Second. A – Accept it, let it be okay. It’s just craving.
Third. I – Investigate. Investigate the sensations in your body related to that craving.
And N -Note moment-to-moment how those sensations change and move.
And this simple process of paying attention has proven to be twice as effective as the American Lung Association’s equivalent program. Between stimulus and response, the power of attention can overcome the greatest of addictions.
Something has our attention in every moment. Take this moment for instance. What has your attention? Hopefully it’s this presentation and what I’m saying but it could be your lunch of the person sitting next to you. Just note you know what has your attention.
I start every meeting that I facilitate with a check-in round, in which everyone in the meeting in turn addresses the question: what has your attention in this moment? What are you bringing with you? And this simple process of paying attention clears the static in the room and allows everyone to really arrive and be present and connect.
So I’ll use this as a segue into the question of: how paying attention fosters connection between people.
I was lucky that Merrill Fay gave me that wake-up call which I might add at 15 she continues to do. Whether I deserve it or need it or not, but we’re not always so lucky. Many of us make demands on other people and expect them to respond immediately without any consideration for what they might be doing. Anyone ever do that? I don’t do that. Anybody, couple and we do this all the time. We make demands, we expect them to respond and in the workplace, at home and everywhere it leads to disengagement and missed opportunities for connection and collaboration.
So how does paying attention foster connection between people?
Let’s do a little exercise. Imagine for a moment that you’re in a conversation with someone who really loves you, right; just do that imagine, feel them, it could be your parent or your best friend or your spouse, somebody who really loves you. And you’re sharing something with them that you’re passionate about or really concerned about. And they are paying total attention to you. You can feel the love and care coming off of them. How does that feel? It feels good; doesn’t it?
And why does it feel good? Because they’re paying attention to you. You feel connected.
Now let’s change the slate and imagine another scenario. You’re at a cocktail party in a casual conversation with someone you just met. And they are looking around the room to see if there’s anyone they notice, right, checking their cell phone, not really paying attention to you. How does that feel? Not very connected; is it?
When we give our full attention and when we receive someone’s attention, we feel connected and the opposite is equally true. Paying attention deepens our experience of connection with others.
We humans are clever species. We have essentially created our own world within the natural world. Yet everything we do ripples out and affects the broader world. As John Muir said when we tug at a single thing in nature we find it connected to everything else.
As part of our quest to elevate — continually elevate and enhance the quality of our lives, we humans create 10,000 new molecules a year. That’s 10,000 molecules that show up in thousands of products, yet we rarely test these new molecules for their toxicity. We release them into the world without knowing if or how they cause harm to us or other forms of life and they often do.
Remember Erin Brockovich, anyone? Julia Roberts played later in the movie. Well she uncovered and publicized a highly toxic chemical compound called hexavalent chromium but it continued to be used even after she publicized it.
Around 20 years ago, an entrepreneur named Bob Galanos set out to replace hex chrome in the priming of aircraft before they were painted. So they would put on a primer that had hex chrome and then they would paint the aircraft. Big application, I mean aircrafts are big and there are lots of them right.
So Bob was making great progress when he unexpectedly died. His daughter Laura who at the time was an elementary school teacher, mother of two small children with no business experience and no chemistry experience, decided to take up her father’s torch and pursue this mission.
Laura took on the daunting task of gaining acceptance for their new product from the aerospace industry. After about a decade of ongoing battles against deep-seated beliefs, long-standing relationships, archaic technical specifications, Laura and her company Pantheon Enterprises prevailed and their product PreKote is now used by almost every US commercial airliner and it’s used on US military aircraft.
And as a consequence, millions of pounds of the highly toxic hex chrome are no longer released into our air, our soil, and water. And workers aren’t exposed to its highly carcinogenic effects and they don’t take the residue home on their boots and clothes and contaminate their families. No small thing.