Why is it that we get distracted? Not when we don't know what we want in our life but precisely when we get clarity and understanding of our life's mission, it seems that distraction rears it head.
We all know about the writer or creator or blogger who needs to have her home cleaned and laundry put away before she can even begin prepping for her work. She needs to make sure the bed is made, the dinner is prepared and all the other nitty gritty of life is in order first. Only then can she dust off her canvas or bring out her laptop to begin the daily practice that her craft requires.
Do you resonate with this? I certainly do. And I am becoming very aware of this recently as I have become intensely clear about the project that I am committing to.
It's not that all those tasks are not important, on the contrary, they are the foundations of life. But why do we have to do them in order to get on with our life's work? It's as if we are running away from the very thing we want.
Picture this - imagine you see a cartoon figure of a man who wants to reach for the door. His arms are reaching towards the door. At the same time, his legs are moving away from the door. It's a very confusing thing to be experiencing, if you are that man. Because on the one hand, there's crystal clear clarity about what we want in our life. But on the other hand, we are finding other things to do that consume our mind, attention, energy and our time ⏤ leaving us deflated and even more confused about our situation.
So how do we resolve this?
The best way to untie this entangled mess that we find ourselves in, is by going into deep reflection about the situation. By asking ourselves the questions like, "what do I need to understand in order to break this pattern?" or "what steps do I need to take in order to implement the big main task, my current important project?" Questions want answers and your inner-self will guide you with the right answers that will help you specifically move through this.
When I ask myself these questions, this is what I discovered:
What I need to understand is this:
For the longest time, you've been wandering with doubt and confusion about your life's purpose. You've been unclear about your next steps and you've been impatient with yourself in the process. You've also beat yourself up for 'not being there' already ⏤ meaning not having achieved 'it'. 'It' being this nebulous, unclear ideal of achievement that even you don't know what it’s supposed to be. You've also struggled to follow your heart and suffered from the pressures of family and societal expectations about being a successful career-woman and a fantastic housewife with all the i's dotted and all the t's crossed.
You've had 15 years of dealing with all of this plus your own pain body filled with pain and suffering both from that of being born a woman and the suffering you've picked up of all the animals in distress along with karmic pain and suffering that has followed you for millennia. All of this and infinitely more you have dealt with while trying to get focused in a world filled with loud distractions of a gazillion kind.
Remember you had no training or education or guidance growing up for any of this. You are figuring it out as you go ⏤ like the rest of humanity.
It's been a tall order. But you've tried. You’ve made efforts. You worked on figuring this thing out. This thing called life. You've reached out to books. Watched 100's of TouTube videos, Ted talks and meditation sessions. You've walked countless miles in the forests. You've meditated countless hours. You've searched and finally, you've come to a certain clarity and a sense of purpose.
But that clarity and sense of purpose is all new. It has no real deep roots. All the other things that have become a pattern in you are deeply rooted⏤the distractions, the noise, the doubt.
Once you realize that you are transitioning to a new way of being, it will become easier for you to walk into that new pattern. Just recognize that you are transforming into a different pattern. And this transformation is happening right now. It is happening every time you shift yourself slightly, steer yourself ever so slightly towards the clarity and purpose that you have found.
So all you need to do is to simplify your goals and simplify your life in such a way that all that is loud and distracting, minimizes and fades away. What remains is just you and the task at hand - the task that you chose to have as your main task at hand.
So what steps do I need to take in order to implement my big, main goal?
Help yourself in these ways:
1. Write clearly in your day plan when in the day you will be doing your work.
This time is just for your writing or creating or whatever you “work” is. Nothing else. All else, unless an emergency, can wait until their turn. This especially applies to doing the dishes, running errands and all the other things of life ⏤ important but not to be done when it's time for you to create.
2. Reduce your responsibilities and tasks in all other areas of life as much as possible.
This will mean that you bring the volume down on your other projects that are not as important as the main one that you've identified. If you can completely let go of other projects, that will simplify things even more. But we do need other engagements other than our main task ⏤ because creativity needs space to breathe and germinate. So let's say you are a painter, when you are doing your other project ⏤ say gardening, that's when you get inspiration on how to resolve something you are working on currently. So don't completely take away those things but certainly reduce other projects.
3. Remind yourself of your goal or task several times a day.
Especially, when you have a newly found clarity about your life, it's important to write it down in your journal or notebook that you keep with you at all times and read from it several times a day. This clarity is ever flickering until it becomes solidified in your consciousness, in your awareness. So write it down and refer to it several times a day so you know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it. This action will also fill you up with ideas and energy for implementing those ideas.
This I hope is helpful to you in dealing with your own distractions. Getting distracted is an old way of being. It’s habitual and has arisen in your life as a way to deal with all the confusion, the sadness, the doubt and the suffering you have experienced. What better way to dim the light of suffering than putting your mind to something entertaining like a distraction? Or so it seems. It does give relief and for that purpose, distractions are a breath of fresh air in our too often sad, difficult lives. But they are only a temporary relief ⏤ not something to get used to as a permanent solution. We recognize the benefit of distractions and use them wisely in times we need to put our minds at ease with something other than what we are dealing with. In the end, we each will find our own way of getting focused and clear.
And I hope the introspection questions I shared here with you will help you find your own unique answers.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you get distracted? If yes, what do you think distraction does for you? What have you found to be your unique solutions to distractions? And if you are not distracted anymore, tell us how you found a way to be present with your own big dreams instead of getting drowned in the noise of distractions?