Life is not an accident. It may sound cliché, but “everything DOES happen for a reason.” I believe this to be true, and I see that our reason or purpose for existence is to learn.
Since I was a young child, I have always loved to learn new things. An excitement would flood my being and my eyes would glow with curiosity. Although the desire to learn was in my heart and intentions, a pattern soon arrived. I would begin a swimming lesson, and soon after quit. I would attend a tumbling class or two, then quit. Same goes for piano, guitar, soccer, basketball, volleyball, diving, dance… the list goes on! Was it the lack of desire for each of these growth-filled and fun sports? I have a trusted feeling that it was not.
A similar pattern was seen in my formal education. I would express curiosity and a joy of learning with most every subject taught in school, yet would easily lose interest and would move my attention into my imagination. This pattern resulted in low test scores, poor grades, and even led to the concerns of my teachers and my parents — that I may have had ADHD. Although my parents were aware of this concern, I was not made aware of this until my senior year of college.
While earning my bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, this lack of concentration pervaded most of my experiences, whether in class, extra curricular activities, group projects, or social interactions. Some of the byproducts of this lack of concentration resulted in low self-esteem, insecurities, over-thinking, and a doubt of my abilities.
I had a few friends who had prescriptions for Adderall, a combination medication that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I eventually began taking doses of this medication to keep my attention focused while completing assignments for school. In the beginning, I loved the feeling of being able to concentrate and study material for 5 to 6 hours at a time. Yet, in addition to the laser-focused attention came little to no appetite, poor sleep patterns, sometimes sleepless nights, heightened emotions, and physical shaking within my body. I knew that this could not be healthy for my natural flow and energy within my mind and body, but I felt desperate.
Every spring, the University hosts a health fair, inviting all kinds of healing, from traditional, to holistic, to pure well-being. I was led to a table where a woman stood, representing the School of Metaphysics and interpreting dreams. I was intrigued by this woman’s love for dreams, so I gave her my contact information and walked away. Little did I know that this moment would forge a whole new vision for myself at a later date.
It was approaching the end of summer, and I received an unexpected call; it was a woman inviting me to a new class in Applied Metaphysics at the School of Metaphysics. I said yes and told her that I would be there. Not knowing a thing about metaphysics — or even what the word meant — I still felt an urge to go to this class.
At the first night of class, all of the students were told that if we remained disciplined and consistent with the practices taught in the course of study, we could expect an expansion of our awareness, deeper relationships, greater self understanding, improved grades, and an improved image of self. Although I knew very little of what I was getting myself into, I continued to come to class every week, week after week.
We received teachings and exercises intended to aid us in our ability to concentrate that we were asked to practice everyday. I noticed improvement within my grades, I noticed improvement within my ability to communicate with my friends and peers, and I saw myself changing for the better. The simple skill of concentration not only aided me in earning better grades for myself, it also enhanced my ability to direct my attention where I wanted to.
Through the practice and application of concentration on anything we desire, we build a discipline within the mind. It is the practice of concentration that has aided me to still my thoughts to receive guidance from my inner self, to relax the body at will, to perceive the need in my experiences, and — most of all– to understand the purpose of my existence. With constant practice of concentration exercises, breathing techniques, and stilling of the thoughts, anyone can build a greater knowledge of who they are and why they are here. This experience in the world is here for us to learn who we are, how we are creating, and to experience the joy and bliss of an awakened consciousness.
Concentration is a powerful tool in gaining self-awareness and achieving goals for yourself. Through the use of concentration, all of our attention can be directed to a single point. If we lack the ability to concentrate, we allow our mind to wander aimlessly. As we learn to concentrate, we learn to direct our thoughts to a state of well-being. Our thoughts influence our well-being and health. The more directed our thoughts are toward health, healing, and wholeness, the more those aspects in our life will be enhanced. This is true for most anything in our experiences. What we give our attention to grows. The more attention we give to the plants in our garden or house, the more the plants thrive and grow. This is the same for our quality of thoughts. When we give attention to our goals and desired way of living with deep concentration, our desires manifest, and we can know and understand the power held within our mind.
An exercise in concentration on a daily basis can change your life. Here is a practice that you can endeavor if you choose:
1. Sit relaxed in a straight back chair. Taking deep breaths will help you to relax and release tension held in the body.
2. Hold a pencil to eye level and about 10 inches away from the face. Placing a pillow underneath the arm may be helpful.
3. Gaze at the sharpened tip of the pencil for 10 minutes. A gaze is gentle and relaxed. Your eyes may cross, and that is natural. Intensely staring at the pencil tip may cause some strain in the eyes, so just softly gaze.
