What You Focus On Grows

Six Months Later

Melissa suggested that it would be a good idea, when we complete a project, to check how things are going six months later. So this is a check back on results from the What You Focus On Grows project we kicked off in July last year. If you want to refresh yourself as to what we did, how we felt about it, and etc, you can visit this link: What You Focus On Grows.

Here are a few questions to stimulate some conversation:
  • Has your focus changed over the last six months?
  • Are you noticing a difference in what you think about from day to day?
  • Where is your current focus?
  • Do you find that what you resist persists? And if so, what is persisting?
  • Do you find that what you focus on grows? And if so, what is currently growing?

The Focus Project Overview

This post provides links to pertinent aspects of  the What You Focus On Grows project, so that you won’t have to sift through the archives to find out what you want to know.

The original idea, basic concept, and statement of intent is here:

If you would like to try this project for yourself, you can start on day 1: What Do You Want More Of? and come back daily to continue on thru to day 30.  Or, you can pick through the posts, finding what seems interesting and useful. The important thing is to commit to a daily practice.

As you work with the What You Focus On Grows, we encourage you to post your thoughts, ideas, results, joys and disappointments as you go. This is an active blog, and if you post, we will notice and reply, and give you the benefit of our own experience and support if it seems pertinent or appropriate.

If you are curious to know how well the project worked for others, or if you’d like to post your own experiences, visit: Did you get focused?  A gallery of all the images used in this project can be found in The Focus Gallery.

Here is the complete listing of the daily posts for the What You Focus On Grows project:

The Focus Gallery

Here we have a gallery of all the images posted as part of our “What You Focus On Grows” project. Enjoy!

Did you get focused?

Today is the last day of our “What You Focus On Grows” project, and I’m wondering how it worked for you.

  • What, if anything, was the most helpful?
  • Least helpful?
  • Did you focus on any one thing in particular?
  • And if so, did it grow?
  • Did you learn anything new?
  • Remember anything you had forgotten?
  • Discover anything interesting?

A Few Simple Tips

If you are having trouble finding a focus, or if it seems hard to focus your energy with any intensity, here area a few simple tips that I found at Moksha Mantra.

  • Yoga asana:

The traditional Indian techniques of Yoga asana can help you focus more. The researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign proved this, after their study on 30 participants. Those who took a single, 20-minute yoga asana session were considerably faster and more accurate on their tests on working memory and inhibitory control, when compared to participants who walked or jogged on a treadmill for 20 minutes. Working memory and inhibitory control are the measures of brain function associated with the ability to concentrate, recollect and use new information.

  • Drink water:

Staying hydrated will improve your level of concentration. Researchers from the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory found out that even mild dehydration affects mental functioning.

  • Sleep:

Improper sleep patterns can make one easily distracted. If you’re facing problems to focus of late, please ascertain whether you are sleeping for at least 6 to 7 hours every night. Dr Vatsal G Thakkar of the New York University School of Medicine believes that a lack of delta sleep often leads to concentration issues. Delta sleep is the deep stage of sleep, which is important for efficient cognitive functioning.

  • Meditation:

Find time to meditate, even it is for half an hour every day. A study by the University of Washington found out that meditation helped workers to concentrate better. A study by the University of California on 48 undergraduate students also found out that meditation decreases distraction and increases working memory.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety:

Proper management of stress and anxiety is essential to maintain your focus over a long period of time. If you’re feeling overtly anxious and stressful, a consultation with a psychologist or a counselor might do a world of good for you.

  • Food:

What we eat determines how our brain is. The food we eat significantly affects our cognitive functions. Try eating adequate quantities of nutritious food at regular intervals. Have at least three wholesome meals every day.

Lets Burn Some Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are a common staple on most people’s herb and spice racks. It isn’t readily associated with anything past the kitchen. This is a shame, as leaves from the bay laurel have numerous benefits and properties beyond its ability to enrich the palate. As it is rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, it is added to many health tonics and elixirs.

