What if all that stood between you and your dreams, between you and your greatness, between you and your uniqueness, between you and the fullest expression of yourself, was a single line of thought?
A single line of thought is pure. It’s almost quiet. There’s a tremendous amount of space and openness around it. It’s almost overwhelming because we’re not used to a single line of thought.
We’re used to multiple thoughts overlapping and competing against each other in our minds, sometimes in a circular pattern, never going anywhere, keeping us trapped in mediocrity or lack of awareness.
A single line of thought is not achieved.
A single line of thought happens when you’re not consciously thinking about trying to attain it.
You can’t think your way to a single line of thought. It’s the lack of thinking about it that allows for the path to narrow.
To get to a single line of thought you need to do the work.
You need to prepare by retraining your brain. You need to learn how to get clear, to make space, and to create and sharpen your focus. The simplest form of meditation offers the greatest potential to realizing a single line of thought.
To grow and transform you need to keep expanding your awareness, while at the same time compressing or funneling your greatness and uniqueness into a narrow point of focus.
Think of a camera lens.
When the aperture of a camera lens is wide open you absorb the most information at the closest distance. Depending on your lens this is like macro photography, shooting images of insects, close-ups of flowers, or narrow details of an object. The focus is on everything right up close, in great detail. Everything in the distance is a blur.
With so much light and richness of information you are oblivious to everything else around you, like a horse with blinders who’s trained to race straight ahead without distraction from anything in its peripheral vision.
A single line of thought is like a narrow line of focus.
When you close down the aperture you can focus in on infinity, on all that is directly in front of you, and on all that has always been all around you.
This may seem like a contradiction — you can see to infinity when the aperture is smallest and most narrow, not when it’s wide open. Being open to the richness and detail of life fills you up. Closing down the aperture of your lens allows you to focus on distance, albeit through a pin-hole sized opening.
This narrowing is both a single line of focus and a paradox at the same time, because of how it blocks out peripheral distractions.
A narrow line of focus is easy to miss because you need to switch your perception, your focus, to being on the other side of the camera. You are no longer looking through the viewfinder when you want to capture distance. Instead, you are inside the picture of infinity.
Living life, as we all do, you’ve spent years analyzing all the details of your environment up close. You’ve created an album of richness in your life, one filled with knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Now, put yourself on the other side of the camera, outside of your frame of reference, while simultaneously looking through and framing the perfect shot — that perfect, narrow line of focus where you stand clearly on the line of infinity and capture a single line of thought.
A single line of thought needs space.
I’ve been doing the work.
After a long absence I brought mediation back into my daily routine. I am aware that my thoughts are both more clear and that they have improved. My thoughts feel less heavy and this lightness of thought is less distracting.
The other night I was having trouble falling asleep. I focused on relaxing my body to still my mind, to simply let go. It felt like I was on the verge of sleep, that comfortable darkness of thought until suddenly thinking re-appeared. Back and forth this went until suddenly I sensed something was different. I realized I was experiencing a single line of thought.
It was so simple and calm. One thought at a time. No confusion. No stress. A lightness in the sense of the weight of the thoughts: no judgement, no opinion, just pure thought.
I understood that this was only one step going forward, having already followed a thousand mile journey.
The work is cumulative, just like taking one step ahead of the other. Each step may not seem to affect change or progress, but that’s the close-up view. Narrow down your aperture and focus on the distance. Take one step at a time towards that single line of thought.
What’s your thought?
Featured image credit: Andrew Nilsen
Originally published at eatmovebe.com on January 17, 2017.