Four tips to make your work feel spacious

Posted on Jul 20, 2012

Hi Katherine,

My projects often demand that I work in a very focused way to get the job done. How can I free myself from the focus of one deep activity in order to be present with and respond to what is happening around me in the moment?

Shelley T. (Entrepreneur)

Dear Shelley,

Great question. I think we can all relate to this one, especially when a computer is involved. It’s easy to get so sucked into an activity that we lose our awareness of ourselves and the world around us.

Single-pointed focus

Single-pointed focus is an integral part of creative living. Artists describe an experience of timelessness, when they are swept up in the creative process and the work is just flowing through them. Forgetting to eat or use the toilet are practical examples. And it’s as much a part of business as the arts. But it needs to be balanced.

Freeing yourself to respond

The challenge we face today is that we fail to emerge from the focus back into the spaciousness of our lives, where inspiration and nourishment surround us. Life continually offers us the creative ideas and different points of view we need, but too often we do not look up from our computers to see them. We lose ourselves in the activity.

Focus and spacious presence are both required to be truly effective in the world. Moving between the outer and inner worlds puts us in balance. It is as natural as breathing. But that is a skill that has to be cultivated. Here are a few tips to help:

Four tips to bring space into your work

  1. Value the space around you. It is teeming with creative solutions. Every morning, take 10 minutes for quiet contemplation, to remember yourself and your connection with your world. You can use my free Daily Centering Meditation to get started.
  2. Set your intentions. What one thing will you commit to for today? At the end of your 10-minute meditation, write down one daily intention for Focus and one for Presence.
  3. Contain your focus. Set boundaries that bring you back to Life. Most every cell phone today has a timer on it. Use it to put a timeframe around your work. For example:
    • Every five minutes… look up from your computer at the horizon outside and take a deep breath. Acknowledge your environment.
    • Every hour… stand up, stretch. Drink a glass of water, use the loo. If you can, step outside for a breath of unfiltered air. Connect with your world.
  4. Evaluate your results. Stay current and be honest every day. Every evening, take two minutes to think back on your day and jot down your successes and areas you’d like to improve tomorrow.

Life is that wonderful arena in which we get to express our inner values in the outside world. We deal with real stuff, and we get to know ourselves through the process. Your circumstances are your path inward. Always. Enjoy the journey!



P.S. Post your questions on the Wheel of Creativity Facebook page, and I’ll answer one here every Friday.

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