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lack of focus issue.

The looking has been a great way of managing 'panic' but I have an issue which has been getting worse and worse over the last few weeks which is now starting to bother me as it is getting worse- I can't focus. The more I look the worse this seems to get. I am also getting very frustrated with this as there is stuff I need to be able to do as I have a family depending on me doing this

This issue is in relation to my work which is very demanding. I run a business which is in severe difficulty and I now can't focus on it. As an individual I am usually hyper focused and disciplined in my work with high levels of motivation for tasks that are both high level and mundane.

The feeling I have is 'can't be bothered' I have plenty of application for other things, in fact just about anything seems more attractive than my work right now. This has only come about since starting the 'looking'. The crisis side of my work I am doing fine with, it is the day to day aspects of it- the stuff you have to do.

The work issue may be one I can't solve so perhaps it now seems futile and pointless, although being like this is bound to make this into a self fulfilling prophecy.Also I am not really enjoying it as the financial issues have led to high staff turnover and other ongoing issues that need constant fire fighting.

Sat at my desk I feel agitated and without motivation, normally I would work fairly long hours to get what needs doing done- I know this is not a great thing in itself, now I am leaving work with a lot left not done.

Has anyone else experienced this lack of focus- if so what can I do about it

ditto

ditto

Wow, Fiona, thanks so much for asking this question. It's something that I'm struggling with too, but hadn't thought to associate with the looking so realizing that they may be connected is actually a relief.

Last week, when Carla responded to Gerrit saying that she wanted to post a report of her experience with the looking, but that she just hadn't had time to do so because she's been so busy with other things related to this work, it made me realize the extent to which I was feeling unmotivated at my job and almost resistant to it. For me right now, LIFE (work, household chores, etc.) just seems like a big imposition and something that I have no appetite for. If anything, I feel at times more disconnected than ever from life, like I need to protect myself from it more than I ever have.

I know I'm taking a bit of a tangent here, so I'm not sure if this is what you're experiencing, but your words struck a chord with me.

Thanks for being here, Fiona--

Take care,

Ansley

more confusion, indecisiveness, less coherence, focus

more confusion, indecisiveness, less coherence, focus

Dear Fiona & Ansley,

Yep. I've got a lot of that too. That is one thing that has clearly come about subsequent to the looking. I think it may be because my mind is under so much internal stress from the searing anxiety and angst, etc., that I often experience lack of clarity and difficulty remaining coherent...something that I've never had trouble with in my entire life.

Also, I'm having increased trouble getting my life together and being responsible and productive enough. Now this has other roots, and has be around since long before the looking, but I am finding it more difficult now then I expected, and the looking may be a cause or the increased anxieties may be a cause, I'm not sure. But it's clear for me that avoidance is coming from the fears, and the fears are in high tide, so that's that.

Gerrit

focus

focus

tryingtolook

Wow, Fiona, thanks so much for asking this question. It's something that I'm struggling with too, but hadn't thought to associate with the looking so realizing that they may be connected is actually a relief.

Last week, when Carla responded to Gerrit saying that she wanted to post a report of her experience with the looking, but that she just hadn't had time to do so because she's been so busy with other things related to this work, it made me realize the extent to which I was feeling unmotivated at my job and almost resistant to it. For me right now, LIFE (work, household chores, etc.) just seems like a big imposition and something that I have no appetite for. If anything, I feel at times more disconnected than ever from life, like I need to protect myself from it more than I ever have.

I know I'm taking a bit of a tangent here, so I'm not sure if this is what you're experiencing, but your words struck a chord with me.

Thanks for being here, Fiona--

Take care,

Ansley

Hi Ansley

Firstly it is a huge relief to realize that this is not just me. Your experience sounds identical to mine. Any helpful insight I discover will be shared, it would be great if you can do the samesmily I plan to stick with the 'looking' approach in spite of my concerns.

I am currently seeing a private practice professional for stress/ anxiety and this is how I came discover John Sherman. This has been excellent as it is a whole life/ well-being type of approach and likely to have much more long lasting success that the usual drug treatments. This will soon stop as my insurance will soon run out so this forum is pretty important to me in terms of support as this process is a much longer one than the sticking plaster solution offered by prescription drugs.

