The Power of Paying Attention

In this article about focus, the well-known author Daniel Goleman describes our capacity for paying attention as a “mental muscle”.  He goes on to explain that meditation and mindfulness can sharpen our ability to focus.  The need to multitask and be “productive” can rob us of the experience of enjoying each moment.  People who have experienced developmental trauma sometimes live their lives as a problem to be solved.  This approach is more about enduring life rather than enjoying it. If we practice mindfulness, a simple task like loading the dishwasher can become more enjoyable. It’s as simple as noticing your breath as you place each plate into the rack.

Making Time For The Psyche


In our busy world we rush from one thing to the next. It seems like “busy” has become the latest “drug of choice”.  We are plugged into our phones and computers, responding immediately to texts, calls and emails.  I was in the restroom at the doctor’s office when I overheard a woman conducting a business call in the next stall; most of us have seen people driving down the freeway going 35 miles per hour and swerving between lanes while talking on their cell phones. There is a trendy 12 Step meeting in Beverly Hills where the format states “Texting is ok but please go to the back of the room so as not to distract the speaker or other members.”  It seems like we are trying to cram as many activities as possible into one day without truly being present for any one thing. I sometimes ask myself “Where did the day go?”

Dr Michael Eigen, a psychologist and psychoanalyst said “Time is God’s most precious gift, God’s most pervasive filter. To do away with time is to do away with life. The psyche needs time to work, the mind needs time to think, the soul needs time to feel, and life needs time to evolve.” I find that some of my most creative ideas come to me when I am preparing a meal in my kitchen or out for a run in the early morning.  Sometimes I forgo listening to my beloved Beatles music and drive to work in silence so I can create some time for inspiration. Therapy helps you carve out and prioritize time for self-learning, and one of my I specialties is using mindfulness to help my clients create space in their lives to recover their authentic selves.