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What do you pay attention to? As you read this, become aware of how you’re attending to these words. Are you distracted or focused? How do you pay attention?

Your attention is powerful – full of power. The kind of attention I am talking about is your non-judgmental, welcoming, loving attention. This attention energizes and enlivens all things in your life. Your attention arises from inside you, from that presence we’ll call your inner self. What you pay attention to and how you pay attention is how you use your power.

When you reclaim your attention, you reclaim your power, your true power. And this leads to a more peaceful, fulfilling and creative life. Here are five ways you can take your power back:

1. During the day, notice what ‘captures’ your attention.

Notice what grabs you away from what you really want to focus on. Take your power back. Determine what you want to see and experience in life and keep your eyes out for that. Choose to see ‘what’s right’ rather than looking for what’s wrong.’ Notice how life is happening ‘for you’ rather than ‘to you.’ And, instead of assigning labels, judgments, or having preconceived notions about people, places, situations, and things, see them as they are – meet them with your open mind and welcoming heart.

2. Determine how you focus.

Are you present to what is going on? Or are you distracted? When you keep your attention on the moment at hand, you can access to your own wisdom and power. It’s in the present moment you make choices. It’s in the present moment that you live your life. When you notice you aren’t paying attention to what’s going because you are focused on the past or the future, choose to refocus your attention back to the moment at hand. This is where your life is. You can do it.

3. Be more self-aware.

During your day make it a habit to turn your attention inward and feel your body and breath – they too will anchor your attention to the present moment. Notice your body’s response to the choices you make. It doesn’t lie. When you feel uncomfortable, unloved, and unhappy, don’t distract yourself. Instead, feel your feelings, take responsibility for them. And, take your power back by choosing more nourishing situations or environments; whether it’s the company you keep, the work you do, the food you eat, or the environment you are in.

4. Be nicer to yourself.

Honor yourself. Instead of focusing on how others treat you or feel about you, or trying to please others or compare yourself to others, take your power back and ‘do you’. How are you treating you? How do you feel about you? Are you honoring yourself? Love yourself, nurture yourself. Honor yourself and others by being honest. Instead of saying yes when you mean no, or no when you mean yes, tell the truth. It’s a start.

5. Give yourself 5 – 30 minutes every day to be still and quiet through meditation.

Find a focus and turn your attention inward. Meditation allows you to connect with this source of your attention. You can focus on a word you say to yourself, or the sensation of your body or your breath. Take your power back from your dependence on the external world: your ‘stuff’, your environment, and other people’s opinions. Become more inner-self-aware, or what I call soul-centered. Find out who you truly are, what matters to you, what your heart desires, and where your true source of happiness lies.

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Sarah McLean is an inspiring contemporary meditation teacher who makes meditation and its benefits accessible to everyone. She's also the author of the best-selling book, Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation (Hay House) which Deepak Chopra calls, "entertaining, informative, and inspiring for even the most experienced meditator."

Sarah’s background reflects her commitment to self-awareness. She has lived in numerous meditation communities, a Transcendental Meditation center in Lancaster, Massachusetts, a Zen Buddhist Monastery where she spent two years in training, and six months in an ashram in India. She also served as education director for the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Southern California and was the director of the School for the Work of Byron Katie. She has been teaching meditation and mind/body health for over 20 years and is now the founding director of the McLean Meditation Institute in Sedona, Arizona). The Institute which offers meditation gatherings and training, intimate weekend retreats, and an international teacher certification program.

Her mission is to make meditation so easy that anyone can learn it and use it to immediately increase their inner peace, happiness, and fulfillment. She has studied and traveled the world developing and sharing her transformative techniques, including the Simple, Easy, Every Day Meditation® Method.

She lives in Sedona, Arizona where she meditates, writes, teaches and does what she can to promote a peaceful, sustainable lifestyle. Her book, Love & the Power of Attention, will be released May 2014 by Hay House.

“Meditation makes it possible to live a soul-centered life, a life lived from your own unique and peaceful center, your own soul. Each one of us has the ability to live in this way: peacefully, powerfully, authentically, and with compassion. I am dedicated to helping you find your soul-center through meditation. If each one of us finds this center point of peace, then together we can make this world a sweeter place for all beings.”

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