Imagine a flashlight that hovers in front of your eyes, representing your attention. The flashlight points toward what you’re focused on. When you focus on something outside yourself, the flashlight points outwards, illuminating what you are concentrating on.
When you are focused on yourself, the flashlight beams down on you.
You control your flashlight. In those moments when your attention or focus falter, notice where your flashlight is pointing.
Odds are it is shining right in your face, blinding and immobilizing you.
Here’s what it looks like when you’re pointing your flashlight at yourself:
- your anxiety and obsessiveness about a task cripples your ability to act.
- you feel the need to look good
- you feel like you have to prove that you’re worthy
- you seek praise and approval from others
- you consistently - if unconsciously - place your need to feel liked or be right before the needs of the person you are trying to serve
The problem with this is that you can’t see what’s actually in front of you. And you can’t be in service when you’re focused on yourself.
When you become aware of your flashlight, and shine it outward, you are strengthening your ability to truly focus on something other than yourself.
When you’re in your full expression, your flashlight is not on you. Your eyes are open. You can see what’s in front of you. Your vision can reach as far as the horizon and you can make powerful decisions about where to go because you have so much information. When your flashlight is pointed outward, you are necessarily resting into a foundation of prosperity, generosity, having enough, and knowing you’re enough.
When you turn your attention out, that’s when you’re channeling God, unconditional love, transformational energy. You are allowing your experience to be about more than you. You are opening up to the truth of what’s actually happening in the world around you. Serving others is part of your path to self-mastery. It can be the very force that propels you forward.
It’s inevitable that your attention will be drawn inward. It happens every time we get triggered or activated, anytime we have a negative reaction to something or someone. This work isn’t about never turning the flashlight inward, but rather about increasing the speed with which you can turn your attention back out.
Note: Pointing the flashlight of your attention out doesn’t mean that you can’t pay attention to your own needs - that’s not what we’re talking about. But if you’re so focused on yourself that you can’t see what’s in front of you, that’s ego. That’s insecurity. And that’s not service.
I got this brilliant metaphor from my incredible coach, Marla Mattenson and I use it all the time - so often, in fact, that I had these nifty flashlights made to give to all my clients!
This is an introduction to a deep and powerful teaching - play with it and let me know what you notice!