Focusing and Expanding at the Same Time

What does it like to focus and expand at the same time? My mind moves quickly and at times I just can’t keep up with the rate of change happening inside and outside of my own mind. This might be one of the biggest challenges of living in this age of information. Sometimes I think I am changing and sometimes I think change is impossible. Both are happening, and what I feel depends on perspective. Can I hold two opposing truths in my thinking at the same time? Is my brain on a new way of being in the world as a biological response to what is happening with technology and social media?

Focusing and expanding in life

In a recent TED radio episode, they presented several conversations about the human race.  In Are We Evolving Into A Different Species? they discuss how the environmental changes of our modern life must be causing rapid evolution. What does that mean? Can adults change? Is it really possible for us to see the rapid evolution of the human species in one lifetime?

Juan Enriquez was the founding director of the Harvard Business School Life Sciences Project. He was a member of a marine-based team to collect genetic data from the world’s oceans. He is a managing director at Excel Medical Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm, and the chair and CEO of Biotechonomy, a research and investment firm helping to fund new genomics firms. His forthcoming book, Evolving Ourselves, is co-written with Steve Gullans.

Expanding and focusing on dreams

I pay attention to my dreams in addition to being influenced by the information in media like radio, the internet, and tv. Every morning I focus to record the most memorable parts of my dreams. They are cryptic, to say the least! In depth psychology, dreams are messages from the body or unconscious mind that communicate in emotion, symbol, and other non-logical languages.

When I work with my dreams I practice the idea of focusing and expanding at the same time. I focus on each image as a specific person, place, or thing. I expand when I look for patterns that connect between them. In the examples below, you can see how I do this. In the first dream, I made bold two feelings that have been recurring – surprise and appreciation. Below that, I have two lists. The lists show emotion themes and character diversity. What do dreams mean? It is not about determining meaning, it is about being conscious of it.

Out in the field, looking at the class’s final projects
Outdoor installations that are well done
I’m talking to a past teacher
They ask me a question about art school
I say that I am surprised what I have learned
Not just one subject but many

Recent dream characters:

  • Evil man business owner
  • Rich asshole truck driver’
  • Stow away on a space ship
  • Queen asking for a credit extension

Recent Dream Places

  • Beautiful private beach
  • Rickety old house
  • Abandoned building
  • Island caves

Focusing and expanding in Creative Practice

Focus and expansion is apparent in creative practice. for the last 6 months, the Mermaid Love Letters project has become a focus and anchor in my work. It combines so much of what I love as is a great experience of expanding creative ideas and energy. To explain fully all the levels of integration and expansion that are happening would take the magic out of it.

The images below are my brainstorming notes on how the mermaid love letters will expand into the world. I do want to share my notes at this moment for my own records and also for anyone else who is interested in the creative process. This collection of ideas came from the images themselves.

An example is the inclusion of the military like patch/pin designs for accessories. This came from my thinking about the fins as hands in these mermaids. Unlike many mermaids, these mermaids have a distinctive design of angles and lines on fins that are like military badges. The images are collages of screen captures from my Pinterest site. Please view for references to them.

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