The Power of Focus

Stay alert and aware. The signs you are seeking are very clear at this moment. ~Hawk


The month of August has been extremely challenging for me. Two weeks ago, I partially dislocated my kneecap chasing my dog in flip-flops. Then, our new internet tower was possibly struck by lightning. I say possibly because every technician who has been to our house has a different troubleshooting approach for our internet loss.

We also have a very weak cell phone signal in La Paloma and in order to get 3G on my iPhone, I have to go outside and wave my phone near the volcano. The problem with that is since I am using my wheelie office chair to roll around my house, I can’t get to the place in my backyard where the signal is the strongest. And by strong, I mean 3 bars. That is the best that we can do in La Paloma.

The frustrations kept mounting! Ron was remodeling our bathroom, climbing up and down the ladder, which affected his sciatic nerve.  Although, he never complained, I knew he had tremendous pain. My house, which I try to keep clean became a den of dog and cat hair and the dirty dishes piled up. I can’t stand disorder! It drives me crazy.

Evenor, my technician, came to our house several times to fix my internet problem to no avail. They removed the cable wire leading from the tower, but they didn’t have enough wire to replace it, so they said they would return. Plus, my router broke! Evenor promised to go to Managua to get me a new router.

Then, this happened to Evenor!

Evenor's legThe day before he was to go to Managua to get my router, he had an accident on his motorcycle. It looks like we are in the same wheelie office chair!  We compared our injuries, I told him to heal quickly, and resigned myself to a life without internet.

Without internet, Ron couldn’t download new books on his Kindle and the 3G signal was too weak to download books. He resorted to reading the Jehovah Witness magazines they left on our porch.

I called Theresa. “Theresa, I have to rant and cry! I sobbed. What does all of this mean?”
I wondered if I used up all my good Karma. I sobbed for the loss of my mother because she always knew what to say to make me feel better. I was having a grand pity party, but most importantly I needed to figure out what these lessons meant that were causing me to spiral down a bitter and depressing path.

One day, while waving my phone in the direction of our sleeping volcano, I spotted a Roadside Hawk in our garden. The Roadside Hawk, which is found from northern Mexico south to Argentina, is one of the most widespread raptors in the Neotropics.

He stared at me as if to say, “Be aware that there is a message to be received and interpreted.”

IMG_1820 This bird of prey often represents the ability to see meaning in ordinary experiences if one chooses to become more observant. As I studied the predator, while watching his every move, it dawned on me that I needed to free myself from the debilitating thoughts that limited my ability to soar above my “pitiful” life enabling me to gain a fresh perspective.

It was simply a matter of changing my attitude and soaring high enough to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture that would allow me to survive and flourish without a dependence on the internet or the ability to walk.

Optimism has always been one of my strongest virtues. I began to use the power of focus to strengthen my body and my spirit. Ron told me that I had to be willing to work through the pain, both emotionally and physically. The phrase, “A Hawk’s eye,” became more meaningful to me…watch carefully and use your intuitive powers to focus in the now.

The Roadside Hawk has become my animal totem. He visits the garden often and we exchange our thoughts. After the bird of prey’s initial visit, Ron found a therapeutic massage chiropractor in Moyogalpa and had his first treatment for his sciatic nerve. I focused on healing and am getting stronger everyday. I can roll around my house and mop and clean everything. I even figured out how to take a shower alone. Hopefully, I will be able to walk soon without crutches. Our internet is fixed and faster than ever before. The sweet technicians from Rivas brought me two routers, strung the cable from the tower, and set up my system. Evenor’s leg is improving daily. Of course he is much younger than me, so he will heal faster.

The Roadside Hawk entered my life when I needed it the most. I am slowly learning to be focused on my daily undertakings, to avoid distractions, and focus on the task at hand. The key is to sense the subtle meaning which the Roadside Hawk gifted me…to be carried gently by the wind and the spirit of change…poco a poco.

How do you stay focused in the now to avoid frustration?  

25 thoughts on “The Power of Focus

  1. I can understand that optimism has to be one of your biggest strengths as an expat in Nicaragua and as a resident of Ometepe where every day requires some creativity and problem solving skills. However, to be hurting and then have other things go wrong too just seems to be the classic “straw that broke the camel’s back” scenario. So glad you found a totem and that you’re getting your mojo back! Anita

    • Thanks so much, Anita for your encouragement. I am slowly getting my mojo back. I can walk around the house in the morning without any support, especially in the morning. I am increasing the time without crutches gradually. It amazes me how quickly the muscle tone leaves if you are confined to a wheelie office chair for more than two weeks.

  2. Thanks so much for your wisdom shared about “focus in the now” accompanied by that gorgeous photo of your hawk with piercing eyes.
    Like you, I’m in a very difficult zone of my life, right now, and your photo is now the home screen on my phone. All day, I haven’t been able to even check on a beep or ring without being brought to the hawk and finding myself looking in its gaze and re-encountering my own strength of presence and focus.

    I read your blog regularly, to remember the taste of Nicaragua. But if coming days are like today, you’ll be helping me remember the taste of “myself.”

