Focus Mindfully

    c.85.w monkey chatterIn her quest to master the art of focusing, Nana Tush began by paying attention to (and focusing on) ten consecutive breaths. Her first attempts weren’t successful, though she occasionally would make it as far as her third breath before her mind wondered. (Usually it wondered after the first or second.) Rather than being discouraged, she took that as confirmation she needed to sharpen her mental acuity.

    Nana Tush was (and is) of the belief a person accomplishes a lot by focusing on their task at hand, without the ticker tape in their head running (screaming) about all the things they need to do, ought to do, want to do, and are scared they won’t get done in time.

    Nana Tush found herself utterly exhausted from years of doing “A,” while worrying about/fussing over and/or freaking out about not doing B, C, or even Y and Z.

    Nana Tush had those rare moments (ironically when she almost didn’t care — which is what it took for her to “let go”), when she was able to do one task at a time, with complete focus and attention. She discovered by doing so, the effort required to accomplish said task was negligible, even if interrupted. When interrupted, she focused on the new matter, dispensed with it, and returned her focus to the old matter, until the next interruption.

    As Nana Tush explained, the goal of mastering the art of focus — often referred to as mindfulness — is to quiet or tame (dare one hope to eradicate?) the monkey chatter inside one’s mind. That chatter being the biggest hindrance to focusing.

    Nana Tush was pleased when subsequent attempts to focus on those ten consecutive breaths occasionally happened, even with the background beat of the monkey chatter. She viewed that as progress. And with practice, Nana Tush is confident she’ll get even better. That’s encouraging for those wanting to following her footsteps. (Or should that be following in her breaths?) Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. …

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