What You Focus On Grows
You know that expression ‘what you focus on grows’?
Well it’s actually true.
Sometimes I pretend to myself that I don’t have time to focus on the stuff I say is important to me; like meditating, reading the blogs or websites or whatever else… or I pretend I’m just being lazy.
The truth is probably that I sometimes avoid what I know is important for me to focus on because of what I might have to face in myself when I do it.
Lately my work has nudged me to explore what other people out there are writing and doing. What I find interesting is that the more I immerse myself in the writings and ideas of people who are striving to live consciously, parent more authentically, brave honesty and vulnerability and come back to knowing their full worth, the easier I find it to be more constantly aware of choosing consciousness in the tough moments.
This great article for example reminded me about handling anger as a parent. I already know that stuff – it’s my training after all. I have a lot of theory and intuitive knowledge – but applying it in the moment that my child calls, “Mammmmaaaaaaa!” from bed for the 5th time takes something close to heroic effort for me. And if that article is fresh in my mind it helps me remember how I want to be.
What you focus on grows.
Fears, for example, can grow enormous when you give them attention. The secret with panic attacks is to know that’s all they are and not cater to them in any way.
Deal with them; identify it (Oh, I’m having one of those), breath slowly and deeply into your stomach (an autonomic signal of safety – that all is well), and stay right in it. Don’t sit down, hold on the wall or remove yourself from the situation. Doing that gives your brain the message that you need support in the danger – and that affirms the danger. Just stay in what feels so scary – open yourself up and breathe (which affirms the opposite).
You see when you do that, what you focus on is being ok – even in the midst of what feels like danger … and the okay-ness turns out to be true. Then you can engage with the panic simply as physical sensations that are bringing you a message from deep within yourself.
Ok, back to the point of this post:
My focus lately means I find tips and ideas popping into my head at the moment I need them.
I got so angry with my child the other day for making demands on me but then I suddenly remembered someone telling me, “It’s not fair to get abrupt with my child. It’s not her fault I’m too stretched. She just wants my attention.”
Ah yes. Wise words indeed.
And you know what? Remembering that comment at that moment helped me retreat from the full-blown anger option in that moment and I lovingly attended to him as a person – rather than as another demand on my resources.
In that moment I changed my focus from what I don’t have (a moment to myself) to what I do have – which is a vulnerable, impressionable small person in front of me who looks to me for his everything. Who has his heart permanently wide open to me because I am his mother and what do I want to do with that?
What a precious thing to have.
I’m going to keep reading the blogs and books and keep having these conversations with you all because it is holding my focus on staying connected to my heart – which makes me a better mother and a better human.
I cannot thank you all enough for your help in this and your invaluable contribution to my and my children’s lives.