Have you thought about the power of our focus recently?
“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything
you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles
around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude
will help you to focus your life in awe.” ~ Wayne Dyer
I moved back to Whiteside Mountain for the winter this week. Each day up here at nearly 5,000 feet in elevation has offered a powerful reminder of all the ways I am still not fully paying attention.
Even after having revamped how I move in the world. Even after dialing in my habits and rituals. Even after making creative expression a daily event in my life.
Even after having written a book about the power of inspired creativity and the importance of knowing what it is that stirs our souls, moves us to tears, fills us with appreciation and joy.
It has been a supremely busy week, packed with meetings and To-Dos.
The Ease of Old Habits
However, being “too busy” is the old chestnut I used to drag out and hold up as the reason why I was lost inside my computer and phone screens. Lost from my own focused thinking. Lost from proactive appreciation and deep awareness.
It is so easy to slide right back into old habits when we begin to drift almost imperceptibly away from ourselves.
The magnificence of this mountain and her energy brought bracing, cold water to my dullness, shook me gently, and lifted my gaze upward. Reminded me that the hourglass sands go in one direction. Reminded me that I can put down the rock-filled backpack grooving into my shoulders.
Reminded me there is another way forward.
The Power of Our Focus
Take a moment and consider this: What and who has the sunshine of your attention and focus? When was the last time you gifted your singular attention for hours and days to a person, your creativity, your own health and wellbeing, and/or a passion project you are hoping to launch?
Quantum physics tells us when we focus our attention on a wave, it becomes a particle. When we draw our attention to someone or something, we co-create with that person or thing. In effect, we bring things and people and concepts and art alive with our focus.
Art and beauty do the very same thing to us:
“I mean, works of art are not just disembodied, entirely abstract, conceptual things. They are embodied in the words they’re in or in paint or in stone or in musical notes or whatever it might be and much of that power and the fact that those things also affect us neurophysicologically. When you read a poem it affects your heart rate, your breathing, you feel things in your bodily frame….” ~ Iain McGilchrist
What would happen in our businesses, our lives if we were to become supremely intentional about heightening our energetic exchange of appreciative focus without judgment? What would happen if we were to offer that to ourselves?
Taking even 15-20 minutes each morning to journal, sit in quiet, or make a quick (and purposely unimpressive) sketch of an everyday object to notice its unexpected beauty can transport us to this place we rarely visit.
We can look at images of the kind of art that we love, letting ourselves get lost in color, contrast, design. We can read one poem or listen to one being read aloud to us. We can take one photograph of something we find to be beautiful.
I believe such actions form the basis of self-love, sanity, calm. We empty out, fill up, empty out, fill up in a gentle, circular motion, ever climbing up the mountain of our True Self.
We focus our attention and let what we are tuned to transform us, take us to a new place where possibility, courage, and self-love reside.