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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What You Focus on Expands

It's amazing how we are so often a product of being led around by our thoughts. Not even realizing the myriad of directions we get swept away on, depriving us of all the delicious and beautiful present moments available to us. And along with that comes the realization that we are in charge of what we're focusing on and that what we are giving that pinpoint focus to is what starts small and continues to blow up like a balloon. That goes for good feeling thoughts as well as bad feeling ones.

Some years ago after having my son, when I started getting all grow'd up, I began to really see (and feel) the importance of my sleep. I came to realize how much less anxious I was when I got the proper amount of sleep and how much more energetic I was. I noticed that walking around in a fog could be remedied by really making sure I got all the z's I needed. So I came to the conclusion that I needed 8 hours of sleep and then began putting a lot of pressure on myself to get that amount and to make sure it was quality sleep. There were times, I concluded, that really I could even use 9 hours of sleep!Sleep became something I talked about often. It was even pointed out to me how much I complained when I didn't get what I deemed to be "enough sleep." Yikes! Now I am affecting others with my uber-awareness of my sleep needs.

Well it ended up not too long ago that I was on a call with one of my wonderful coaches and she was asking how I was doing and I was saying that I was mostly fine except for how tired I was. I proceeded to say how I had not gotten "enough sleep" and must have mentioned it a couple of times until she stopped me and coached me so beautifully around the issue, pointing out how I was so focused on that fact that it was crowding my brain and clouding all of the rest of my thoughts. She suggested I put my focus somewhere else.  That I go through my day "as if" I had gotten 8 hours of sleep and that when night time came that I could set my intention for a good night's sleep that night to catch me up. So I took her suggestion. I shifted my thoughts somewhere else. Every time I started to think about how tired I was because I "didn't get enough sleep" (holy broken record!!) I turned my focus elsewhere.

I still knew I was a bit tired, but I didn't let myself get caught riding an uncontrollable thought train. If that thought popped into my head I simply moved onto something else. I CHOSE something else to think about. We so easily forget that what we are thinking about is out CHOICE! Sure, it takes practice to be able to shift focus and pick what thoughts would feel better than some we might be thinking that don't feel very good, but it is by NO MEANS an impossible task. Meditation is a great way to begin noticing thought patterns and shifting them can be done by thinking about things that we love and are grateful for and that bring us joy and happiness. It can be done. I no longer spend time focusing on how tired I am feeling if I get less than 8 hours of sleep some night.

If there is a point today or this weekend that you are feeling bad, stop for a minute and ask yourself where your focus is. If there is something you need to feel and process then just sit and breathe through it for a minute. Notice where the feeling is in your body and sit with it and it will eventually fade away. All states are transient. And then shift your focus. Pick something else to focus on, something that makes you feel better and then notice how your mood improves. It's a great point to always take heed of, what you focus on expands. Work consciously to expand the positive! Have a wonderful day!!


  1. Great post Heather! It's so easy to get caught up in a negative thought and not even realize we are doing it. You began, like many of us, with an intention of something good - to get more sleep and take good care of yourself and it turned into focusing on what you didn't want. Thank you for sharing this reminder!

  2. Who would point that out??? Nice!