It is very easy to procrastinate life away; there are no set deadlines or people to enforce them. We often run away through alcohol, drugs, TV, videogames, etc. These are all distractions: we give them our focus to run away from daily life, thus perpetuating inaction. When our focus narrows, our awareness decreases.
There is a direct correlation between focus and awareness that I didn’t realize until now. It was right in front of my face but I didn’t make the logical connection. Meditation is essentially the practice of consciously directing your focus to expand awareness. When we focus on our thoughts we lose awareness of the moment. Focus can be thought of as the concentrated beam of light from a flashlight in a dark room: you can tighten or expand the beam of light to change the scope of awareness. In this analogy, meditation would be remembering that there is a light switch in the room and then turning it on.
Distractions are not the only things that narrow our awareness, societal pressures do too. In today’s society, we are becoming increasingly self-centered and materialistic as a result of consumerism. Many people focus solely on their self. Thanksgiving has become a pre-Christmas shopping event where people trample each other to save a few dollars. Some people are even calling it “thanks-getting.”
If we focus too much on ourselves we start acting in ways that push others down to lift us up, and we start behaving in ways that perpetuate separation in society. Another consequence of our self-centeredness, both individually and as a society, is that we often act in ways that suggest the world belongs to us and that it owes us something.
The world does not belong to us, we belong to the world and we owe it something. We are parts to a whole – it is our duty to contribute to the whole in any way possible. Your purpose is not only for yourself, but for the world and yourself.
I was distracted from the present, but now I am back. I am renewing a commitment to myself and to the world: I will boldly be all that I can be, and do all that I can do, to benefit the world and everything in it. Are you ready to make the same commitment?
I urge you to expand your focus to include the world and all its parts. When you acknowledge that you are a part of the whole you are already helping to reduce the separation in the world today. By expanding your focus, you will become aware of the world and conscious of how your everyday actions affect it.
See the world as yourself.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as yourself,
Then you can care for all things.
Tao Te Ching, 13, Lao Tzu
Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health. We are also the national purveyors of the EZCOACH Fitness Prescription System licensed by fitness professionals.