It is hard to fathom that 2020 is halfway to history already.
Unprecedented and catastrophic events took this year by storm, with ravenous fires, floods, and a pandemic that is still in progress. Many of us may have been so painstakingly distracted for most of it.
Even as we’ve self-isolated, it may have been difficult to authentically relax our nervous system and find our breath, voice, and individual truth—especially with real life demanding paycheques, rent or mortgage payments, groceries, childcare, elderly care, and equitable access to health care services, including COVID-19 testing.
These demands have taken their toll, and we may have temporarily escaped, thankfully distracted, while leaning on boring as hell habits.
But distractions only feed cycles. And today, we may still be in one, seeking escape instead of living fully in the moment—instead of finding a sense of peace amidst the chaos.
We may be engaging in behaviours that are addictive, aggressive, and obsessive: scrolling pages, gossiping, posting, stalking, complaining, and overindulging in ourselves. We may do this to avoid stillness, feeling feelings, and facing the fear that lives inside us.
We may avoid genuine boredom because it can feel awful to sit with ourselves, at first.
Because until now, for some of us, it may have been impossible to achieve genuine boredom, as we have long saturated ourselves with any number of alluring distractions.
Distractions that helped us cope.
Distractions that helped us numb.
But, if you are reading this now, you may have chosen to join me on the quest to finding genuine boredom again—the point and place where all of the drama in the world just doesn’t do it for us anymore. The place where we don’t get high or low off of it. Instead, we have reached the place in our lives where we want more—where we are ready to ask for help.
This is the point where we want to honour our soul’s purpose.
When it’s time to seize the moment, we know it because:
Trusty distractions start to feel boring as hell; it is a sign that it is our time to grow.
We are healing.
We’ve had enough of sacrificing sacred and personal routines for that of another’s schedule, and now choose ourselves as the deserving option.
We are healing.
We choose to see, love, and explore our dark side. Self-love is now a priority, and a practice.
And not to sound too alarmist, but if all these moments of awareness are happening to us right now, we better do something about it, pronto. If we don’t hop to it, we can get pulled back into the noise and the drama, including other people’s busyness. And if we don’t have a plan, our best intentions for personal growth will go to sh*t.
We want to make good use of our genuine boredom, because from this place, we are open-hearted, curious, honest, kinder, and more giving.
So, let’s seize the moment together.
Here are three healing practice I have re-introduced in my life to help maintain genuine and soul-satisfying boredom.
1. Stop DM’ing, texting, or reaching out to strangers (known or unknown).
Despite my self-perceived best intentions, I struggle with boundaries.
I thought I would be the last one to admit that it’s actually loneliness at the root of my pain. I’m still not sure. But one thing is for certain: I do reach out to others to try to make genuine connections. Sometimes, it’s with people I think I know, including long-time friends and acquaintances. But, I realize that’s not enough in this day and age.
We need to trust our intuition about the connections we are really feeling with others and, based on what we know to be true, make a choice about where we invest our time.
2. Accept that not everyone is meant for our depth.
When we distract ourselves with forcing connections with “strangers” in an effort to avoid our loneliness or boredom, we miss out on knowing who we really are. We are missing out on having a genuine connection with ourselves.
Times of high stress and anxiety, or when I have felt triggered, are the most difficult times for me to remember this. But if I allow myself to get distracted in getting to know others, I miss out on exploring what is truly at the root of my discomfort with being alone, or the processes going on in the background when I’m busy.
3. Stop fooling ourselves with controlling and hidden micro-aggressive tendencies that disguise as caring behaviour.
The same goes for putting ourselves at risk for oversharing with someone who truly does not care. Not in a mean way either, just in a way that is indifferent. Overexposing ourselves makes us crave more attention. It is a wicked and vicious cycle that impedes true personal growth.
It hurts because when we consistently overexpose ourself, we set in motion a pattern enabling others to ignore, toy with, or ghost us. In turn, these actions pull at old wounds, and unhealed trauma.
In thinking that reaching out to someone we hardly know is about helping us and others grow, we allow ourselves to fall into a trap that the mind creates to help distract us from ourselves and our own work. Trust me. This is a cycle that I am learning to break. A cycle that I am learning to heal.
Here’s what we can try instead:
In addition to spending time processing on our own and getting comfortable with what arises in our boredom, we can reach out to someone we know and trust—someone we can confide in. It is possible to do amazing healing work with people like our partner, a close and time-tested friend, a family member, or a licensed health care practitioner.
We are meant to heal together as a collective of family, friends, lovers, and soulmates. But healthy boundaries are needed. With healthier boundaries, we can know with greater certainty who can join us on our journey.
May we all find and sustain genuine and soul-satisfying boredom, and not feel threatened by silence, or stillness, or the absence of alluring distractions.
May we all recognize that the body is our greatest storyteller, and when given a chance to release and heal it, we can transform.
May we desire to be present in moments, no matter the events that surround it.
May we make history a little easier to remember by consistently choosing love over fear.
What is one distraction you will stop feeding, in order to encourage genuine, soul-satisfying boredom in your life?