“Focus on the positive,” my friend tells me. “Envision the results you want, not the problems you have getting there. Completely accept where you are, and you might move ahead.” I had been discussing some of my frustrations – something I might not do at work, but which I like to be able to do with friends. Stomping on frustrations and burying them does not make them go away. On the other hand, complaining does not make them go away, either. My friend was not telling me something I did not know already, but something I am habitually too busy to work with.
The advice my friend was giving me is certainly not new advice. It sounds easier to do than it is, though, including for me. Focusing on results instead of issues is something with which I have difficulty, even though I understand the instructions. How can I focus on a solution if I haven’t understood the problem and dealt with what’s holding my solution back? How can I bring anything about if I haven’t first removed what’s in the way?
Although it seems logical to identify and remove obstacles before paying a similar attention to creating positive results in the vacated space, that reasonable stance is in fact a trap, keeping me – and others – repeatedly focused on obstacles. Those obstacles seem to obediently keep popping up when one is focused on them, much as in the legend of Sisyphus, who had to forever roll a stone up a hill.
Our minds are creative, even if we believe that there is not an ounce of creativity in us. They will unfailingly create that which we focus upon. Often that focus is inadvertent, including the imbedded stories we run repeatedly beneath the level of our consciousness. Focus can also be purposeful, such as contemplation by choice, as when we are doing a math problem or painting a picture. Or, focus can be habitual. We may know what we do, but withdraw our thinking mind from our action, as in riding a bicycle, brushing our teeth, or reacting to a stimulus. This focus, subconscious, purposeful or habitual, is what draws to us and creates either a desired outcome or a roadblock to that outcome or, sometimes, even a nightmare.
The solution to achieving a goal, be it a personal goal such as a new job, or a more overarching goal, such as bringing healing to the Earth, is theoretically quite simple: focus purposeful, subconscious and habitual attention on the goal to be achieved. Avoid being distracted by attention- diverting thought-entities with the message of “You can’t”, “It won’t work”, “It can’t happen,” or any other thought or action contrary to steady focus on the goal. The challenge comes in actually focusing the attention by choice, especially the powerful subconscious and habitual processes.
There is a wealth of information in books, on the Internet, and in various webinars, seminars and presentations on how to identify subconscious thoughts and habitual reactions. Psychiatrists delve into the past in the hopes of uncovering the particularly powerful occurrence that gave us our negative thoughts, resentful and angry feelings, or stubborn resistance to change; therapists work with people to help them overcome their fears and anxieties and visions of what might happen in the future. To some extent, these can be quite helpful. However, once these techniques and processes are exhausted, there remains what perhaps was being avoided in the first place: what is going on now. What we focused on in the past or fear in the future have a limited influence on our ability to create because they are nonexistent. Yesterday has passed away into memory, and tomorrow is not yet born. Only what is now really exists. If we are to focus on a result, it must be now, in the present. We must see, feel, taste, smell, hear and believe the existence of our goal in this very moment.
For most of us, that seems impossible, like believing lies or inhabiting illusions. Its basis lies in the essential oneness of everything, the connections between all that exists. We live surrounded at every moment by an invisible energy (an ‘ether’, to use a very old word), directly inaccessible via our five material senses. Some of us can perceive this energy via non-material senses; others cannot. Whether or not a given individual can perceive it, this energy is very real. It surrounds us, sustains us, connects us, and of it is formed the material world, including our material bodies. This energy exists independently of the concept of time, which is a concept formed in materiality, and by which humans, who can grasp the concept, bind themselves. Because this energy, of which we are composed, is independent of time, it contains the past and the future, melded into an infinite now. It is past, present and future, wrapped in one. It contains all that was, all that is, and all that will be. Because we are composed of this energy, we, too, when we can identify with it, are able to move in time. Most of us do not identify to that extent; a few, who prefer to remain unnoticed, do. It is in this way that we can perceive our goals, sense them as if they were already here, in our concept of time, and focus our attention upon them in the present moment.
I understand the concepts and the explanations. I can recognize the feelings in music, dance and nature. I have yet to develop skill in bringing into material manifestation – actually doing – what I think I understand and feel. I cannot tell anyone HOW to do that about which I write or which I feel in song and movement. I am still figuring that out. Rather, I think I am still growing into it, which is not a figuring out, but a process over time. In an infinite world, I am skillful now; in our material world, I still need patience. Patience can be hard when one has been traveling for a while.
I wish for us all, especially me, the ability to perceive myself as whole, and the ability to draw to myself what is needed and desired. I wish for us all the ability to heal ourselves, each other and the Earth.