5 Things To Help with #Focus and Your #Centered Self. #Life #LivingBeyondTheCurve

Life will always throw you a curve ball. That curve ball does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone at any time. The trick is not to become discouraged when it happens. I’m not saying don’t allow yourself to feel upset, confused or whatever emotion you need to feel. It’s important to express your emotions. What I am saying is don’t be disheartened when a curve ball comes your way. Everyone has a story and some of us have experienced more than one curve ball in our life.

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I was lucky to live beyond my next meal for many periods of my life. Meaning, there had been times in my life where I had to live one day at a time. If I looked further on I would have been overwhelmed by my situation. I had been close to homelessness a few times with children by my side. A series of unfortunate events can shatter a person’s world, and overnight anyone can be left facing some serious decision-making.  Though most people would have never known just how close I came to being homeless, but I was a day away, believe me.  There were also times in my life when I tried to “keep up with the Joneses” I had the huge home with beautiful Italian tiles and the perfect family. So, I have a very clear understanding of what it feels like to be in both situations. But here’s the thing, neither felt good, but both taught me a lesson. On one hand money isn’t everything, right? You can have a lot of money and still feel empty, usually very time poor and what’s worse, no time to spend with your family. A saying comes to mind, “he or she is here in my life but not truly present.” On the other hand if you don’t have enough money to make ends meet, keep food on the table and a roof over your head,  you can feel pretty low about life.  For most people finding a good balance between money and life is challenging today.

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Can we really stay centered throughout our whole life? Are we supposed to feel those uncomfortable shifts in our lives?

Well, life is three dimensional, depth as well as width and height. If you have read “A Knock at Midnight” by Martin Luther King, JR.  this will not be a new concept to you. He explains in the book, that there are three dimensions of any complete life. He writes and I quote from the book,  “length of life as we shall use it here is the inward concern for one’s own welfare. (Yes) In other words, it is that inward concern that causes one to push forward, to achieve his own goals and ambitions. (All right) The breadth of life as we shall use it here is the outward concern for the welfare of others. (All right) And the height of life is the upward reach for God.”

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The goals that propel us forward in our lives are two dimensional, length and breadth. The length of time that’s set to reach those goals and the breadth of functions required to achieve the goals on time. That’s my own very simplistic view. In life we need goals and our depth, width and height helps us to reach those goals consisting of length and breadth. That’s how I see it anyway.
How do we then remain centered through all this, and more so, when a curve ball comes flying our way?
I believe it’s by being centered. I’m not saying you won’t experience stress because each of us will experience life and certain situations differently. But it’s being willing to come back to center when you are stressed that is indeed helpful. It’s not simply about spiritualism, consciousness, or returning to the source, though these do play a part for many of us. There are many different techniques like mantras/affirmations, visualization,  an exercise that gets you to identify what you are experiencing in the five senses in times of stress and of course the core rooting exercise… be a tree, which is to strengthen our body and still our thoughts.  All of which are worth experimenting with over time to find which one, or combination works for you. One of my favourite quotes is from Hermann Hesse.

 

“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” ~Hermann Hesse

And Hermann is right. There are times when each of us should be willing to find that stillness, to retreat into ourselves. But it’s not that simple, is it? We are busy. Mothers and fathers have responsibilities, children to raise in a world filled with information, technology and they are limited by time. Where do we find the time to mediate, be still, or find our inner sanctuary? Well, we have to work it out. Start with small time openings. Before you go to bed. Dedicate 5 or 10 minutes. Early in the morning while the house is quiet. Just try.

Being centered, and this is just my opinion, is also about feeling grounded in your desired space. I will give you an example. I am a person who remains grounded by the act of reaching out. Interaction with the human community, volunteering and reaching out to others who need support grounds me to my humanness.  For someone else it might be interaction with animals, children or nature, a grounding to the Earth.  It will be up to you to find your grounding in your desired space. I also have another passion that grounds me. Painting. Though I’m not a professional I enjoy the act of doing it. It grounds me to my creative spirit. The important thing for me is I don’t do it to make money. I paint because it stills my thoughts.