What I plan to avoid is ending up back at the regular family doctor with ongoing anxiety issues- he is not going to have a clue about the 'inward looking' approach and will as usual sit there, pen poised over prescription pad like they all do and I will be back where I started. I do feel with certainty that the inward looking is the right approach. I think what it does is expose to yourself what you really are. I am finding that I am indulging myself in more 'interesting' pursuits with an almost childish glee, this is helpful in many ways but not great from a 'real life' point of view

Out of interest what do you do for a living (if you don't mind me asking), have you enjoyed your work in the past, also are you normally motivated? What concerns me is that I am not by nature a procrastinator, if I was I would be less concerned. I am trying out a new strategy to solve this issue over the next week, I will probably post my findings in the thread called 'Preliminary findings' which was started by Joe Bray as this topic was covered in there also. This also seems like a good thread for general progress tracking, It would be great if you could join in on this as I believe Joe also appears to be having similar issues. You may like to add your own thoughts to this thread also.

As an aside it would be great if you could fill out some details on your profile, not necessarily to disclose who you are but just so myself and others can get a sense of what you are about. Mine is on my profile- I am the owner of a reasonably sized and fairly well known design company- hence my concerns about my current state.

Stay in touch

Fiona

difficulties arise

difficulties arise

Fiona, AS I have gone through difficulties associated with recovery this issue has come up for me at times. As a psychologist I have a responsibility to my patients to be present and attentive and effective in my work with them. At times when I was struggling with the changes in energy and emotional confusion etc. that arose, I experienced concern about handling many of the aspects of life that continued to come at me. Recently in my studies about leadership I read about how successful leaders identified times in their life when they faced what they called "crucibles". They identified crucibles as situations that arose that challenged who they were in terms of their capacity to manage life. They shared that these challenges usually came up unexpected and were the source of pain, confusion, upset, and at times life threatening. They recalled that they experienced deep self reflection in dealing with the circumstances and the experience changed them in such a way that they discovered that they were "big" enough to handle much more than they imagined. During the recovery period my experience is that there is a profound transition occurring in which the previous personality is being reconstructed in a way where the limited ways of managing challenges fall apart and new capacities that are an expression of the you that was touched by the looking take hold. As this occurred for me I experienced that I could have spikes of fear, concern, anxiety, and confusion go on and function not only without being distracted but with an experience of excitement and fulfillment that was not there before. This allowed me to notice that my true nature was one of capacity. I suggest that you simply recognize that what your experiencing need not distract you from what needs to get addressed. One thing that made a difference for me was to take some time each day to be still and silent and connect with my breath and look at what was occurring in my body in terms of any sensations, tensions, etc. and notice the thoughts and the tendency to be taken by thoughts, especially thoughts of concern like the ones you shared. The truth is that you can direct your attention where it is needed and experience whatever is going on in your mind without it taking over. It sounds like you're in this transition. Yes it can be difficult and uncomfortable at times and it will pass. Do the best you can and stay in this conversation for support. One thing is that the end is certain once you have done the looking. Your authenticity is beautiful.

Love.

David

Fiona

The looking has been a great way of managing 'panic' but I have an issue which has been getting worse and worse over the last few weeks which is now starting to bother me as it is getting worse- I can't focus. The more I look the worse this seems to get. I am also getting very frustrated with this as there is stuff I need to be able to do as I have a family depending on me doing this

This issue is in relation to my work which is very demanding. I run a business which is in severe difficulty and I now can't focus on it. As an individual I am usually hyper focused and disciplined in my work with high levels of motivation for tasks that are both high level and mundane.

The feeling I have is 'can't be bothered' I have plenty of application for other things, in fact just about anything seems more attractive than my work right now. This has only come about since starting the 'looking'. The crisis side of my work I am doing fine with, it is the day to day aspects of it- the stuff you have to do.

The work issue may be one I can't solve so perhaps it now seems futile and pointless, although being like this is bound to make this into a self fulfilling prophecy.Also I am not really enjoying it as the financial issues have led to high staff turnover and other ongoing issues that need constant fire fighting.

Sat at my desk I feel agitated and without motivation, normally I would work fairly long hours to get what needs doing done- I know this is not a great thing in itself, now I am leaving work with a lot left not done.

Has anyone else experienced this lack of focus- if so what can I do about it

Capacity

Capacity

Hi David,

Your response wasn't directed specifically to me, but boy, is it helpful. I've been trying to do a mindfulness practice each day as John suggests with varying degrees of "success" (it is amazing to me how the "train" of thought gets off the tracks so easily!) but your encouragement here is additional motivation for me...

