fear · focus · goals

Scattershot

12.7.18.jpgAs J and I continue pondering whether or not to have children together, I have to look at my personal history of focus.

In the 21-day meditation challenge I’m working through now, The Energy of Attraction, they return repeatedly to the idea that in order to manifest anything in our lives, we must be focused on it.  We must maintain that focus.

I feel like some of my 6th graders! SQUIRREL!

My attention muscle is extremely weak.  Rather, my attention on myself muscle is weak; I have a voracious capacity to focus on you!

And it would be easy for me to give up; to say, “You know, clearly it’s easier for me to focus on the needs or goals of others, and it’s sooo freakin’ hard to focus on myself, and besides, I’m totally bomb at “helping” other people(!),  so I should just do that!!  I should dedicate myself to what others—including my partner, potential children, students, their parents—may need.”

It’s so much easier that way!  It’s ingrained!  It’s hella focused!

But, truly, I know that’s not the path I really want to or am meant to follow.

My path, clearly, includes the consideration of others, but I know that I need copious strengthening of the muscle of Coming Back to Myself first.

I have so many disparate interests that part of the lure toward “helping” others is that I don’t have to decide.  It’s the curse of the “Master of None.”  I don’t want to be a master of none; it doesn’t help my self-esteem to say that, Yes, I play several instruments, but none of them competently.  Yes, I’ve been a community theater actress, but I don’t do that anymore.  Yes, I’ve worked in bands, but those collaborations fell off.

In fact, I increasingly notice that my friendships often suffer the same “fall by the wayside” fate if I’m not attending to them.

I want to study physics, fly a Piper plane, visit Rome, own rental property, do Shakespeare, play the piano…

But more than any of these things, I want to write a regular column in an online or paper publication.  I want to use my voice and my ability to condense disparate pieces of information into a coherent whole to inspire others to ask important questions of themselves, to illustrate progress, and to share vulnerably that I may help others to do the same.

I want to be a writer.  A published one.  And I don’t want to waver from that goal.

And yet, EVEN AS I TYPE THAT, I feel emotions, something like resistance, or fear, or hopelessness, rise up in me.

And so I know that THIS is the place to “focus” my attention.  I will never be able to move wholly into a realm if I feel terrified of it; if I feel ashamed putting my attention on myself; if I hide what I want for myself.

In a word, I must own my voice.

Honing my focus in on this one goal feels internally like my trying to benchpress … any number of pounds!!

But, I have been going to the gym lately, and I do notice that I can hold that plank a few seconds longer.  Make my mind like that plank: just a few seconds of awareness on bringing my vision into reality, just merely hold my attention on that goal, and see, just see, what movement can happen.

 

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focus · perseverance · strength

Dig Deep

11.23.18.jpgIn one of her books, Brene Brown talks about having to “dig deep” in hard moments in order to persevere.  J likes to call it a “head down” time, but I have bristled intensely at this phrase as it seems to mean something soul crushing to me but close to encouraging to him.  (I’ve asked him not to tell me “head down”!)

As I work through this time right now when it feels like things are spread thin, like I’m spread thin, I remembered Brene Brown’s phrase, dig deep.  I relate it to what we taught the cross country students about saving just a little in the tank for that last push in order to sprint toward the finish line… though of course in this case (the “life” case) there really is no finish line.  But the sentiment remains: you have access to more power and energy than you think you do, and you can use it, you can dig deeply into the well of yourself to find the power that you need to get through the “right now” that may feel overwhelming.

What feels most challenging to me at the moment is, in this moment of upheaval (moving, relationship rebuilding), to come back to what is most important and critical to me.  This feels like what I need to dig deep in order to do.  To come back to center, as I wrote on Wednesday, and to reframe my whole days and hours and thoughts to arrange themselves around what is most important to me and the course of my life.

It is well and important to think about where to put the empty moving boxes and when I’m going to clear out the hardly-moved-in-to closet so that the carpenter can fix it, but these are also distractions.  I can spend as much time thinking about the minutiae of “home-keeping” as I can on Pinterest… which is to say A LOT!

But envisioning a life and taking actions toward it are two different things.  And I am a visioner.  It is much more difficult for me to meet the rubber at the road.  It is much more challenging to actually do what’s important for me.  And I’ll have to get to the bottom of that veering so that I can dismantle that skewed attachment.

But in the meantime, I would like to tell myself to call on the inner resources of strength and capability and self-esteem to write this blog, to go to the gym, and to find that book that I want to read as part of my path on my journey of writing.

My journey cannot be diffuse, and in order to focus, to truly stay homed (honed?) in on my development, I will have to remind myself regularly, often, and with so much love, to Dig Deep.

 

focus · goals · relationships

Ready, Aim, Keep Aiming.

10.23.18.pngI was able to share on a phone call yesterday some of my fears about “going into hiding.”  I told them how I’d done this flurry of work, inspired to send out this essay recently to magazines for publication … and then how it was published! … and then I stopped writing my blog for a few days because I got scared (of what, it’s hard to say).

Then, my bandmate and I played a small gig the other night for about 60+ people after some success 2 weeks ago when we’d played out, and I told the phone listeners that I was afraid that if I didn’t set up another gig or specific plan for sometime soon, it would be another year before I sang in public.  In fact, I said the same thing to my bandmate as I drove him home that night!

I also told the phone listeners that I’m … moving in with someone right now, and how I know that my time and attention can become exceedingly divided, and I can get off-kilter when in relationship, and I wanted to tell on myself so that I could keep my priorities front and center.

These are the priorities for me.  A relationship is wonderful, and what will happen here remains to be seen, but thinking about it, or him, doesn’t move me toward my visions.  And my visions are quite specific nowadays, thanks to my Goals Group, so I really have no excuse.

Magazine columnist; Small plane pilot; Lounge singer.

These are my goals, and I want to ensure they stay that way.  Whatever else happens around them.  To do that, I want to be focused on them, I want to set up guards in place so that they’re unstoppable, inalterable, have fail-safe mechanisms.  I want my goals to be impossible to fail.  Not necessarily on the basis that I’ll succeed in my business ventures, but that they’re not diverted from, that they have a chance to succeed because I’m putting energy and attention and intention into them.

My meditation (Desire and Destiny from Deepak and Oprah) tells me I have only 2 tools in this lifetime: Attention and Intention.

With my intentions clear, but my attention divided, I cannot get to my goal.  I need the same voice I intone to my more distractible students: Stay on target, Mol.  Stay on Target.