I have a personal mesa that I meditate on every morning. On it are objects that help me focus on what’s truly important in my life. One of these objects is a ceramic bowl I made a few years ago. It’s beautiful. And empty. It’s there to remind me that I have everything I need, and that it’s up to me to fill my life with what I desire.
Even though this knowing isn’t new to me, it’s something I still need to remind myself of. Every time I begin to doubt, every time I begin to lose sight of my purpose, I think of my beautiful bowl.
It’s called re-focusing. Training yourself to focus on something life-enhancing – and true – whenever you find yourself spiraling down into self-doubt and discouragement.
Just like me, you have everything you need, no matter where you are or what you’re trying to accomplish.
For instance, right now I’m challenged with figuring out how to connect with more people. I’m a social media rookie, even though I’ve sort of been using it for a few years now. I feel I need help; that I don’t have what I need right now to deal with social media. But that isn’t entirely true. When I think about it, the truth is that I can discover a lot from friends who do know more than I do; with a little effort, I can get a lot of information and advice from the web. And once I work out what I can do well and what I need extra help on, I know where I can get that help. Having everything I need doesn’t mean I have all the answers and know-how. Having everything I need means I have a working brain and the ability to sort out what’s important, what I can do myself, and what I need extra help with.
The next time you feel stuck and lost in self-doubt, try re-focusing.
- First, stop the downward spiral. There are certain things that you likely do when you begin the descent. For me, it’s getting lost in trivial tasks (as a way of not feeling distress). Whatever it is for you, once you notice it, Stop! I literally say “Don’t go there!”. It works for me; it might work for you.
- Next, get calm. Mindfulness meditation is designed to help you here, because it’s all about training the brain to re-focus. I set the timer on my phone for 5 minutes and I breath. That’s all it takes. 5 minutes. You may have another way that works for you. This way works for me.
- Finally, fill that calm with that knowing that you really do have everything you need, right now. Because it’s true: telling yourself you don’t have everything you need is the lie. Put something before you that expresses this knowing. It may be an object, like my empty bowl; it may be a piece of music, a quote or poem, or even a location. Make it something that quietly reminds you of who you really are, in all your beauty.
Now I’d like to hear from you – how do you re-focus? What item in your life helps you do that?
Included is a video related to this topic from another perspective, and a quote that I hope you will enjoy.
Pema Chödrön – Start Where You Are
Quote of the Week
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
― Arthur Ashe
At times we need more – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages. For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org