Original Link : https://medium.com/interfaith-now/be-still-3446e78abb34

A rough comprehension of the origin of inner discomfort

I felt like my soul, my innards, whatever the intangible element that I call myself that isn’t the flesh and bone part of me was in a state of turmoil. It had felt like a grinding, a friction, an irritation of sorts was occurring within it for weeks. I sat down at a coffee shop hoping to gather my thoughts. To pool together a rough comprehension to the origin of my discomfort with a pen and paper.

Ultimately, I wanted the friction to stop and for stillness to take its place. I was a pile of irritation at everything around me. The comments, questions, remarks that exist in normal life and require some sort of acknowledgment in return made me want to plug my ears, close my eyes, and walk away into solitude. I desperately wanted to be left alone.

As I sat thinking about my longed-for stillness, my epic coffee shop realization birthed itself. The friction inside me and irritation outside me is linked to my inability to manage my attention well. I spend my days responding and reacting to the prompts around me. Be it people making mindless talk that requires reaction, or be it Facebook, Instagram, Facebook messenger, text messages from my lover, text messages from family, or emails, a pinch of my focus is given to the stream of bells and whistles around me. With every pinch of attention paid to 99.8% non-urgent things, I get a little emptier, I grip myself a little less, and this frustrated feeling of friction stirs.

Stillness can’t come until I re-collect my attention and that won’t occur until I become a little more particular about what gets attention. My attention is synonymous to my energy and that energy is mine to use to put shit in motion, to form new experiences. I live a fragmented life unable to get traction on anything if its wastefully spent on everything around me. I can expect to feel fragmented, because I literally am.

The world is a buffet of politics, religion, angry people ranting, fearful people ranting, friends ranting empty rants, opposition, complaining, comparing, opinions, limits, judgments, parameters, belief, disbelief, Iphone, traffic, radio, spotify, sunsets, status quos, puppies and kitties. I’ve got to think with some seriousness about what type of life I want to exist in. That answer will become the filter of my attention. What does not make the cut remains with me, carefully guarded each day in respect to its harnessed power when focused. The ancient phrase be still and know may be rephrased in this instance as guard your attention and know what you’re aiming at. As my attention goes, so does my emotion, so does my energy, and so does the very power I have that gives life the traction of creation.

Stillness isn’t exactly a practice of quieting the mind but rather a practice of guarding attention and the exit door to my energy. However, guarding my attention coincidently quiets my mind.

Purpose your attention and be still my friends.