Monday, 6 May 2013

Pay attention and get a great return.

All things considered I'd say 'Rubber Soul' is my favourite Beatles album. Released in 1965, for me it marked their sublime transition from the 'yeah yeah yeahs' to the early stirrings of their fascination with the music of the East.

I was just nine when Rubber Soul came out, so I suspect I only really fell in love with it (if you can do that with an LP) some years later. Mind you, perhaps I shouldn't entirely underestimate my early precociousness, as a day or two ago I dug out my first autobiography which I wrote as part of a school assignment in the same year that The Beatles were recording 'Michelle' and 'Norwegian Wood'.

As you might expect, the life story of a nine-year-old is pretty unlikely to be full of extraordinary doings. Mine certainly wasn't. But what had drawn me to it was a question I had about what it might have been like for me to have had a spell in hospital as a fairly young child, and there was my young self leaving it in writing for my older self to read nearly half a century later.

Apparently my time in hospital had passed reasonably agreeably, with plenty of comics to read, in addition to a well-stocked book cupboard, but literally the most vivid recollection was how very bright, colourful and clear everything looked on the journey home when it was time to check out.

After long days and nights in a pastel-painted hospital ward, I'm sure the contrast had a lot to do with it, but that heightened feeling of awareness and consciousness still comes back to me decades later.

Fortunately you don't need to go into hospital to achieve this. I think you can summon up a similar state of attentiveness by simply willing yourself to notice everything around you properly and in meticulous detail.

It can be during as something as simple as a walk down the street, but who knows what you'll experience as you engage all of your senses? Look, listen, smell. Feel and taste, even. (Well perhaps not.) Mainly, though, just pay attention.

I'm making an effort to do so myself as my last week with Moodscope goes by in something of a blur. My last day is this Thursday so if you haven't yet done so please register your email address with me at my website so I can keep in touch with you (and also give you a free copy of my new ebook):

http://www.joncousins.com