Fiona,

I will certainly let you know if I discover anything that makes my focus/motivation improve... my guess is that it will take care of itself in the long run and it's just a matter of waiting out this period. In answer to your question, I work in marketing and in the past, I've been hyper-motivated-- partly out of my more neurotic tendencies of not wanting to make a mistake or displease anyone, but also because I really like working with co-workers, the team aspect of so much of what I do, helping customers, etc. This lack of focus in work and the rest of my life seems to ebb and flow (just like everything else in the recovery, I'm finding!) but when it's in the waning phase, I experience quite a bit of fear. It would make me feel better if I was (as you describe) enjoying "more interesting pursuits", but there doesn't seem to be anything right now that is making me feel a lot of joy. I will continue to wait though...

Hope that's helpful and thank you for posting about this.

Take care,

Ansley

Thanks Ansley!

Thanks Ansley!

tryingtolook

Hi David,

Your response wasn't directed specifically to me, but boy, is it helpful. I've been trying to do a mindfulness practice each day as John suggests with varying degrees of "success" (it is amazing to me how the "train" of thought gets off the tracks so easily!) but your encouragement here is additional motivation for me...

Fiona,

I will certainly let you know if I discover anything that makes my focus/motivation improve... my guess is that it will take care of itself in the long run and it's just a matter of waiting out this period. In answer to your question, I work in marketing and in the past, I've been hyper-motivated-- partly out of my more neurotic tendencies of not wanting to make a mistake or displease anyone, but also because I really like working with co-workers, the team aspect of so much of what I do, helping customers, etc. This lack of focus in work and the rest of my life seems to ebb and flow (just like everything else in the recovery, I'm finding!) but when it's in the waning phase, I experience quite a bit of fear. It would make me feel better if I was (as you describe) enjoying "more interesting pursuits", but there doesn't seem to be anything right now that is making me feel a lot of joy. I will continue to wait though...

Hope that's helpful and thank you for posting about this.

Take care,

Ansley

Ansley,

Thanks for this mega useful responsesmily Very useful indeed to hear that you have been a very motivated person. My design company is in the Fashion and consumer goods industry, and the whole thing seems worthless and vacuous right now (you are in marketing so this may seem familiar????) I spend my time discussing with Marks and Spencers and similar retailers topics such as which exact shade of pink should be used, what size of button, does the fabric have enough tactility to make this item a must have etc- as if anyone gives a sh*t. My whole life seems to be like this. It is all about which subtle change can be made to product in order to effect higher sales, and higher consumer spending etc. Selling more shi*t that people think they want but don't actually need and probably can't afford. Needless to say with the retail industry in its current state in the UK/ Europe the business is struggling with bad debts from distributor/ customer insolvency. Not only is this a thankless task from the business point of view as there is currently no money in it but it also by association makes the consumer less well off as well by peddling the idea that the latest XYZ is going to improve their life in some way when in fact all I am doing is encouraging the sale of cheap sticking plaster solutions that people can attach to their self worth in order to keep their egos together....another failed strategy for human happiness- sorry for the rant!

Hello Fiona,

Thank you for your post. It is so honest and clear. I too run my own business on which my children and household depend. And like you, my focus has drifted from the work at hand with resulting loss of income. I do see this though as being in the service of recovery. In the process of recovery (which you so clearly sound like you have entered) the rearrangement of those things which do not serve, or are features of the fear of life, are brought up for examination. Lack of focus, poor memory seem to be symptoms of this for some people here. I am waiting to see what presents itself and to not resist. It appears to have its own momentum and its own reasons. I think it pays to listen to what is happening, to be patient with the rearrangement, to trust it. It is removing the areas where fear of life has created dysfunctional behaviours and circumstances, rather like a quiet revolution going on within and sometimes story rearrangement without.

