From Biosis 19, November 2007

JoAnne’s Motivational Minute:
Focusing Your Energy

by JoAnne Boettcher-Verigin

The holidays are fast approaching – my favorite time of year, I have to admit. It’s a time when, more than ever, I want to enjoy life to the fullest. I want to savor every bit, to take it all in and not miss a moment. But a long time ago, I realized that such things don’t just happen on their own. They takefocus.

I was driving to San Francisco, where I was to speak at a time-management seminar. I was mentally rehearsing my presentation when I noticed some hot-air balloons just beginning to rise up over the valley. There must have been 15 to 20 of them in that early dawn, and I was so intrigued that I pulled over to watch. The balloons didn’t look like much on the ground, but once the propane burners were turned on, those one-time drab balloons began to rise. The sun shone brightly and the sky was soon alive with color and excitement.

When you think about it, you realize that the color and excitement were there all the time. It wasn’t until energy – heat from the burners – was released and directed that the balloons could soar in all their beauty and glory.

I must have spoken about this sight so much that year that Gary took it as a hint. One of his Christmas gifts for me that year was a hot-air balloon ride over the Napa Valley.

And again, I got to witness what happens when energy is directed. Standing there with the other “fliers” that cold and very early morning, I watched as the cumbersome bundle of balloon was unloaded from its trailer and laid out on a concrete slab. A giant fan inflated the balloon, and we all climbed into the wicker basket. Then the captain turned the burner on, and we began to float skyward. As we moved up and over the spread of the valley below, all the captain needed to do to guide our flight was send small bursts of energy into the balloon. We flew gently with the wind.

And so it is with life, as well. Only when we have direction for our energy can we soar with the eagles. As with the balloon, if we don’t direct that energy, all we wind up doing is letting loose a lot of hot air.

As we enter this festive time of year, I hope that you, too, will think about the balloons and direct your own energy so you may enjoy the holidays to the fullest and make them your best ever – not missing out on a single thing!

I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to the other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra as if you be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfum of flowers, taste with relish each morsel as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense, glory in all the facets of pleasure and beauty which the world reveals to you through the several means of contact which nature provides. – Helen Keller

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