Change your focus, change your perspective

Hello my fellow human Beings:

Have you noticed how when you get something new (a new car, shoes or techie gadget) that you start seeing it or information about it more frequently wherever you go?

What you focus on expands your reality. Your new object of focus changes your perspective on the information you take in from the world around you.

So let’s contemplate taking this principle and applying it to love.

If instead of complaining about all the things that went wrong at the end of the day, take a few moments to count all the things that went right. … And start with you!

At the end of the day, before going to bed, reflect on all the accomplishments you achieved this day. Maybe it’s the small things like making the bed, eating a healthy lunch, or patiently being with a co-worker who needs to vent. … Or maybe there were some larger things, like completing a work project, cleaning out the hall closet or building a stronger relationship with your spouse, child, parent or boss. Whatever it is, take the time to think about the good you performed today.

American television host, producer, and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey notes:

“What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”

By focusing on the good and being grateful for the blessings in our lives, rather than the bad and what’s missing, we alter our outlook on life ever so slightly.

What other good things happened to you today?

Maybe someone held the door open for you, or let you into their lane, or smiled as you passed them walking along the sidewalk. Focus on the blessings that were showered on you today, even if they were just a few sprinkles in a torrential downpour of hurt, pain and disappointment.

This may be a good way to get ourselves warmed up for our loving-kindness meditation practice in which we want to love others as we love ourselves. So by taking a few moments to focus on the good we have achieved in the day or received today, we can feel better about ourselves and tap into our source of love. We can then more easily offer loving-kindness to ourselves and then spread that loving-kindness out to others (our benefactors (those that have helped us), those that are neutral to us, those that may have hurt or harmed us, and finally to all beings).

Buddhist meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg in her book, Loving-kindness, explains how changing our focus to goodness is a strong, affirmative idea to build connections:

“Seeing the goodness in someone does not imply ignoring the difficult qualities or unskillful actions. Rather, we can fully acknowledge these difficulties, while at the same time we choose to focus on the positive. If we focus on the negative, we will naturally feel anger, resentment, or disappointment. If we focus on the positive, we will forge a connection to the person.

Looking at people and communicating that they can be loved and love in return gives them a tremendous gift. It is also a gift to ourselves. We see that we are one with the fabric of life. This is the power of metta [loving-kindness]: to teach ourselves and our world this inherent loveliness.”

So I encourage you this week to take time at the end of the day to PAUSE, be still and reflect on the good in yourself and the people you encountered today. Count your blessings. Be grateful for the good in your life. Feel the connection to the source of love and joy within you and to that source of love and joy in others. Change your end of day routine to focus on love. Practice loving-kindness meditation. By changing your focus in this way, you will change your perspective on your life and your world and you will lead a more abundant life.