Good luck and fear not,

Emma ~

Thank David

Thank David

Dparrish

Fiona, AS I have gone through difficulties associated with recovery this issue has come up for me at times. As a psychologist I have a responsibility to my patients to be present and attentive and effective in my work with them. At times when I was struggling with the changes in energy and emotional confusion etc. that arose, I experienced concern about handling many of the aspects of life that continued to come at me. Recently in my studies about leadership I read about how successful leaders identified times in their life when they faced what they called "crucibles". They identified crucibles as situations that arose that challenged who they were in terms of their capacity to manage life. They shared that these challenges usually came up unexpected and were the source of pain, confusion, upset, and at times life threatening. They recalled that they experienced deep self reflection in dealing with the circumstances and the experience changed them in such a way that they discovered that they were "big" enough to handle much more than they imagined. During the recovery period my experience is that there is a profound transition occurring in which the previous personality is being reconstructed in a way where the limited ways of managing challenges fall apart and new capacities that are an expression of the you that was touched by the looking take hold. As this occurred for me I experienced that I could have spikes of fear, concern, anxiety, and confusion go on and function not only without being distracted but with an experience of excitement and fulfillment that was not there before. This allowed me to notice that my true nature was one of capacity. I suggest that you simply recognize that what your experiencing need not distract you from what needs to get addressed. One thing that made a difference for me was to take some time each day to be still and silent and connect with my breath and look at what was occurring in my body in terms of any sensations, tensions, etc. and notice the thoughts and the tendency to be taken by thoughts, especially thoughts of concern like the ones you shared. The truth is that you can direct your attention where it is needed and experience whatever is going on in your mind without it taking over. It sounds like you're in this transition. Yes it can be difficult and uncomfortable at times and it will pass. Do the best you can and stay in this conversation for support. One thing is that the end is certain once you have done the looking. Your authenticity is beautiful.

Love.

David

Hi David

You are 100% right about being in transition. I believe that the outward personality I have created around my real self is crumbling and I am making no attempt to do any repair work on this folly. I am not so sure about being 'authentic' although its nice of you to say so. My over-riding feeling at the moment is that my life - as in what I do for living and what I spend much of my time doing is 'worthless' and of no real benefit to anyone. I do not feel this about myself however, but it is quite difficult to reconcile 'me' and 'my life' if you know what I mean. Working in the fashion industry as I do is a thankless task, the whole industry has delusions of self importance and those in it have a maladjusted sense of their self image. My problem is short of pitching a tent on the roadside I need to remain involved with this circus while I get our family finances in order and this involves disposing of my business in a suitable way or being able to separate 'the me' from 'the business'.

Your suggestions on mindfulness are very helpful and this is a practice I have recently started, I am mixing the 'looking' with other ideas which are more outward focused and this for now seems pretty helpful. I will report back on the preliminary findings thread as this may be helpful to others also.

Thanks again

Fiona

Lack of Focus

Lack of Focus

I've read and enjoyed Fiona's observations and those of the other contributors. Just to add my own status report: Still rudderless and wandering, still lost without my spiritual fixes. And now I can't/won't look. I'm refusing; after all one look should be enough, right? I'm also getting cynical and critical of this process and this forum. I don't see evidence of results any better than that of all the other usual suspects. And I'm cynical that the 'it may get worse before it gets better, and it make take ages anyway' just gives everyone a way out, and keeps us hanging on waiting for nothing to happen. Having said that, if I went to a music teacher who told me that the more I knew the more I would have to unlearn, and that I might get worse before I got better, I'd probably accept that, wouldn't I?

And with a lifetimes worth of addictions and dodges and patterns to dismantle, it's not surprising that there's chaos.

There is one thing I've discovered the truth of these past few days: Whatever I worry about and think is the problem, the resolution of which I imagine will open the doors of the prison, is not, and has never been the problem. And looking back over my life, it seems like a series of problems and worries, one after another, relentlessly, whose validity as the 'Problem' I believed at the time. My previous problems have been exposed as the phantoms they were, but unfortunately my current worry carries all the weight and gravity the others had in the past. But at least now I can see that much.

On the other hand, I'm knocking out watercolour paintings at the rate of one masterpiece a day… now that is new for me…Thanks to God and everyone...

crucible

crucible

I can't remember whether I posted a reply yet to this thread, but here, I have a bit more to say:

Fiona

I can't focus. [...] As an individual I am usually hyper focused and disciplined in my work with high levels of motivation for tasks that are both high level and mundane.

In terms of focus, as I've mentioned before, I am experiencing great confusion on a general level, as well as indecisiveness and trouble concentrating on some things such as what I'm saying. It's not ubiquitous, but I've never had trouble concentrating in my life.