    All blessings to you and Ron in your healing
    Ruth in Michigan

  3. Sometimes it is hard to remain positive. We all have our moments which hopefully we can learn from. I’ve had a stressful month as well but at least I have my knees! Hope all is well now Debbie! I know you have your big trip coming up! 😊

      • You will love New Zealand! Too bad it is expensive. We went in 2000 when the exchange rate was incredible 50’NZ$ to 1$ so everything was half price. There are still many gorgeous things outdoors you can do though like lots of hikes. It will be worth it as NZ is perhaps my most favorite place I have ever been. It is incredible. 🌟

  4. Goodnesss, you don’t need Concepcion to erupt!
    I am not sure if my comment about your flip-flop accident ever leaped from my screen to yours.. suffice to know that you have my complete empathy…

    I often think of the story of Job, and wonder if a new chapter is being written; re: the devil says, “Ha! You think she’s a good person.. Let me work on her thru sadistic ways, and I’ll own her soul!”

    Sometimes my creative mind finds another way to deal with the challenges.. just that – maybe those hurdles are ‘personal’ hurdles that were set there as tests – to see how we grow as people, and maybe when things no longer frustrate or overwhelm us, we advance to the next level as if cruise control kicked in at last… when the final chapter is finished, perhaps our Coach will say, “Good game!”

    I almost ‘sent’ this but first looked at the signal – zero, which means I would lose what I just wrote if I’d sent it. Excuse me, but – when the internet works better – enjoy the song while I tip over to the window and stand on my tiptoes while balancing my laptop on outstretched palm and pointing the other tin-foiled wrapped hand toward the south pole!

    Hang in there – Ole Satan will get bored and soon find someone else to torment!

    • Oh, Lisa!!! You always know how to insert humor into my life. 🙂 I think I need to write a post about all the creative ways we try to get a stronger signal. There have been so many sadistic ways lately to make me a stronger person.Yep! Move on…ole devil! I love this song!!! You made my day. Hugs amiga.

  5. What gets me through? Breathing, Centering, Music, and cups of hot tea. When we lived in Nica back in the early 90s we thought having our electric turned off from 3-7 daily and needing to duct tape the frig so the door would stay closed was difficult,, but then came the 7 months when the city water pressure was too low to push the water up the hill and into our tank and my husband got Hep A. But those things dimmed and became humorous (just in retrospect)…and then we were snowed beneath a deeper than previously known suffering when our oldest daughter’s husband died in an avalanche 3 years ago at Loveland Pass, Colorado. Holding on to Creator God’s hand even while very angry and upset and full of doubt has focused me in some strange, weird way.

  6. Yes, isn’t it all about attitude and perspective! I had to laugh at your post because for the past two days we went without power in our Tampa, Florida apartment. At night, sitting in the muggy darkness, our phones dead and no internet, I joked to my husband, “This is what it will be like when we move to Nicaragua, so we may as well get used to it.” With not much else to do, we went to bed early both nights and the upside to that was that I had so much energy when I got up and so I learned a good lesson about checking my habits every now and then to make sure they are to my benefit. We certainly can find meaning in all of our experiences, large or small.

  7. I can’t help it. I laughed at this: “He resorted to reading the Jehovah Witness magazines they left on our porch.” When my mother banned books at the breakfast table when I was a kid, I resorted to reading the cereal boxes. She never realized I asked for a cereal change because I’d memorized the Raisin Bran box.

    How do I stay focused? One thing I’ve learned is to focus on the world, and its realities, rather than focusing on my thoughts about the world. My thoughts about the latest crisis always are more dire than the “thing” itself. And, of course, I never forget Varnish John’s words of advice about how to recover from a hurricane: “Start where you can start, and do what you can do.” It works for other things, too.

  8. Life is an adventure of learning ,,,,growing and ….to grow we grow in suffering ,,not when we are comfortable ……
    For me , in times of severe growth I lean on God more and pray for him to come closer as I talk to him more …
    I know when I stray from him , I’m more …removed from joy and peace ….in general .

    Life is not easy , were all on different paths …God does the refining of my spirit and soul , and I pay attention, to whats going on around me .I also ask for direction , and help…it is always given .

    May you have great healing and rapid healing in all aspects of your life , sometimes slowing us down …..makes us more dependent …on Gods never ending grace and forgiveness, direction …and total love .

    Light to ya ,

    • I guess you are right about us growing through suffering, Heidi. But, I don’t like to suffer or watch others around me suffer either. I have to learn to make friends with my pain, but that is not an easy thing to do when I fight it all the way. Thanks for your encouragement, Heidi.

    • Thanks Steve! We are both working hard on recovering. I figure that since we already have our tickets booked for Fiji and New Zealand, the worst that can happen is to base ourselves in one place in New Zealand and rent a car. It sure would be cheaper to do that. New Zealand is so expensive.

  9. So sorry to hear about your knee and hope you heal like new. Enjoyed the article. It caught my attention since I dislocated my shoulder falling off a mtn bike in Colombia a couple weeks before returning home.

  10. great post Deborah… hop you heal quickly and Ron’s nerve is better. Must be a Nica techy thing… to wave your i phone near the dormant volcano… LOL

    • Oh Mark, the things we have to do to try to stay high tech on Ometepe. haha Actually, the volcano in our back yard is the active one. I told Ron that with all the crazy things that have happened to us this month, the only thing left to happen is for Concepcion to erupt!

I'd love to read your ideas and thoughts below....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.