Tag Archives: focus

Focus

FocusWhich senses do we engage when we focus….. truly focus on something?

We can focus our eyes on something….I’m long sighted but have also developed a strong peripheral vision, which is useful when giving a public talk, wandering in the bush or just being aware of what’s going on around me. It’s kept me safe in dark car parks late at night.

We can focus our hearing… and as I become more aware that I’m losing some hearing in my left ear, it becomes important to place myself so that I do hear conversations. But listening isn’t just about what we hear, it’s also about “listening” to our inner voice or intuition.  When we listen to others it’s important to not only hear what is being said, but what is not. It’s about being present for the other person whilst putting our own inner chatter on hold as the conversation progresses.

We can focus on what we feel….. this could be a simple touch, a brush of a soft silk scarf or an emotion. Some emotions can catch us unawares, like the sudden gut wrenching sadness as we grieve the death of a loved one, a rush to the heart of love as you look down on the sleeping face of a young child. For some people, experiencing strong emotions are taking them into uncharted waters and when they let go and surrender to them, rather than being scared or uncertain, having a sense of wonder as they allow the energy to lead to personal transformation.

Transformation can be as quick or gradual as you allow it to be. It can be a pleasant journey into the future as we set down the burdens or baggage of the past. Forgiveness and gratitude are two companions that make that journey easier. Taking time to rest and reflect are also helpful in your quest to move forward. The letting go of what no longer serves you, perhaps participating in a “cutting the ties” visualization, remembering to breathe deeply and open yourself to new beginnings.

Focus on the breath…… What do you feel?

Close your eyes and breathe deeply again…. What do you see?

And once more…… eyes closed, breathe deeply…… focus……. What do you hear?

Setting up for New Year

Within youThis time of year can be filled with frantic activity to finish off chores, projects and to socialize, eat, drink and be merry.

It’s important to look after yourself and part of doing the best you can is to make sure that you don’t “burn the candle at both ends” and end up exhausted. Depleting your energy will leave you open to various ills, chills  and mental lethargy that seems to abound at this time of year. Not only that,  both your body and mind need to take a rest so that you can accomplish your future goals. This is particularly important with the round of New Year’s resolutions about to be made. Start your planning now to make realistic and achievable goals.

Firstly, taking time out to rest and rejuvenate is a way of showing love and respect for yourself. Sometimes others may not understand the need for this, but to be able to construct effective goals for the coming year, it is vitally important for you to identify what stressed you out in 2014 and ask yourself a couple of questions,  “What do I really want?”  and ” Why do I want it?”
Once you have the answers to these, write them down. This is the start to an effective goal setting strategy.

Meditation is a great way to have a fresh and rested mind and by setting the intent to do so you can release the worries from this last year with some simple visualization techniques, such as letting go of balloons that have your worries written on them, or clouds scudding across a sky and disappearing over the horizon.

What obstacles are in your way to creating a better year for yourself in 2015? Are they procrastination, being “busy”? Name the obstacles, in order to better plan around them or circumvent them popping up again. Awareness is the key to removing or resolving obstacles.

Who can help you achieve your goals? Or perhaps there are things that you need to put in place……  Be clear about what you want and communicate your needs with courage.

And finally you need a plan of action steps to take ……  there is no point in having goals if you are not going to DO anything.   You can dream all you like, but deep down you know that a goal is a dream with a deadline.

When are you going to implement your goals? Be specific. Take baby steps so you don’t get overwhelmed….. break it down so each step is achievable and moves you closer to your end goal.

Remember to plan for yourself, not what you think others would like you to do…. it means that you are stepping out of your integrity. Embrace the goals you have set for yourself, take a risk, acknowledge yourself and take action and let the universe reward you with abundance and transform your life…..

The Labyrinth

LabyrinthI still haven’t managed to get a full picture of the labyrinth, my son suggested putting a card in his remote control helicopter and taking a photo with that, but that’s for another day!

This is after I dug out the lines to redefine the path and added some garden gypsum to the mounds created. The idea behind this is that the channels created will hold the moisture and keep the soil nearby easier to work with. Most of the area is heavy clay, so the gypsum will help break that down.

Originally, I wanted to put some coarse grade gypsum, used for driveways or around cattle troughs on the path, but there are some persistent weeds that would simply grow through the gravel.  The metaphysical properties of gypsum are interesting and it  works on the Heart & Base Chakras as well as bringing clarity to the person using it. Ideal for a labyrinth walk! I will enquire more about the coarse grade gypsum at the Elmore Field Day coming up in October.

