So, recently we talked about Eagle Eyes and expanding our attention out past what we might normally notice.
If you took part in the 30 Day Conscious Living Challenge at OM Times, you may remember that on day 2 of my challenge “The ABC’s of Actively Being Conscious”, we talked about what you can think of as:
Two axes of awareness,
vertical and horizontal,
or depth and breadth.
Conscious means that you are aware of and responding to your surroundings. In other words, awake! We all know the meaning of the word “awake”, including that it’s sometimes used to mean spiritually awake, or self-aware.
Over the next 29 days you’ll experience various aspects and levels of consciousness, awareness, and being awake.
You can think of these literally as dimensions of consciousness; as two axes that we’ll be playing with. There’s the horizontal, or breadth; and the vertical, or height and depth.
That means that on horizontal days you’ll expand your consciousness or awareness into what you perceive as the world, and on vertical days you’ll “raise” your consciousness or experience it more deeply by being self-aware in various ways.
Well, Eagle Eyes increases your breadth, and focus is definitely one of the better tools for increasing your depth.
Now here’s something kind of funny, which happens to also be a great example of focus. In considering what to say about focus, I was aware of all the practices that are available to help improve our skills in focusing — meditation being one of the most powerful of all, by the way.
I also became aware of a lot of ways to apply focus in order to actively be conscious.
And as I suddenly felt overwhelmed with so much to tell you, I had to laugh.
In my head, I was expanding my options, not focusing on one!
Expansion is wonderful, but without the ability to also focus,
we end up with a sort of spiritual ADD, right?
We find ourselves bouncing around all over the place without settling long enough to really experience something fully.
So let’s focus on just one way of focusing.
This exercise is especially useful when you become overwhelmed.
It’s what I did–what I applied–after realizing I was expanding out into all the possible topics related to focus and I wanted to reel myself in.
1. Close your eyes. Do what you can to minimize the “outer world” from getting your attention.
2. Drop into your heart space. (Read my 3-step how-to, or use my 3-minute guided audio.)
3. As you experience this still, quiet place, know that this is you. You are the “I” of the storm, the vortex of the wild, swirling energy that is our wondrous world.
“This is the beginning of your natural state of felt oneness with Being, which is usually obscured by the mind. With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen. In fact, there is no end to its depth. You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within: the joy of Being.”
~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.
At this point, if you’re trying to decide among many options, you can ask yourself:
What is my most authentic activity?
What will express best who I am and feel good in the process?
You’ll notice the dance between your head and heart as your answer bubbles up. And as that dance continues, you’ll get clarity and focus regarding your next one thing.
The Synergy of Expansion and Focus
Just like in the act of breathing, we benefit from the rhythm of expansion and contraction, or expansion and focus.
Both are important and necessary.
1. Notice how, at some times, you expand, and at others, you focus in.
2. Also notice, as in our specific application/exercise above, how sometimes your attention is “out there” in the world (scanning that horizontal axis), and at others it’s “in here” (on the vertical), deepening your experience of the immortal you.
3. And finally, notice how one or the other might serve you best in any given situation, and that you can now make a more conscious choice as to which one to apply.
Can you see the value in being aware of these two dimensions? How each has its value in making us more conscious?
Here’s to our breadth and our depth!