Creating Sacred Focus

By Leo Babauta

Our focus during the day is almost always muddled.

We switch between everything, and at any given 5-minute period, most of us would often be hard-pressed to say what we’re focusing on. That’s not how our minds work most of the time.

It’s no wonder we struggle to face things that are scary, uncertain, difficult and meaningful. If you want to write a book, for example, how would you face that if you’re constantly muddling your focus?

Our focus is precious and sacred. And yet we often use it as if it were worthless. How would you use your sacred focus if it actually mattered to you?

Let me share a few ideas that I believe are life-changing if taken to heart …

First: If focus is precious and sacred, choose things that matter

What things in your life could use some sacred focus? Choose just a small handful that actually matter to you. For me at the moment, it’s my Zen practice, exercise, writing, and eating nourishing meals.

If I offer my sacred focus to that handful of things that matter to me, my life changes. (Btw, I haven’t listed loved ones, coaching clients and team members on here because I’m already reliable to give them my sacred focus.)

Second: Create a sacred focus session

You could think of this as a meditation — it’s a specified period of time where you give your sacred focus only to this one thing that matters. In theory, you could meditate all day, but if that’s your intention, you’ll often muddle the meditaiton with everything else. Having a specific session where you focus completely is the way to practice deeply with this sacred focus.

I recommend setting a time of day for your sacred focus session — for example, today I’m going to do my writing session at 7:30am. And then when the time comes, clear everything away. Set a timer for how long you’d like to focus. Tell others that you need this time to be uninterrupted. When you’re done, close with a bow of gratitude to your practice and yourself.

Third: Offer your full devotion

Once you’re in the sacred focus session, the word I like to use is “devotion.” If I actually care about something, I want to offer my full devotion, loving it with my full heart. Why write if I am only halfway devoted to it? Why only give half my heart to something?

Often, distraction, resistance, uncertainty and fear will get in the way of full devotion. That’s OK! We practice with it. Notice what’s stopping the full devotion. What can you offer this fear? The thing that’s getting in the way is also worthy of your full heart, otherwise you’ll always let yourself out of the uncomfortable place.

OK, that’s all I have on this for today. Practice this and let me know what you find!