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mindful minute

We are freed and imprisoned by our thoughts

Written by Mark Fontaine

Dealing With Life’s Distractions

Are you bothered by the amount of distractions you experience throughout the day?  There are phones, email, text messages, websites, advertising flyers, social media and countless others.  Everyone and everything is begging for your attention. 

These things can get in the way of living a fulfilling and productive life. I am sure that as I am writing this, there are several text messages and emails waiting for me.  What benefit is there in addressing the messenger’s needs before my own?

Do you remember a time when phones were only for home use?  When you went out, you were free of distractions and had no such thing as voicemail upon your return. Our minds are not meant to be Always on”.  How do we change?

Minimizing Distractions

The first step is to realize that many of these distractions are self-imposed.  Ask yourself, what purpose does this serve?  Are you creating a constant sense of urgency?  Do you have to be busy to feel worthy?  Do you have an insatiable need to be aware of the latest news story or pop culture phenomenon?  Are you afraid of being left alone with your thoughts?

When was the last time you left home to go for a walk, or to grab some food and purposely left your cell phone at home? This not only makes you feel undistracted but also halts a hyperactive mind which may be tempted to lookup facts on the phone’s internet browser, check for messages and send texts.  Dare to believe that if something truly important comes up, you will most certainly hear about it.

Creating Space Through Focus

Create space for important things each day.  We only need to do one or at most two really important things daily.  Make a note of what those important things are and do themYes, you will do other productive things, but you will give a big push to important things that you likely would otherwise put off.  This will give you a goal and will prioritize mindfulness.

This is the most practical definition of the word Zen.  Zen equals focus.  Focus brings peace, clarity and strength.  Learning to master this art of focus can unleash incredible power in your life.

Schedule your day the night before.  Set a  target.  By planning for a perfect day, you end up being more resilient to the enevitable pitfalls life brings. 

Lethargy may creep in.  It is ok to give in to some distractions for the sake of taking breaks. A short pause can refresh and recharge.

The most important thing  is to realize that focus comes naturally to you. This is why being in flow is so pleasurable.  It is a return to a more natural state of alert awareness that your mind and body craves.


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