Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Keep Your Focus

A photographer takes a picture of a beautiful single flower that grew through the concrete of an urban sidewalk. He focuses solely on that flower so that all you see is its vibrant colors, beautiful lines and awesome "I can grow anywhere" attitude. Now take that same flower and pan out to see it's entire surroundings and your mouth would be open in disbelief. How could a flower so beautiful and so perfectly unharmed, be on a street with condemned buildings, graffiti or trash? Well, it's all about your focus. Do you choose to see that flower for all it's worth or do you look at its surroundings and write it off? Where it happens to be at that moment really has nothing to do with its will or its beauty, does it? 

In life it's all about focus. Where do you let your thoughts lie? Do you see the beauty through the rubble or do you choose to bypass beauty just because the elements aren't ideal? So often we get caught up in what life is supposed to look like that we don't even see what's right in front of us as a blessing. We compartmentalize what it means to be happy, successful, beautiful, kind,etc. It comes in so many colors, shapes and sizes. Every person's moment of bliss is different and that is why the world has such a gorgeous rainbow of people. We all get to choose what our slice of __________ (fill in the blank) looks like. Pretty amazing! 

So, why does it take so long for some of us (I being one of that some) to let this click in our minds? Why are we so concerned with outside voices, forces and ideas that really have no clue what it means to inhabit these shoes? Why do we let ourselves get hurt, feel less than or question our inner voice? Well, I believe it's all about focus. Just because people look at you and create what you are in their mind based on your surroundings, looks or success level doesn't mean they are right. In those moments, you have to stay focused on who you really are.  It's tricky and there's no way I've even come close to mastering it, but it does require daily effort. You must silence those mean voices in your brain and create a new dialogue in your mind. For instance, you're catching up with someone you haven't seen in a while and they say, "You're still working there?!?!?!" in a tone that is clearly rude. You have two options here - you can think ill of them straight away and dismiss them or you can focus on you. Focus on the fact that you really love your job and question them back if you must, but don't wilt or make excuses for something you clearly love doing. So often we dumb ourselves down or act like our thoughts don't mean as much as someone older or seemingly wiser and it only does ourselves a disservice. If you go along with them and change your thinking to mirror theirs, you're also doing them a disservice. You're leading them to believe 2 things: 1 - that it's okay to talk negatively about your life and 2- that you feel something you actually don't. You've got to own your present state of being with a firm belief in it. You are relevant and everything that makes up your life matters! 

For this gal - yep, this girl typing away as she works at the job some deem below her... Well, this gal is at work on a Wednesday and she's writing. Yes, she's interrupted by answering phones and creating schedules, but see she's interrupted and not the other way around. Okay, let's get out of that third person rant. See I have a job where I have a lot of time to do what I love. I work hard and I'm always ready to get pulled back into the work, but for the most part I get to live in a land of writing. My greatest love affair is with words. How you can mold them to shape an entire scene. How you can rhyme them to get a point across in a more graceful way. Just now, as I type, I get goosebumps because I'm tapping into my word space. Thoughts are continuously bouncing around this brain and most of the time they come out in rhyming form, but every now and then I just feel compelled by an idea or vision and I have to rant. Blogs are amazing for this type of thought and so here it is... FOCUS. A small word with big intention. I heard that word and instantly got a vision of a beautiful daisy growing out of the sidewalk. I panned out in my mind and I saw a desolate, trash ridden and filthy city. With that image came inspiration and the entire first paragraph of this blog. 

Focus is the key to everything. When we allow ourselves to focus on what's important, we truly tap into ourselves. We have to keep that aim straight and we cannot let anything take our vision away. That's the struggle, isn't it? Take an astronomer, for instance, who's looking through his telescope up to the array of stars and possibilities. He's just found the exact star he was looking for when someone walks by and knocks his telescope out of focus. He's got to regroup and get realigned so that he can see what his eyes were locked on just moments before. It's certainly a setback, but it can be remedied. It's all a mind over matter scenario. In daily life, we let ourselves get pulled this way and that way to accommodate or be there for others. No, I'm not saying to stop being there for people or stop being kind because love and kindness are the heart of life. What I'm saying is you must find a way to keep centered and focused on your life's purpose all the time. To embody your reason for living, every single second. 

Now sometimes it's not 100% clear what exactly you were put here on Earth for. Sometimes you just haven't come across your passion yet and in that instance I say just be OPEN to everything. When you're not sure which way you're supposed to go, closed doors or stubborn views won't help you at all. You will just find dead ends which will in turn make you miserable. BE OPEN... There's nothing to lose! You could learn something or enjoy something. Give yourself a chance to find your passion! 

Now if you're like me, you can't seem to find just one passion to settle on. Yes, I feel passionate about many creative avenues. I am in love with singing, writing, and creating in various visual forms: painting, crafting, film making, etc... So, how do you FOCUS on just one? You have to choose the one that's pulling you towards it the hardest. There is one, you just have to get in tune with it. Then, set time aside and really envision the finished product. Personally, I want to finish my novel. Yes, I have many unfinished projects such as my paintings, my script, my poetry book, etc... But to try and tackle them all would be far too overwhelming.  So, I'm going to aim my strongest FOCUS on my novel. That's what is calling to me now and I'm going to follow that spark in my belly asking me to finish it. Unfinished bits make for a heavy conscious. Your mind starts to whisper, "you've got so much left undone... there's never enough time... what were you thinking starting all these things? you're never going to get anything done..." Quiet that voice that's trying to mess with you. Take the one thing and tackle it and then once it's finished, move onto another passion project that's calling you the loudest. That follow your gut thing is actually true. Your being will tell you what to do... you just have to be OPEN.  

Focus on that which will fulfill you. Focus on what matters at this very moment. Listen not to the negative nellies, but to that fire in your belly. Your being wants to get focused. It wants you to feel secure, self assured and at peace. It's all up to you to train your brain to treat you kind. We spend so much time striving to be kind to the outer world (which is so important, don't ever stop that!) and yet we neglect ourselves. Don't listen to anything that doesn't serve you. As Jason Mraz sings in the song Hello You Beautiful Thing, "My thoughts are all I got so I try to make 'em brave! And I know, I know, it's gonna be a good day!" Keep your thoughts brave! Always be YOU! Get focused! 

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