The Power of Pause: Distractions

the power of pause distractions

I don’t have a “real job”. In all honesty, I don’t really have any job. This blog is a blessing for me – one which receives no payment and needs no payment. So my days are filled with rest, relaxation, and oftentimes, coffee. One would think that being able to pause would be easy for someone like me. But, one would also forget this thing we call “distraction”.

Most of us probably get distracted in our day-to-day life. We are walking along to the train station or to work and there it is – the cutest little puppy dog you’ve ever seen! You stop and pet said cute little puppy dog and forget all the cares and worries in the world! Distraction. A very, very good and healthy distraction.

Puppy dogs are the best.

Might I suggest some distractions that are not sooooo good and healthy as cute little puppy dogs? They may not be bad all of the time, but they sure do pile up! These are some of a few distractors I deal with:

  • Cell phone, including but not limited to games, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, & looking through photos
  • Laptop, including but not limited to [all of the above plus] Netflix, Pinterest, YouTube, online shopping (Sevenly, TOMS, Ebay, Amazon, Trademe), photo editing, blogs, photo contests, my own websites
  • Other media and technology, like Spotify, radio stations, television, fancy billboards, notebooks, and more.
  • People can be distractors as well – Haven’t you ever procrastinated by calling a friend to do something you’d rather do instead of what you should be doing?
  • The Inner Voice, because sometimes the biggest distraction is that voice in my mind that’s 1) telling me I’m not good enough, 2) telling me all the things I should be doing, or 3) telling me all the things I should have done better.

I have seven tabs up on my internet right now. Two of them are pottery glaze shops, another one is Facebook, another is ViewBug, then this blog is open with a graphics website beside it, as well as Pinterest (because who doesn’t always have a Pinterest tab open?). And I’ve just clicked out of Netflix, which was open on another screen while I did some photos. I’m typing on a messenger from the laptop while I go back and forth between my computer and my phone because I am playing a game called “Township” and I have to harvest wheat and carrots and silk so I can make bread and hamburgers and fabric because my pretend people need to eat and shop. I’m sitting by my husband who needs me to look over his CV so he can put it in a portfolio that is due soon, and he is also doing several things at once. We are both suffering from over-stimulated brains.

Why have we made life so difficult and stressful for ourselves?

the power of pause insta 3

Here are three challenges for you. Challenges that I, too, desperately need to take on.

List the things, people, and technologies that distract you. Decide what you need to cut out for a while – a day, a week, forever. Pause and think about it. What can you cut out in order to make your life better?

 

Make a list of the things and the people that should be priority for you. Just pause and re-evaluate. How can you get rid of distractions so that you are not distracted from the people you love?

 

Begin to think about the distractions that come from your inner voice. Pause when a negative thought pops up, and think about what thought should replace it. This will go a long way in making life easier (and more satisfying) in the long run.

 

Friday’s Lies: I’m Too _______.

I'm Too ___. (1)I’m too fat. I’m too skinny. I’m too ugly. My teeth are too crooked. My skin is too wrinkly.

I’m too stupid. I’m too useless. I’m too weak.

I’m too far gone. I’m too late. I’ve done too many bad things.

Do some of these “I’m too ______”s seem familiar? What are some of these sorts of statements that you tell yourself? It might not even be consciously, but you probably say something negative to yourself – and sometimes even out loud to others. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t say some variety of these statements. But let’s be honest. Almost all of them are lies in the name of self-deprecation, self-pity, or just self-hate.

Let’s talk about lies for a few weeks – lies that we tell ourselves – lies we allow ourselves to believe. We take them in and they begin to root themselves as truth in the center of our minds. After a while, they begin to control us. They take over our lives and impact our relationship with ourselves and our relationships with others. They change the way we view ourselves, when they have no right to do so.

Here are five true statements to help you (and me) combat the lies that we tell ourselves every day:

1)      How we see ourselves is hardly EVER how others see us.

 

I’ve always had this weird idea that I was bigger than anyone thought I was. When I walk around, sometimes I feel like people have to go around me because, in my mind, I’m three times wider than I actually am. But everyone has always told me how small I am. People don’t view me as fat. It’s all a lie I tell myself to make me feel bad.

 

There have been many people I’ve known that think they are too skinny. When they say that, I’m surprised because I’ve never thought of them that way. The same with people that tell me they’re fat.

 

Most human beings (the halfway decent ones at least) don’t look at other people and judge them for how they look. We should see beauty in each other. If they do view us a certain way, it’s probably because they are insecure with themselves, or because they are just plain mean.

 

Don’t tell yourself something another person wouldn’t tell you.

 

2)      Repeating lies to myself will only make me feel worse.

 

Science tells us that when we think negatively, we slow down certain parts of the brain. We need optimism if we want to thrive. By believing that you are too _____, you allow that negative thinking to cloud other aspects of your life – your health, in particular. You make yourself more prone to depression, loneliness, as well as to other physical effects of stress.

 

Don’t make yourself feel worse. You don’t need that. You don’t deserve that. And that, my friend, is the truth.

 

3)      I don’t want people to lie to me. So, I shouldn’t be lying to myself.

 

We’ve all known liars. From our youngest years, people have lied to us – whether it be about the Easter Bunny or about something more serious (sorry, Easter Bunny). It’s not cool. Again, you do not deserve to be lied to no matter who you are or what you’ve done.

 

We don’t like when people straight-up lie to us, but we don’t give ourselves the respect we want from others. That’s not fair, is it?

 

4)      Self-harm begins with lying to yourself.

 

You don’t do good to yourself by allowing your inner voice to put you down. It’s a form of self-harm to lie to yourself. Do you feel good when you tell yourself that you have too many freckles – that your arm is too flappy? No. No, you don’t. I don’t.

 

When you tell yourself unnecessary lies, you hurt yourself. And when you hurt yourself, you hurt your family. You hurt your friends. It’s a downward spiral that we all need to look out for and get out of before we get trapped.

 

Let’s not dwell in self-deception. Let’s not live in self-pity. Find a truth and make yourself feel better. You have beautiful eyes. Your hair has a nice colour to it. You take care of yourself and you look good naturally.

 

5)      Taking a step back from the mirror might reveal some reality.

 

I’ve caught myself at times looking in the mirror, using a mental microscope, scouring my body for any and every so-called imperfection. I get closer to the mirror and all I see is that one blackhead, that one pimple, that one stretch mark, etcetera.

 

But, I’ve learned to take a step back. To look at all of me. My worth is not revealed by that blackhead or that stretchmark – not by the bags under my eyes or the fat on my abdomen. My worth is in who I am. When I take a step back and see all of me, I let myself think that I am beautiful. A work of art. I let myself think of the good inside of me and how my smile can send joy to others. Who I am and what I look like is my story to others.

 

Take a step back. Look at yourself. Love yourself. You have so much to give. We just have to stop believing the lies.

You’re not too anything. You may be medically obese or medically underweight. That just means you need to take care of yourself. But it doesn’t define who you are as a person. You are a human being. As such, you are wonderful.

I’m sitting in a café right now and I count forty-six people. Not one of them is ugly. As I look around, I see beauty in all of them, joy in some faces and stress in others. Some are laughing, a little child is screaming, many are wrapped up in gossip and still others are simply enjoying the friendship that goes with stopping in the middle of the day for a cup of coffee and a chat. None of them, no matter their size, are too anything. They are just right in themselves. And I believe that to be the truth.

Change and happiness will come when you simply tell yourself the truth: You have beauty. You have worth. You are a work of art. If someone painted you and put that painting in a museum, you would not be passed by. The truth is that there is an art to every person. Believe in that.