In addition to its historical and culinary uses, the bay leaf has also been held as a sacred tool for cleansing one’s space and alleviating stress, anxiety, and unpleasant energy. Ancient temples routinely burned bay leaves to clear the space and heighten one’s intuitive powers, and today the practice of burning bay leaves in one’s home is resurfacing in practice.

Here’s how:

Take a dry bay leaf (or a few) and light it the same way you would incense. Let it burn out and fill the air with the smoke. Hang out in the room and breathe There is more than one active ingredient in this herb. The leaves’s oils have pinene, cineol, and elemicin compounds. Burning this combination of chemicals causes a stimulating, yet calm slightly psychedelic effect.

Benefits:

Relieves discomforts and fatigue. You may also be surprised at the practice of burning bay leaves for wishes, and the proper method of safely burning the leaves indoors.

There are numerous burning bay leaves benefits, with many people burning bay leaves for stress/anxiety as a safer, more pleasant alternative to over the counter and prescribed remedies. Here is a comprehensive guide to burning bay leaves for stress/anxiety, as well respiratory issues.

In every account, the consumer was relaxed, and alert. The calming effects go so far to relieve arthritis and improve circulation. The combined effect of the oils culminates into a sedative. So it won’t treat any conditions but can provide momentary relief.

The effects will vary greatly. It all comes down to how well the plant was grown, and dried. If you have respiratory issues or don’t want to be in a smoky room you can achieve the same effect by brewing a tea with copious amount of the herb.

Burning Bay Leaves For Fatigue and Tension

Bay leaves contain powerful compounds such as pinene, cineol, and elemicin that, when burned, produce a nerve-soothing effect, as well as a pleasant energy boost. Burning bay leaves releases those medicinal properties into the air, and when inhaled can put you in a relaxed state of mind that in turn alleviates feelings of fatigue.

Burning Bay Leaves For Anxiety

In addition to its physical properties, the fumes from a burned bay leaf are a potent remedy for fatigue and tension, as well as psychological anxiety and stress. With no toxic components or fragrances, bay leaves are a safe and natural way to relieve all manner of conditions.

Bay leaves contain a significant amount of linalool, a naturally occurring terpene found in various flowers and spices that is widely known for its stress-relieving qualities. A recent study conducted through the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists found linalool to greatly reduce anxiety and likewise enhance social interactions between those under the influence of it.

In as little as 10 minutes of smelling a burning bay leaf, linalool begins working. Some have even described the effect as mildly psychedelic.

Burning Bay Leaves For Respiratory Relief

Bay leaves are a natural remedy that can help treat clogged, backed up respiratory passages and lungs. It acts naturally to help break up and remove the nasty mucus and phlegm that’s causing all the problems. Instead of burning the leaves, soak fresh ones in clean water or pick up a small vial of bay leaf oil and use it in a humidifier to create a steamy vapor which you then breathe in. You can also simply boil the treated water on the stove top or rub the oil on your chest area to alleviate respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma.

Burning Bay Leaves For Wishes

In the ancient Greek myth of Apollo and Daphne, the god fell in love with the nymph and tirelessly pursued her. Seeking help from her father, Daphne was transformed into a bay laurel tree, and thereafter bay leaves were believed to provide one with protection and goodwill when used as spiritual implements.

Bay leaves were routinely burned in temples and sacred spaces to assist in acts of prayer and meditation, as well as wish-making. Write your wish on a freshly dried bay leaf and meditate on your sincerest desires while watching it burn. Inhale the pleasantly healing aroma then release the bay leaf ashes to the wind, which will carry your wishes off to be materialized.

Burning bay leaves for wishes is a wonderful way to welcome in the new year, as many have done for centuries.

Burning Bay Leaves For Pest Control

Bay leaves are a safe and effective way to rid your household of annoying pests such as cockroaches and pantry moths. The fumes of burning bay leaves are highly unpleasant to many insects, and routine practice will drive them out of infested spaces for good.

