Building the Super You: Focussing Your Vision

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How focussed are you? How well are you able to hone your focus, and concentrate on the minutia of any particular activity or interest? How precise can you be in directing your attention and for how long?

We have a skill set available to us, the potential for which is hardwired into our brain design, giving us the power to focus our attention on whatever we choose, and thereby, draw to us a deeper perception of that which we give our focus. So, for example, if we spend our days focusing our attention on building a physically stronger body, then we wind up perceiving ourselves as stronger on deeper and deeper levels, and it becomes fact. If we take this a step further, there are a number of studies that show people can learn new skills, heal wounds, reverse paralysis, and grow muscle tissue, just by focusing their attention on thinking about performing those same actions. Our focus is not only how we notice things, and take account of the details, but also how we relate to the world, how we experience life, and how we create more of the things we want in our lives.

Dr. Joe Dispenza, the nuero-scientist featured in the films What the Bleep Do We Know? and What If?, and author of the book, Evolve Your Brain, has made a study of the power of human focus and tells of one study in particular in which participants were told they would be learning how to play the piano. One quarter of the participants were shown and given regular time to practice certain scales and other active elements of piano playing. A second quarter was given the same amount of time to play, but no instruction whatsoever. A third section was given information and instruction and then told to mentally rehearse, and for the same amount of time as the others played, this group sat imagining themselves playing. The fourth group did nothing, as they were the control group. The researchers hooked the participants up to MRI scanners so they could tell which parts of the brain were being stimulated by the various activities. They discovered that the second group (the free players) had as little stimulation and brain development as the group that never showed up. But more surprising, and more to the point, the group that just imagined themselves playing showed just as much stimulation and just as much development in the exact same portions of the brain as the group that was actually practicing.   !

The bottom line is, if we give our attention to something, and focus on it regularly and with clear intention, we can create change – change in our perceptions, change in our awareness, even change in our abilities. In fact, depending on the particulars, we can create just as much change with our minds as we can with our hands. But the key is developing the skill of focusing our attention and keeping it focused long enough to have the desired effect. To have the experience, as Dispenza puts it, of timelessness, of being completely absorbed in the thoughts, feelings, and mental experience we are working to cultivate, and repeating that experience regularly.

A simple focus-building practice is doing only one thing at a time and finishing it completely before moving on. It may sound too easy to be good for you, but I challenge you to experiment with it for a day. With every activity that you take on – whether it’s going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth, writing your memoir, or spending a couple hours in the park with your kid – give yourself completely to the activity, and let nothing distract you from it until it is complete enough for the present moment. So this means, no texting while eating, no talking on the phone while driving, no working while playing. You may find it more difficult than you’d like for a daily practice, but giving yourself the opportunity to work with it regularly will build those focus muscles into super focus muscles – the kind that can change your life.

Another fun focus activity (and this is also Dispenza’s idea) is to choose something in the morning – an image, an object, an idea, anything – and hold it in your mind throughout the day watching for how your focus will draw more of the experience of that thing to you. So let’s say you pick “a blue bucket” as the mental image on which to focus, and revisit during the course of your day. Then you just sit back and watch how that blue bucket shows up in your day. If you hold your focus on the image for 10-20 seconds at a time and revisit it more than once during the day, seeing it clearly in your mind, I guarantee you that you will perceive it somewhere else – either a picture, or a real blue bucket, or some mention of a blue bucket in someone’s meandering story you happen to overhear as you pass them on the sidewalk. Don’t believe me? Give it a shot.

Happy focusing!

Be well.

Rediscovering… YOU

In the last post, I discussed the idea that we often are the ones holding us back from being our most magnificent selves. We do this in many different ways, depending largely on methods we were taught to use by our parents, caregivers, siblings, and early friends. We have loop reels of negative self-talk rolling in our heads most of the time, we tend to doubt ourselves regularly, we self-deprecate to our friends, and underestimate our prowess to any audience who’ll listen. But one of the more subtle techniques we frequently use to disempower ourselves or keep us stuck is our own self-awareness.

