Welcome to 2021—may it be a year to celebrate!
We’re going to offer you a simple suggestion to help make 2021 a year to celebrate. If you know who we are, you can skip this paragraph and go right to the good stuff. For the thousands of you who joined our mailing list in the past few months and haven’t heard a word from us—we’re sorry we neglected you. We are Hannah and Jake Eagle, the co-founders of Live Conscious, and our purpose is to help people live more consciously.
Okay, here’s our suggestion for the year ahead. Choose where you place your attention—choose who and what you attend to every day.
Where we place our attention determines the quality of our lives.
Have you heard of the “attention economy?” In short, the attention economy aims “…to keep us in a profitable state of anxiety, envy, and distraction.”* Profitable for social media companies and businesses who hijack our attention and distract us from attending to the most meaningful things in our lives.
We believe that unwittingly participating in the attention economy is antithetical to living consciously, so we have opted out. Last year we stopped writing articles because we were tired of trying to come up with catchy headlines and optimal search terms that would drive traffic to our website. That’s why you didn’t hear much from us in 2020. Rather than writing articles last year, we dedicated our attention to two things.
- We focused our attention on reducing suffering related to COVID. We did this by teaming up with UC Berkeley, NorthBay Hospital, and Dr. Michael Amster to conduct a large scale awe study. We proved that our original and simple awe practice—which only requires a couple of minutes a day—decreases anxiety, depression, pain, loneliness and increases wellbeing, joy, and mindfulness. It was a gratifying experience and a great place for us to direct our attention.
- We focused attention on the people who have participated in our courses—our retreats and online courses—by holding weekly Zoom sessions and engaging in ongoing personal email correspondence. In the process of attending to so many people we love, we filled our hearts.
Not only did we choose two large projects on which to focus our attention, but hour by hour, we shifted our attention away from watching too much news to reading great books and listening to inspiring music. We dropped off social media and attended to our garden. We gave extra attention to notice the beauty surrounding us—even during a pandemic—and find the humor in being human.
The Year Ahead
In the year ahead, we will be conducting more research on awe, and we’ll give you more attention—sharing ideas, tools, and practices. We will not spend any time or attention trying to create catchy headlines, so if you want to learn more about our work, look for our emails with the following headline: SECURITY LOVE AWE.
We use these three words because they represent what we have to share with you. The model we pioneered, Three Levels of Consciousness, offers practical ways to experience security, love, and awe. And although we won’t be conducting any in-person retreats during the pandemic, we will be offering online courses. Each course we offer is twenty-one days long. Most of them are limited to sixteen participants, incorporating our unique “buddy system,” whereby everyone pairs up with another course participant.
So, as you move into the New Year, consider where you place your attention? What and who do you attend to? Instead of allowing others to hijack your attention, pulling you from one shallow thing to the next, what will your life be like if you learn to direct your attention to more profound human experiences and more meaningful connections? If that idea captivates your attention, keep an eye out for our emails with the headline SECURITY LOVE AWE. We also invite you to explore our next online course, The Power of Awe, which you can find by clicking this link.
In January, we’ll be redesigning our website homepage to make it easier for you to learn more about the three online courses we offer: How We Make Meaning, Thrilled To Be Alive, and The Power of Awe.
We wish you a Happy New Year.
With love and laughter,
Hannah and Jake Eagle
* How To Do Nothing, Resisting the Attention Economy, by Jenny Odell