Focus

One little word . . . and it applies to all my eclectic interests. Here’s how?

Photography

This is fairly self-explanatory. Whatever the photographer wants to emphasize is what she makes sure is in focus. (I love my Canon. With nine points of focus, it’s easy to depress the shutter release at just the right moment.)

Writing

As I look ahead to the writers’ conference I will be attending mid-June, I get more and more excited about reconnecting with those I met at previous conferences and networking with writers, editors, publishers, and agents.

As an extrovert, these are the times that charge my batteries and make me want to dive into the projects I have on the go and brainstorm new ones.

Editing

What an honour it is to help other writers get their work ready for publication!

And then of course there are the edits I must make of my own work, only allowing myself to be satisfied when it’s the best I can make it before sending “my baby” out into the world.

I must minimize distractions so I can do the best job possible. Plus, I must devote time to increasing my knowledge base.

Submitting

This has long been on my Procrastination List, but shock of shocks, an agent or publisher is not going to walk up to my door and say, “Hey, I hear you write. Let me make you an offer.”

I must crack the spine of my market guides, make my list, and start submitting. I’ve joined a Facebook group that challenges members to write something new and submit weekly. Accountability is a very good things.

Childbirth

To develop my doula business , I have to focus on doing those things that require time and effort – as with anything that’s worth doing.

I must get my business cards – and myself – out there. I must also continue to read and learn from those who know more than I do.

I’m looking forward to the Birth and Beyond Conference in the fall. As is the case with any conference or gathering of like-minded people, I’m sure I will come home gung-ho to make a difference.

Fitness

Can I really offer others something I’m not willing to pursue myself, something I’m not willing to sacrifice for?

What do I have to sacrifice to pursue fitness? Laziness. Excuses. Rationalizing. Preoccupation. Lethargy. Well, if I must . . .

Reading

What happens when one loves books but is, by nature, incredibly lazy? One has several shelves of unread books – and continues to buy more.

What happens when this same individual leaves the TV off and curls up with a book instead of a remote? She learns new things. She gains a sense of satisfaction as well as entertainment. And she is motivated to sit down at the keyboard and write.

TV or books? Seems to me the answer should be as easy as choosing between vegging on the couch or picking up a dumbbell.

Volunteer Work

Believe it or not, this extrovert has to kick herself to go out into the world. (Remember that lazy thing I mentioned?)

However, the longer I spend time with people, the more I want to. (Think of that little icon on your cell phone that let’s you know it’s charging. That’s what happens when I’m around other like-minded people and those with whom I can have a respectful exchange even if we don’t see eye to eye.)

So, remembering that should motivate me to look forward to opportunities to spend time with others.

And when there are things I’ve agreed to do sitting on my Procrastination List, well . . . All I have to do is remind myself how amazing it feels to cross off even one of those items and it propels me forward.

Spiritual Life

As many of you know, I consider journalling “rambling until I stumble upon truth.” The same can be said of this blog post. As I wrote this it, I realized I can apply these insights to my spiritual life as well.

I need to bring into focus that which I want others to notice most clearly. If I say sharing my faith in Christ is of prime importance, I must do more to bring that area of my life into focus.

Spending time with other writers or birth pros sharpens my focus and again opens a world of possibilities. I am reminded that I am part of a vast network that spans the globe. It isn’t much of a leap to realize the same can happen when I spend time with other believers. Christianity isn’t a solitary endeavour.

I must take 1 Corinthians 12:12 to heart. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (ESV).

While I love the fact that I have many interests, many things to focus on, I must keep my priorities in check. I must filter the pursuit of each one through the lens of my number one priority: making Jesus known.

To do this means doing the things I love to do, always keeping my motivation in check. But it also means doing those things, I keep putting off. I’m old enough to realize I don’t want to get to the end of my life with a long list of regrets, not because I ignore them but because I seek to bring the divine purpose of my life into ever sharper focus.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV).

How about you? How will focus help you achieve the things that are most important to you?

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