Finding your grounding or centered activity will be your chance to explore things about yourself. Which takes me to the next part of being centered.
The exploration of who we are as a human being. We should all explore ourselves now and then. It is a chance to restate or reinvent who we are or perhaps improve ourselves in some way. How is that done? However you see fit.  It could be through solitary exploration, climb a mountain, learn to mediate or belly dance or it could be something like, coach a football team, learn to sing, go to the gym but experiment with what works. Sometimes when you find a passion the grouping of people around help in your own personal exploration… it’s called reflection.

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Enough talk. Let’s move on to those  5 things.
1. Question yourself. Where are you right now in your life? That is the first question you need to answer. Only you will know how you are feeling and where you are in your life’s journey. You will only be reading this post if you feel uncertain about your centered position right now. So where are you? Happy? Unhappy? Unbalanced? Ungrateful? Successful but lonely? Unsuccessful but alone? Pressured by life? Use the words or terms that fits your position. Write them down.  Here’s a tip: Write down something from these seven aspects, family, health, career, finance, intellectual, spiritual and social.  This way you have a true written understanding of how you feel and where you are right now. The reason for this questioning is to help find your focus. By sitting down and writing the answers to these questions you are identifying where you are now. What needs to be done to change things? You all know the answers to these questions. Believe me. Though, sometimes the answers aren’t what you want to hear, right? Some people tend to stay stuck because the answers seem too hard to do. I know this through counselling. While gaining experience in presentation a young man asked me about what I thought he was like as a person. I had no way to answer that because I didn’t know him well enough. Ultimately, it didn’t matter what I thought. What mattered was what he thought about himself. So I asked him, “what do you think you are like as a person?” He answered his own question beautifully, and might I say, honestly. All he had to do now was focus and changing the things he didn’t like about himself. With the right tools (techniques and practice assignments) some support and his own personal focus he could do it.

2. This is where goals come into play. Now you know where you are it’s time to state your purpose for life from here on. Elaborate on your goals that might build towards your purpose for tomorrow, in a week or year from now. Some people may like to write a contract with themselves. A contract, however, is only the beginning. This is not sufficient enough to ensure that you will be influenced to build on the process of changing your position in life. You must do. Use positive self-talk to help yourself work towards goals. “I can do this.”  “I will get this done.” Which brings us to the next point.

3. Be active in the process of achieving goals. To do this you must build on your knowledge so you can make informed decisions. Whether you want to bring minimalism into your life, change careers or just bring some meaning into your life it will require a certain about of learning and doing. Understanding what you want from your life will change over time as we move through our phases of life.

4. Breath. One of the most trivialized bodily function in the world. Why? Because our body does it automatically so we just expect it to happen, right? Well, there are many different types of breath. Breathing to exist is just one. Breathing to center yourself in body and mind is another. Breathing to calm the body in the midst of an event is another. Breathing to balance your body is another. Breathing through a really tough exercise program is another.  Breath can be extremely powerful if used the right way. I’ve seen it firsthand. How with the right instruction breath can calm the body right down and with a little positive self-talk breath can take a person from a highly anxious state to a calm and relaxed manner. Believe me when I say I have seen this in practice.

A really good exercise in breathing is simple. First thing in the morning and last thing at night. As many times as you would like.

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5. Symbolism.

The “center” is symbolized in many different cultures. It is often refereed to as the “connection to life” or the “cosmic center”. Symbolic representations to the center are everywhere. Existing from the dark age to the new age. Our life is shaped by symbols. It’s long known that if a symbol is placed in a position of influence and bombards the target market it will be in a strong position to influence you. This can work for good or not so good. It depends on what symbolic message is being bombarded.  Sometimes symbolic forms help us to stay focused or centered. This is where it becomes a personal choice.  I have symbolic tattoos on my wrist to remind me of certain things that are important to me. When I look at them I remember to stay focused. This was my personal choice. However, being inked is not for everyone so it’s about finding something that will remind you of what’s important to you. For some people it’s a beautiful necklace with a crucifix that has a positive effect on their mood. For others it will be something entirely different. I’m not saying rush out and find yourself a symbol. I am saying if a symbol crosses your path and you are attracted to it, in a positive way, then it may help your mood, energy or your focus. It’s worth a try.

That’s my 5 basic things to help.

So until next time. Be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new techniques.

Comments

  1. Hey V, you’ve done good. I think you are amazing. Really I do. 🙂

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