“Our energy follows our attention, always.
“Our attention is less likely to be hijacked by emotional anesthetics and habituated thought patterns as we learn to direct it. As we make a practice of noticing where our attention is going, we can more easily see the intentions underlying our actions, thus becoming more responsible for the choices we make.” Barnet Bain, The Book of Doing and Being: Rediscovering Creativity in Life, Love, and Work
“Energy flows where attention goes”—this isn’t a new idea, but it’s a powerful one, as Barnet Bain observes. Barnet is an accomplished filmmaker whose credits include the Oscar winner, What Dreams May Come and the television movie, Homeless to Harvard. His book is filled with inspiring tools and techniques to jump start creativity – I love it!
At one point, Barnet outlines what he calls the “energetic ecosystem” that stokes creativity. Here’s an overview of this energy pattern (with my descriptions of how they play out):
Intention: According to my handy Century Dictionary, “intention”involves, “a determining mentally upon some action or result, a purpose or design.” When we act purposefully, we mobilize ourselves and alert the muses and our inner resources that we are ready for action.
Attention: When we direct our mind and senses, focusing our powers of observation on the subject at hand, we are attuned and awake: We are open to ideas, feelings, and insights. We are harnessing our gifts in service of a goal and the universe often sends opportunities and exciting forms of discovery our way.
Energy: As Barnet notes, when our intention leads to attention – relaxed, open awareness – energy follows it and enlivens our senses and insights. We feel strong, nourished, pumped up, capable of achieving what we intend and taking action to pursue our intention.
Responsibility: All the resources supporting us — intention, attention, energy – flow into the vessel of responsibility: We are challenged to make good on our goal. We’ve brought powerful tools to our task. Now we need to call on will and discipline to see it through.
Choice: Along with responsibility comes choice. All along the path of our creative endeavor we are challenged to choose, to make decisions, to select and pursue.
Follow-through: Whatever our intention and wherever we’ve put our energy, we are called on to push through to completion – to bring our work to fruition.
Lets put this pattern to the test and see where it takes us as we all write on!