Mindful Checklist Distraction


One definition of Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose to the moment without expecting it to be different than what it is. Distraction is used to not pay attention to what is going on, often because you want the moment to be different than what it is. You don’t want to see what you don’t want to see. You also don’t want to feel what you don’t want to feel. And you are also busy…all the time. Distraction takes your mind, thoughts and feelings away from the moment because the moment feels like too much or is uncomfortable. The discomfort can be anything; fear, boredom, anxiety, desire to control, despair, or not wanting to address some problem.

Distraction comes in many disguises. The ubiquitous one right now is cell phones or other electronic devices that keep you working at all hours, as well as provide entertainment.  All. The. Time. This can easily create a barrier between you and the person you’re with.

Some other distractions are eating, smoking, drinking, exercising, staying busy, shopping, or sleeping to name just a few.

Distraction keeps you from your life. You can think of it as missing your appointment with life. There are many ways to phrase this turning away from the moment.

 By tuning in and wanting to see, you create a small gap that creates space, courage arises and you see what you are up to. Use this mindful checklist to create this gap and come back to the moment:

  • Stop and take a breath, feel the weight of your body; you are here

  • Acknowledge what you see with tenderness; ownership is a powerful stance

  • Open your senses, look up, take in the space you are in; what is here with you

  • Ask, what am I distracting myself from? What am I distracting myself with? What do I need right now?

  • Listen

  • Be honest, courage is here, you can ask and answer

  • Offer yourself compassion, seeing is vulnerable

  • After years of practicing  and getting good at distraction, it is a habit. This habit is hard to break. Maybe, the original reason to distract is long forgotten; turning away has become default mode.

  • Remember the first glimpse of awareness creates the gap for you to arrive back to your precious life, right here, right now. A small gap is all it takes. Turn up your awareness, be on the lookout for these gaps.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

– Chinese Proverb

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