It is quite often I get swept up in the tide of my own unbridled enthusiasm.
I have been working on efforts to expand the reach of our podcast. Ideas have been flowing, changes have been implemented, new initiatives have been launched. However, lurking in the background is whatever the visualized explosive growth is becomes manifest. That is to say, the drive has plenty of passion and love for the effort, but then I need to plant the seed and walk away. I can be excited about the large fruitful plant exploding before my mind’s eye, but I cannot at this moment stand in front of the pot continually watering it until it inexplicably goes from seed to bloom overnight.
Then the minister makes me aware of something very beautiful that I had long thought to be a curse. The distractions, the “pinging”, the Shiny Metal Object Disorder. This really isn’t a disorder at all, it is a fantastic function. It is play at its best and at its utmost. The distraction serves as a tool for me to walk away, to draw my attention away from the newly planted seed so I don’t over tend it, so I can leave it alone so it will grow unfettered. It is a way for me to stay present, stay thoroughly embedded in the moment. The distraction is not a dysfunction, it is an employment, it is a means of manifestation that releases me from the looming giant parent that is expectation and accomplishment. It is the written excused absence from the class of completion and measured achievement. It is the appeal to the child in me that refuses to answer the question of what I want to be when I grow up.
For some time I believed that the distractions were means of escape, from drawing me out of the moment. But I would then ask myself what I planned to accomplish with each distraction, until the distractions I chose were inevitably distraction that clearly were frivolous in nature. Their own frivolity left no room for doubt that I planned to accomplish nothing, believing that any endeavor that could lead to something “fruitful” or “productive” should lead to an end result of accomplishment. This left a trail of detritus from abandoned projects, endeavors, and avocations. It felt to me like the flotsam and jetsam of an inability to see things through to their fruition, of unattained certificates and unearned credentials, of letters and dots that would have served as the tail on my name to provide me with balance, which instead have fallen from the displayed name of the abandoned storefront of my ambitions.
But where the beauty lies is that I never completely learned to put my head down and power through drudgery. Instead my survival skills consisted of those diversions that made my blood do little joyful jigs in my veins, that twirled tarantellas through my arteries. Whenever I tried to steel myself to push through the mundane and the banal, the magnet of play always drew me, reminding me that life is about the fun of dance and song and expression and joyful release.
What I used to consider the demon call distraction I now realize is a function of having a tiny party between each of those moments of obligation, of pulling me away from the ogre of expectation to let me settle nicely in the hot springs of the present, where I can just soak in the moment and be at one with my own simple joys.