Distractions. Multi Coloured Squares in Mid Air Gathering To Form Head.

Distractions

What’s the next thing?

How can I entertain myself? Where’s the next mindless stream of drivel I can distract myself with? What do I need to turn off my brain?

In this world of ever-present distractions, it can be challenging to live in the present moment—to exist and to be who we really are (see Exist).

The world seems designed to ensure that we always have sufficient distraction to never have to be alone with ourselves. Why is that? Have modern people become so lazy that they can’t bear the thought of reflection? Have we become so distracted that we’re not able to spend time with our own thoughts?

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Play! A group of friends having fun.

Play

Do you want to go out and play?!

As adults, our time for playing is usually not as spontaneous as that. Our playtime is often highly scheduled, goal-oriented, competitive, or in many cases, non-existent. We may have hobbies, activities we do for relaxation, or things we do to pass the time, but how much of it is fun? How much of it is carefree? How often is it spontaneous?

As adults in Western society, we have many expectations placed on us. We’re expected to go to work, pay our bills, raise our children; more fundamentally, we’re expected to act “responsibly.”

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but for many, this sense of responsibility displaces any sense of fun we had. We may occasionally let our hair down in a card game with friends or at the beach on vacation, but is fun and playing an essential part of our lives? Is it part of who we are?

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Serenity. Woman floating in a canoe.

Serenity

Throughout my life, I’ve experienced many extremes.

I’ve been blissfully happy and deeply despondent. I’ve felt supremely confident and utterly worthless. I’ve buzzed with energy and been completely listless.

Extremes are part of life and are something we all experience. Obviously, the positive extremes are preferable, right? We want to feel good, not bad.

What about another option? Instead of chasing elusive and fleeting feelings, we can aspire to serenity—a more consistent positive feeling that, with practice, is not fleeting, but something that we can feel all the time.

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Special. Young couple taking joy from eating a meal together.

Special

What is the best thing you will do today?

Will it just happen, or will it take some doing?

When you wake up in the morning and think about the day ahead, does your mind immediately go to a to-do list or the demands on your time and energy; or do you wake up excited about something?

All of us have things we must do – every single day. And, often, those things can be overwhelming. It’s very easy for our daily direction to give way to our responsibilities and for the more sublime parts of our lives to get take a back seat (or not even make it into the car).

My days usually start with thoughts of beating the traffic, some early-in-the-day deadline, or some crisis that I have to address – that works for me. My subconscious mind has a way of organizing and prioritizing that my conscious mind doesn’t, so I start the day by organizing my day.

But, for me, it’s also important to think about what will make my day special: something that I look forward to, something exciting, something noteworthy, something extraordinary.

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Growth. Woman with awareness and serenity.

Growth

Each of us grows as a person, but how much we grow depends on how much we want to grow.

We start as children involved only in our own little worlds—emotionally invested in everything we face. As we get older and mature, we gain some insight into the world around us and some perspective on how we fit into the universe.

Some people never get past that childhood phase. They can’t see past their own immediate emotional responses, don’t have the insight to see the big picture, and never find the serenity that comes with personal growth and enhanced awareness.

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