One of the key challenges of our modern age is Distraction.
We often assign technology as the culprit for this, with the increase in use of phones, social media etc. On one level this is true yet technology has only amplified what has always been present in the human condition – The Mind (more accurately Ego)’s desire to be distracted.
It is imperative therefore that we each take responsibility for how distracted we are in our lives and how to remedy that.
Distraction keeps the Mind pre-occupied and therefore ensures it is always receiving external stimuli. There is only so much the Mind can actually handle before it becomes overwhelmed. This then manifests in all areas: from becoming increasingly irritable, burnout, fatigue, reactionary, fears of scarcity, disconnection to Spirit, making decisions from the ego, over-analysising…the list goes on.
When you take initiative to challenge the distractive mind – you take your power back.
The benefits are endless: ranging from Inner Peace, Connection, Empowerment, Increased Energy, Creativity, Being Responsive (vs Reactive) to the outside world and so on…
The Mind absolutely needs rest.
It also needs to be Bored.
When the Mind has nothing to do, it turns inwards. It begins the process of remapping the inner world.
Initially it feels like boredom.
It, or more accurately the Ego, says “I need something to do or look at!”.
Remember you are the Gatekeeper of your Consciousness.
This is a sacred job and responsibility.
It is your role to ensure your whole being is experiencing what it needs to.
Yes this may feel overwhelming at first.
Yet it is about one step at a time.
Your role includes the state of your Mind which is a wonderful asset in physical reality.
When the Mind has nothing to do, it begins reassessing, reorganising, compartmentalising. This is a critical process which allows the Mind to breathe and the Spirit to step forward.
Here they work together, behind the scenes. You feel more peace when your Mind is settled because your Spirit and Mind are working in harmony – not because your Mind has gone. Your Mind yearns for your Spirit’s touch and grace.
Here are 10 steps to take your power back and challenge distraction.
Step 1: Take Responsibility for Your Day
So why did I begin the post by saying distraction is not the fault of technology or social media?
This is the first step – Taking Responsibility for how you choose to experience your day. When we blame our external environment we are saying, ‘I am powerless because this is affecting me’. However much it may be true that this external situation is having a tremendous influence on us, it leads us to being unable to change it due to our disempowerment.
The moment you say “I am choosing to experience this because of my decisions” – however difficult that may be to admit – you then awaken to the natural free will choice you always have. This makes it much easier to then make more aligned choices for yourself.
“I am responsible for what I take in.
I am responsible for what I experience.
I am responsible for the distractions I experience.
I am responsible for the peace I experience.
I am responsible for my life“
Step 2: Nature & More
Every day try and spend at least 15-30 minutes outside. Without your phone. It may be in your local park.
The first time you think you’re done and want to leave, stay 5-10 minutes more.
The second time you think about leaving, stay 5-10 minutes more.
Do this one more time.
What you are doing here is challenging the Distractive Mind who is desperate for external stimuli. Every time you hear the yearning to leave, you are saying “I will stay because I value what this will bring me”. “I will stay because although challenging, I know I am reprogramming my behaviour to value Connection above Distraction.
Eventually work your way up to having 1 x 3 hour experience in Nature each week.
3 hours (and above) is a phenomenal time where the Mind, Body & Soul make a powerful shift to harmonise. If you can do this on your own even better.
Step 3: Leave your Phone when not needed
When do you pick up your phone? When you’re waiting for the train? When you’re in the bathroom? When you’re waiting in queue for something?
Challenge yourself every time it arises to reach into your pocket or handbag to say No. The more you do this, the more you are saying Yes to something else.
You are saying Yes to the discomfort of feeling your own thoughts and emotions. Of looking around. Of Being.
Here you allow yourself to Heal.
All Healing occurs when we meet our Real Self. Here. Now.
Tangible Action: It doesn’t need to be all the time at first. Again begin with ‘I will challenge myself to do this 3 times each day’. Tick those boxes and congratulate yourself for doing it. This reward allows your Mind and Consciousness know it is on the right track.
Step 4: Challenge Sideway Tangent Attention: Focus on what you are doing wholeheartedly
Whenever you are doing something: Whether it be Reading, Writing, Creating, even reading something on the internet: give it your whole attention while you are doing it.
The internet has amplified our sideways tangent attention. In other words you may be reading something and you have an idea, then begin Googling it. Or you come across a word or subject and become interested then begin researching it. This is sideways distraction that takes us down a rabbit hole and creator a chaotic Mind.
There was a time not long ago before the internet that this wasn’t even possible.
Tangible action: Turn off the WiFi and phone calls during your Focus time.
Step 5: There is no Urgency
Our current culture creates an urgency mentality where if you are not able to respond to a text message or a phone call immediately, perhaps the other is affected or maybe its ‘important’. Yes there are important calls and messages to get back to you, yet urgency culture means that we are continually on hyper alert. The body is continually in stress mode.
Again, if society managed before the use of phones and internet just 25 years ago, it will survive again.
When you decide when to get back to your messages and phone calls, you make a powerful decision. You say, “I am more valuable than being immediately available to anything that comes my way to grab my attention. I am more valuable than needing to respond instantly”
This also allows you to make different decisions. Much of instant messaging is the chaotic mind needing to vent as it has nowhere to share.
