Soft Focus


soft focus:noun

a :of a photographic image; having un-sharp outlines b : of a lens; producing an image having un-sharp outlines

I have been thinking lately about the idea of “Soft Focus.”  I can’t recall if it was my yoga teacher or another mentor in my life who introduced the idea to me, but since they have I have used it on several occasions successfully.

The idea of Soft Focus as I have come to understand it, is a way of taking a step back, tuning out just enough to allow the whole picture to come into view, while letting go of the specific goal/desire/outcome you had previously been focusing on.  According to Wikipedia “A soft focus lens deliberately introduces spherical aberration in order to give the appearance of blurring the image while retaining sharp edges.”  So, you’re still seeing the “edge” or the boundary of your image (desired outcome), you are just choosing not to see it with as much specific detail as you could.  In a sense, you are focusing less.

Why would I want to focus less?

Sometimes there is such a thing as too much focus.  While I think I am “focusing” and “making sure the job get’s done,” my hyper-vigilance and near obsession with a specific outcome often hinders my ability to accomplish such goal, or anything else for that matter.  I know I am getting in my own way and “over-focusing” when my husband gives me a specific look or says to me “Rachel, can we not solve this right now?”

But I want to solve it now! I want to check it off my list as DONE.  However, I realize in my desperate desire to check off something on my list, I sometimes lose sight of the process and time I might need to arrive at a meaningful solution that will feel good in the long run…a solution that will stand the test of time.

When to use Soft Focus

Do you ever have a problem that you “must” solve instantly?  A desperate desire for a quick answer that will “solve” your obstacle and allow you to move on immediately?  Examples might include, taking a new job or not, staying in a relationship or not, choosing a school for your child, signing up for a class, ect…  Do you ever feel so desperate to solve that problem, that you have tried to think of everything and you are now at the point where you are forcing solutions that you know don’t feel quite right but you just want to move on so you are about to settle?

When you feel like you have run out of options, this is when I encourage you to take a Soft Focus.  To back off.  To wait, and take in the whole frame. 

With this commitment to soft focus, comes a commitment to patience and an acceptance of your current position. When we can learn to be patient and accept where we are right now, we can learn to see the many other options that the universe is putting in front of us.  Making a choice from a place of many options will feel much better than making a choice out of desperation.  The broader our lens, the more solutions we tend to allow to enter our frame.

Happy Soft Focusing,