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Monkey Brains

    Are you paying attention? Really? Are you?

    Or is your mind elsewhere already? Have you jumped a couple of lines to see how this ends? Is 300 words too long to wait?

    If it is and you are then settle down (or at least try to!) what you’re doing is utterly typical and completely in fashion

    Have you noticed that so much of your life is postponed, distracted, ill-focused? You walk down the street listening to music that reminds you of your past while emailing a friend about something that may or may not happen in the future. In the meantime – where are you?

    Sort of no-where. Sort of.

    And as much as you can recognise and even smile at this habitual distracted state of affairs what we prize so much in life are those moments when we focus our attention – and when others are focusing theirs.

    Consider X-Factor finals and the Olympics. What these seemingly disparate events offer are lessons in attention. Hopeful singers and aspirant athletes are putting every singly fibre of their being into that moment. We can see their focus, sense their concentration. And in that moment we get focused too. A big part of the attraction in such moments is that everything else falls away from us too in the total mutual absorption.

    Its no wonder we cry when they finish. It’s a release.

    You can develop your attention. This won’t necessarily turn you into the next Robbie Williams or Jessica Ennis but you can slow down the monkey mind and gradually see the ways in which thoughts appear and disappear. Using mindfulness you can learn to gain a new distance on your thoughts. Such techniques will give you the sense of choosing what thoughts to engage with rather than rushing into an immediate response and then looking for the next problem. Slowing down will make your attention more focused and selective.

    Call or write now before your monkey mind jumps to the next group of thoughts!