The Care of Your Inner Telescope
Yesterday we talked about the Inner Telescope we all have, and how important it is to take good care of it. Let’s look at some helpful tips to keep your internal telescope sharp and focused.
Decide To Use Your Telescope
Your first step is to decide that focus and clarity is a priority. As Ralph Blum wisely says in The Book of Runes, “…even more than we are doers, we are deciders. And once the decision is clear, the doing becomes effortless.”
Once you make that decision, you’re going to find you get excited by the possibilities.
Clean the Lens
No matter how beautiful the view is outside, you’ll never see it through a dirty window. That’s why we have spring cleaning, to scrub away the winter gunge that’s built up during those months of hibernating.
A little spring cleaning of our internal telescope can get the glass sparkling and the vista sharp and enticing.
But what happens when the lens of your internal telescope continues to film over with daily diversions?
They take away from what’s important.
You may feel pressure from the urgent things that clamor for immediate attention: Do the laundry! Run the errands! Play with the cat!
You can be seduced by the mindless things that are easy distractions: internet surfing, television, video games, and texting.
You might feel emotionally entangled with someone else’s situation, pulling you away from your own state of affairs.
But the truth is — they get in the way of accomplishing what truly matters to you: writing that article, planning a family night, exercising, meditating.
When you look at all of the time-wasters and distractions, you’ll come to realize you can set them aside — but that will require you to focus your telescope.
Focus Your Telescope
The world today provides us with more information than we can possibly process. If we don’t set limits or boundaries on where we focus our attention, we fall into a numb, drifting mind-state — never knowing where to rest and always feeling overwhelmed.
Rather than settling for mindlessness, seek mindfulness.
Mindfulness is magic. When we’re mindful, we pay attention to our life. The present moment is very much alive, yet we look at what is going on — both in and around us — without an emotional charge.
Being mindful means we are actively making choices about our precious time and mind-space.
When we use mindfulness to focus, clarity is the result.
With clarity, you can “aim your arrow true.” You’ll recognize when something is distracting you and find it easier to set aside. You’ll catch yourself when you’re thinking self-defeating thoughts and bring yourself back to productive mind- talk.
Pay attention to those times you find yourself thinking, I can’t do this. Notice when you berate yourself, compare yourself to others, or grumble about your current circumstances. These destructive thoughts and self-beliefs are the film and dirt on your internal telescope lens.
When you notice such self-talk — change perspective.
Choose to think differently.
Compassionately remind yourself of what you want.
Is it possible for you to get it, do it, or make it happen? Yes, yes and yes! Be gentle with yourself as you go through these changes.
Your mind is like a puppy; whapping it on the nose with a newspaper will not get you the outcome you want. You’ll need time, repetition, and discipline to create a new habit with this mindfulness.
Think of it as leash training your puppy, with treats at the end!
Aim Your Telescope
Meditation will keep your internal telescope from wobbling on its base. Too many people think meditation means sitting on a zafu cushion for hours at a time striving for no-mind. Think of meditation more as a calming of the chatter. Find time — as little as ten minutes a day — to sit quietly. Let your mind go softly silent. Coax your mental squirrels off their squeaky wheels for a while.
As your mind stills, those urgent beasties tend to go and sit in a corner. What you want to focus on quietly comes to sit with you. When it does, you can truly examine this most important companion and its friends, so you (and they) can work together most efficiently.
Meditation brings serenity, and you can pull your energy together for good use. Calming your mind is one of the most powerful tools your internal telescope can use. The more you practice meditation, the more easily your mind will come into alignment.
Adjust the Lens
The beneficial structure of both you and your surroundings is crucial for clarity. Your body is the housing for your telescope. If your body isn’t in sound working order, then neither are you.
These are nine simple ways to adjust your internal lens.
Cultivate simple, good habits. Get enough sleep. Eat good food at the right time, your attention centered on the meal. Avoid haphazardly shoving food in your body while on the go. Exercise to remind your body that you are partners in this adventure, which is good for raising your endorphin level.
Keep yourself and your surroundings clean and comfortable. When you’re neither distracted by clutter nor feeling scruffy, focus is easier to come by.
Get dressed every day. Working in pajamas may sound lovely, but if not getting dressed dulls your clarity and confidence, the comfort isn’t worth the trade-off.
Turn off the techno-tempters when you need to stay focused. According to Timothy Egan, contributing writer for The New York Times, a survey of Canadian media consumption by Microsoft concluded that a person’s average attention span had fallen to eight seconds — down from 12 seconds in the year 2000. We now have a shorter attention span than goldfish. Why? Because our attention span shortens the more we indulge in electronics.
Set your schedule and keep your lists. Sheer willpower may not be enough to keep you on track, especially if you have numerous distractions throughout the day. Following a schedule and prioritizing items on a list helps to keep you focused.
Learn from other people with focused telescopes. The Law of Attraction states, “where your attention goes so goes your existence.” If you want clarity, then surround yourself with people and things that will cultivate clarity — not dissipate it.
Stay away from people who live in Never-land. Avoid people whose lives are filled with “no,” “not,” and “never,” who make promises but never keep them, and who are habitually late. Eschew the company of the drifters who have no direction. They exhaust your energy with unproductive talk about dreams they’ll never pursue because they’re unwilling to do the work.
Find your tribe. Your true tribe is comprised of those who are excited by life, whose direction and purpose are at the tip of their tongue, and whose lives reflect their goals and desires with promise and effort combined.
Avoid the gloom-and-doom in the world. The adage in broadcasting is “If it bleeds, it leads.” That kind of outlook is the last thing you need around you! Make an effort to find positive stories and inspirational books and podcasts. Listen to the words and ideas of those whose clarity of purpose and spirit has brought them joy and success. If they can achieve a happier state of being as they reach for their dreams, so can you.
Once you’ve got that Internal Telescope sharp and focused, you’re ready to take on your purpose, your relationships and partner with Spirit. Let’s go!