Monday, May 16, 2011

Fasting from Distraction

A consistent prayer for me has to help clear my mind and restore my focus. I always feel like my mind is being pulled in a thousand different directions and I'm not able to do any one thing well because I'm doing all things half-azzed.

During the first ten days of the year I started a fast from distraction - TV, music (except for worship & praise music), PEOPLE and social media.

The basis of this fast was a few words that kept being placed in my spirit from different sources, but all with the same message - "as a man thinketh, so is he". Your output is a product of your input so we need to be careful of what you allow into your thoughts, because those things contribute to what will manifest in your life.

Coming off of those first 10 days, I felt a greater awareness of my mind. I began to see and hear a lot of things more clearly because I had turned down all of the outside noise of my life. And it became abundantly clear to me that my social media involvement (read: addiction) was a major source of my distraction.

Clearing away the noise felt much so that I decided that I was going to fast from social media for Lent.

Let me tell you - 40 days is significantly longer than 10 :o) and it indeed proved to be a struggle for me. And I was not quite as adherent to the fast as I should have been. I truly did feel like an addict, finding the littlest of reasons to pop up over on facebook, etc. But for the most part, I did press on and was rewarded at the end with:
  • a greater mental clarity
  • less distraction, especially during my work day, allowing me to remain focused and be more productive
  • the ability to see/hear things that would have otherwise been clouded out by the noise
  • decreased inundation of the thoughts/opinions of others, leaving room for my own to form more genuinely

But, believe me, it wasn't all roses, butterflies, and puppies. I revealed some things about myself that were hard to see/hear - that were easier to deal with drowned out by the noise. And I noticed that my habit was bordering on addiction...not cool.

Since I've been back though, I've realized how much I've missed all the "friends in my head" that I made, through the blogs especially, and the unique voice they all have in my day. I've been taking my time and going through my backlog, but feeling no great need to clear the >1K message showing on my RSS feed. (As I've been catching up, I see that when you miss a little, you miss a lot!) I also realized that I have a lot of things to say...about me, about life, about the world, and yes, even about hair - so I need to utilize this outlet a little better in getting those words out into the atmosphere. Even if no one else "hears" them.

I would definitely suggest that everyone take some time to fast from the unique distractions of their own lives (cause I know I'm not the only one that's got them!) Take some time to quiet down the noise that bombards your life...see how much it changes your perspective.