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Posts Categorized: Developing a New Focus

Step 2 in Designing a Meaningful Life: Explore Your Gravel Pit

gravel in the mountains

What is in your gravel pit?

Everyone has a gravel pit of some kind in their background, whether it is the scars from childhood or the constant disappointment and despair in the present.

It may be the result of continuous scolding as a kid growing up with little encouragement. Perhaps there were constant comparisons with others or name-calling by other kids. Perhaps you were given a nickname that was hurtful or belittling.

When we take time to examine what is in our gravel pit, we can heal old wounds and replace negative self-talk with affirming statements.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll walk you through a five-question exercise that will help you examine the things that keep you from achieving your goals.

Step 1 in Designing a Meaningful Life: Start Where You Are

tree of life

Whether constructing a sunken garden or building a house, we begin by evaluating what we have to work with.

What do I have and what do I need?

I was involved in building three homes. Each required not only construction plans for the house, but also an adequate plot of land, lot preparation and, after construction, landscaping. When it all comes together it forms a unique beauty all its own.

When examining the steps involved in building a new home, there are many commonalities we can apply. It takes a desire and then a vision, an architect to help in the design, a cost analysis in time, money and materials, a plan of action, motivation, and commitment.

A Landscaping Plan for Your Life

Turn Your Gravel Pit into A Beautiful Garden | focuswithmarlene.com

Years ago, working with people in transition, I put together a program called “Turn Your Gravel Pit into a Beautiful Garden.” Many of the people in the class came from difficult backgrounds and felt discouraged. The wounds experienced over a lifetime dug deep into their spirits, leaving long-lasting doubts and fears.

I used the internationally renowned Butchart Gardens as an example of how we can turn tragic events – whether an abusive childhood, broken marriages or relationships or simply struggling to make ends meet – into something beautiful and welcoming. It was an architectural concept that could be applied to the creation of our own plan for life that provided beauty, peace, and purpose.

Here is a short version of that program.

Where is Your Focus? On Things That Discourage or Motivate?

What are you focused on?

I love to take pictures. Cameras of today make it so easy to point-and-shoot. In fact, cell phones are the cameras of choice because they are instantly available.

There are times, however, when I want to do more than just snap a quick picture of friends. I want to capture the beauty of the countryside or zero in on a hummingbird or reveal the intricacies of a spider’s web. At such times, I want a camera whose lens I can adjust to take in more features or narrow the scope to pinpoint a particular point of interest.

Where Do I Begin? Exploring Possibilities

wheelbarrow and rake

The yard needs tidying – but where do I begin?

Dinner needs to be made – but where do I begin?

The house needs cleaning – but where do I begin?

My life needs to be turned around – but where do I begin?

In this article and podcast episode, we’ll explore the essentials you’ll want to put in place that will help you explore new possibilities.

Developing a New Focus

focus

Today I want to introduce you to my new series: Developing a New Focus.

On the HOME page of my website, there is a picture of two chairs and a table on a sunny patio, with a teapot and two cups, ready for two people to have a relaxed conversation.

Atop the picture, I wrote, “Your focus defines who you are and who you can become.”

I put those words there because it is so true – what you continue to focus on will determine what kind of person you become and what you can achieve.