Shortly after I last posted (January), I learned that a close family member has cancer. The effect of that phone call rippled out into all aspects of my life. I redirected energy toward supporting family members who were more directly involved in the treatment and the caregiving. I adjusted my priorities, increasing communication with family members and friends and decreasing involvement in optional activities. When necessary, I cancelled previous obligations. I also recognized the need to address my own personal adjustment to the likely ramifications of the diagnosis, and I supported others who were doing the same.
Initially, this shift of attention was subconscious and automatic. But soon, it was also conscious as I adjusted travel plans, scheduled leave from work, and considered my priorities for spring, summer, fall and beyond, adding contingency plans that previously would have seemed unnecessary.
As I reflect on these recent months, I am very thankful to have shunted life force toward a beloved soul. I don’t know what quantitative benefit my choice has actually made for the patient, but the qualitative impact is palpable.
“Where attention goes, energy flows.” Or to paraphrase the Buddha, with our loving thoughts and actions, we can change the world, one human connection at a time.
What is important to you? How might you adjust your energy flow to better utilize any energy you’re currently wasting on things that are not really important to you? Imagine it is many years from now and you are lying on your deathbed; what would you wish you had done more of starting today? And then, each day, begin again!