In this month’s column, I will continue building on last month’s column in the Aug. 17 edition of the Chemainusvalleycourier. I will use the drawings below to further explain the importance of focusing on self prior to focusing on others.
In these drawings, the dot represents my focus and my power. Where is the person’s focus in the right hand drawing? If you said within the person you are correct. And in the left hand drawing the person’s focus is outside on someone else or something else.
We need both internal and external focusing to be healthy human beings. The unhealthiness comes when we are out of balance: either too internally focused or too externally focused.
I promised in the previous column that I would explain HOW to have a healthy internal focus. It seems so simple an explanation yet it is so very difficult to actually do: monitor my thoughts. We can monitor our thoughts only if we live in the present moment. Most of us allow our thoughts to wander into the past or the future. Neither the past nor the future are real: both are illusions. The only time that is real is the present moment. Thus, Eckhart Tolle wrote a book that is titled NOW once he realized this simple truth.
When I am more faithful to monitoring my thoughts I will discover I feel more relaxed. When my thoughts are allowed to roam freely on someone or something in the past or in the future then I am not living in the present. If this is my pattern then I am going through life on automatic pilot. Obsessive external focusing may be at the root of my headaches, nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, restless night sleeps, constipation or loose stools, irritability, depressed affect, and worrying most of the time.
Here is HOW to stop the obsessive external thoughts. As soon as I become aware of the effect MY thoughts are having on ME I can stop them. Take a slow deep breath and ask myself: How am I right now? Generally, I will discover that I am fine right now. The stress follows “the but” : If I find myself saying “I’m fine right now but…….again repeat I am fine right now as all I have is right now. I do not have this morning, five minutes ago or five minutes from now: all I have is right now. So, if am fine. This will calm you down in a stressful mindset and allow your thoughts to focus on healthy self care.