Focus vs. Inclusion

This past week, I was fortunate to speak at Interactions conference in Orlando on the topic of Meditation and Creativity. Before leaving for my flight, I threw a copy of the Alchemist in my bag for the trip. While I'm sure I'm probably one of the few remaining individuals on earth that hadn't read it yet, I was surprised by the parallels of Vedic science throughout, particularly the idea of consciousness being one indivisible field. The theme of Oneness permeates the story but one passage in particular stuck with me:

"He knew that any given thing on the face of the earth could reveal the history of all things. One could open a book to any page, or look at a person's hand; one could turn a card, or watch the flight of the birds...whatever the thing observed, one could find a connection with his experience of the moment. Actually, it wasn't that those things, in themselves, revealed anything at all; it was just that people, looking at what was occurring around them, could find a means of penetration to the Soul of the World." -Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

We spend most of our time going from action to action, or achievement to achievement, which requires focus. And focus involves exclusion by nature. When we zoom in a particular task for clarity, we often ignore what's going on around us. And while focus is good periodically, having a tool like meditation helps us avoid going from focus to focus to fatigue and burnout.

When we meditate, we're alternating deep rest with action which helps pull back the lens and prioritize where we're spending our time and attention on, our two most valuable assets. This allows us to do less and accomplish more by giving us choice in how we'd like to respond.

Before the conference, there were a number of curveballs to navigate until about 15 min. before the actual presentation. Despite the unexpected, I remained calm and was confident with the talk, but what stuck with me was gentleman I met prior who was a recent transplant from Puerto Rico working at the hotel. He radiated joy as he talked about the importance of making every moment count, something I might have missed if I had been too focused to even notice him.

When we take the time to de-excite the nervous system, we begin to access this thing called present moment awareness, which gives us to access more connection, fulfillment, better performance, and, as Paulo Coelho so beautifully described above, allows us to "penetrate to the Soul of the World."