It's funny how certain phrases get stuck in my head. Today I hear Billy Blanks, Tae Bo instructor, in my head saying, "Focus, you gotta focus. Visualize.. "v" "v "visualize!" I used to do Tae Bo often, so it makes sense that his words are deeply stowed in my memory. Although he was talking about focusing on progress during exercise, the message resonates deeply now as it rings true in most all of life.
Today was full of opportunities where I had a choice whether to focus on something negative and be annoyed, angry, irritated, or impatient or to focus on something positive, and be amused, playful and peaceful .
As I began my morning drive "over the hill" on curvy highway 17, I realized that I could drive mindfully, safely avoiding those "characters" ( previously referred to as "bleep-holes ) who somehow think that they have 9 lives. I focused my mind on my day ahead, without the negative self-talk that I sometimes so willingly participate in. I also reminded myself of the beauty around me. The full moon was glowing behind some parting dark clouds, and as I arrived at school it burst through, lighting up the sky quite magnificently, giving way to a beautiful morning. I actually uttered a "wow" to myself. Wow.. now that's a great word!
I won't bore you with the details of the rest of my day.. as it was a back and forth battle of the "get sucked into the negative" or "focus on a positive" , but I will say that my morning was challenged by interactions with an attention seeking student, desperate to be loved and accepted. Instead of staying with the frustration, I remembered the impact of the heart. A kind gentle word of encouragement was not the first thing that came to mind as she acted out, trust me! When I called her over to do a math assessment, it was my soft hand on her shoulder as she tried her best to answer a question, that turned her day around, at least for awhile.
In every moment we have a choice.. where are we going to place our focus? I think I need to listen to my heart more; it seems to have all of the answers I need.