Two things can consistently be in the way of making your dreams come true: One is your unconscious resistance and the other is allowing continual conscious distractions to become a priority.
With the world changing rapidly around us, it feels like we are more prone to distraction than ever. Make it a priority to unplug from the world for at least a few minutes each day, to refocus your thoughts, intentions, and energy on what is most important to you. When you consciously pull your energy from external events and distractions, you can place it on what you want to see for yourself and the world.
As we evolve more fully into our divine selves, we feel excited and want to grow. Yet, each day we might be blocking our growth with conscious or unconscious resistance. Resistance can take many forms, and that includes resistances which are really distractions. And let’s face it, distractions are something we allow. So, it isn’t distractions that block our path forward, but our allowing and using distractions that then keep us from our full potential.
Use meditation to ask the inside of you, “Why do I allow distractions?” We each have a choice and don’t have to be interrupted by them. Taking time to discover your ‘why’ will provide you with a greater understanding of what is really blocking you.
Your use of distractions, which are keeping you from what you really want, is heightened by the world. From technology to a desire to multitask, the world primes us with distractions.
How do we manage all of this? How can we be in charge, have authority over our mind, and be conscious of how we choose to spend our time? It is critical to use our mind and choices to support where we want to be spiritually. These choices drive our divine purpose, potential, and even the health of our relationships.
First, make a commitment. Aim to be 100% present, in the moment, focused on what you are doing, creating, or enjoying. This includes letting go of worry about the past or future - to zero in on the moment and what you are engaged in.
When we choose to be present, we are giving others or our chosen activity our undivided attention. It allows us to get out of our head and connect on a heart level. Whether it is journaling, painting, writing, listening, or so many other activities – it is a commitment to give them 100% of your attention. An added component is the gift of slowing down, noticing and appreciating all aspects of what you are experiencing. This brings peace, gratitude, and increased learning.
In client sessions with young people, they often tell me how they wish Mom or Dad would just stop what they are doing and really listen for a few minutes. They also share that when they’ve had that connection, how good it makes them feel. How many of your relationships would benefit from distraction-free communication?
When we keep distractions out of our communications, it expresses how the other person and their experience is important to us. Don’t we want those around us to feel that level of respect and openness?
I hope the following practical tips help you forward on your path of acknowledging, addressing, and overcoming your distractions. It is a journey and won’t unfold all at once. Be patient and persistent and you will see amazing impacts across your life.
Practical Tips for Overcoming Distractions
Focus: Be a camera and bring the thing you want to focus on into the foreground with everything else remaining blurred in the background. Consciously bring your area of focus to the front of your mind, and let everything else blur away. Whether it is a person, thought, meditation, or soaking in the tub… Focus on that completely. When you really focus in on something, you are being present and receive the best results possible.
Exercise Your Choice: Ignoring distractions and being present is a choice. There are times when you haven’t made a conscious decision to focus. This is often occurs when you are passionate about something and it just happens naturally. It takes little effort to be totally submerged in a moment when it is something important to you. For everything else, you may have to utilize choice. When you are with a friend and your thoughts wander elsewhere, you can choose to pull your attention back to your friend and focus. When you are with your teenage son who wants to tell you about his day, but you are busy getting dinner and watching the younger children - you can choose to stop and listen to him completely, even for a few moments. Your gift of your undivided focus will be appreciated and valued. Although we always have a choice, the challenge can be remembering to do so when you are in the middle of many distractions which are competing for your attention.
Use Reminders: Create routines, notes, whatever is specific to alter your habits. Maybe that means taping notes to ‘Be Present’. A visual reminder taped on your mirror or refrigerator can help create new habits. Maybe it requires turning off your phone or placing it out of reach to resist the urge to look at messages. When I get in the car, before I take it out of park, I say to myself, “I am driving the car. I am only focused on driving the car.” If I begin to feel distracted in any way, I’ll repeat the reminder. It’s so easy to fall into distracted driving, whether by a phone or even being lost in our thoughts. But saying the reminder can help maintain focus. Choose to do whatever will remind you to focus – in whatever areas you need it most.
Set a Goal: Try setting a mindfulness goal around how often each day you want to be present. Attainable goals can make it easier to evolve into a much more focused person. With each goal you achieve, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that will inspire you to move even further forward.
Practice: It’s important to consciously choose to practice focusing on the present. Start small. Aim to be fully present on one thing that is important to you during each day. When you consciously practice, it speeds your ability to easily handle distractions. Practicing your focus skills will enhance your relationships with others and help you to achieve your dreams and goals.