Focus on doing one thing.
How often do we hear that advice?
Yet how difficult it is to heed it.
Even when it comes to this blog, this moment. I want to sit here for a few moments breathing in and out listening to Snatam Kaur and writing, yet my mind is racing ahead to all that needs to be done in the next 40 minutes, the next several hours, several days. I hear Wally chattering in the background nervously, working last, last minute on a project he had all vacation to do. I did that many times, I remind myself, and when I was far older than him. One thing. Today I returned to a (tiny) morning routine. So simple. Light a candle, start the quiet music, breathe in, and begin. Yet how many mornings go by without it?
I read somewhere recently to start and finish your meditation practice with something that frames it. Lighting a candle and blowing it out can be one way. A chime or incense. One of those bowls—what are they called? Clearly I am new at this. I like that idea though. That commitment. For the length of this song, or while this candle is burning, I will (attempt to) focus on this one thing. I remind myself of that word “attempt” again and again. During meditation our minds may wander. As we’re working on a piece of writing we may keep thinking of a million other things we need to do. As we’re practicing yoga we may need to keep reminding ourselves to focus on the breath—to breathe at all. All we can really control is our intention.
My intention now (nearly 10 PM) has changed from when I began this post (before 7 AM). I had thought then that I would write quite a bit, having not written for a while. Perhaps I’d even write about the reason for the break. But the day carried me away. Whenever I could, I remembered to slow down, breathe, stay focused on one thing. Once in a while I was able to.
So here is this post after a long silence, one little offering.