Focus must be trained.





The sand, surf, sun, and shells, put all in one place, certainly makes the perfect setting for me. It's my happy place. We all need a place where we can relax, get renewed, and be inspired. The beach is that place for me. I'm not a world traveler. I've never been outside the borders of the United States, and my desire is usually to stay pretty close to home. I have visited the states from coastline to coastline and all in-between, however, there is something about the Carolina beaches that just makes me happy.


Most who know me, know that I have a fondness for shells. I enjoy searching for them, collecting them, and using them in my home decor. There aren't many rooms in my home where you don't see some evidence of that. But "shell hunting" takes focus. It is very relaxing, however, you must know what you're looking for or you'll probably find very little. I love Olive shells. I know exactly what I'm looking for and where they wash up and when. My eyes are set for the light-colored creamy smoothness of that Olive, so I find lots of them! Most will say that they hardly ever see those shells at the beach and ask me how in the world I find so many. My response is that I've trained my eye to see them.


Well, yesterday while combing the beach, I decided to search for another item - "turtle heads". Wait! Before you think I'm weird and crazy... Not real turtle heads!!! They are fossilized sediment from inside clamshells that look like rocks in the shape of a turtle head, call Steinkerns. I just learned about these from my beach buddy, Gina, who had a cool collection of them displayed on her coffee table. Yesterday I decided I'd be on the lookout for them rather than Olives. I found a couple but came back with a bag full of Olives. My eye hasn't been trained to look for those dark-colored "turtle heads" yet. And I wasn't fully committed to abandoning my focus on the other, and it became very apparent to me that both had to happen before I would be successful enough to have a cool collection of these like Gina.


Often times we wonder why we continue getting the same results when we would like a different outcome. It's all that we are focused on.

It takes time to re-train our eyes to see something different and new. Our intentions are good. We want that different outcome so much, but we continue to migrate back to the old, the familiar. What results have you been getting that you'd really like to change? Perhaps you need to simply redirect and retrain your eyes on that new outcome - the one that will bring the outcome that you really want. Just like I am in the process of retraining my eye to look for something different, from the Olive to the Steinkern, you will need to train your eye as well. I have begun to read and understand the process of what makes that cool turtle head-shaped object so that I can appreciate it and develop an eye for it.


Developing an appreciation for the new is part of the process - and change is a process.

My prayer today is that you will commit to the process where you need a new direction, a new focus, and a new outcome, in order to experience your happy place.



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