As for discipline and high levels of motivation, super-achieving, work ethic, etc.....I'm ashamed to say that's not me. I've always been frustrated with myself for having trouble getting things done and being a good worker and such, despite being almost life-long passionate and very interested in several pursuits. Recently it became more clear to me that some sort of anxiety has been fueling my avoidance. That's probably the number one thing that I despise/wish was different about myself. And with my depression, I haven't been very actively engaged in anything in years now.

tryingtolook

If anything, I feel at times more disconnected than ever from life, like I need to protect myself from it more than I ever have.

Almost the same here. Interestingly, I can very tentatively report one positive change here. Let me explain: Nowadays I feel much more anxiety, angst, self-loathing, hopelessness, despair, you name it, as a result of my inner mental world generating negative thoughts and fears, and this makes me feel more vulnerable and in need of protection from it. But it's only my mind that's really troubling me at all right now in my life; I need secret-service protection big time from my own mind. But in terms of the external physical world, I think I am actually less afraid of external life than ever. When in-the-moment threats or problems come up, I am not nearly as bothered or fearful. I am a little closer and more intimate with external happenings, and yet less afraid of them. But if I think about future external problems, then those thoughts can cause me great fear.

Fiona

I am finding that I am indulging myself in more 'interesting' pursuits with an almost childish glee, this is helpful in many ways but not great from a 'real life' point of view.

Well that's cute. And it may go along with the whole suspicion that your mind is now in a haphazard process of shedding things that aren't actually meaningful and turning toward things that it finds greater interest in, despite what the demands of reality are.

Dparrish

[...] Recently in my studies about leadership I read about how successful leaders identified times in their life when they faced what they called "crucibles". They identified crucibles as situations that arose that challenged who they were in terms of their capacity to manage life. They shared that these challenges usually came up unexpected and were the source of pain, confusion, upset, and at times life threatening. They recalled that they experienced deep self reflection in dealing with the circumstances and the experience changed them in such a way that they discovered that they were "big" enough to handle much more than they imagined.

My romantic side wants to hope that what I am going through is a kind of crucible or "crucifixion" that will eventually leave me changed in some way that the Truth will be greater than the fear and make it obsolete somehow.

Fiona

...the whole thing seems worthless and vacuous right now (you are in marketing so this may seem familiar????) I spend my time discussing with Marks and Spencers and similar retailers topics such as which exact shade of pink should be used, what size of button, does the fabric have enough tactility to make this item a must have etc- as if anyone gives a sh*t. My whole life seems to be like this.

...I believe that the outward personality I have created around my real self is crumbling and I am making no attempt to do any repair work on this folly....

Selling more shi*t that people think they want but don't actually need and probably can't afford... ...doing is 'worthless' and of no real benefit to anyone.... ...delusions of self importance and those in it have a maladjusted sense of their self image....

...makes the consumer less well off as well by peddling the idea that the latest XYZ is going to improve their life in some way when in fact all I am doing is encouraging the sale of cheap sticking plaster solutions that people can attach to their self worth in order to keep their egos together....another failed strategy for human happiness...

I see this as an important point. I'm quite sure that after the looking much of the human population/paradigm will experience this sudden confrontation with the meaninglessness and insanity of how the world and our lives are operating. So much of what people have spent so much energy and attention and willpower on is actually either worthless or done with insane intentions. It's relevant to my own situation in that, people are expecting me to get busy and get motivated with figuring out a career and working full-time and making money and pursuing "dreams" and being "hungry" (that's what you're supposed to convey in a job interview for consulting or other white collar work: "hungry") and, you know, doing what (at least in this society) people are "supposed to do". That's what life is supposed to be about, right? Pursuing your "dream" and achieving and excelling and "making it" and getting out of life what you want lest you "waste" your life or you don't reach your "potential" and you'll die not being "good enough" or "failing" or some other nebulous fear of what will happen if I don't keep fighting/pushing/seeking/running on this hamster wheel that I call my "life plan". You have to "seize the day" and wrest the prize....as if you had to rip out of life your ego's desires for happiness like hungry zombies ripping out human flesh. Is that really how we're supposed to live life? ...**as if you couldn't tell, I've been feeling this pressure from people close to me**

Gerrit

changes

changes

Joe Bray

I've read and enjoyed Fiona's observations and those of the other contributors. Just to add my own status report: Still rudderless and wandering, still lost without my spiritual fixes. And now I can't/won't look. I'm refusing; after all one look should be enough, right? I'm also getting cynical and critical of this process and this forum. I don't see evidence of results any better than that of all the other usual suspects. And I'm cynical that the 'it may get worse before it gets better, and it make take ages anyway' just gives everyone a way out, and keeps us hanging on waiting for nothing to happen. Having said that, if I went to a music teacher who told me that the more I knew the more I would have to unlearn, and that I might get worse before I got better, I'd probably accept that, wouldn't I?

