On Wednesday, I saw that Pemberton Wildlife Association past President Allen McEwan had shared a post to the community forum, and it made me happy. Doesn’t take much. LOL. It made me happy because I think our collective noticing is a real force… the things that we turn our attention to, individually, matter. That’s how Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs got so rich, y’all. They converted the pure energy of our attention, into $$$. But also, what we turn our attention towards collectively really gets a surge of energy from that… If we collectively focus on drama, we’ll feed drama. If we rally to fill the Food Banks shelves, we’ll feed one another. And if we all stop and pause and revel in the appearance of a rare bird in these parts… well, hopefully, we support this collective habitat we share.
Also, as nature teacher Jon Young shared in this TED talk, every time we pay attention with our senses to something in the natural world, we’re growing our sensory integration, we’re tethering ourselves to the world beyond our own minds with little threads and each time we do it, the thread thickens until it is a cord, a rope, until we are no longer isolated, but caught up in a web, a web that was generated by our own willingness to pay attention, and grow into relationship.
And that, he says, has been shown by science, to be the key to happiness.
This is the specific formula: “sensory integration is the foundation for emotional regulation.” Or, as I translate that, if you want to move from anxiety to calm, start weaving yourself into connection, by just smelling, hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, what is around you, what is outside.
So, here’s a goldfinch. Be happy. 🙂
A Lesser Goldfinch is wintering in the Glen, which is a pleasant surprise. This is considered a rare bird in the Pemberton area. Many thanks to those who are feeding it and putting up with a group of interested birders who have come by to see it in the last two days. Photo credit to Wayne Diakow.