Are you Focused?

March 4, 2016

“Open the aperture of our lenses!”

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Those words from the pulpit rang loud in my head as I heard them. They caused me to pause and reflect. What exactly are we being called to do? In that moment of reflection, the answer burst through my silence within…”Expand the opening of your minds eye to allow an enlarged or expanded perspective, and when you do, simply focus on what you now are able to see.”

Are you living with your eyes wide open? What does being focused look like for you?

The author, Paulo Coelho, expresses this point well in his quote…

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

Sharpening your vision or perspective so that you are in a state of being FOCUSED–centered with emphasis on a particular thing—is the essence of what it means to open the aperture of your lenses. As you march forward with a desire to achieve goals you have set, success is predicated on your ability to be focused.

 Here is a formula to help you be more FOCUSED:

  • F –Figure out exactly what it is you want. Open your mind and get clear about what you want to Be, Do or Have. Then figure out what you must concentrate your attention on in order to achieve it? Be intentional about getting it done!
  • O – Organize your thoughts, steps and time to allow what you want to manifest in your life. By organizing your thoughts you are able to order your steps and be more efficient with your time. Set aside 5-10 minutes daily to get organized. Break your vision into bite-size pieces, it will keep you on track and help you build belief. 30-90 day goals keep you in focused action.
  • C – Create an environment that nurtures you and establish daily rituals and practices that allow you to Concentrate your attention on what you want, so that you Connect the dots that lead you to your desired goal. Have a specific place where you go to be creative and go there often. Journal and/or just sit quietly for 5 minutes to invite in clarity and calm. Journal, meditate, pray and/or just sit quietly for 5 minutes to gain greater clarity.
  • U – Unstoppable attitude. Much like the train in the classic childhood story, “The Little Engine That Could”, your attitude is critically important if you plan to succeed. Maintaining your belief in you that you can achieve your goal is an essential component to obtaining the results you strive for. Keep repeating … I KNOW I CAN, I KNOW I CAN!
  • S – See your target and Stay in action. Steady forward movement toward a specific target by putting one foot in front of the other is how you yield results. Predictable, repeatable, results come when you stay in focused intentional action toward each finish line you set for YOU. See that picture of your target in your minds eye (or post a physical reminder so that you will see it often), and go for it!
  • E -Engage with the energy you need to be successful. People, practices and prayer are the fuel you will draw from to keep yourself on point and progressing toward specific outcomes. Surround yourself with positive people that will support you, reinforce the beliefs that sustain you, and hold you accountable to your vision. Reposition things that drain you to the sidelines. Keep your pathway to success clear and engage with people and practices like prayer and meditation that energize you.
  • D – Dedicate yourself to your vision and Do it! Decide and dedicate yourself to what you want. Devote yourself to a course of action that will get you there. And in the words of Nike…Just Do It!

Stay in FOCUSED intentional action and you will cross the finish lines you set with ease!

What priorities are you focused on for the next 30 days?

Share them below and we will support you and cheer you on!

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Valentine's Blog _2016

“Learning to love your Self is the greatest love of all!”

The words of Whitney Houston’s hit song have been ringing in my ears lately as I reflect and meditate on what it means to truly love yourself. Loving YOU requires a commitment to self-care and an appreciation for the gift of life that you have been given.

Far too often we take for granted the physiology of our bodies. We forget how important conscious care of SELF is in our overall health, well-being and even our success. In this fast-paced world stress and success have become synonymous. Stress causes us to breathe shallowly or to hold our breath cutting off our energy and limiting our power.

So, I chose the topic of the BREATH as a life force for this blog and sought out my dear friend and breath-work expert, Nicholas Pratley to share some of his wisdom. After our conversation, Nick as I affectionately refer to him, penned this piece on the Power of the Breath.

From my heart to yours, I hope you will take this wisdom to heart and apply it to your life as you learn to LOVE YOU just a little bit more…One Breath At A Time!!

POWER OF THE BREATH

by Nicholas Pratley

Just as you must plug your cell phone into a power source when the battery is drained, you too must plug into a source of Power when you are feeling drained.

As deadline demands create extra stress at work, you may find yourself feeling less effective, less productive and not quite yourself. Often with stress comes feelings of overwhelm–like there isn’t enough time, like you are burning the candle at both ends. When you feel stressed, it often helps to stop and give yourself a few minutes here and there—ESPECIALLY when you don’t feel like you have even a minute to give back to YOU.

A quick source of power for you is your breath. Simply taking time to take deep breaths will connect and center you within yourself. You will immediately find you have more energy, more focus and you are ultimately more effective and productive not only at work, but in all areas of your life.

Follow these simple, but dynamic, techniques to access the POWER OF THE BREATH…

Balance – There is breath specifically designed for balance in the practice of Yoga called Kapalbhati. A shorter version that is easy to do in the office is to simply close one nostril and taking 10 deep breathes. Then switch nostrils. Do this 3 times per nostril. It will take about one minute and you will feel clearer in your head. The perfect practice when you are feeling over-worked and out of balance. 

Flow – Many people do not realize but the organs in your body follow your breath. Meaning if we shorten out breath the organs of the body on some level follow that breath. But if we deepen and relax the breath, the organs will also calm and function on a deeper level. And if your organs are calm then you will internally feel less stress. The body will not produce cortisol which generates more stress.

So set an alarm for 9, 12, 3 and 6pm. Whenever the alarm goes off, just check in to notice if you are breathing deeply and calmly. If you have become stressed and you’re shortening the breath, then just remind yourself to breathe deeply so you create a flow between the mind, the breath, your organs and your life. 

Pause – It may be obvious to think of the breath as simply having two parts—In and Out. But actually there are three. In, Out and the Pause at the top and the bottom of the breath. It is kind of like the crest of a wave before it falls when it stops for a split second.

Sit quietly for 5 minutes. Yup! That’s all you need. Just relax your body and breathe. Listen to the breath and enjoy the pause at the top and the bottom of the inhale and exhale. As you relax more, hold the pause a second or two longer. This activates Prakiti which is the energy of all that is and your connection to your path of enlightenment. This is like hitting the reset button for your spirit. Great to do every day but especially when you’re feeling spent.

Letting Go – If you ever feel over-stressed—energy pumping through your veins, you’re tired, run down, no end in sight—you need to simply LET GO.

Stand with your feet grounded into the floor. Then put your hands on your knees. Take a deep breath in and exhale with sound. Let whatever sound needs to come out, come out. Continue for a minimum of one minute. If you’re able to do more than one minute great! But one minute will be enough to release some cortisol, some stress and any energy that is not serving you. This is great for grounding your energy a little more. 

Heart – When you feel like work has taken over and you just want to return to that powerful feeling of having your heart wide open, sit quietly by yourself with your feet planted on the ground. Then breathe in whatever way feels good to you and chant YUM on your exhale. This is literally the sound of the Heart Chakra and if you keep doing this practice for at least five minutes you will begin to feel the connection to your heart energy re-open and connect you to the truth of who you are. ENJOY!

The most important thing is to Re-Charge Your Power…
REMEMBER TO BREATHE!
 
Please share which techniques work best for you!

 

Feel free to enjoy the video at the bottom of the screen when you visit http://www.nicholaspratley.com/

There you will find a more in-depth breath practice that will refresh, reset and invigorate your mind, body and soul. 

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