By: John Mestyanek
You are a powerful creator whether you are aware of it or not. Every thought we think, feeling we emote, and action we take is a part of the process of creating our personal reality. The challenge we all face is to become conscious of our thoughts, emotions, and actions so that we can intentionally create the life we desire to live. That brings up the question of how do we become conscious of our thoughts, feelings, and habitual behaviors?
Our personal point of power is found in stillness. Stillness of mind, emotion and action. The answer may seem simple but creating the experience of stillness in our busy lives can seem like an impossible task at times. For those of us with family, careers, and friends, even taking 10 minutes for ourselves each day is challenging. Many people are aware of the transformative power of meditation, but when we take the time to attempt the practice we either fall asleep or just sit there thinking about the issues we feel need our attention. Meditation can be a powerful tool for creating your point of power; however, many people become frustrated with the practice before they reap the benefits because they get frustrated with not being able to calm their busy mind.
In order for meditation to be the powerful tool that it is capable of being then we must first learn how to still our busy mind. Here is a simple exercise you can practice this new year to help enhance everything you do by strengthening your most powerful tool.
The most effective way I have practiced and taught how to strengthen your attention is by focusing on a flame for 10 minutes at a time. Just using a candle where the flame is revealed. Personally I like to use tea light candles because they are easy to find and I use them for other things in my house. You will also need paper and some sort of writing device: pen, pencil, marker, sharpie it doesn’t matter. You will also need a timer. If you can avoid using your phone that would be ideal. Phones are the biggest distraction in our society, so if you can just leave it in the other room for 10 minutes when you are practicing it will only reinforce your purpose for doing it.
The exercise itself is pretty simple. Light your candle, get your paper in front of you with pen in hand. Start your timer and focus on the flame. Any time your focus is distracted from quiet observation of the flame make a mark on your paper and refocus. This includes noises, movements, or feelings in your body. It also includes thoughts about what happened that day or even about how pretty the flame is. You just want to sit and observe. Your focus does not need to be intense. You should be able to be relaxed, breathing normally, and mentally quiet as you observe the flame burn. The purpose of the pen and paper is to track your progress. As you continue to practice this exercise, your ability to concentrate will grow. However, there will come a point when you realize that you are starting to get a lot more marks again and that’s perfectly normal. What happens is that as we begin to develop our attention we first become aware of outer physical distraction and those are the marks that go down on our paper. As the practice progresses, you start to become more aware of you those inner distraction. How your mind jumps around from thought to thought or replays experiences that upset you or made you laugh. This is the point we want to get to. We need to discipline our thought process to begin taking greater control of what we manifest in lives.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing you a happy new year!