Posts In: focus

I’ve expounded on the virtues of unfocused time. So what about focusing?

Busy, busy brain.

That busy brain of yours focuses on stuff all the time. You focus on:

  • the great conversation you had with a client
  • the deadline, once so far away, but now running at record speed towards you
  • the great laughs you had with a friend over dinner
  • the health concern that is probably nothing, but might be something scary
  • the creative idea for you business that just popped into your head
  • the fight you had with your partner
  • the vision you hold for you business and life…

The power of focus comes from getting clear about what you want and then spending more time thinking about that thing then the other stuff.


Not always. That conversation that just didn’t feel right keeps playing over in your head. You second-guess a decision you made. You doubt your ability to pull off a project.

The downside about focusing on the stuff that doesn’t feel good is that, well, it doesn’t feel good. It creates stress in your life. And you enhance your chances of attracting the very thing you don’t want into your life.

Focus Wheel

When my monkey mind is dancing with thoughts in the “I don’t want this” category I like to use a tool from the Abraham Hicks materials. You’ll find a focus wheel particularly useful when you’re struggling with the belief that what you desire is attainable.

Here’s an example:

You‘re ready to launch a new program or service. Every time you think about it you find doubt creeping in. Sometimes it doesn’t creep. It thrashes about and leaves a big mess.

Let’s shift that. First draw a circle. Put the object of your desire, in this case your new program or service, in the center. You can write words or find an image that represents your desire (or both.)

Then draw a series of circles around that central circle. In each of those circles write a statement that relates to your central desire. But make each of the additional statements a thought that you do believe.

If your original statement is “My new service is successful beyond my hopes and dreams” you might write, “My intuition guides me each step of the process.” Whatever you choose should feel good. You should feel soothed as you read it.

When you find yourself focusing on doubts, past failures, obstacles…pull out your focus wheel. Read each of the supportive, easy to believe statements you wrote. Then read the central statement. If you’re like me, your focus will have shifted from stress and doubt to “of course I can do this!”

Bottom Line

Focus when it serves you. Be looser with life and with your business when that serves you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on focusing. How do you use it? What are your tips?


Picture a 1950’s era home movie. Grainy footage shoot by a less than stable hand. You see a pair of smiling grandparents open their front door and step on to their small concrete porch.

First a boy, maybe six years old, walks up the steps and gets embraced by grandmother and then grandfather. A girl, younger by a few years, follows suit.

And then you see something move in a blur in front of the camera.

The second time you see the blur you realize it’s a third child, similar in age, but moving at 8.5 times the speed as her siblings. Eventually she makes her way back to her grandparents for her turn at hugs.

That blur was I. 

Present Moment

Right now if you’d look over my shoulder at my computer you’d see I have five browser windows, four programs, and three word documents (and a partridge in a pear tree) open.

In other words focus has never been a strong suit of mine.

The Joys of Being Unfocused

I’ll admit that, at times, more focus would serve me. But I also know that not being focused has its place too. Many creative people find that dinking around with non-essential tasks calms and prepares them for their essential task.

Picture a writer organizing her desk or a coach chatting on the phone with a friend before getting down to the days tasks. It’s much like a warm up before hitting the gym.

Unfocused time allows for creativity, spontaneity, and rejuvenation.

As a non-focuser I’m delighted to know tidbits of info like this cool tool.

Focus Creates Stress

Physiologically you can see (no pun intended) that when hunting for dinner our Neanderthal relatives (and I don’t mean the ones you celebrate holidays with) would have to focus their eyes to spot and shoot their prey.

Now picture yourself sitting in front of your computer, texting, watching TV, reading… Lots of eye focus involved in your day too, right?

Try an experiment. Focus on a point and notice what happens to your breathing, to your muscles, especially in your head and neck. Now let your gaze go soft. Don’t focus on anything for a few breaths and notice the change.

When focused you probably noticed some tension around your eyes, maybe in your jaw, forehead, neck, chest, or shoulders. You also probably noticed that your breath became shallower.

And when you shifted to your peripheral vision you noticed a relaxation of muscles, a deepening of your breath, didn’t you?

Use this soft eyes technique on a regular basis during your day for a quick de-stressor and tension releaser.

Share your experience here.

Read the next post if you want to know some reasons you should focus.


You need to make a business decision or write copy for your website or create some class content or… But first you need clarity and it ain’t showing up. The harder you try, the more clarity refuses to cooperate and the more stressed you become.

Mr. Basil at Your Service

You need to meet my friend. His official name is Ocimum basilicum, but you can call him basil. Mr. Basil will grab ahold of your lapels and gently shake you awake. He’ll help you focus, clearing out mental fatigue and low-lying clouds while lifting your spirits.

Warning: This Essential Oil May Improve Your Life

You know how on the drug ads you get a list of side effects like “may cause sudden death or extreme unpopularity?” Well, aromatherapy can also cause “side effects” too. They just happen to be mostly positive.

So while you’re clearing out mental debris, basil essential oil may also erase your stress headache, including migraines. You might find your allergies or other respiratory problems such as sinus infections or asthma improving.

Basil oil comes in several varieties. You want to buy a brand that lists the Latin name so you know what you’re getting. The common name on the label might say basil or sweet basil. Some aromatherapy companies sell a variety that contains more of a particular chemical constituent in it. Then the label will read sweet basil “linalool” or just basil linalool. And BTW-don’t expect the essential oil to smell like the herb you use in cooking.

You also might find Mr. Basil’s cousin for sale, holy basil or Ociumum sanctum. Although she has some of the same properties, she definitely has her own personality and aroma.  Like the Mr. she’s also helpful with your stress and banishing headaches.

How to use

The best way to make basil’s acquaintance is to breath in the oil. Sniff it right from the bottle. And remember, as with anything related to your health, it’s your health and your responsibility. If you’re sensitive to scents, take your time greeting basil. That way you can pay attention to your reaction.

Do you use basil oil? Interested in trying it?  Please share your thoughts here.

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