November 1, 2017
“See in your mind what you want to experience in your life –the beginning of change.” This is one of my favorite quotes by Eric Franklin. I often think of this quote when things in life get hard, or I feel that I am in a rut and want to experience change. It’s at those times, I take time to concentrate and make an attempt to focus on what I want for myself and not on my thoughts. But why is it so hard to take a moment and concentrate? It is because we spend so much time not concentrating that we are out of practice! Most of my day is spend multi-tasking, thinking of projects that need to be done, and worrying about the future. I realized that is what I have been practicing over and over, and boy, have I become very good at all of it!
So how does one focus? I used to think that focusing meant to not to think at all, but to have your mind go “blank.” This is really not practical, and actually impossible. Okay, so how do you concentrate? First let’s define what a “thought” is. A thought is, according to the dictionary “an idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind.” Furthermore, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. So to concentrate, we need to turn these thoughts off, and what a feat this must be! How do you do this? Label the thought! When you are having a thought, picture a post-it note with the word “thought” on it, and stick that label right on your emerging thought and it is gone! Try it, it really works. Once your thoughts are in your control, take some time, let’s say one minute, and think of your body and just feel it, no opinions formed, or think about what you want to ideally experience in life. How would that feel? If you want to change a movement pattern, focus on how your body feels. Concentrate on your breathing, how your feet are on the ground, or how your shoulders are placed. Practice this once per day for a period of time until you get good at it. The more you practice, the better you will get at this process of concentration.
The practice of concentration, or focus, teaches you to be present, or be in the moment. Being in the moment gives you a starting point for change, it helps you know where you are at. It orients you like a compass in the now, and then you can direct your change from that point. It’s from this starting point; you can then notice the effects of any interventions you decide to try. A strong ability to concentrate on the present is a powerful tool, one that can be used to highlight the way towards ones ideal body and mind – the beginning of change.