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May
16

To Focus is not to Force

I had a friend ask, rhetorically, “Every notice that things don’t quite work out when you try to force a solution?” I agreed. But somehow the agreement of the this and the action become separated when I’m in the throws of some difficult situations. I, and perhaps some others, dismiss this idea when we are looking for a quick fix or an answer to a situation that we think will get better if we just push through a little harder, a little tougher.

When we train for big races, when we try to achieve a goal pose in yoga, when we work for that promotion on the job, we often think pushing through, pushing hard, pushing past is the best way to receive the desired outcome. I will agree that focused work needs to go into our approach, but I caution not to confuse focus with force. To focus is to draw your awareness to your goal, to your desire without shutting out your awareness of everything that is around you. To force sometimes means we bulldoze our way through and disregard all the landscape—the landscape that includes cautions, learning opportunities, peace, and resolution.

A yoga teacher once said, the harder a thing is, the softer my approach needs to be. I agree…instead of forcing perhaps we take a deep breath, soften our bodies and mind, surrender our discontent, and find solace in that success alone.

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