September 5, 2021

Focus lost, focus found

How is it Labor Day weekend already?! The last time I really considered the date, it was my birthday and the July 4th weekend. Now, suddenly it’s September. But yet, here we are.

I’ve had a fuzzy, lack of focus descend over my vision this week. What seemed so clear — my driving motivation to work, create and manifest — has dissolved into fatigue and a faint sense of overwhelm. 

I see you, Burnout. 

I wasn’t expecting you, but since you’re here, let’s talk.

(You see, Burnout and I have a long-standing relationship and a grudging respect for each other. I find that every time it shows up, there is a message for me). 

I was getting all ramped up to travel again, attend the fall furniture market, plan something special for my upcoming 10th wedding anniversary and start making my holiday lists. Then a friend passed suddenly this week from COVID. Everything inside me skidded to a stop. 

I had this uncomfortable, tearful moment and as if a spotlight shone on me, something inside me asked, “What are you doing?” 

I looked around, bewildered, and couldn’t come up with a good answer. What am I doing? Rushing around. Putting in long hours. Pushing myself for reasons I can’t even articulate clearly. Why am I doing that, even though I promised not to go back to my previous patterns of “too muchness?” 

The answer is not clear. I don’t actually know. I have lost the focus that became so sharp in the early months of the pandemic, when the fear of the unknown clarified my vision and I could easily see what was important to me. At that point, my entire world shrunk down to a handful of priorities and the rest of the noise and fluff just evaporated. 

But now? That lack of focus I mentioned has derailed my best intentions and I’m feeling kind of messy. 

The kind and loving Universe (through the messengers of loss and burnout) is providing me with an opportunity to reconsider what I’m doing. It’s providing me with a reminder that I don’t actually have anything figured out. And that it’s okay. 

This is where the rubber of the sanctuary wheel meets the road. 

Time to slow down. 

I came home last night and paused as I crossed the threshold of my sanctuary. I noticed how beautiful it looked to my tired eyes. I expressed my gratitude with a whispered thanks and it welcomed me in with open arms. I lit candles. I sat on the floor with my dogs and happily accepted their licks and loving concern, to which I responded with the long, stroking pets they adore. These exchanges of energy with my space and with my dogs settle me back down — a sweet relief from the heaviness I’ve been feeling. 

I put a little chicken pot pie into the oven to bake (nothing better than comfort food — is my Ohio showing?) and turned on some music. My current obsession is Slow Meadow Radio on Spotify. Give it a try — so lovely and calming. I turned on the kettle to make a cup of my favorite mint tea and whispered another expression of thanks for all of these tiny blessings. 

So this then is how we use sanctuary to cope. 

We pause and slow down. We activate the space around us through the energy exchange of lighting candles, putting on music, and noticing the good things. We grab onto the thread of gratitude and express it aloud. We nurture our physical bodies. We meet ourselves where we are, without judgement and just allow ourselves to be as we are, in that moment. 

I guess you know what I’m doing this holiday weekend. How about you? How are you getting along in your corner of the world? I’d love to hear — it makes my own journey a little less lonely at times. Share with me in the comments below.

With love and gratitude,


Logo flourish

4 responses to “Focus lost, focus found”

  1. Tina Reppucci says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I loved this journal entry! As Peter and I sit in the Bozeman airport after a very active vacation of biking, hiking and taking in all the magical and majestic sites of beautiful Montana and Wyoming, I find myself feeling so blessed and grateful. So much turmoil around us, so much suffering and a world spinning out of control…. Yet nature is there to comfort us and remind us of the beauty that surrounds us and allows us to reconnect with our true needs. It has been so good and healthy to “disconnect “ for a couple of weeks and absorb the downtime, but now I am ready to return to my sanctuary at home. Cuddle with Bruin, enjoy cooking in my kitchen, and being home with family. ❤️

    • Lisa Kahn says:

      Thank you Tina! I love hearing this. So glad you and Pete had fun — I also love Montana and Wyoming. Safe travels as you fly home and I know Bruin will be beside himself with happiness to have you home. Xo

  2. Kathleen Holterman says:

    Lisa, I am sorry for the loss of your friend. ❤️ It seems that loss and hurt are all around us. I read that we are not meant or equipt to handle what is happening all over the world. It seems as though that could be true. It certainly is overwhelming.
    I will try the radio station you mentioned. Music, nature, friends, pets and so many things are our blessing where we find sanctuary. And you have done such a lovely job of pointing out how to cope. Thank you for that.
    I myself am resting and reading and doing little fix it jobs at home. I always love the feeling of a holiday when the world or at least the neighborhood slows.

    • Lisa Kahn says:

      Thanks Kathleen! I hope you love the music. So so good. I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. I’m enjoying the slower pace this holiday weekend right along with you. <3

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