Sunday, February 9, 2014

Focus Inward, Focus Outward

When I started this year’s Focus on Focus I wanted to explore the kind of focus that, I hoped, would allow me to stay centered in the moment. I’ve experienced that kind of focus before in my life and thought that a year spent exploring it, immersing myself in contemplation of it, might lead to a stronger and more sustained experience of living in the present moment.

My most recent blog post (Trust) was a challenge to write. I started with a recording process, seeking the best next step for it. I wrote, threw out several paragraphs, wrote again, threw out more, walked away from it, and then tried again.

Commitment to writing from the deepest part of one’s being is a meditation. Sometimes it flows easily, swiftly, wonderfully; it’s a loving and joyous ride. But, sometimes it moves slowly, sluggishly, in fits and starts. When this happens, I can find that my starting point doesn't lead anywhere. I get lost after a while and have to ask myself: “what exactly am I trying to say here.” 

This happened as I wrote this most recent blog post. Days went by as I wrote and then tossed out what I wrote. I was seeking my center with this piece of writing and not finding it. I was seeking my center with the recording and not finding it. I was seeking my center with this year’s focus on focus and not finding it.

What finally emerged clearly as I finished and posted Trust is that I am now writing about two kinds of focus. One is an outward focus that is about staying in the moment, completely immersed in doing the one thing before me. The other is an inward focus, searching within to find the very best thing to put that kind of focus on. (I wrote recently about this inward focus).

When I look back on previous blog posts, I realize I have been moving back and forth between these two ways of focusing. I see the pattern, a flow from inward focus to outward focus. I see that when I do both, I am truly centered in what I can only call a divine focus. I find where I can best place my attention by searching in the heart of my heart. I then take that focus into the world, creating by staying in the moment, immersed in my work.  It is in this movement between inner and outer focus that I believe we can give what we each uniquely and truly have to give to the world.

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