And with a lifetimes worth of addictions and dodges and patterns to dismantle, it's not surprising that there's chaos.

There is one thing I've discovered the truth of these past few days: Whatever I worry about and think is the problem, the resolution of which I imagine will open the doors of the prison, is not, and has never been the problem. And looking back over my life, it seems like a series of problems and worries, one after another, relentlessly, whose validity as the 'Problem' I believed at the time. My previous problems have been exposed as the phantoms they were, but unfortunately my current worry carries all the weight and gravity the others had in the past. But at least now I can see that much.

On the other hand, I'm knocking out watercolour paintings at the rate of one masterpiece a day… now that is new for me…Thanks to God and everyone...

Joe and others

Well Joe....

At least something good is happening. It is FANTASTIC to hear about the watercolours- when is the exhibition....? smily

Sorry to hear that not much else has improved, not sure if the below will be of any help.

Everyone- Like Joe, I too am getting fed up, Looking alone is no panacea that is for sure, In fact I sometimes wonder if the looking has become the equivalent of the Sword of Damocles in my hands. In fact I have recently given up looking in the way described by John, it is powerful but in itself has become obsessive and unhelpful from a whole life point of view. Although people on this forum do their best to be helpful I am not reading too much in the way of encouraging outcomes. I also find the restriction on referring to other teachings very limiting even though I myself have not been on a spiritual path. Many people have travelled a long way to get to the simple act of 'Looking' and I believe deserve to be able to discuss their story. This road less travelled a hard one, I personally would like to combine/ compare other strategies- after all if the simple act of 'looking' is the right one then it is what we will all settle on in the end.

I also find the forum very repetitive probably because of this limited approach. However I am intrigued by my own change of state, the changes in me have been of such a magnitude that I can't ignore them although in many respects these have been hard to live with and not particularly positive. I have as a result changed my approach to one I believe is more balanced and less self indulgent. I am currently combining the 'inwardness' which to be honest had started to become a soup of self obsession (not a state of mind that sat very comfortably with me to be honest) with outward focused looking and a mindful type activity every day which incorporates resources around me- no religions, organised spiritual practices or gurus, just plain and simple me. This all sounds a bit 'alternative' but this is what I have been up to....

Reading with the idea of learning something every day that is non work related- pointless but interesting random topics- topics that make me think.

Mindfulness- This includes daily walking of a meditation Labyrinth which I have found in my town (Romsey UK)- anyone interested in this ancient meditation walk can look up Wisdom House Romsey. The idea of the Labyrinth is that it it represents a meandering and purposeful journey to our own centre (inward looking) and back out again into the world (outward looking) it is non religious but is a northern European symbol of wholeness. I have been focusing on what I would like my life to be on the way in, and what I need to do/ change in my life to effect this on the way out- This is certainly helping (at the moment). I am also practising a variety of other consciousness and outward looking techniques (these are also helping)

The other thing I have been doing is daily going to the river near my home standing on the bridge and watching the water (problems) flow away from me and turning around on the same bridge and watch the water flow towards me (strength, resourcefulness and purpose)- not sure how helpful this is but the river is lovely to look at, I do observe my own state as part of this.

Observation- Looking at things around me and just taking the time to 'notice' how things look and how they make me feel, mostly this is making me feel like drawing although art and myself have a love hate relationship in that this is something that I desperately want to do but for whatever reason I don't yet let myself.

Concentration and focus issues- I am currently dealing with this by playing music specifically created for people suffering from ADHD- not that I myself suffer from this disorder but this has proved useful this week in enabling me to concentrate on work issues. I will continue to use while this problem persists/ it still works

I do feel I have found myself that is for sure, rather than being a moment of relief, clarity and realisation what I have discovered is a scary prospect which makes me feel simultaneously 'lost and found'

My solution....(at the moment) is to learn to live with this as best I can and try and find strategies for dealing with the changes.....This project is ongoing....

