Life is beautiful. There is nothing other than Life. Life is within me; Life pours out from me. Everything everywhere is Life. Life is Being. I am Life. All that I am, I offer in praise and thanks to all of Life.
Expanding the consciousness takes attention and effort.
Attention means to concentrate in a certain direction, or to direct your senses or thoughts toward something. Sometimes this is active: listening closely, reading carefully, or trying the hottest spice you can. In these cases, intention causes the direction.
Sometimes attention is passive, when something draws attention without intention: a fly that sits on the computer screen, or a mosquito by your head after you have turned out the lights, or Facebook beckoning you to watch just one more cute puppy video.
Active attention does not mean judging a thought or behavior as “good” or “bad”. It does mean noticing those thoughts or behaviors. I have a friend who has made a game of this. I call it a peek-a-boo game; he calls it the “I see you” game. When he notices something in his attention that he might be inclined to judge, instead of judging it he simply looks at it like a 2-year old who has popped out from under a blanket and says, “I seeeee youuuu.”
Attention alone requires effort. It is the mental effort of staying focused.
Expanding consciousness takes effort because it requires a willingness to increase active attention toward higher ideas and ideals, and to decrease passive attention to things which do not serve those ideas or ideals. It requires determining for yourself which direction you want to go and then looking at your thoughts, beliefs, and actions to discern if they are assisting your chosen direction, or inhibiting it.
Watching the next cute puppy video may be a passive use of intention, but in noticing it, I can decide if it is serving my chosen direction because I am simply tired of paying attention all the time, or if it is not serving my direction because I am using it to avoid something or to escape from having to direct my attention; even in this, the noticing and decision requires effort.
When I am on a Journey, everything goes through the filter of my active attention and I do my best to keep everything—thoughts, behaviors, emotions—directed toward my chosen ideas and ideals. Does this serve what I say I am doing? If the answer is negative, I make an effort to change my thoughts, emotions, or energy about it so that it comes into alignment with what I want.
Sometimes I don’t know. I don’t know if something is heading me in the right direction, I don’t know if what I am doing to shift is the thing that will ensure my chosen direction. The peek-a-boo game helps with this; I just notice, make no decision, and continue with the process.
Sometimes I feel the strain of the effort. My brain gets tired and can’t think; I want to recede into passive attention.
I trust myself. I trust the process. I trust my intention.
Now, another cute puppy video…