxCW8
Gift #3 Practice Paying Attention
There is no short cut to learning to pay attention. I cannot wave a magic wand and give you this instant ability. I can only give you my best invitation to begin to practice so that you can develop or strengthen the muscle of attentiveness.
I’ll write the steps below and you can practice if and when you choose. Please remember that if I am correct, this practice that includes pausing is the portal to something new.
1. Please take the time to look around. (Pause. Breathe.)
2. What do you notice? (Pause. Breathe.)
3. What do you see? (Pause. Breathe.)
4. What do you hear? (Pause. Breathe.)
5. What do you smell? (Pause. Breathe.)
6. What are you thinking?
7. What are you feeling?
8. What are you doing?
9. What music, if any, is playing in your head now or has been recently?
10. What is your fondest memory of recent weeks?
If you have completed the requested cycle, what do you notice now? What are you experiencing? What has happened to your body? What about your mind?
If you are willing, I would encourage you to repeat this cycle at least once daily for the next five days.
If willing, I would encourage you to complete the cycle with pen or keyboard at hand and record your answers. I can almost guarantee that something will shift in your awareness, your physiology, or your well-being if you will be faithful to this practice for a mere five days.
I have a free download for you… it’s a cheat sheet of our Paying Attention Practice. Download it here.
I look forward to unwrapping our next gift together soon.