You can see in the photo where I started to take a fine layer of soil off the path, but still the onion grass came up.  A bonus was that the five pointed purple flowers  were pretty to look at as I walked the circuit! They have now been replaced by Capeweed, which has bright yellow petals and a black centre.  Ideas for the future development of the path range from sowing lawn seed and getting a mower to maintain it or waiting until the soil softens again and hiring a mechanical tiller and digging it up to weed it more vigorously.

The plinth in the centre has a small depression in it, which I fill with water for the birds. There is a nest of Blue Wrens nearby and lots of fast moving little birds that I have yet to identify. It is offset slightly and one corner is orientated North.

After the gypsum was applied, it was loosely worked into the soil mounds and I set about peeling 6 bulbs of Australian Garlic. Some of the cloves had already started to sprout and as they lay on the tray in the sunlight, seemed to grow a little more each time I glanced at them. Once peeled, they went into a bucket of water and I planted them in most of the outer ring of the labyrinth. It’s just an experiment – if they grow – they grow and should provide yet another purple flower to look at around New Year. The bonus will be a crop of garlic with the labyrinth energy. Rain was forecast for the next day and if the weather report was correct, the area got some 13mm of rain after we left – just enough to water in the gypsum and the garlic.

 

New Look

There must have been something in the air – certainly change……

I’ve changed my personal website as well as this business one and feel like I am starting to get the two more aligned. I’ve even imported all my old posts from a Blogger account that I started posting in …way back in 2008 … to this one and am thinking that towards the end of the year I might even migrate the blog here to my personal website. Not sure what Mr Google will think of that….

July has seen me reviewing old business plans and I was really surprised when I dug an old one up from 2009 and discovered that my plan back then was really ahead of its time. This time, as I review it, I have decided to run it past a person with a more positive outlook and entrepreneurial attitude than last time. In fact I might even listen to my own intuition and not give away my personal power…..

A dream is just a dream…. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline……

Needless to say, there has been some serious planning with 90 day goals set over the last few weeks, both business and personal. I’m happy to say that most of the goals I have set for July have been achieved and there’s still 3 more days to go!

GoalsUsing the SMART model makes it really simple to test whether the goal is realistic or not and of course that is the key. Set achievable goals and  not only the does the conscious mind do a “happy dance”, but the brain creates new pathways, the subconscious mind stores the positive experience to be applied to other future projects…..

Woman at Work

expandCoaching is underway and I have re-visited my values.

This time I approached it a little differently and have set the intent to break through old beliefs that no longer serve. Astounding really, how we can unconsciously hold  on to familiar patterns of thought and not realize how that no longer works if we want to make changes.

Coupled with the coaching, I’m doing a marketing course and apart from looking at the ideal client, re-visiting my niche and looking to get my message much clearer than in the past. I now realize that I have  been a “Jack of all trades” ( or should that be Jill?) and even though I LOVE  doing the Reiki, Polarity Therapy and Homeopathy, it is really the Hypnotherapy that is the passion. Seeing clients literally change in the chair as they access their subconscious and resolve long-term issues is the reward.

There is also the realization that these therapies are just tools to be used and can be applied as needed to empower clients. Less focus on naming the therapies and more on getting resolution for the client. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees… and even though I have done a coaching course and can self coach, a fresh set of eyes will reveal the obvious.

Managing time better is another priority as  I reduce the number of projects on the go. It’s all about planning and being more effective as well as setting goals for the future. This will be important as in a couple of weeks I will take possession of a 40 acre property in Northern Victoria. Scheduling the time to maintain it and develop it into a workable retreat will be a challenge, but one I’m up for!

Another project has come to a closure and this will result in a book which will be released in early December. I am a contributing author to a book about women’s health and wellness by some well known Australian identities. I look forward to sharing more news about that very shortly and of course if you want an idea for a Christmas present………..!!

Making changes

focusGradually I am bringing my focus in…..

At the end of October the business registration for BrightLight Specialized Education runs out and after 4 years it is time to let it go. it has served its purpose and is a little too long to use in social media & on the web.

Plus, many people have mistakenly thought that it is about special education – which is about educating people with learning difficulties, whereas the intention behind the word “specialized” was that I was specializing in holistic education. No matter.. the new business name is Balance4Life programs and that’s been running in tandem for just over 2 and half years.

You may have noticed that I have re-badged/re-named this blog to Balance4Life, although It still has the BrightLight domain name. That runs out in November and it is also not being renewed and it will revert to being a wordpress blog. I will continue to post here and add opinions and may eventually change the theme as well, although I do like this one.

Other changes are in the pipeline too….. involving some travel but more about that in a later post.

