* Focus May Not Be The Answer

In my yoga classes and with my coaching clients we often work on focusing the mind. Focusing on a goal or intention, or focusing on a particular part of the body or our breath.  Daniel Goleman’s new book all about it. I never really thought about the impact of using this word or the distinctions between words until my recent training experience at Kripalu.

focusWhen we focus, we bring our absolute attention to one thing. Our mind becomes one pointed. We are using strength of will to concentrate. This is sometimes great… but sometimes it may not be what you really need!

In my experience, when I focus (especially when I try hard), a contraction takes place in me. Even if its a little furrowing of the brow… as I bring attention to a particular spot, some tightness happens.  Can you recall a time when you had to focus on revising for an exam, or to get work done, or in a recent yoga practice?

When you are focusing, what is your experience? Can you detect tension or a subtle inner contraction?

For me, its almost like everything becomes alert and standing to attention.

To prevent this increase in tension, I’ve been experimenting with a new word to use…..Anchor.anchored boat

Lets try on this word and see how it feels for you when I say:

“Let your breath be your anchor.”

“Let compassion be your anchor.”

“Let doing your best be your anchor.”

“Let making healthy choices be your anchor.”

When we anchor, we are grounding ourselves. Allowing ourselves to be rooted, yet there is some flexibility.  There is strength without rigidity.

Hmmm … reminds me of what yoga is all about, and a lesson to take off our mats!

Keeping attention (without tension) and simply being with what is important to you in that moment. Allowing the experience to be anchored yet letting it develop in its own way ….

What will be your anchor today? 🙂

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