The Distraction Demon

So many distractions, so little time.

My heart tells me the most important things I want to accomplish in my day: writing; a photograph a day for the photography club I belong to; exploring my environment; creating a healthier body.

Then there is the daily work I do – the exchange of my time for $. This I know I will do when I am supposed to because I have made a commitment – not just to myself, but to also others.

Making a commitment to others seems to take precedence to making a commitment to myself. How many times have I said to myself most enthusiastically, I will do this, or this or this. I am fired up when I make the statement and I have all the motivation, but then, so often, my good intentions fall by the wayside?

This is an age-old dilemma of course. Nothing new.

Bee_in_Fuschia2But I am learning to watch my mind. First, to do this, I have to relax, come into this present moment and be aware. Then I can watch the thoughts that run through my head instead of being in the middle of them and thinking they are all there is to life. As I watch I see and/or hear the thoughts that say ‘I’ll just do this … I’ll just do that … … I HAVE to do this now, I’ll eat this, I’ll drink that, I’ll do whatever … etc. etc. etc. And all those little things add up and the next thing I know another hour or two have gone by and I haven’t done what I started out to do.

Another name for this process of course, is procrastination. I think about it in terms of distraction because it seems to me that this is what is really going on. What is behind this oh-so-common ailment that plagues our world?

I think there is unresolved fear of some kind behind the urge to distract ourselves from what the heart desires.

The mind, in an attempt to create a sense of safety (which is an illusion) creates comfort zones. It (the mind) hates to fly above these zones or to fall below them, so it makes an all out effort to distract us from any effort on our part to do so.

What to do?

Becoming aware is always the first step. ┬áBecoming aware of the discomforting feeling that something isn’t right. Becoming aware that you are allowing distractions to pull you off track. Becoming aware that this is a mind pattern, or brain track in motion. And then just sitting in that awareness, allowing the feelings of discomfort, of frustration, to wash over you. Don’t be afraid of these feelings and don’t rush to do something to make them go away. Just take a moment to be with them.

This takes discipline. The mind wants to skip this step. The action part will come in a while after your mind settles and you are able to hear your heart, your inner voice again. The mind wants to keep going, keep busy – things to do, place to go, deadlines to meet, haven’t got time for this stuff. Yes, but if you don’t make the time for ‘this stuff’, you will never have the time you want to be living from the heart of who you really are where your life flows like the clear, bubbling brook over the stony river bed.

A wonderful article I read a while ago on time is by Arianna Huffington of the online newspaper The Huffington Post. She talks about the greatest deficit in our lives being time. You can read it here. I particularly love the quote she uses from Dr. Seuss.

“How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?”