Instructions For Safely Burning Bay Leaves

Properly burned bay leaves will release their healing benefits quickly. Place one dried bay leaf in an ashtray or appropriate holder, then set the leaf on fire and leave the room while it burns, closing the door to allow the aroma to fill the space.

When you return, gently blow on the embers and inhale deeply. A few precautions to keep in mind when burning bay leaves:

  • Never leave burning leaves or even the embers unattended.
  • Make sure you completely extinguish and dispose of the ashes once the leaves have fully burned down.
  • Keep an eye on pets and small children when burning bay leaves.
  • There’s a chance that burning bay leaves will set off a household’s smoke detector, so be mindful of which room you choose to use and its proximity.
  • Try to burn freshly dried bay leaves, as these will produce more beneficial results.

Collected from various sources

Magickal Focus

I found the following article on Wicca Daily. Even if you are not a believer in magick, this might be something that you might want to try if you need help with focus and concentration:

The Article:

One of the big struggles for Wiccans in the 21st century is focus.

Our attention span has gone from several minutes to only 13 seconds (at the time of writing this).

Isn’t that crazy?

That’s because, in average, something distracts us every 13 seconds. A Facebook message, a cute kitten on Instagram, an instant message or a phone call.

Imagine how things were just 25 years ago…

…back then, there weren’t really any cell-phones and computers couldn’t do much more than simply office tasks.

Not anymore…. Because now, almost everything is connected to the internet and it will make sure, we never miss a status update or an “important” email.

There is a way out of this madness though. It will require that you train your mind to stay focused for more than a few seconds at the time and it will require that you turn off you phone, computer, tablet, tamagotchi (remember those 😉 and everything else that beeps, dings and knocks.

For this spell, you will need:

  • A candle (orange is best, because it represents focus and and energy, but any color will do)
  • Time and a quiet place to sit.

Step #01: Before lighting the candle, spend a couple of minutes charging it with your intention. Tell the universe why you are doing this spell and which outcome you hope to get out of it.

For example: you might want to stop procrastination or simply improve your ability to focus.

Step #02: Light the candle. Imagine how the flame and heat takes your intention and spread it into the air, the sky and the universe. Make the image vivid in your mind. This should take a couple of minutes of well.

Step #03: Say the following:

“Gods and Goddesses of the world, the universe and everything else, help me reclaim my mind and my energy and give me back the power to focus. So Mote It Be!”

(you can change the words so they fit your practice and your deities)

Step #04: For the next 28 days, do everything you can to help yourself “re-learn” how to stay focused. That means silencing or turning off, all the things that distracts you. Not for ever, just when you are doing something that requires focus.

Personally, I like to dedicate a set time everyday to check email, social media etc. I only check it at those preset times. Trust me, you don’t miss anything.

The only thing that I allow to disturb me when I am working or with my family, is if my phone rings (on my phone, I can set it so only certain people can call, when it is in “do not disturb mode”).

I have a thing for symbols and another thing I’ve found works for me, is to wear a piece of jewelry that symbolize focus. Try it out and I am sure you will be amazed at how focused and super sharp you can be.

What about you? Is lack of focus something you are struggling with?

How About A Little Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions.

Hypnosis can be used to help you gain control over undesired behaviors or to help you cope better with anxiety or pain. It’s important to know that although you’re more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you don’t lose control over your behavior.

Although hypnosis has been controversial, most clinicians now agree it can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide range of conditions, including pain, anxiety and mood disorders. Hypnosis can also help people change their habits, such as quitting smoking.

Because the word “hypnosis” makes some people nervous, the more popular term these days is “Guided Meditation.” I found a couple of videos on YouTube that I thought might be pertinent to this project. Here they are:

There are plenty of other videos on YouTube, go exploring and see if you can find something that works for you.

Find Your Inner Border Collie

A border collie is a perfect example of great focus and concentration in action. Here is a collection of photos to get us thinking about our own inner border collies, and how we might get them motivated to focus with intensity and have fun doing it.

Most of all, I think it’s important to make friends with and get to know your own inner border collie! If the two of you are friends, you can work as a team and just about anything might be possible.

 

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