‘The biggest present you can give to someone is your presence’. Those are the words of Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, however what I have found in my own life is that it takes a conscious effort to give undivided attention to the people I love when spending time with them.
The main thing that steals my attention in my relationship to my wife is technology. If I don’t stay mindful at home in the evening I will get distracted by my laptop, when what I really want is to spend time with her. To avoid this we had to set up a rule banning all technology after 9pm, and it really helped improve the quality of our interaction.
Maybe you experience something similar in your own life?
With the increasing use of technology and patterns of multitasking our attention span gets shorter and shorter if we don’t make an active effort to focus and be attentive to what is going on right now.
Whether it’s with our partner, colleague, friend or our children, the most precious thing we can give to the other is our undivided attention. To be able to be fully present we need to set the stage for this, and if your smart phone is in front of you with notifications and emails ticking in chances are that you will be distracted and not very present. By being conscious about this and being mindful we can create the right conditions for full attention.
Sometimes it might happen that we simply are too distracted by thoughts and we can’t focus, instead of engaging halfheartedly with someone, it can be useful to say it as it is and ask for a ‘check out’ and then find another time instead.
By providing full attention we can create a stronger and deeper connection with another person. When was the last time you gave your full attention to someone?
Watch the following video of Brian on the magic of providing full attention.
TRY IT OUT Next time you are in a conversation with someone try to focus all your concentration towards what the person is expressing. Focus your feeling concentration, all your thinking concentration, all your seeing concentration, all your hearing concentration and focus this towards the other person. Practice being fully present and notice how it feels.
Co-founder of TeamUp
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