It's time now that we face the unfortunate effects of mindless distractions.
Snake as mentor reminds us that mental and emotional distractions can be harmful when they keep us from connecting to self and the living world around us.
To animals in the desert, distractions can spell death. Resources like water and shade are far too sparse to lose sight of. Better to stay attuned to self and seek out the life preserving resources one needs. This way one not only survives – but one thrives.
COMFORT IN THE VOID
In chapter one, we learned the truth about antagonistic mentoring and how crisises actually serve as gateways to greater wisdom. Here, in chapter two, we consider the most powerful antagonistic mentor of all – that of our own making when we disassociate.
How many hours have you lost to social media? Or to Netflix? And how about lost time and money spent on mindless shopping, or aimless eating or drinking? The list goes on and on. And it all comes down to our unconscious need to avoid the void. The discomfort people feel with being alone with themselves is where distractions take root.
In reality, our hearts require unstructured space and time in order to dream and create. So let's take this first step towards shedding unhealthy distractions by growing conscious of our unconscious ways.
Download the Distraction Worksheet (or use your journal).
Sample provided as reference.
Distractions: In the worksheet or in your journal, take a moment to inventory your main go-to distractions. Notice what space they take up in your life. Notice how they hijack stillness and connection.
Avoidance: Take a moment to notice what's behind the mindless reach for the distraction. Is it boredom? Is it anxiety? Is it a lack of comfort with space, with nothingness? Note this in your worksheet or journal.
Reclaimed Space: Imagine what you might reclaim when you weaken the grip of distractions on your day to day life. How might you be fed with more space? How might you better connect to self or those around you?
Study your list of distractions without judgement, only compassion. Now let's practice a method called "Star Fish Intervention" for breaking the cycle in the moment when anxiety first grips us.
Let's actively break the cycle!
This practice is a physical intervention. It will move you from disconnected into a posture of open surrender to nothingness. We need to restore our comfort levels with space, the void. In time, you will come to crave it.
Start by finding a place in your home where there is space to lie on the floor, arms and legs flung out. This may sound weird, but it's actually embodied. Have fun with this!
Once you have found such a place, take in a deep breath (in with the Yang/Masculine and out into the Yin/Feminine) to mark the shift - and drop to the floor.
Set your smart phone timer to 3 minutes
Lie down now gently on your back with your arms and legs flung out – like a starfish. Feel the hug of ground and gravity. Let the comfort of this hug help you reclaim your energy from scattered to gathered.
With your eyes open, say to yourself, "void", then start the timer and do nothing. Become one with nothingness. If you notice a strong desire to distract, then say it again . . . "void".
Remember, everything is created out of the void – babies and whole galaxies! Enjoy this moment of divine reconnection to nothingness. This is your gift to self!
When the timer goes off, take another deep breath in and out, and move back into the course of your day. You can do this anytime you need in order to reclaim your center.
Distractions, A Mighty Beast!
What are your top three distractions and what will you do with your reclaimed time to dream?