Attention is like a muscle that needs to be trained in order for us to use it. The more we practice directing our attention, the easier and more effortless it becomes over time.
How do we do it? First, we notice: Where is my attention now? And then, we shift it, directing it where we want it to be. For instance, in your body you can observe: yourself, noticing your body signals, you are sweating, blushing, hungry, restless, nervous, do you feel uncomfortable, are you tensed up, do you feel the warm sensation in your heart towards someone; there are many sensations and processes to observe within ourselves. Attending to them and let it register in your awareness: so this is what I feel now.
To practice placement of attention, you don’t need to go to dedicated classes or workshops. Jogging, washing dishes, sitting in the bus on your way to the office will do fine. You can find a way to remind yourself to bring your attention back to your body: a bracelet on your wrist, a particular background image on your computer or your phone, a special signal on your phone every couple of hours, even poster on the wall—whatever works for you to bring you back to yourself You can make this commitment to yourself: every time I get a reminder, I will bring my attention to my body. Take a breath. Close your eyes if appropriate. Take time to feel inside of yourself.
A simple somatic exercise called Body Scan, that you can download below, can support your effort to develop more presence in your body. It takes just a few minutes. What I love about this practice is that it is completely unintentional. There is nothing you need to achieve. The goal of this practice is not relaxing or changing your state or bringing yourself to a more calm state of mind. The goal is noticing yourself right where you are.
A body scan is simply a time of paying attention (to yourself).
If you are just starting with this practice, it is helpful to find a quiet space and some uninterrupted time. As you are getting more confident, you can do it anywhere. If you find your mind wandering away during the practice, just notice it and gently invite your attention back to the sensations in your body. It’s not about judging how “well” you do, but the moment of noticing that matters.
Play with it for three weeks, it might cause a miracle in your rope bottoming! You will be lavishly rewarded for making the effort, when being tied with more colours, shades and depth to your experience, you will be able to live and appreciate yourself and your journey on a much deeper level—in the moment, in the here and now.