Focused on the Umbrella

A large clap of thunder jolted me back into reality from the typing I was doing at the computer. Glancing out the window I realized while I had been pre-occupied, dark storm clouds had gathered and were ready to let loose the moisture they’d gathered.
The horses were out in the arena, and I knew from the feel and look of the brewing storm I better bring them into their stalls. Before I got to the back door I could hear the rhythm of steady rain falling. The horses were gathered under a tree looking towards the house. They seemed to know this storm was going to get wet and wild and the mesquite tree they used for shade wasn’t going to offer much shelter from the storm.
Quickly I darted out and opened access to the stalls. The wind was blowing harder, the rain came down faster, and the constant roll of thunder came from every direction. Looking at them I could tell they weren’t sure if they wanted to move out into the rain, even though they were already dripping wet. Luckily I’d thrown on my mud boots, because it looked like I was going to need them.
Holding my umbrella as best I could to keep somewhat dry, I headed out to provide a little encouragement to get blue-umbrellathem moving. Butler, who doesn’t like to stand in the rain any longer than absolutely necessary, quickly moved into action and headed for the cover of the stalls. As I turned to focus on Princess and Max I realized something was wrong.
Princess’s eyes were large as saucers and her nostrils flared as she suspiciously stared at my umbrella. In my haste, I’d forgotten Princess’s great dislike of umbrella’s. No matter how much we’ve worked to get her accustomed to them, she held firm to her belief they are never to be trusted under any circumstance.
By now water was running through the arena as if it were the Rio Grande, and every step I took towards Princess resulted in a panicked move to run in the opposite direction. Max was no help either, as whatever move Princess made, he shadowed. While Max isn’t afraid of umbrella’s, he had decided it was his duty to stay with Princess and protect her.
After a couple of failed attempts in moving close to Princess, I found the right distance, about 40 feet, between us where I could keep her cautiously moving without instilling fear and panic. I also found the right direction to approach her from that moved her towards the gate, and not her fear-driven response to bolt in the opposite direction.
Once I’d figured out these things it only took a couple of minutes of this dance to move her close to the gate. To this point she’d been so focused on me that she didn’t realize she was now standing in front of the open gate. Once she noticed the gate was open she ran to her stall, and in true Princess fashion shut the stall gate behind her. Then she turned to look, or should I say sternly glare, at me as if to say, “You stay out!”
I have to admit that last move, closing the stall gate on her own, caught me by surprise. I nearly fell to the ground laughing, and I think I had more tears rolling down my face than rain. It was priceless. Max on the other hand wasn’t so amused because he was also shut out of the stall and still standing in the rain.
Twice that day, within the period of half-an-hour, I’d experienced the situation of being too focused and not noticing what was going on around.
The first time, was when the thunder alerted me to the change happening outside. When I sat down at the computer the sky was cloudy, but not threatening. It took a while foralways-remeber-your-focus-becomes...-400x400 the storm to gather and build steam, and yet I didn’t notice. I hadn’t looked up and around me for quite a while.
The second was when Princess suddenly realized she was standing in front of the gate and could move further away from me. She’d actually been standing there for a couple minutes, but was so focused on me, or should I say my blue umbrella, she didn’t notice that her escape route was right beside her.
Focus, like anything, when applied to the right thing at the right degree creates wonderful outcomes. Yet when taken to an extreme can be detrimental to your joy, personal evolution and the momentum of life.
Too focused and you won’t see the easier path, the open door inviting you in, or limitless other possibilities. Not enough focus and things are never started, left incomplete, or disappear from your life.
How can adjusting your focus change your results?

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