Tangible action: Any or all of the following:
Decide when to check emails each day. Challenge yourself not to respond to messages when you feel you have to. Even if you say, I will get back in 10 minutes, is already changing your behaviour. Put your phone on silent for 1 hour per day. Turn it off!
Step 6: Be Aware of all Consuming Emotion Grabbing Material
Consuming material is anything that completely consumes your being with its field. This includes conspiracy theories, headline grabbing news, YouTube clickbait rabbit holes….
Remember that anything that grabs your attention with emotions has deep roots in requiring your emotional entanglement in order to thrive.
However is it allowing you to thrive?
Many have come to me over the past year and have said they were caught in many rabbit holes and are thankful to be out of it and to find others also riding the crest of emotional mass consciousness waves.
They each made this choice individually and it isn’t easy. I know this very well.
This is part of our challenge.
To challenge our own emotional desires which are inextricably linked to the Ego/Mind’s desire for distraction.
Note: This doesn’t mean we don’t need to read or engage with difficult stories in the world, or turn a blind eye – if it calls us. It means we understand that polarising issues are also yearning for our attention so we can join the bandwagon. They are largely uninterested in what you believe or your wellbeing. Their goal is to ensure we believe in what they are talking about – hence the emotion grabbing material. This is important to recognise, especially during these times.
Challenge yourself every time something comes up which stirs your emotional body, to say No.
“I will take my power back and not go down this route. I will allow myself to venture down it only from a centered place, rather than being pulled emotionally.
I will return to my core and allow my emotions to be at peace rather than influenced by this story.”
Step 7: Find ways to Express. Find something to Learn
When you express you are saying Yes to the Inner World becoming manifest, rather than continually allowing the External World (Others) into your world.
This may be initially through journaling, art, playing, singing, playing an instrument, learning to play an instrument. Anything which involves your interactivity takes you out of a passive role into an active one.
Whatever you express or create doesn’t need to be put in a museum or on the front page! This is just for you to allow yourself to allow the Inner World out.
When you Learn something, you allow yourself to Expand. I am a great advocate of Training & Education of any kind. Every-time you learn something new, your Consciousness shifts with the new information. You then assimilate it, integrate it, add your own flavour to it, evolve it. Training allows you to move out of your comfort zones as well, which is in itself an antidote to Distraction…however that’s another article 😉
Step 8: Watching Movies? No problem. Just decide when.
If you’re going to watch movies there’s no need to judge it, entertainment is entertainment. Yet its equally important to remember it is the same as looking at your phone. It is still external stimuli.
Over time you will begin to shift out of needing to watch in the moment to keep your mind busy – to choosing to watch prior because decide its your downtime.
Decide which day and what time you will watch things. Here you are saying, “OK I am saying I am allowed to spend this amount of time watching and then I choose to stop”. Rather than I stop when I get so tired I pass out. Or I stop because something else came up on my phone. Again if you are watching, are you watching with your phone in your hand? Double external stimuli!
Step 9: How can you Serve?
I say this all the time to lightworkers I guide. How can you best serve?
What is the best use of your energy?
Service doesn’t mean it has to be charity work. It may be how you show up to your own family. How you show up to your partner. Your parents. Your friends.
When we serve, we awaken our power. Our compassion. Our innate loving kindness. This radiates Peace through our being. It is also highly fulfilling.
There’s an exercise I learned in psychotherapy where we visualise looking back on our life from the afterlife, or in our closing moments in this life. What is it we would have loved to spend our time doing? Who is it we would have wanted to connect more with?
Tangible action: When we do connect with these people, how do we change it so it doesn’t become talking about the very distracting issues and themes of the day?
How can you bring something to them that will also ripple out. Perhaps its something you are creating, expressing, learning. Perhaps it’s also being out in nature together. Perhaps it’s watching something soulful together, or talking on the phone about good experiences from your past. Shift the attention from the usual – to the unusual. There will usually always be relief on their part too, in being allowed to be pulled out of their own distraction.
Step 10: Make a Decision Now – For Today and Tomorrow. Even this Week
Right now as you’re reading this, pause and make a decision when you’re going to do all of the above. Any of the above. Nature. When the phone goes silent. When you’ll check your emails each day. When you’ll watch something.
Remember, it is highly unlikely you will keep to it. That isn’t what this is about. It is about your Choice to change your life. Progress occurs through perpetual attempts at trying something..
Here each choice you make that does take you out, makes a ripple. Soon as you focus on the ripples and not the times you mess up, you create waves.
These waves create change.
Soon you see that you’re living a very different kind of life.
You feel more empowered and you notice you are living your life, for You.
Vaz is a healer, writer, mentor & guide on a journey exploring consciousness. Vaz emerged from over 15 years of depression using spiritual techniques and has spent his life since serving the awakening of others. He has studied in psychology, psychotherapy and multiple healing modalities. Vaz set up the London College of Spirituality, an organisation bringing thousands of Londoners together for spiritual exploration. He currently guides lightworkers to fulfil their soul purpose and devotes the most of his time creating free meditations, growth articles & participating in humanitarian projects. Vaz believes in the empowerment, divinity and potential of each soul and is committed to working towards a collective vision of a unified, connected world.
Founder of London College of Spirituality, Trailblazer Academy, Divine I AM Transmissions, SpiritVerse. Author of Infinite Being.