Work Experience

Planting seedsSetting up in a Hypnotherapy or Coaching practice takes time. Do the study, then some more and then a steep learning curve on how to market yourself and perhaps find a niche.

“Find a niche an inch wide and a mile deep” was a comment made in one lecture I attended.

All well and good, but a couple of years after graduating, I was still looking for that niche like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Around me were fellow students who seemed to have easily and effortlessly slipped into their niches …Past Life Regressions, Lives between Lives, Style Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Business Coaching, Weight Loss, Stop Smoking… and the list goes on.

The bookshelves are groaning with the weight of recommended reading. The printer spits out marketing letters on a regular basis. I have sat down and written about my ideal client so many times I feel like we are conjoined twins…..

Yes, the clients are coming, but for a variety of reasons.

Mostly for weight with an underlying theme of stress.

Now that’s something I understand!

Perhaps I have stumbled upon my niche, except it doesn’t look an inch wide… more like a mile wide and a bottomless chasm deep.

The interest in stress started when I was still teaching. I noticed that if I kept an appearance of calm, then the students seemed to respond better. Combining a teaching job and parenting 2 young children meant that my meditation practice was made up of incidental moments rather than a half hour session at any one time. Breathing at the traffic lights, mindfulness when on yard duty – appreciating the moments of nature… a leaf…. an interesting cloud….

Leaving teaching for a couple of years, I went to a job where I was able to observe how people with learning difficulties reacted to stress. An interest in how the mind adapts to stress grew from here and CBT based Adolescent Counseling beckoned. Back to teaching and full-time for three years. This time the universe threw me a curved ball. Being back in the classroom with a different perspective on student learning was fabulous, but the staffroom was toxic and not entirely from the black mould growing around the school.

But that’s a whole different story to be told later…

I left.

I took time out.

I studied some more and graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Cert 4 in Training. I didn’t complete the Medical Intuitive course I thought was my next journey.

I went and sat in the Simpson Desert.

Then I went back to teaching part-time and a small client list part-time. Coaching studies to augment the Hypnotherapy and I was just muddling along. I didn’t have anything specifically wrong with my health, but just didn’t have the energy that I used to. Palpitations were becoming more frequent, but I dismissed them as a result of the coffee I was drinking. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t meditating any more. I was asked to speak about women and stress for a local council’s Women’s Network.  Scroll back through some of the older posts and you’ll find that speech somewhere and the events that transpired a few months later!

So now it seems that my niche found me, rather than the other way around.

How curious is that?

I’m presenting a workshop next month with the topic “From Stress to Strength – Building Resilience for the Small Business Owner”  and I’m preparing for that with a bit of work experience…

Yep!! I’m STRESSED!!

Just getting in a bit of practice….. some good stress involved this time with the imminent arrival of a grandson…some bad stress with a blind, diabetic aging dog that has to be let out to pee 2 -3 times a night.

Sleep deprivation is not good for stress management!

PastThe body mind connection is letting me know I need to manage the stress a bit better, so the emWave is getting a good workout several times a day.

Last night was a case in point. I dream. Colour. Action… always vivid. Sometimes so full of action I am tired when I wake up. Sometimes, not very often now, the events are too vivid & I have been known to wake with a blood curdling yell. That didn’t happen last night, but I woke as I threw off the covers and went to confront some intruders that weren’t there and who came through a doorway that wasn’t there….. it took quite some time to convince my conscious mind that they and the doorway didn’t exist.  This time the dog waking and going for a wander down the street at 2am was just what I needed as the activity in going looking for him helped to dissipate the stress hormones and I was able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.

A couple of emWave sessions before starting writing showed that I was entering into “Coherence” fairly easily. More sessions scheduled this morning before the afternoon clients.

It’s all about putting yourself first, to better serve clients.

It could be called Work Experience!

Mapping Your Resources

possibilityCreating your own treasure map is possible…. When you map the resources you have and identify what you need, then you are better equipped to start your journey.

Have recently completed a course to become a Professional Supervisor, I came across a great exercise in the textbook we had to read and have used it in some sessions I have already taken.

You need a large sheet of paper and lots of coloured pens or textas. If you feel so inclined, you could also have on hand some old magazines, scissors and glue – to create a collage – very similar to vision boarding.

In the centre, draw a representation of yourself – it can be a symbol or a picture but make it large enough so that you can draw or write symbols/diagrams or words that represent your INNER resources. If there is no room, that’s fine – just attach them to the original drawing.

Next, think about all the things, people, events that support and sustain you, yet are external to you. Place them around the symbol/picture of yourself.

