Ode to Distraction

Ode to distraction

Words by Jacquelyn Salvador

What follows is a pretty true-to-life representation of how the mind tends to wander when we give it an unusual task like sitting still for once through meditation.

Maybe you'll notice some reflections of yourself in it. Maybe it'll make you curious about the experience of meditation. Maybe it'll just be an interesting reflection on the very human tendency to constantly be speculating and inventing mental paths that often lead in circles.

In any case, I hope this little narrative can provide something of value to you, the reader and the thinker.

Ok, let's settle in for a few minutes of breathing & tuning inward before we start the rush of the day.

You KNOW you'll feel better afterward. You always do. Even if it takes time away from "productivity," somehow it always feels like it adds time and spaciousness to your day, so let's get to it.

How about 25 minutes today? Hmm yes but then there's coffee already brewing, and you wouldn't want it to get cold, or worse burnt...best to go for 10 minutes today.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Yea, even just 10 minutes of this is going to be good, I can tell. I'll do a longer session this weekend. Hmm but then there's that weekend class you signed up for, and it starts pretty early for a Saturday. Maybe just on Sunday, we'll do a longer meditation session. It'll still be wonderful.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

The class isn't so bad anyway. Better be grateful for the experience; it's a cool way to meet new people and learn something now.

But wait, Sunday may not work...meditation is difficult in the mornings when I don't have the apartment to myself. Too difficult to stay focused & block out distractions.

Oh right, distraction...

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

That's it. Settle in, focus on the breath. 10 minutes isn't that long, no time to waste with irrelevant thoughts. This time is just meant to be here. Now.

Follow the rhythm.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Keep going.

I could definitely use more of this slowing down in my life.

But it's true that it feels a bit weird to sit still for so long. Legs are starting to tingle...shoulders are starting to slouch...back to sitting straight, now! Alert and active. We're trying to invite full consciousness, here, after all.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.

Ahh. Spaciousness. This feels nice. I really need to get back into this as a daily habit. No more excuses about distractions...if it's a priority, you'll make it happen, right?

Inhale. Exhale.

This is going to make my workday start off sooo well.

Much better than when I dive straight into the endless list of to-do's and competing messages.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

I'm really starting to feel a flow here. Thoughts are finally slowing down, or at least floating away a bit more easily.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Ahh yes. This is the rhythm.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exh---

((Dingggggg))

Oh. Already?

Well...practice makes perfect. Tomorrow is another day.

Too distracted to meditate alone? Try this guided woodland sounds meditation and see how you get on: https://www.balancegarden.co.uk/blog/guided-woodland-sounds-meditation

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Author of 360 Living: Practical guidance for a balanced life, Jacquelyn is a tireless seeker of personal betterment, and she's on a personal mission to help others find their own best version of life. Her own (ongoing) journey of personal happiness started out with years of chasing the perfect approach to "the good life," but she eventually realised she was anything but happy, so she packed life into a backpack and hit the road to find it for herself on a backpacking adventure around Europe. Along the way, she teamed up with the Authentic Happiness Project to help others on their own journey of personal happiness (backpacking optional) through an empowering combination of inspiration, learning, and personal reflection.

Jacquelyn lives and works as a yoga instructor with Affordable Yoga & Fitness in Paris, France, helping others find better health and happiness through mindful movement. She shares her adventures in the art of living a good life on Instagram at @jj_moves.

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