Authentic…..Focused…..Free (AFF)

The other day while journaling in the early hours, these three words suddenly came to me – “Authenticity, Focused, Free”. AFF, if you will. For some reason, I noticed first, the importance of three. Triads have a special place in literature, nature art and mathematics. This was well known to the ancients.

Then I paused on the words and tried to look beyond them.

What did the words really mean? Authentic? Am I, are we authentic in what I am doing today, tomorrow, this week, this month, for the next ten years, for the rest of my life? Authentic by what criteria? Whose criteria, what measure, and how long lasting or robust is the measure?

Focused? Focused on what, where, how much, to the exclusion of one or all things? One thing focus, two things, many things, split focus? Which and why?

Free? Free from what, who, which circumstances? Objective, subjective freedom? Illusory freedom or no freedom at all?

Then I stopped the questions. I stopped the conscious mind. I silenced it by being present. Being intentional. I just listened. I then found the moment between things- between the words. I discovered the questions did not really matter, they were a distraction. The essential meaning of each word was an eternal idea, a universal idea- something we all knew and knew immediately. Something we knew without questions.

Questions led the conscious mind astray. It searched to find answers, and then more questions. It quickly regressed into the idea that all answers were subjective – each of us would answer the questions differently. This led me astray from the universal I knew existed. I intuitively felt this was more important. Behind the words there was a sameness, an inherent meaning in each of the words and their universal ideas or idea. I knew we all could find this place if we stopped the chatter of the conscious mind. Perhaps in the space between these three words we could find a higher, connecting, universal meaning.

I then read them over again on the computer screen, this time more slowly: “Authentic……Focused……Free.”

When I slowed down the conscious mind, and let the present moment embrace me, universality became clear. To be Authentic, to be Focused, to be Free. Then ‘to be’ in a state or place where all three existed harmoniously. I then saw, heard and felt these three ideas as universal ideas, and as one idea. All at the same time. Strangely, this was not confusing. They live in one place. Here we find perhaps some of our highest ideas, feelings and things ‘to be’. Here we find synchronicity. He we find creativity. If we remain here, this being, this state could then translate into our work, our businesses, our missions, our lives.

Three became one, and the one became an inflexion point to be applied daily. I immediately wrote “Authenticity…..Focused…..Free (AFF)” in places I could see them easily. Synchronised digital devices now make this easy. I did not use commas because this reminded me of the importance of the space between the words, between ideas, between each minute, each breath. This is where universality exists. This is where the higher mind, and our highest potential live. Perhaps the space between is where we all live. Perhaps here is the seat of clarity, purpose, passion and our power.

“Heaven and earth are impartial; they see the 10,000 things as straw dogs. The sage is not sentimental; he treats all his people as straw dogs. The sage is like heaven and earth: To him none are especially dear, nor is there anyone he disfavours. He gives and gives, without condition, offering his treasures to everyone. Between heaven and earth is a space like a bellows; empty and inexhaustible, the more it is used, the more it produces. Hold on to the centre. Man was made to sit quietly and find the truth within.” (Tao, Verse 5).


Lee Spano, Founder & CEO

Creatness International,

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