Attention and At Ease
“If you’re going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
General Colin Powell
I was raised in the Marine Corps, perpetual boot camp to be exact. My father was a career Drill Instructor so I had many years of Basic Training from one of the Corps best. Strict manners and an implicit code of conduct were expected and you better believe delivered! Yes Sir, Yes Ma’am. No task was to small to give it your best efforts. This is one of the ways I learned to develop respect for myself and what was in my possession, demonstrated by how I took care of both. My bed is made every morning, perfectly I might add, and even if I am staying in a hotel, I still do it!
OK, a bit compulsive perhaps, but hey, it just feels right.
“Keep the discipline and the discipline will keep you.” Those words came from another mentor along the way. And man, what a perfect reminder for my daily practice of meditation and prayer. When I keep it, it indeed keeps me.
I also remember watching the recuits go through drills and dad shouting “Attention” and “At Ease” as the men snapped to and then slightly relaxed. I think of those words today in a new and powerful way. Attention is the ability to take possession of the mind, what I am thinking, then to pause and realize, I am not my thoughts. They are not thinking me, I am in fact “thinking them.”
This is one of the many benefits of meditation. To pay attention to my thoughts without identifying with them and simply allow them to pass by. This practice helps create dominion over my life. And the command, “Standing at Ease,” means you are still focused, but in a more relaxed non-resistant state, which allows the inspiration to flow. Today I place my Attention on the feeling tone of alignment with my Inner Being. I focus and concentrate on the essence of love, joy, wisdom and kindness so that my vibration rises, allowing me to resonate with God Itself. I then become a little more relaxed and “At Ease,” feeling the flow of Loves presence.
Resistance has fallen away and I’ve become pliable, receptive and available for Inspiration. General Powell was right, Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude. A beautiful combination of Attention and being at Ease. My Dad and I are much more alike than I ever thought. I think he would be proud.
With loving care and discipline, I place my attention on all that is good and feel the ease of my life unfolding beautifully in every way. Grateful for my father here on earth and in heaven with profound appreciation, respect and love. Semper Fi