Lesson #7 distraction / being fully present
Written by bill on March 12, 2023
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I fast from distraction.
I feast on being fully present.
How many mobile devices do you own? One? Two? Three? How many mobile devices do your children own? Have you ever been talking to your husband, son, brother, best friend, and suddenly realized that person’s face is buried in some device? This is a common occurrence in our world today.
Humans adapt quickly
Humans are very malleable. We adapt. We deal with small changes easily. We adapt and don’t even realize how much stuff has changed, especially when small changes accumulate and then evolve into big changes. We accept an hour commute, that began a year ago as only a 20 minute drive. We tolerate toxic people at work a year after the first incident. We accept two extra pounds around the waist, and just a short time later, that becomes 30 pounds more than we should be carrying. We learn to “deal with it.”
And that is what has happened with our mobile devices. What began as a novelty only available to the rich, has rapidly penetrated all layers of our society. These devices which connect us to the world—“fascinating”—have rapidly become very powerful and very cheap. They are indeed useful, but for many of us, they have come to dominate our lives and dull our senses and separate us totally from the joy of our human experience.
And the great irony of this situation is this: EVERY DEVICE HAS AN OFF SWITCH.
To understand the depth of this problem, let’s look at precisely what we have lost by being constantly distracted. As humans, we have five senses and we live in a beautiful, colorful world filled with amazing people and creatures, awesome landscapes, and countless opportunities to experience joy and beauty through those FIVE senses. Yes, I am talking about the old “truism,”
“Be sure to stop and smell the roses!”
We tend to dismiss truisms because we have heard them over and over, but they became truisms BECAUSE THEY ARE TRUE. ….duh!!!!
Your life DOES change when you pause and sit in the sun for a moment, allowing its radiant energy to wash over your face.
Your life DOES change when you spend time with your two-year-old grandson, just following him around as he pushes onward in his journey of discovery.
Your life DOES change when you have dinner with your family, your entire family, simply watching them enjoy a great meal and sharing their stories.
Your life DOES change when you pause each morning, just after waking, to simply focus on your breath and affirm, “I am the radiant life of God.”
Your life DOES change when you give yourself the gift of the present moment, allowing all five senses to introduce you to the gift of life.
Our devices may have taken us so far from “the center” that we don’t even have any inkling of what we are missing, of what it means to be fully present, in the moment.
TRUISM #2: “The past is gone; the future is unknown; all we have is now; that’s why it’s called the present. It’s a gift.”
At some point, we need to get back to our truth.
Being in the present makes it possible to experience love, beauty, gratitude, and more.
The Good News
- You don’t have to give up your mobile devices.
- You just have to use the OFF switch.
- Try disengaging for just a short time, maybe an hour. Then work your way up to longer amounts of time until you get to an entire day.
- When your device is off, let your senses take control. Listen intently to your loved ones and friends and great music. Watch the birds and animals and insects in your world. Feel the warmth of the sun and the touch of the wind. Walk, run, ride a bike, swim. Taste the great meals. Read a good book.
YES you CAN “fast from being distracted” and “feast on being in the present.”
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Copyright 2020 by William J. Babin. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of the author.