  • Are they near or far,
  • evenly spaced or grouped,
  • are the links strong or weak?
  • What is missing?
  • Do they lift  you up or weigh you down?

Use as much colour and texture as you feel necessary.

Take completely different colour and draw symbols or pictures of things that BLOCK you, or are in the way to fulfilling your dreams.

It could be FEAR – when it comes down to it, we all have fears and the three most basic fears are:

  • Fear of not being loved
  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of not belonging

and these are what hold us back.  Fear of not being good enough can lead to a fear of failure and yes, even fear of success. Strange but true! Many people have a fear of success, because they think that in being successful they may lose friends and therefore no longer “belong”.

The object of identifying the fears and the resources both within and around us it to allow us to work on building new and stronger resources. We have a choice – we can “feel the fear and do it anyway”  (as Susan Jeffers so succinctly put it in her book) or we can choose to feel the opposite…. appreciation. I wonder what feels better!!

Going back to your resource map … what treasures have you discovered?

What tools, people or things do you appreciate for having got you to where you are now?

What do you need to move forward?

Is your inner compass set right to get you to your destiny?

Well, you are the mapmaker in this case… so look to your inner resources and review them. Cast your eye over your external resources and blocks and decide what to keep and what to change. Dig deep enough in the centre and you will find gold.

Balance

boldnessWe seek to balance our lives on a daily basis. Work – Life balance can be tricky to manage.

But what if the very balance we are seeking is holding us back?

If you think about a bicycle, the balance you need to ride it, is what enables you to move forward. Imagine if you find your inner balance.  Now seek out your unique strengths that you can use to  take your life to the next level. Will you use that strength to move forward or remain balanced and motionless?

We all have a choice about the emotions we feel, the decisions we make, and these choices or decisions lead us  to the way that we live our lives. The journey is different for each person, but there is a key…. and that key is focus.

Rather than focussing on what you DON’T want or what you think you SHOULD  do …..focus on your passion, something that challenges you to move towards success. Life will be everything that you expect it to be…..it can be an adventure or tough. Your beliefs shape how you life your life and colour your perceptions. Your emotions and beliefs will attract to you what you experience.

What are you choosing to experience?

Are you choosing depression, overwhelm, self-pity or joy, exuberance or happiness?

When you are aware of what emotions or beliefs that you are experiencing, you can choose either resourcefully or unresourcefully. Notice how you hold your body, decide whether you want to continue feeling this way or not.

It’s your choice……

Meditation

There are many forms of meditation around and there is sure to be one style that suits you. Make it a regular practice and you will enjoy the lasting health benefits too.

Four styles of meditation that I teach and practice are

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Focused
  3. Relaxation
  4. Visualization

Mindfulness Meditation is simply that. Being mindful of what you are doing now. I read recently that the future is only an illusion and it is important to be mindful of your actions and be fully present. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and the more you do it the sharper your focus becomes. For instance, I am typing now and mindful that as my thoughts come on this topic, my fingers move automatically over the keys. I am aware of the touch of the tips of my fingers on the keys and the difference in texture of the home keys under my index fingers. I am also aware of my eyes tracking the characters as they appear on the page and the cursor acts as a stop, thereby focusing my attention no further than the word being typed. I can then turn my attention to how I am sitting and the ambient air temperature – a chilly Melbourne morning! I am also aware of the sound of the keys as I quickly type this post and the gentle hum of the computer hard drive as it processes the information.

Focused meditation is just that. Focus. You can focus on anything you choose. Starting with the breath is just fine and creating an easy rhythm of in and out breath is very relaxing. Using a candle is another simple and accessible method. Light the candle and focus on the area between the flame and the wick – it’s usually a blue colour. Why focus here? The flame will move around with drafts and the process of burning  and that can cause your attention to wander. The centre of the flame is more likely to be still.

Relaxation meditation such as clenching various muscles & then relaxing them, from the top of the head down to the tips of the toes combined with breath awareness is a wonderful way of winding down after a busy day. Doing it with the eyes open or closed doesn’t matter, but if you have your eyes closed and then gently open them at the end of the relaxation, then you will notice that your perception of the light and surroundings will have changed. If you are doing this in a group, take a few moments to gather your thoughts and you may even notice how different other people look as well. The tension that was stored in the facial muscles has miraculously melted away.

Visualization meditation is only limited by your imagination.

Where do you want to be today?

In your mind’s eye, you can go anywhere, create anything. This form of meditation is often used as a guided meditation where the facilitator will take you on a tour using metaphor and your imagination provides the images. Not just for escape, as by using the creative power of your imagination, you can gain insight and clarity for problems that you previously thought were insurmountable.