They say a thief will only see the pockets of a saint and miss the truth of who he is, his wholeness and being. And it’s where we place our focus that determines what we notice, what we decide is valuable and what we are drawn to.
And this focus – how we look at the world – can determine whether we are happy or not, and is ultimately one of the few things we can absolutely control.
Going for my regular cycle one day I decided to test this out, to see what difference it would make to my ride.
It took the first circuit around my home village to decide to play with this strategy. So on the start of the second I took a deliberate decision to only focus on the positives – and my cycle was filled with beautiful flowers and plants, interesting architecture, wide open blue skies, and peace and stillness in the spaces between people and buildings.
Approaching my home for the start of the third route, I was a little apprehensive – what would it be like to only see the negatives this time? As I began I noticed my mind filled with negative talk – seeing the litter tossed under the beautiful flowers, the graffiti on the side of the BT box, mentally judging all those people living behind closed doors.
The other main difference I noticed was the sense of heaviness, lethargy and lack of energy in my body. Why would I want to cycle a route where all I was going to see was what was wrong, or ugly, or unacceptable?
I came to the end of the third circuit with relief! Phew! The low energy lifted as I set the intention to see what would happen on the third circuit if I just allowed things to be as they were, without attaching to the things that are beautiful and pleasing, or judging and criticising the things that I saw as ‘wrong’.
And there it was, a mixture of all of those things happening together, sometimes judging, sometimes enjoying, always the pedalling and the tarmac beneath the wheels and the sky overhead….