4. Your physical eyes as well as your mental attention should be given to the tip of the pencil. Anytime you notice your thoughts drifting to anything outside of the present moment of you and the pencil, guide yourself back to your point of focus. Every time you bring your attention back, you are building self-direction.
5. Practice this everyday for 10 weeks, 10 minutes a day and you will notice a shift in your consciousness.
Posts tagged ‘concentration’
Do you know where you are right now? Mentally? How often are you fully grounded? How often are you in your head? You may want to check in with yourself every so often.
I’ve discovered that unless I’m in a direct conversation with someone or working intensely on a project — I may not really be there. I may be thinking of what just happened, or what I need to do, or mulling over an idea. I think that’s the reason I sometimes have trouble remembering things, like what I’ve done, memories from the past, etc. I just wasn’t present. I wasn’t really there.
The present is a present. So, if you are like me, and you’d like to take more advantage of this gift, check in with yourself every so often. Where am I right now? Am I here? Or am I in my head?
The next step is to put your attention on something that will keep you in the moment.
- Sometimes I take a look at one of my hands. (This is also a great practice for increasing lucid dreaming if you then ask yourself: Am I dreaming?)
- I may also put my attention on one of my senses by touching something in my environment or feeling my feet in my shoes or looking at items in the room.
- Perhaps the easiest thing to hold your attention on is your breath. Don’t try to change it, but notice the inflow and outflow and gently follow it.
Opportunity comes in the present moment! Are you taking advantage? What will you try today?
Much love and many blessings! ❤
Image courtesy of atibodyphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Hello, everyone! I’m writing because it’s been a long time. And I miss it. I miss you. So, it’s late, and I still have to do the litterbox and most of my metaphysics exercises, but I just want to quickly look back on this week.
- The “Understanding Your Dreams” Lecture at the Oak Forest Rotary was fabulous. I realized how confident I am on this topic and how much I enjoy sharing with others. I would like to make this my Plan B lecture, since I’ve already given it many times. I plan to lecture monthly and to write new lectures, but I can give this one to anyone who wants to hear it!
- I had a wonderful DreamCatchers tonight. It was one of those events that seemed like it could be too much after a long day, but I had a wonderful experience with a lot of new faces and lots of questions and sharing. I’m definitely glad I went (and they want us back!)
- My office is now fabulously clean and organized, thanks to my student and the company she works for. It is a pleasure to be in now — and I can find things! This is a long-needed manifestation that I am incredibly grateful for.
- I am putting my attention on concentration and mindfulness. Redundant? Ah well. 🙂 I am tired of leaving things behind. I am tired of feeling so spacey! I’ve gotta get grounded, and now. I am getting better at concentrating. I’m starting exercising again. I’m going to dance around the house. (Great for grounding!) I’m going to make sure I take my vitamins. Any other suggestions for grounding?
- I’ve been seeing 1’s and 2’s everywhere. It’s actually become a comfort, much as 1’s and 4’s once was. Apparently I’ve got lots of seed ideas ready to sprout. And I can see some things finally manifesting for me. My networking group is growing. My business/jobs are beginning to increase. My office is organized. My identity is changing inside and out. . . I have many more things on my 10 Most Wanted list, so let’s go manifesting! Let’s manifest them all! ❤
- I’ve been focusing a lot on money. I’ve been listening to Carol Tuttle’s audio series “Manifesting More Money.” I realize a lot of my blockages with money and abundance in general are mental. I’ve known this for some time, and I’m working on shifting my consciousness so that I can be more receptive. I’ve also been finding that as I stretch myself and give more, I open space to receive more. (Gotta love that Law of Prosperity!) 🙂
Joy and love to you all. (High vibrational frequencies!) 🙂
I experienced a great high this past weekend after attending the Genius Code Spiritual Focus Session. I felt I finally could acknowledge that I was a creator, and a good one. It gave me so much light, hope, and confidence.
5 days later I have not yet given myself rest. I have more purpose, but I’ve lost my spark. I haven’t meditated in days, and my concentration exercises have been sparse. This is what I need — to experience what it is like without them. It feels like how I used to be — insecure, disconnected, and scattered.
I start anew. And then I go to sleep!
Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Please check out my latest article on lifehack.org: 10 Things Your Dreams Can Tell You About Yourself. It goes into detail about common dreams and dream symbols: what they mean, and how you can apply them to your life.
