Jan 9, 2013

Bead Table Wednesday: Focus

"Wanting this passion to move so thoroughly,
 Each moment may be suspended
 in its light and heat "
                                           --  Sinister Wisdom, Berkley California*


The New Year brings strong collective energy for organizing, planning, deliberate creating.

We consider our jewelry art, techniques to learn, designs to try. We evaluate our stores and sales, our publications and tutorials, our style. We cook healthy meals & contemplate our well-being. We evaluate our goals, our dreams, reminiscing our lives and appreciating our past & present relationships.

It's a wonderful time of new beginnings.

Two themes for 2013 that I have seen repeatedly and in many ways are focus and Mayan Apocalypse.

Starting with the latter, I'd like to share a little of what I understand about the ancient Mexican Indians in hopes of addressing some of the inherent stereotypes in the notion of Mayan Apocalypse. Noticing I said ancient Mexican Indians is a great start. The idea of an apocalypse was not part of the Mayan ideology; rather the year 2013 begins an age of awakening. Culturally, the Indians of Mexico believed that suffering is created in the mind, from focus on limiting, frightful, and disempowering thoughts.

The "Ancient ones," according to Dr. Susan Gregg, "were a race of indigenous people who were recognized as teachers of spirituality, science, and the arts." The idea that the Ancient ones predicted doom and despair is rooted in misinformation, and the rampant jokes about the end of the Mayan calendar are more a reflection social stratification. We would most likely find it rude to make sweeping jokes about the ancient Navaho Indians, however jokes towards indigenous Mexican Indians easily seem socially acceptable. Why? Because the idea that Mexicans are ignorant and uneducated are common stereotypes; whether we are aware of it or not, the ideologies  that abound towards this oppressed group of people are strong and give justification to misunderstanding Indian traditions and teachings.

In contrast, according to anthropologists' best understandings,  "the Ancient Ones understood the illusionary nature of reality. They realized that life was limitless and that it was our mind’s perspective of reality that caused all our suffering and limitations. They knew all of life was part of a great mystery and that there was no way to separate the secular from the sacred nor science from spirit. To a 'normal' person, they appeared to be magicians or wizards because they could perform great feats such as heal the sick and affecting the weather. They could also manifest material objects and influence time."

Which brings me to the other theme for 2013 that seems to be everywhere: focus.

From 2013 focus words to focus challenges, they way we look at the world in 2013 is big. I see it everywhere I turn.  And it's also a little uncanny, since our awareness of our ability to focus is actually the basis of the Mayan's predictions.  Focus is key to the "awakening" the Ancient Ones  celebrated as arriving in the age of 2013.

As I encounter a collective pondering on focus -- whether it be through social media, the arts, education, society -- I feel great excitement. I'm enthusiastic about what is to come.

Focus on Life Photography Challenge. The Studio Sublime.

Through focus, we create our lives. With deliberate focus, we are deliberate creators. It isn't spiritual (although it can be as one's spirit soars with a joyful life of manifestations) and it isn't magic. There are no leaders to follow nor any group to join. Each person, in fact, may focus in any ways they wish and on any subject they desire. The key, is choosing to focus using emotions as a guide.

Why? Because deliberate focus, deliberate creating puts in charge of our lives. We become responsible for everything that occurs for us. Rather than reacting to what we observe, we focus in ways that feel good, or on thoughts that at least feel like a relief. And when we consistently feel good, when we choose to see and think freely, when life becomes fun, we aren't waiting to die in order to experience relief from life's struggles -- we live a struggle free life. We realize we were never meant to suffer, and nor are our children, our loved ones, our friends. We live lives as "the lucky ones," as people who get the cool breaks, who succeed at goals, who have great relationships, good times, always having enough money, vibrancy and health. We are joyful because we came forth to be, and our happiness, enthusiasm, passion, knowledge, hopefulness, and bliss reminds others of their birthright as well. In essence, through focus, we are bringing heaven to Earth.

First things first: we have to take our hand off the stove. We might be so used to it, we don't even realize we've got our hand on the stove. After all, our parents had their hand on the stove and their parents had their hand on the stove and their parents and that's just how it's done, with our hand on the stove.

Whenever we observe what is and then react to what is, we've got our hand on the stove. We're getting burned. There is absolutely no reason in the world to face reality -- unless it is a reality that pleases you. Any subject can be looked upon in two ways: what is wanted and what is unwanted. The moment you become aware of something unwanted, you set a vibrational call out to the universe that is immediately answered and responded to with the same forces that create universes. Your job is to let it in. As quickly as you can, turn your focus to the wanted of the subject & stay there.

You can't get upset enough to change something upsetting. You can't get sick enough to end sickness. You can't get poor enough to end poverty. But by moving your focus (and thus your vibration) up the emotional scale, you are creating a doorway of attraction to not just let it in for future generations, but to let it in in your lifetime.

If we are very honest, we might admit that we are not taught to be disciplined thinkers; in fact, we can be lazy thinkers. Yet thinking is what we do! We think all day every day and think again. Lamenting on problems puts more energy into problems. And what we focus on, we think about. We are such great thinkers, in fact, we are experts at it. Yet most of us haven't yet learned that our thoughts are reflected in our emotions. Wonder where your vibration is it? Ask yourself how you feel. Notice you feel differently about different subjects. Your vibrational energy matches the thoughts you are having. And the life that unfolds for you is a direct match to your vibration.

Find thoughts that move you up the scale in small ways. You can't change from being worried on a subject to feeling positive expectation over night. Like attracts like. But you can go from feeling worried to feeling positive expectation in a month by moving up a little each day by finding thoughts on the next level up or by focusing on thoughts that bring relief. (Abraham-Hicks, Ask & It's Given

How we feel is a reflection of how we think.
And how we think is reflected in our life experiences.

