When What You Think Is Distraction, Is Actually
Your Truth Calling
I recently read a Facebook post by Danielle LaPorte titled, 'The royal practice of overcoming distraction.' It really hit home for me. What she says so often does, but this particular message resonated big time. It was exactly what I needed to hear at the right time. As I’ve come to know, that’s the way things work when we’re paying attention.
I’d just been talking (well maybe more like venting) to my husband about how frustrated I’m feeling with being pulled in every damn direction this year. Despite my honed ability to say no, there still never seems to be enough hours in a day to do all the things that need and want doing.
The past several months, I feel like there are just too few of me. I swear if I could, I’d clone myself like Michael Keaton did in that old movie, Multiplicity. But as I recall, that didn't turn out so well. So, on second thought, maybe not the best solution.
Anyhow, after the venting, I made my way upstairs to my laptop and was immediately offered up the perfect medicine in the form of Danielle’s post. In it, she talks about distraction and how it’s not really a time management issue, but more of an alignment issue. It struck a chord because I recognized myself in her words.
In fact, this line from the post may become my mantra for 2017, “Anything that is not aligned with the True You, is distraction.” BAM!
I know this intellectually, but have been having some serious trouble putting it into practice.
I confess - I've been struggling with distraction this year. A shitload of it! Some in the form of what I can't control. Like for example, spending all day in the emergency department with my dad the other day. (He's doing o.k. right now, thanks).
Some because I have way too many ideas floating around up there and have had major trouble focusing on one thing at a time. I’ve been spinning my wheels and not able to complete any major project to my satisfaction. I’m not lying, or proud when I say that I could give that talking dog from Up, a run for his money… ‘Squirrel!’
But just recently, and validated by the divine guidance of Danielle’s post, I’ve realized (admitted) that a growing contributor to my sense of distraction is that I can feel new things calling to me.
If I’m being honest, they’re more like old things that I lost or swept under the carpet along the way. Things that I was deeply connected to at one time but dismissed, downplayed, or kept tightly under wraps for fear of judgement, a need to fit in, to not appear flaky, and to be taken seriously by my family, friends, colleagues and the world at large.
I know what some of you are thinking right now. But yep, this is me, attempting to fit in. Laugh if you must. I’m laughing at the ridiculousness of it over here too!
All of this has left me in a weird, uncertain place, especially these last several months. I’ve been feeling super vulnerable, and pretty pissed at myself for being so distracted and tied in knots.
But here’s the thing – like Danielle says, that distraction is serving a purpose. It’s forcing me to the truth. My truth. And OMG I fucking LOVE the truth so much because, well because it’s the truth… but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary as hell.
These new old things are demanding my attention more and more lately. I keep trying to focus on the stuff I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing. I keep telling myself that these new old things are the problem, that THEY’RE actually the distraction, but deep down, I know that’s not true. I know it’s the other way around.
The real distractions have been all that stuff that on the surface might appear to be the productive, rational, important and responsible stuff, but underneath, no matter how hard I try to pretend, it just doesn’t feel like the truth.
These new old things, that I’ve been fooling myself into believing were distracting me from my real work and life, are getting increasingly difficult to ignore. They keep showing up. They keep whispering in my ear, “This. Over here. Pay attention. This is the truth. This is who you are.” I feel like I’m being pulled towards my truth and fighting the urge to commit, I mean to REALLY go there, is wearing me right the hell out.
So, I have a choice to make. I could continue to play it safe and keep floating around in the purgatory of status quo - with all the ideas and pending/half completed projects. I could keep saying yes to things that feel comfortable, sensible, adequate. I could keep following this potential opportunity here, and that ‘kinda cool’ idea there. I could keep trying to force myself into a space and persona I don’t quite fit anymore, or, I could stop struggling and give in to the call.
I could say, “Thanks” to all the distractions that have served their purpose, wrap up some loose ends, recalibrate the ‘no’ list, stop wasting my time on the easy way out, the way that feels familiar but not necessarily true, and step fully onto the path that is revealing itself to me. The one that feels aligned with the true me.
As I write this, I already know the answer. No matter how hard, uncomfortable or scary, the answer is always to follow the truth.
P.S. If you want to practice getting past the fear and living your own truth, join me in 2017 for the next session of Kick Fear To The Curb, my 5 week online course that will help you live a more courageous life. Get all the details right here.
P.P.S Massive gratitude to Danielle LaPorte for the piece that inspired this post. You can read it right here.