Now, I know – you’re thinking, “Damn. I thought ‘knowing myself’ was supposed to be a good thing!” And generally speaking, I’d say you are more right than not right about that. Exploring yourself, and discovering the you that you carry with you (often too closely to sense) is a necessary project for almost all humans. Otherwise, we spend too much time bumbling around and being dissatisfied and blaming it all on forces outside us.

However, there is a difference, between knowing yourself and canonizing yourself. To know yourself is to look within, and explore who you are, and how you work, and to be present in your own processes. To canonize yourself is to make a claim (based on “knowing” or not) for how you always already are. To know yourself is to take note of your movements in relationship to the events of your life. To canonize yourself is to write in stone how you will respond in every foreseeable situation, and to manipulate the events of your life to confirm and conform to a static version of yourself.

Knowing yourself has some real advantages, but almost all of them are lost if you only use that knowledge to limit yourself.

You might be holding yourself back with how well you “know” yourself if you’re saying any of the following:

  •  “I always… [get sick, get taken advantage of, etc.]”
  •  “I never… [win, get to do what I want, etc.] “
  •  “I’m just a… [neat freak, addictive personality, etc.]”
  •  “I can’t…”
  •  “I don’t…”
  •  “I won’t…”
  •  Or any other “universal truth” about how you are and always will be, or about the way life works for you.

You in a nut shell…

But, lucky you – today you have brought yourself a brand new opportunity to reacquaint yourself with yourself. That’s right folks, today, you can give yourself a get-out-of-self-free card any time you feel the desire to look at yourself from a fresh perspective. Today, you have been given full license to rediscover yourself – forget your biases, make no assumptions, and take nothing for granted.

Pretend you have no habits and see how long you can get away with it. Act as if you have never met yourself but have always wanted to. Forget everything you ever knew about how you respond to life. Take yourself in for the first time. Give yourself an exclusive interview with You. Experience your being-ness from a place of wonder, and exploration. Be a novice to your own existence. Chances are you’ll discover that there is more to you than you were previously allowing, and more to life than you had yet been willing to allow.

Try it for a day and you will change your thinking about yourself. Practice it everyday and you will change your life.

Be well.

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Want to turn up your experience of ecstasy in life? Pretend you are an alien trying everything on Earth for the very first time. Allow yourself the richness of every sensation in all of your experiences. Be open to everything as a sublime gift. For example — eat a single raisin as slowly as you can; peel a grape; watch a bee pollinate a flower; savor a sunset; wish on the first star you see tonight…

Today, You are a New You

What are you bringing into your life today? What are you drawing toward you with your focus, intention, and emotional state? What are you creating in your immediate future?

Everyday, we are building our stories. Everyday, we are attracting and manifesting the things we focus on, and intend, and feel. Everyday, whether we want to or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we make an effort to do so or let it happen passively, we are creating our lives.

The present we are experiencing today is the result of what we have been making up to this point. Everything you see in your world is the result of your focus and intention in all the days before now. Most likely you have (as most of us) spent the majority of your life in ignorance of this fact, and therefore, have witnessed a lot of your life with wonder and confusion, not realizing from where it has all come.

But today?  Today you know what you are bringing toward you. (And if not, then I am here to tell you.) Today you are being given the opportunity to focus on, intend, and delight in realizing the life you know is right for you.

It exists already inside you. You feel it and know it as if it were your own hand. You always have.

You’ve just been too afraid to believe it.You’ve just been duped by the naysayers preaching into your ear since you were born. You’ve just been deceived about who and what you are, and what you are capable of doing, and how life works. You’ve been lied to. And now, today, you are in the right place and time to say, “No more lies.”

You can be who you are now. You can do what you dream now. You can have your life now. You simply have to believe it. And know it. And feel it in your bones that you are your most magnificent you. You are the creator of your life.

When you believe that – as a beyond-any-shadow-of-a-doubt belief – then, and only then, will you begin to see it. Look where you are and realize that it is all the result of what you have believed until now. And recognize that if you want to see something different, you will have to change what you believe.

Today is when you begin to believe in what you will see next. SO get busy, you’ve got some focussing, and intending, and feeling good about your life that you’ve got to get to. Your time is now!

Be well.

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Want help changing the beliefs that inform what you’re seeing in your life? Get in touch  with me to set up your complimentary strategy session today!