What are all the ways I distract myself?
Last week, we co-pondered the question, Am I showing up for my life? I have found that question to be hugely valuable in my pursuit of an intentional life. When really digging into it, another question arose for me: What is the opposite of showing up? Not what prevents us from showing up necessarily but what is the opposite action from showing up. I jotted down a few thoughts (which are by no means comprehensive):
Withdrawal. (Physically retreating from others and from life.)
Inauthenticity. (Emotionally retreating from others and from the vulnerability required to truly connect.)
Self-centeredness. (Bringing everything back to ourselves in our minds, in our words, in our actions.)
Distraction. (Directing our attention somewhere else.)
It was this last one that really got me thinking. We tend to think of distraction as bad, as the evil that stands in the way of the presence we so desperately seek. And yet we need distraction. Distraction gives our brain a much-needed break. Used wisely, distraction can enable us to show up more fully. In this way, an antonym to showing up becomes precisely what enables it. (I love a paradox.)
From that comes this week’s question: What are all the ways I distract myself? If we make a list together, what is on the list? That’s PART A. And if we then analyze that list, what do we notice? This is PART B. Are there some things that are inherently “good” and others that are inherently “bad”? Are some things (or most things) okay in moderation? Is my “good” someone else’s “bad” or vice versa? What can I learn from that?
And, ultimately, what is the take-away? What distractions—and what level of those distractions—serve me and what don’t? How can I take this pondering and use it to effect change in my own life?