Fiona

a comfort

a comfort

Dparrish

Fiona, AS I have gone through difficulties associated with recovery this issue has come up for me at times. As a psychologist I have a responsibility to my patients to be present and attentive and effective in my work with them. At times when I was struggling with the changes in energy and emotional confusion etc. that arose, I experienced concern about handling many of the aspects of life that continued to come at me. Recently in my studies about leadership I read about how successful leaders identified times in their life when they faced what they called "crucibles". They identified crucibles as situations that arose that challenged who they were in terms of their capacity to manage life. They shared that these challenges usually came up unexpected and were the source of pain, confusion, upset, and at times life threatening. They recalled that they experienced deep self reflection in dealing with the circumstances and the experience changed them in such a way that they discovered that they were "big" enough to handle much more than they imagined. During the recovery period my experience is that there is a profound transition occurring in which the previous personality is being reconstructed in a way where the limited ways of managing challenges fall apart and new capacities that are an expression of the you that was touched by the looking take hold. As this occurred for me I experienced that I could have spikes of fear, concern, anxiety, and confusion go on and function not only without being distracted but with an experience of excitement and fulfillment that was not there before. This allowed me to notice that my true nature was one of capacity. I suggest that you simply recognize that what your experiencing need not distract you from what needs to get addressed. One thing that made a difference for me was to take some time each day to be still and silent and connect with my breath and look at what was occurring in my body in terms of any sensations, tensions, etc. and notice the thoughts and the tendency to be taken by thoughts, especially thoughts of concern like the ones you shared. The truth is that you can direct your attention where it is needed and experience whatever is going on in your mind without it taking over. It sounds like you're in this transition. Yes it can be difficult and uncomfortable at times and it will pass. Do the best you can and stay in this conversation for support. One thing is that the end is certain once you have done the looking. Your authenticity is beautiful.

Love.

David

just wish to introject what a comfort to me this discussion is. i feel i've been going through this deconstruction for some time now, on my own, and it's been such a mercy to encounter John's teaching, and am deeply impressed with your background and experience, david. i am realizing that, beneath my isolationism, my falling apart, i am excited to be part of this exploration.

Update on Focus

Update on Focus

Hello everyone and sorry for the lack of contact recently, this was because I had become disillusioned as I said in my last post.

The lack of focus issue is now an even bigger problem and I am struggling to function at work. This may be because my life situation is pretty hopeless from a work and business point of view. I am able to operate perfectly well in other areas, for instance creative pursuits, reading, looking after my family I can do with no problem. It is just work.

Any ideas on how to regain focus would be most welcome

metaphorical knees

metaphorical knees

Fiona

Hello everyone and sorry for the lack of contact recently, this was because I had become disillusioned as I said in my last post.

The lack of focus issue is now an even bigger problem and I am struggling to function at work. This may be because my life situation is pretty hopeless from a work and business point of view. I am able to operate perfectly well in other areas, for instance creative pursuits, reading, looking after my family I can do with no problem. It is just work.

Any ideas on how to regain focus would be most welcome

Dear Fiona,

I'm honestly happy to hear from you again. I only have two things to offer, neither of which is what you asked for, lol:

1) I myself am very disillusioned and skeptical with this whole thing, but I'm still connected and interested in this process. Like any true skeptic, my goal is not to deny anything, but rather to dissect things in order to try to prove their verity...see if they hold water, and rejoice if they do.

2) While I have a lot of doubts about whether I'm really in the course of recovery, I nevertheless (unsurprisingly) like to believe so (because it's a happy/hopeful way of looking at my situation). I have found that when life decides to make my (inner) world turbulent, my desire to make things peaceful and sane again is completely trumped. I say this because maybe coming to a state of "surrender" (omfg, dare I say it?) is part of this process. Maybe coming to realize that I am at the total mercy of life, and NOT the other way around, is a necessary and automatic part of this recovery. I don't know, that's just a guess, an attempt to find meaning in what's happening to me. My point is that, maybe that's the state you're at, who knows? Maybe you have to come to terms with the idea that your ability to focus and work is totally out of your hands, and maybe you have to relinquish the assumed stance that there's something you have to/should do to make life the way you want it to be....i.e., a life in which you're responsible and productive and focused, etc. In our current stance, our "fearful context", it's so scary when life isn't the way we think we want it to be, isn't it?

That would, after all, be like what the "sages" have said, wouldn't it, when they talk about surrender and effortlessness and no longer being the "doer" and such? Somehow all of that old talk makes much more sense to me now, though I'm still not far enough to say whether that's really what's happening to me or just fairy tales.

