This has never been my favourite time of year. I don’t have especially happy memories of childhood Christmases, and my favourite ones as a grown-up have been the ones I’ve spent abroad. Like many people, I have a tendency to let deferred-gratification and perfectionism take over, but a bad-feeling journey can never lead to a good-feeling destination! Big J has good memories of childhood Christmases spent with his extended family, though, and I would love for C and J to have a similar experience, so going away every year isn’t an option.
The other day I found myself sounding downright Scrooge-like while talking with Big J about my Christmas present for him (or lack of!) and I decided it was time to make a change! I’d really love to create a tradition of wonderful Christmases for my children. But for now I’ll settle for feeling good about this one. 🙂
A focus wheel is laid out like a clock. In the centre you write what you’d like to feel or believe by the end of the process, even though you don’t really feel or believe it at the start when you write it. Around the edges you leave room to write twelve statements which will help guide you gradually towards the centre.
Getting Onto the Wheel
Getting onto the focus wheel is a bit like getting onto a moving roundabout in a children’s playground – you have to slow it down to get on; you can’t just jump right onto the middle – there’s too much of a gap between where you currently are and what’s written there.
Instead, look for a statement in the right direction (“downstream”, as Abraham-Hicks say), that you do believe. Write that down in position 1.
Now you’re on the wheel, and you should be feeling a little better than when you started. Next, look for a statement to write down in position 2. Again, be careful it’s not too much of a leap or you’ll be thrown off the wheel.
After you’ve filled in a few positions you’ll be on a roll. Use this good-feeling momentum to fill in the remaining positions. By the time you get to 12 you should be able to authentically relate to what you’ve written in the centre!
Focus Wheels on the iPad
In the past I’ve used pen and paper to do focus wheels, but I’ve recently started using the free iPad app Simple Mind to create mind maps, which lends itself perfectly to the focus wheel process.
Did It Work?
As I write this I’m feeling contented and peaceful and – dare I say it? – distinctly Christmassy! Presents are wrapped under the tree, and I’m actually rather looking forward to a little Christmas party later this afternoon. There may be more focus wheels over the next few days, but for now the magic is working. 🙂
Since writing this post I came across this great YouTube clip which takes you through the Focus Wheel process.