For example, you may be thinking about moving. You may feel awful in your current home. The landlord may be unhelpful, the rent may be late, it's cold. So you think, " I can't wait to move. This place gives me the creeps."

But what vibration is that thought a match to? Unwanted, not enough, and creepiness. Thinking about moving with such focus only serves to bring more of what's unwanted.

Notice how differently moving feels if you think, "I can't wait to get into our new home. It's wonderful to be living in __ where I've always wanted to live, and I love that our home has  __, __, and __ -- things I've always dreamed of having. I love growing and becoming, and our new home is an exciting extension of all I've become, a place for me to finally  ___. I am so appreciative of the price, location, style, rooms, color, etc. "

If what you focus on feels bad, it is. If what you focus on feels good, it is. It's really very simple. Making lists of appreciation free us from negative focus and are a wonderful way to allow in all we've asked for. In the moment that someone was rude and we wished for respect, that respect was given to us. Perhaps we have had the habit of focusing and thinking about how people aren't what we wish, however. We experience others as rude or unhelpful. We wonder where the people with manners are. They are there! Only, while focused on ill-mannered persons we are not a match to the people with manners. By changing our focus and making lists of appreciation, those fantastic people will show up, I promise it, because in appreciation we are allowing all we've asked for to manifest. In fact, it can't not manifest. We feel good. Appreciation is as high an energy vibration as is love.

Lori Anderson. Pretty Things. Memories & Thanks Blog Hop

Another way to consider our vibration is in terms of resistance and relief.
Imagine a grid that we create with our thoughts. Thinking thoughts such as, "People won't pay that for my jewelry. I don't have publications and my prices are probably too high. I'm not sure how valued my work is or if I can really sell this stuff I make. Money doesn't grow on trees and I'm not getting back what I'm putting in and why should I expect differently? I'm spending time pretty selfishly creating stuff, having fun. Maybe my sales are a sign. Maybe I shouldn't be having so much fun making jewelry..."

On the emotional guidance scale, those thoughts might make one feel discouragement. The feeling of discouragement is telling you the thoughts you are having are not true, and your focus is off.  And if creating a grid, those thoughts create not having sales, feeling undervalued, worry, guilt and insecurity. You've created a grid of everything you don't want; but the universe doesn't "fix" it for you, so the grid will be filled in with experiences to match your thoughts. You'll run into people who fail to value your work, or don't notice it. You miss out on sales & good deals on supplies. You watch as others with lesser quality jewelry have sales galore.

Replace the discouraging thoughts, thoughts of resistance, with ones that bring relief and it is like opening the door and discovering what you wanted was there all along.

Dragonfly Fairy Door. Kim Detmers. Clayworks.

You'll find your experiences change as your focus does. For example, pricing jewelry can be full of resistance. Instead of pricing jewelry as others would or might expect you to, price jewelry in ways and think about your sales in ways that give you a sense of relief and feel good. If following a software program like Bejeweled or pricing formula feels good, use it.  If you decide to raise your prices but deep down worry your sales will suffer, chances are they will. If you think lowering prices will sell your jewelry, chances are lowering prices will bring more sales. You'll find your sales increase not because of the price, rather because you are more comfortable having lower prices and your vibration has changed into comfort and hopefulness (the level of vibration at which you will notice what you want begins to manifest).

Does Jewelry pricing software, like Bejeweled, feel good? Use it!

Sometimes you can even price jewelry in fun, out of this world prices --- you may not really expect to get a couple hundred for the piece but you don't really care if you do or not (thus you have little resistance about it) and bam, it sells when you least expect it! Because you weren't focusing on the sale with resistant thoughts or discouraged thoughts, because you had no resistance, the universe delivered your buyer effortlessly! When we have resistance about subjects we care about but have resistance towards, the best thing we can do sometimes is not think about it at all and focus on something else that feels better or fun or appreciative.

Remember, the point of focus is to think about things in ways that feel good. It isn't our job to figure out how what we want will come, it's our job to let it in by being a vibrational match to what we want. And all it takes to deliberately create is to be awake and aware of our focus. We can use our memories of success, our emotional guidance (there is a purpose to your feelings! They are a GPS for what you are attracting at any and every moment in time), or seek ideas and actions that give us relief to focus in ways that feel better. We can go with the flow. We can let in all the good. We can remember we came for the joy of it, for the thrill of creating, for being great thinkers. Our focus, and  the life we live as a result of our focus, is our creation and our choice.

Audrey Allen. Tree of Life. Wrapped Up In Magic

"Change the way you look at things, and the things around you change."

For fun & laughs:
And now what I'm beading: chain maille!
 Original design by John Wik, Chainmaille Jewelry. Chain bezel re-designed by me.

                         The unknown circular weave (European) I couldn't make, is now created!
(It turned out it wasn't me; the ring sizes listed in tutorial are incorrect & AR impossible.)

Purchased tutorial @ Kalmbach. Found exact tutorial for free @ Scribed: Sandy Amazeen

*As most of you know, I prefer to keep my author's name private. Unless you like Nine Inch Nails, whom I was first published with, you probably aren't already reading my work, so we'll keep jewelry arts & high literature separate :)


Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning jewelry techniques. She is the host of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her on Facebook for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!


  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful information and a great read!!! I loved it and will take it to heart <3 Also thank you for including my tree :)

  2. Wonderful very moving not only do I think your a great artist but you inspire me to become better learning jewelry design but to become a betfer person as well. Ps I listened to NIN.thanks gina

  3. I thank you for all which Audrey said, as well, and also for incldung the Tree of Life;

    Your chain maille is lovely, Rita!

    jean yates xox


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