However, that's not to say that you can intentionally choose to "surrender" but instead that maybe this course of recovery is forcing you to your metaphorical knees. God knows I'm at my knees. I don't know if you'll ever be able to focus again....though I'm confident that you will. But maybe when you come to the point when inside you no longer feel like you have to be one way or the other, then this stage of the recovery will have done it's work.

That's all complete speculation.

Gerrit

The Perverted Machine

The Perverted Machine

Fiona,

we're all just cogwheels in the big machine that is this crazy world, and the fashion world you work in is a particularly perverted piece of machinery. I can't blame you for not feeling at home there anymore. But I believe that's besides the point.

From my understanding your lack of focus is the experience of the new and natural reluctance of your attention to focus on these things, because they ARE pointless. They demand a lot of effort to be maintained and kept alive, but they live in a greedy world, and as such they ARE pointless. But that idea is very incompatible with the practical situation you're in, as well as the mental context in you that is still taken for reality, which says that all of this work stuff if so important its death would be life threatening. It cannot kill or harm you in any way.

I might be speaking out of bounds here, but the way I see it, seeing this protective stance as being real will keep you from seeking practical alternatives to your current work and life situation. They are there. And they are accessible through a lot of consecutive simple steps, which I'm absolutely sure will occur to you in due time, if you see how all of this cannot affect YOU, the you you look at when you 'look at me'.

I really hopes this helps, I really feel your pain.

Wouter

motivation

motivation

Fiona

Has anyone else experienced this lack of focus- if so what can I do about it

Yes, I have the same. More a lack of motivation.

Maybe it's the loss of interest in things in which I never really was interested but felt that I should be. Or it may just be the case that I'm not motivated right now. Or maybe I'm just very lazy (which I am).

-Kaushik

disillusioned and skeptical

disillusioned and skeptical

To gerrit and all:

It is typical and understandable that disillusioned and skeptical come up. The way the survival of an entity that came into existence to protect us from life would insure its survival is be be disillusioned and skeptical of anything that appeared to make it vunerable.

There is nothing to surrender to.

gerrit thank you for hanging in there. Your strength and passion are clear.

Love.

david

gerrit

Dear Fiona,

I'm honestly happy to hear from you again. I only have two things to offer, neither of which is what you asked for, lol:

1) I myself am very disillusioned and skeptical with this whole thing, but I'm still connected and interested in this process. Like any true skeptic, my goal is not to deny anything, but rather to dissect things in order to try to prove their verity...see if they hold water, and rejoice if they do.

2) While I have a lot of doubts about whether I'm really in the course of recovery, I nevertheless (unsurprisingly) like to believe so (because it's a happy/hopeful way of looking at my situation). I have found that when life decides to make my (inner) world turbulent, my desire to make things peaceful and sane again is completely trumped. I say this because maybe coming to a state of "surrender" (omfg, dare I say it?) is part of this process. Maybe coming to realize that I am at the total mercy of life, and NOT the other way around, is a necessary and automatic part of this recovery. I don't know, that's just a guess, an attempt to find meaning in what's happening to me. My point is that, maybe that's the state you're at, who knows? Maybe you have to come to terms with the idea that your ability to focus and work is totally out of your hands, and maybe you have to relinquish the assumed stance that there's something you have to/should do to make life the way you want it to be....i.e., a life in which you're responsible and productive and focused, etc. In our current stance, our "fearful context", it's so scary when life isn't the way we think we want it to be, isn't it?

That would, after all, be like what the "sages" have said, wouldn't it, when they talk about surrender and effortlessness and no longer being the "doer" and such? Somehow all of that old talk makes much more sense to me now, though I'm still not far enough to say whether that's really what's happening to me or just fairy tales.

However, that's not to say that you can intentionally choose to "surrender" but instead that maybe this course of recovery is forcing you to your metaphorical knees. God knows I'm at my knees. I don't know if you'll ever be able to focus again....though I'm confident that you will. But maybe when you come to the point when inside you no longer feel like you have to be one way or the other, then this stage of the recovery will have done it's work.

That's all complete speculation.

Gerrit

This is a good thread.. I find for myself when I become disinterested or lacking in attention, I've yet again identified with just another part. I guess there's nothing to surrender TO, but it's possible to surrender the whole "disinterested" thing. Works for me.

Dean.

 

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