I had two different dream themes this morning — one realistic, one more imaginative. One half of my dreams had to do with singing. In one I’m at a concert but haven’t been attending any of the rehearsals and therefore don’t know some of the words and am pleasantly surprised when each song begins. (Oh! Great song!) Later, a teacher from the College of Metaphysics — who led the Cantata last year — is talking about solos that we’re going to do, and she asks me if I want to do one of them today. I think that I can do it, but I’m not sure.
In the other dreams people’s clothes were different. They reminded me of Robin Hoodish plain, peasanty garb. In one there is a girl sneaking through the woods to get a glimpse of her father. Someone who would seem to be her enemy senses movement in the woods and suspects it is her. He sneaks up on her and covers her mouth so that she doesn’t scream. He wants to help her. In the other instance I am going somewhere; I’m on my way out. I’ve promised my sister and someone that I would see them before I went. I must walk down a LONG paved way to get to the end of the path, past some people at picnic tables. Then I have to double-back and go all the way down a path to the back of the woods where my sister will be. I wonder why I didn’t just stop there first afterall, to save some of this time and walking. As I’m walking a small black dog (like my neighbor’s dog) comes running up, barking ferociously. I talk to it sweetly and emit a calm feeling, in hopes of calming it down. I think it works.
The first dream has to do with harmonization and with being unprepared. I suspect this has to do with initiations I’m going through and with ways I’m seeking to grow within myself. It’s time to perform, time for me to show my stuff and present something awesome, but I haven’t done the work, the practice, to really, truly pull it off. I’ve been thinking a lot about my scattered mind and about do my metaphysical exercises the best I can. I suspect this is what that dream is about. The last part is likely about a dream class my teacher asked me to teach. I would really enjoy doing it, but I’m not sure I’m ready for the time commitment. This is what I’m hesitating on in the dream. To apply these dreams I need to make sure I put in my best effort in my exercises and work on being present and concentrated throughout the day.
In the second dream the clothes and environment stand out to me. It could be a past life memory, but I’m not sure it was. (Even if it was, it can still be interpreted symbolically.) The garb is of peasants, which suggests an expression of lacking self value. The forest is a place of subconscious mind. The mixture of women and men in the dream suggest interaction between conscious and subconscious, although there is some secrecy, confused trust/loyalty, lack of planning and wise direction choices, etc. The dog is a distracting, unpleasant habit! To apply this dream I would want to work on trusting myself, particularly relating to my subconscious state of mind. I would want to be open and try to create a clear plan or direction using my subconscious, free of distraction, particularly bothersome, unproductive ways of thinking.
How does one blog and complete one’s homework? By blogging about one’s homework, of course!
“How has the study and application of metaphysics quickened my soul’s progression?”
Our class was instructed to go deep with this one. How do we know our soul’s progression? I think — as in the case of dream interpretation — it is something we intuit. We know this; it’s about trusting that we know it.
Today I was thinking about death because I’ve heard about 3 funerals in the last few days. Then I had my “Ah ha”! moment: if I were to die tomorrow, how much closer would I have gotten to my life’s purpose than yesterday? What would this last year have meant to my growth?
Growth means change. Before change comes awareness. I am now aware of these things about my soul:
- I am the Illuminator. I am to share my wisdom with others and help them in their soul growth.
- I have developed a karmic pattern of giving with resentment. I am to understand and alter this.
- My purpose is self-empowerment. This is my main lesson for this lifetime.
- Our ideal self is the best self we can imagine for ourselves. My ideal self is unconditionally loving. This includes being loving toward myself.
- My goal is to be still and present-minded. I can accomplish this best through the practice of concentration and meditation.
. . . Elaboration to follow in Part II tomorrow. . . .
This weekend down at the School of Metaphysics National Headquarters in Windyville, Missouri was an amazing experience. Every weekend at the college is a great opportunity for growth, and this All-Student weekend was jam-packed. It was also particularly special because my beautiful classmates and I got to celebrate our graduation, along with other graduates from the 1st cycle and 3rd cycle. I’d really like to spend some time processing the experience and may blog more about it next Monday, but today I will simply summarize.
In everything we do, students are encouraged to find an “ideal”, “purpose”, and “goal.” For some time I’ve had the ideal of unconditional love — what I understand to be the highest vibration– and the purpose of self-empowerment, a learning I received from my past life profile. As my goal, I chose concentration/present-mindedness, a particular challenge for my scattered and busy mind.
I experienced opportunities for all of these this weekend. I experienced unconditional love with the beautiful souls I encountered and also with the frustrations that I overcame by opening my heart. I experienced self-empowerment through opportunities for leadership and also through the expression of my true feelings. And, of course, every moment was an opportunity to practice still mindedness.
Those are the basics of my soul learning for the weekend. Back to regular life and on to the 2nd cycle of lessons!