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We’ve all felt it, walking out of yoga class, looking at the mountains, strolling by the ocean. With our attention mobilized, another dimension opens for us, just as we are, right where we are. Suddenly, we are living in intense present-moment awareness. Life can be difficult, but the light of consciousness can be in us!
Everything we need is here inside.
With a receptive attention, we can perceive the subtle energy animating us. A sacred energy is coming into us at every instant, just hidden from our usual mind. Recognizing its touch takes us from self-awareness across the threshold into awakening.
Seeing is freeing.
A way in is to observe our bodies with a neutral eye. We can observe our posture, facial expression, and breath, now. Shifting attention into observing mode makes a connection that opens us to higher states. All parts—mind, body, feelings—coming together for a moment permits perception of the finer energy animating the whole.
When we live in the stream of conscious awareness, preoccupations drop away on their own. Something much more compelling is now on the scene! The Goodness of it flowing through us changes everything. No one part can take over. There is balance. There is freedom from fear and being anxious. Peace is restored. Love and compassion appear—compassion for ourselves as well. We vibrate higher with a subtle energy that is not ours but what we are, beyond form.
We bring our best when we live in attention.
Even our dedicated inner critic—“I’m this, I’m that, I must, I should”—can become the very reminder that we can wake up. If our world has contracted, if we get hooked by one thought or one feeling, we know it’s not the whole story! Discouraged? Confused? What is animating even that commentary? The question prompts a look inside. Attention mobilizes, goes wide, perhaps even opens into light-filled space where there is no “should.”
Waking up lights us up.
We don’t have to be a certain way to wake up. At any moment, the only thing that needs to change is where the attention is.
More and more, with attending to presence, staying collected, returning, we live in a new way. Like an inner sun coming out. Consciousness blazes up, and we are altogether different creatures here for the moment. Companions together in pure attention.

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Fran Shaw, Ph.D. is a longtime practitioner in a spiritual discipline, a college professor, and an award-winning author whose works include "Notes on The Next Attention," "Writing My Yoga," and "50 Ways to Help You Write." A talented editor and writing coach, Fran teaches at the University of Connecticut and conducts workshops across the country. She engages people in writing experiments that begin with a shift into greater awareness from which words freely flow. Her new #1 amazon bestseller "Lord Have Murphy: Waking Up in the Spiritual Marketplace" is a funny, punny, brilliantly attentive doorway to real connection with higher self and features the unrelenting humor of its narrator, Murphy.

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Thank you Fran, for this inspiring guidance for the start of the day, when “me” and “mine”, when all my “doings” are not yet fully mobilized and in full swing. When the train has not yet left the station. That is the time to read your resonant words. The subconscious, a nocturnal being, still accessible on waking up, with its non-dual, loving softness can allow us to be just there in the inbetweeness, in living contact with the stillness of a fine attention, and the gathering momentum of my day. Perhaps leaving gentle traces for the day when that still attention may visit us in the din of the of our busy day.

    1. Yes! So helpful, so heartening, knowing that at any moment during the day, it’s possible to receive, again and again, even a second’s breathing in of this Something finer animating us. Thank you, Ron, for adding to the conversation!

  2. It is rare that I wake up “on the wrong side of the bed” like I did this morning (Oh, I hate to admit that it ever happens). Your words soothed my humanity and encouraged the real “waking up that lights us up” to come back into play. I truly needed these words today and I’m very grateful that I was so graciously guided to them. I feel like I had a visit from Murphy. Thank you.

    1. Ah! Murphy (from “Lord Have Murphy”) wants to comment, Irene. At any moment, am I… “In the stream? Or up the creek?” It’s so great when we know that “up the creek” ain’t the whole story. It’s a moment of possibility. If I notice my world “has shrunk to the size of a kumquat,” that thought can call me to expand awareness. It’s still taking me a while to recognize that going away and coming back are both part of the same process that’s working us. (Thank you for letting me write this and remind myself!)

    1. We can be such a help to each other in this. Reading your words, I pause for a moment… and see what more can be received right now, just as I am. To stand in that place where both streams co-exist, usual-me and this inflowing of subtle energy… that changes everything. We are together in this, Aubrey. Thank you so much for writing.

    1. So glad to hear, Pam. Suddenly, there can be this contact with a higher energy, and there is joy in feeling for a moment that one belongs to That, yes? This unknown reality, always here, always available. An unlimited dimension opening for us… Attention is the guide.

  3. Thanks for reminding us how much easier/better it is for us to be aware of the moment in spite of the constant distractions to the contrary…

    1. It’s like coming home, finding again and again the consciousness that embraces all of it, limited by none of it. What a relief! I may have been down the rabbit hole a second ago, but now I’m grateful just to witness my breathing body in this shape sitting here now… and re-inhabit it with attention. Thank you, Jay, for this new moment.

    1. And to live in both streams at once, the everyday and the higher. When I allow attention to “go wide,” as you say, this Something blazes up in me, now, just as I am. Alive and aware in both streams, for a moment. Thank you so much, Sue!

  4. Fran, just this word-stream to the surface:
    Light waves pouring through over around these earth-bound structural obstacles. Boundaries give way to the sweeter wash of the boundless formless. No more you and me. The fluid welcome movement of palpable stillness.

    1. Out of the corner of my eye
      a demi-moon, a butterfly;
      and yet, an empty sky.

      A bumblebee, a little lie,
      a passing cloud, a dream gone by;
      an empty sky.

      Into silence, every sigh;
      no more you, no more I.
      Now, an empty sky.

      — from “Writing My Yoga: Poems for Presence” Thank you, Ashala. Our word-streams seem to be… One!

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