By Laurie Seymour, M.A.
“You can always find a distraction if you're looking for one.” ~ Tom Kite
Distraction: disruption, diversion, interference, confusion, upset, divided attention.
A Universal Yo-Yo
Do you sometimes feel like you are a universal yo-yo, following whatever catches your attention in the moment?
Distraction shows up daily, in your outer environment and your inner landscape. You can allow yourself to become distracted by the people around you, personal or work demands, an outside situation or simply life’s busyness. By the way, your electronic gadgets usually rank high on this list.
Distractions can be pleasant diversions, like a walk in the sunshine that provides a needed break. These are conscious distractions that you choose. It’s your awareness that makes the difference.
Notice how this manifests in your life. Is it a momentary game on the computer? Or is it a patterned way of being? Do you allow the part of you to rule that does "whatever you want to do?”
“Have we come to play the game of life where a fleeting thought, a text or a phone call is more important than quiet time?” ~ Leon Sickles
Distractions become interference when you want to get something done but find it difficult to stay focused. Notice where your thoughts go. Internal distractions will appear as worry, doubt, “mind chatter” or expectation.
Giving in to distraction becomes disruptive, causing upset, confusion and divided attention.
You don’t have to stay distracted.
Distraction Keeps You from Your Inner Guidance
What about the guidance that is available to you, moment-to-moment from within?
It’s available to you.
But if your attention goes from one distraction to another, you never get quiet long enough to listen. You only know a static picture of yourself that has outdated information. The ability to respond creatively—with fresh options---is unavailable.
Distractions pull you from your path, diverting you from your purpose. The big picture---the world of possibility--- remains hidden from your view and you have no way to unlock what remains as unrealized potential.
Meditation as a Distraction Mirror
If your intention and desire is to live life from the inside out, moving in line with your inner sense of direction, then what role does distraction play? As a meditation teacher I’ve seen how meditation provides valuable feedback about distraction.
If you’ve ever meditated, you know how difficult it can be to do the whole “quiet your thoughts” thing. You may have heard the term monkey mind. Picture a monkey jumping around, flinging himself through the trees and you get the idea. It’s near impossible to focus on a task to completion and utterly hopeless to have inner clarity.
Here are three ways meditation will show you your relationship with distraction.
1. Meditation acts as a “distraction mirror.”
It shows you your current state of mindfulness. It’s not only beginning meditators that go merrily chasing after each thought that appears during meditation. Even practiced meditators find themselves with divided attention, chasing down thoughts that consume their focus.
2. Meditation allows you to get quiet in order to become an observer of your thoughts.
As your meditation practice deepens and your body grows calm, you may still notice thoughts. These are usually “fly-by” thoughts. It’s like you’re watching a distant movie. You notice your thoughts but there is no investment in them. You begin to learn the space of being the “witness” to yourself.
3. Meditation helps you to differentiate between an inspired thought that is new to you and the kind of inner chatter that clogs the stream.
If you are to receive the ever-changing nature of what the quiet voice within has to offer, it requires your attention. When you are able to go deeply into the quiet, you become familiar with inspired thought. It emerges from a “distraction-free” zone. This is the source of inner guidance.
What if you could tell when an idea was coming from a deeper dimension within you? Would that be worthy of your attention? Would that be worth learning to tame your distractions?
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About The Coach
BIO: Bestselling author, Illuminator and Master Teacher, Laurie Seymour, M.A., founded The Baca Journey to teach leaders and emerging leaders how to reliably connect with their own inner wisdom. She shows them how to sustain this inner connection, creating a path of self-mastery that enables them to manifest their purpose. As Turaya Grand Master, Laurie teaches Turaya Touch and Turaya Meditation online and around the world. Find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/TheBacaJourney/