Last week I shared with you the wonderful word EXQUISITE. In that post, I defined the term and the different meanings associated with the word. (You can go back to read that post here.)
I had every intention of writing a second blog post related to this because I wanted to think through a concept Jonathan Fields introduced at the TRIBEWRITER Conference I attended in September.
In our journey to hone our voice in writing, but also in our life work, we so often give out, put out, produce only to find ourselves going through the motions, but feeling a void; of running out of ideas, direction or energy. That happens because we are not effectively refueling or putting back into ourselves.
Jonathan challenged us to develop an ‘inner key’ that is more about input rather than output. He invited us to intentionally sit down with embodied teachers and go deep with them. In one of those conversations he had with author Andy Forsthoefel that Jonathan found his “unlock KEY”. Andy walked across America and wrote the stories along the way in a book called Walking to Listen.
Jonathan asked Andy why he chose to walk all the way across America instead of just traveling to places to get some of the stories he shares in his book. Andy responded that the walking allowed him to pay “exquisite attention” to world around him and the people in it.
That’s it! Exquisite attention – that is the unlock key!
At this point, Jonathan was already considered by most to be highly successful in his own right. The Good Life Project is a result of Jonathan’s life work. He has books, a podcast, even summer camp for grown ups. So much of what Jonathan was doing was working. But when he heard Andy talk about EXQUISITE ATTENTION, he knew this was a missing piece.
Practicing being present,
Letting go of what you expect to happen
embracing what is
With great awe in his voice, he described the benefits of being able to do that, “everything becomes more vivid- more colorful. Interactions become more authentic.”
Steve Jobs spoke of that practice as “something that makes the impossible possible.”
Here at Green Hope Coaching, I’ve talked a lot about the power of paying attention. I’ve written blogs about it. I’ve hosted groups like Tracing Hope and S.N.A.P. it to help bring in to focus those things that happen in our lives that stir us to the core. Create space to listen to what moments or people are speaking into us. Click To Tweet
I know the tremendous value in the discipline of noticing. But paying EXQUISITE ATTENTION. That moves the bar up —exponentially.
I wish I could give you all the examples Jonathan gave of ways that EXQUISITE ATTENTION changes lives. But one example that peaked my interest was a research report related to marriage & divorce.
The results indicated that couples that divorced only notice 3 out of 10 of the attempts to connect made by the other spouse. While couples that stay together notice 9 out of 10.
How much are you noticing in your marriage? Just by paying EXQUISITE ATTENTION to your spouse, you are building a better marriage.
What else does EXQUISITE ATTENTION affect?
What kind of energy and attentiveness are you using to pay EXQUISITE ATTENTION in…
Your relationships with family or friends?
or with God even?
What does EXQUISITE ATTENTION look like for you?
Ok- I’m going to stop there for now. Three questions are my limit. (ok, I see I snuck in a few more.) Pick one question and share your thoughts in the comments below.
How can we challenge each other to be EXQUISITE?
(AH! another question!)
I really want to hear what you think about this.
Finish this year in EXQUISITE fashion!
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