Although this is about me so...
The problem is, my brain is not orderly. My darn brain works as a catchall. Not a single filter in there. Every time I try to organize my brain into folders I will suddenly have a random thought and, as I turn my head to pursue it, all the ideas tumble out of my brain folders and onto my brain floor, scattered amongst the other grey matter (referring to my brain of course, not the fact that I am old). Although in fairness my hair is grey and I dye it. So full disclosure, from the neck up, I am technically all grey matter.
But, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I lack focus.
A small example of this is that while I was writing the first paragraph, I got up four times: once to phone my parents, once to get tea, once to put the dry cleaning at the front door, and once to write down an idea for another blog. Actually, I lie. I really did all those things before I wrote the sentence, “My particular focus is that of a gadfly”, which is what inspired me to write that sentence. The real truth is that between that sentence and the end of the paragraph I also searched through my purse for a chocolate covered caramel that I knew I had put in there and wanted to have with my tea. It was there, as it turned out. I ate it and now I am on a roll.
Okay, now to the point of the blog. I have been focus experimenting. I have been making a point to think only of one thing at a time and seeing where it leads.
My first experiment went like this:
Last week, because spring/summer came early to Toronto I was walking along, with visions of phone calls, to do lists, ideas, worries and tasks in my head. As I walked I decided to clear my head of “shoulds” and focus on the day, the beautiful warm sunny day. So I did. My brain fought back for a bit, like it was resisting being squeezed into a bikini too early before it had a chance to use self tanner. But then ... then it relaxed and all it could see and all it could think of was the stunning rapturous March summer day. And then a feeling swept over me. And it was all encompassing. I was a teenager again and I was walking to school on that first really honest to goodness warm day after the winter. And my coat was tied around my waist and the sun was on my face and everything was new and filled with freedom and thoughts of boys, and I felt teenaged sexy and young, and the world was my oyster and all my dreams were possible, every single one of them!
Now the fabulousness of this focus experiment was that—and this is key to the understanding of it—I had none of these thoughts. None of them. But I had all of the feelings. I was transported. I was back there in that time!
But the really fantastic thing was that at the end of the focus experiment, I was left with the resulting buoyancy. I did not feel that these were memories of a state of being. I was left with a feeling of the possibility of me NOW. Sure it’s easy when you’re young to dump the tasks and worries and chores when you want to. Isn’t that what youth is? We always say that youth is wasted on the young. The idea, of course, is that if I had known when I was young what I could do and what I had going for me I would have done so much more bla bla bla.
But what I have realized is that youth is started on the young and finished whenever you want it to finish. If you’re smart, your youth won’t finish till you’re dead. What a revelation I had. I did the focus experiment to see if I could focus. That’s all. Focus. But the focus gave me a parting gift that I did not expect. It helped me to see that whatever is happening in my life, be it good or bad, it is not set in stone. I can change it, simply by changing it. I can prattle on and on about what could have been, or stress about issues I am grappling with till the cows come home.
Or, I can focus on something lovely and I can become anything I want.
Barbara: Okay, I love this post so much, I want to bite you. I want to squeeze your cheeks and kiss you. I want to laugh uproariously (which, by the way, I did several times while reading. Actual throw-my-head-back laughter) and I want to cry (which, by the way, I also did at the end there). This is just so so beautiful and true. True and Beautiful. And I think I’m feeling kinda freakishly euphoric right now because lately I too have experienced this amazing release of tension and fresh awareness of possibility. Lately, thanks to my recent exercises in focus, and thanks also to a lovely friend (waves at Shalaka) who sent me some guided meditations that I’ve actually been using, for the first time in my life I am practicing focus on a regular basis and it is all these things you speak of. Being in the clean, clear, wondrous moment. Being the best and sweetest part of yourself. Being here.
Thanks for playing, Deb, and for sharing your own experience with us! You guys???