No matter how well you plan your day, interruptions are sure to take place. There you are, humming along nicely, then some person, situation, or event intrudes, requiring you to drop everything. When you finally get back to your work, you may have lost your place, your moon, your will, or the clarity of mind to follow through (especially if you had put a lot of time and energy into getting psyched up for some task that was tedious or unpleasant). It's no wonder that one of life's greatest frustrations is not being able to finish what you started.
The following refocusing rite can help restore your connection. Once the interrupting element is gone and you are ready to get back to work, light a candle on the table before you. Pause for a moment to remind yourself what it was you were supposed to be doing, then visualize yourself going back to your task, and going through all of its necessary motions. Now, gaze into the candle flame and start counting backward from 200 (which may take about ten minutes), or from 100, depending on whether you feel that a longer or shorter transition period is needed. As you do so empty your mind of all other thoughts except the counting and the sight of the candle and flame before you. (If you prefer, you can close your eyes while counting, but try to hold the image of the candle and flame in your mind.) Know that when you complete your count, your mind will be sufficiently cleared and ready to shift your full attention back to its necessary task. You may then extinguish the candle or allow it to continue burning if you'd like a little extra help in reminding you to stay focused.
Since disruption can be a daily occurrence, you might want to get a big candle for this one, and keep it near your work area. Any candle will do, but it is nice if you can find a multi-colored candle with interesting swirl patterns or other colored designs, because lines and patterns have a way of fascinating the unconscious mind; gazing at them can actually help you relax and refocus. You can also put a plain candle into an ornate patterned glass holder to get this effect. If you can choose your candle fragrance, or if you are using anointing oil or incense to enhance this rite, any scent that helps you relax and focus your mind is suitable. You might try rosemary or basil, which are famous for sharpening the mental faculties, or lavender, which simultaneously relaxes and re-energies the mind; ginger, clove, petitgrain, and peppermint are also good for mental clarity.
For those who like to work with gemstones, you can perform the same rite by concentrating on the lines and swirl patterns of an agate, rather than on a candle. This is something you can keep in your pocket and do at work or in other places where you can’t have candles.
Excerpted from By Candlelight, by Janina Renee