1 Attention is love: The truest expression of love is attention.
2 Connect attentively: Pay attention to your loved ones, your parents, your children. Slow down and connect attentively!
3 Focus on the details: Attention to detail is truly what accomplishments are built upon!
Attention is an energy, a focused assurance that we gift to someone when we care for what they are saying or doing, and when they ask for our time.
I know that when I am fully attentive, it’s the highest form of love and respect that I can offer another human being. Sometimes, when I am out for dinner with a friend and I am not fully attentive in that moment, I see the quality of conversation diminishing. We then end up having conversations that kindle neither the mind nor the spirit! This is why I always suggest that we offer our full attention as our truest expression of love!
When I think of attention, my thoughts go to one of my earliest childhood memories of my father lingering in the garden as soon as he came back from the office. We had a great gardener who used to take care of the garden, but my father had grown up in an agricultural background and loved being in the garden. He lovingly tended to the plants and flowers every day. As I mentioned before, we moved every few years as navy brats, but my father always managed to find a garden of his own so he could tend to plants. Hedges, flowers, even cacti—any living green plant was loved by Dad.
In Pune, we came home before dark and helped my father water the roses. The roses had to be watered early in the morning or at sundown. Roses, if watered in sweltering heat, will wither as they open up to receive water and cannot take too much heat. As the roses would grow and bloom, my father used to show them to us and say with great joy, ‘Look at how this pink rose has bloomed!’ or ‘Look at the colours the petals have taken on. Pay attention, you will see the change every day’.
I used to love the time I spent every day in the garden with my brother, sister and father, carefully looking at the roses and watering the garden. Day by day, as we watered carefully, we enjoyed seeing the roses bloom and grow. We helped fertilize the soil with tea leaves; my mother is Irish so we always had plenty of tea! We usually spent teatime with Mom before heading off to play in the playground. Then the evenings were spent with Dad in the garden with Mom usually around, but she ensured that she gave us that time to spend separately with Dad. She has a special way of sharing everything—even time—which I have come to understand and appreciate. Ha, what a detour we have taken down memory lane! But this is the powerful grasp of attention.
This is how moments are made, moments that we can return to, time after time in our memories. Paying attention to something, lovingly and with due care has now become a habit. Attentiveness is consciousness and consciousness is life. This is how you live in the moment!
(Excerpts from 3 TIPS: The Essentials for Peace, Joy and Success by Meera Gandhi)