cultivating attention

 

“Gratitude means believing you have enough. Purpose means believing you are enough….Cultivating gratitude and purpose is no easy feat, which means I have less and less time these days to be consumed with pursuing money.” Liz Forkin Bohannon, “To want what we can’t have,” Darling Magazine, Winter 2015

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Cultivation is such a wonderful word. It evokes images of gardens, of hard work rewarded with bounty and beauty.

cultivate, verb: to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.

Cultivation requires attention, which Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls our “psychic energy.”  He writes in his book, Flow, that attention is our most powerful tool for crafting a quality life experience.

“The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” — Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Paying attention helps us avoid the distractions around us every day. The distractions that tell us we aren’t enough if we don’t follow the agendas of popular culture.

Cultivating gratitude and purpose require labor and attention. We can control this. And in doing, we delight in our lives.