We are Lacking in our Attention to Signals

We are in constant relationship with signals, as senders or receivers. There is not a moment–or nanosecond for that matter–that a signal is not sent or received. Response is an individual matter.

Each signal is a demand on our attention, and often, we feel bombarded. In order to be part of 21st century life, it feels as if we must be sender and receiver simultaneously.

At what cost to existence?

Bloom of Peace 0613For me, signals are the energy of existence, a constant competition for our attention whether as a hand gesture or the tugging of “our gut” begging us to respond.

Beyond our physical senses are magnetic fields and electric currents, and the technology that allows us to send and receive 24/7.

And what of the signals we do not know about? I suspect there are signals sent that remain unheard for there is much yet to explore in this dimension of existence that we inhabit.

Yet, we do not lack for signals. We are, however, lacking in our attention to signals.

In response to the signal overload of our lives, we pride ourselves on our ability to send and receive multiple signals. We believe we are good at it.

We split our attention among signals, responding as if each were not a unique signal. Yet, as weary as we are at the number of signals demanding our attention, we anxiously await the next signal coming through.

Our mind-body is all about maintaining balance, right down to each and every cell. It is a constant challenge for our mind-body to keep shifting in this scramble for signals.

Our mind is not hardwired for such splintering. There is no multiple signal software for the heart.

More than we ever admit, we mix up signals. Sometimes, we completely miss a signal while other times, we send a signal best left not sent.

It is a rerouting of the energy of existence, a change in the coming and going. The nature of our response creates a new series of signals. The change has been sent.

It is like an O. Henry story, in which signal and after signal is sent, often in desperation or good intention. Yet, in the final sentence of the story, we discover the signals scrambled. Attention misplaced or never given at all.

For things to reveal themselves to us,

we need to be ready to abandon our views about them

(Thich Nhat Hanh)

Moments are a series of signals, options readily available to us. We need to receive each signal singularly so that its Clarity in the wild 0413unique story may unfold as it originated.

These stories are the moments of our lives. We owe each one our undivided attention so that we may respond mindfully.

It is for the earth to spin on its axis. Ours is not to spin but to stand and receive the signals–the experiences of our lives. How else will things reveal themselves to us?

Always, the choice is ours. We can focus on receiving a clear signal and respond or live a life of static, simultaneously sending and receiving, unaware of how we are changing existence.

20 thoughts on “We are Lacking in our Attention to Signals

  1. Oh boy, do I pick up on too many signals. I am on signal overload. But they just won’t stop. So I unplug. I try to shut off my receptors. Too many signals mess with my mind Karen. Fabulous way of explaining our modern life. Thx. 🙂

    Like

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Karen. I suspect meditation has helped me with this sending and receiving, much as it has done for everything in my life. In meditation, the thoughts just roll through, similar to signals for they, too, are constant. If I do not attach, the thoughts and signals are clear, and I am able to respond rather than react. Thanks, Karen.
      Karen

      Like

  2. In self-protection I often turn a blind-eye to the madly-signalling-now. I am a physically slow reader as I read every word with attention and I am similarly a slow analyzer of the signals sent by the world on such a constant basis. My only shot at survival (or at the least sanity) is to sometimes be inert and unresponsive. Sure, there is a lot going on, but I am often the rock lying in the sun. The business is irrelevant as I quietly receive the warmth and light.

    Like

    1. And as you and I have discussed many times, silence is a response, a powerful one. I have always admired your ability to be “the rock lying in the sun” for how else can one receive signals clearly? A clear signal allows for a response. I think static allows for reaction. Thanks, Adrian.
      Karen

      Like

  3. Such an interesting post, Karen. This is so true: “Yet, as weary as we are at the number of signals demanding our attention, we anxiously await the next signal coming through.” And as I have just discovered meditation, I see it as the answer to all questions currently being posed…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you are discovering meditation, Cynthia. I have not been meditating long, just over three years but I begin my day with an hour’s meditation–I gradually worked up to an hour–on those rare occasions that I do not meditate first thing in the morning, it is as if my day never begins. Usually, I stop what I am doing and meditate so I can become mindful of the day I have. I, too, see meditation as the “answer to all questions….”
      Karen

      Like

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Ann. I did read the article and enjoyed it very much. It really delights me to see these articles becoming more mainstream. Appreciating the mind-body as one has changed my life and that is not an exaggeration. Learning to communicate with my body has changed my relationship with disease and pain so we are now a team, ever adjusting for balance. Thanks, Ann!

      Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an insightful post! Your points about priding ourselves in the ability to multi-task, live mindlessly, etc., is spot on — and something I imagine we all have to consciously work to shift away from in today’s world, should we desire true fulfillment and lives of purpose. I believe it was Ariana Huffington who said we need to “stop glamorizing busy.” Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we really do “glamorize” busy. We seem to equate busyness with productivity and perhaps even efficiency. There may be a few “busy” moments in which we really are productive and efficient but most of the time I suspect something is lost or missed. I know that has been true in my life. Often, it was years later that I realized that I was not being productive at all. Thanks, August, as your work reflects this philosophy of living mindfully. Thank you for that as well.

      Karen

      Like

  5. I think those of us that are highly sensitive, wired to the max, feel the constant receiving especially. And it can be exhausting. I have found it challenging to remain open but have enough filters that I don’t take on things thar are not mine . . .

    Like

    1. It is a challenge to remain open for there is so much static. Like you, I use a filter. Time and again, I find that staying present, focusing on the moment I have, removes the static and the signal I receive is quite clear. For me, the challenge is focusing yet I know that I can be completely present within a single breath. It is always worth the return trip. Thanks, Kay.
      Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This makes me think of A Course in Miracles, which makes a strong point that “perception is projection,” i.e. all the signals we receive in some way reflect our own mind and it’s conscious or unconscious beliefs and expectations. When we perceive the world, we are actually looking in a mirror of sorts, according to this idea. Interestingly, it relates to zen concepts as well, in that in zen, we practice to achieve a quiet mind, and when the mind becomes completely quiet (which mine has not done as of yet), we “wipe the mirror clean” and perceive the universe in its true form. Anyway, I’m still working on that hypothesis. I’ll keep you posted if I ever reach that state. 🙂

    Like

    1. I am not there either, Craig; do let me know if you reach that state. I agree that here A Course in Miracles and Zen mirror each other but then, I have found many mirrors among the major traditions so I am not surprised. It is in the stillness that we perceive ourselves, the Universe. The connection is clear. I will let you know if I reach that state as well. 😉

      Karen

      Like

  7. I like this a lot. There is something very important in the choice to reject the static. Slowing down and focusing is a powerful way that we can begin to change our culture. I’m wondering what that power is about? What comes is something to do with simplicity, humility, and dignity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simplicity, humility, and dignity–I agree, Ruth–therein lies the power to affect cultural change. And yes, we have to focus, and live the moments we are given. Above, Kay mentions filters; for me, focus is the filter for staying present. Thanks, Ruth. Glad you enjoyed the post.
      Karen

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s