He sped up and headed directly toward us. This was confusing. The motor revved, an emotion flashed. A catch in my breath took me out of the moment. It plunked me into “Not this time!” but we had never met.
He didn’t respond to my request. Please don’t put us in the lake.
Our minds speak in staccato. A word or feeling takes us somewhere else.
By living the past in the present, I created an encounter that didn’t exist. How then, could my response be relevant?
This relationship was a fabrication that seemed real, but wasn’t happening now. Can you remember a time?
With my request ignored, I paddled. Vigorously.
4 Factors that I Contributed
It was a time of being over committed and out of center. I lost touch with myself.
- I brought the past into the present.
- I focused on what I didn’t want.
- I couldn’t see options.
- I didn’t know what I did want.
I Am Not Alone
I asked some friends about getting what they didn’t want. This is what they said.
- Gerd: When I changed an old light bulb I thought to myself, Don’t drop that on the floor! Of course, that’s exactly what I did. Next time I thought, I shouldn’t tell myself not to drop it. Guess what?
- Tom: I was on the 18th hole, needing less than six to break 100. Just before swinging, I noticed a swamp to the right. No problem, it was impossible to hit the ball that way. Unbelievably, that’s what I did, followed by the next five—all in the swamp. It was like my ball was made of metal, and the swamp was a gigantic magnet.
- Cami about her son: My son got a new truck. The top of the box showed a picture of someone sitting on it with a red line through it. My son said, “Look! You’re supposed to sit on it!”
- Amy: Training for my first triathlon, I feared biking downhill, certain I would hit a rock and fall. I couldn’t let up on the brakes. I steered erratically. The more I tried, the less stable I felt. Finally I fell, going ridiculously slow.
- Maura: Despite my generally optimistic attitude, the bulk of my falls in life resulted from the fear that it might happen.
It’s a place none of us want to stay because there’s so much more for us.
The Neurobiology and Spirituality of Focus
Our brains have a filtering system that determines what we experience. We only see what we look for.
- We see what we expect.
- We expect what we invite.
- We invite what we focus on.
Turning It All Around
Many factors contributed to us landing in the lake. These were my contributions:
- I reacted to something that wasn’t there.
- I was certain I’d be swamped.
- I didn’t consider another option like rolling with the waves.
- Knowing what I didn’t want, wasn’t the same as knowing what I did.
I’m headed into a less busy time. I’m refocused on the present, being neither in the past or the future. When I’m unsure, I consider what I want. I believe in the possible.
What’s your experience of focus, the present moment, and getting what you want (or the opposite?)
Image credit: The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: vlitvinov