Raise your hand if you wish you were more focused!
One of the most common emails I receive is from people wanting to be more focused. This should come as no surprise since we live in an age with distractions all around us. With so much vying for our attention, it can be hard to settle down, settle in or settle on a point of focus.
While we can come at this from many angles, this week’s practice engages your body and your vision, cultivating focus through both movement and stillness. One of the best ways to create long term and sustainable change is by engaging your body in a way that creates some experiential shifts toward the way of being you want to cultivate. When many of us imagine being focused, we think of the results of that focus, or what me may hold our focus on. This practice is about focus itself, holding it, while moving toward that which we want.
Practice: Do this anywhere from daily to a few times per week. I recommend doing it for more than a week though, try six to eight.
Take yourself on a walk somewhere where you can see far off in the distance. Choose a spot on the horizon and look at it. Hold your gaze on that spot. Walk toward it. As you walk, you’ll likely notice that your gaze wants to move elsewhere. There may be people or wildlife or sudden sounds or movement that pull at your attention. Practice holding your gaze on that one spot while walking. If it’s uneven terrain, it will make this even more challenging. Practice staying rooted and grounded in your body, moving slowly enough that your peripheral vision can manage all it needs to and hold your gaze.
When you get distracted or look somewhere else, just bring it back. When you get bored or start thinking that this is pointless, just bring your attention back. Whatever you do, do not pull out your iPhone and start checking facebook. Hold your gaze. Do this for at least five minutes. Do it for 20 and I’ll call you heroic.
This practice is especially great for people who tend to feel a little flighty or ungrounded, who have difficulty moving forward with a plan or making decisions. Not only are you practicing focus, you’re moving forward and toward what you want. You’re also pulling your attention both into your body and onto a pointed choice. This practice also builds masculine agency, discernment, boundaries and a greater capacity to take action.