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Distraction Subtraction

Dare to keep a kid off drugs. Dare to keep a kid off dope.
Dare to give a kid some help. Dare to give a kid some hope.
Why don’t you help us….

These were the unforgettable lyrics to a song that we performed when I was in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in elementary school. That was back in the 80’s when Nancy Reagan was leading her, “Just Say No” to drugs campaign. I have far different thoughts about that now as an adult and after having read, The New Jim Crow, but that’s a subject for another day. My point is that they never warned us about the socially acceptable drugs like food, coffee, and work.

I’ve begun to grow tired, once again, of being dependent on my three drugs of choice. Coffee, wine, and work. As a result, I decided to do a little experiment on myself. Last week I went without coffee and wine, and I cut way back on work.

I was a mess!

It turns out that I had been subconsciously using them to avoid feeling my feelings. The jolt that coffee provided was my replacement for exuberance. The calm that wine induced was my substitute for serenity. It has been challenging to feel either of those once familiar feelings in the midst of mounting global unrest. Work has always been my most intense addiction, the substance that I use and abuse daily, far more than I ever indulge in the other two. It had me so strung out that I swear I began to feel physical symptoms of withdrawal as a result of scaling back.

I saw that quote in a picture. It was a sign in bright neon lights near the exit of a fellow Peloton buddy’s workout room.

No, I didn’t die without those things. I learned that there are benefits in taking a break from the distractions that numb us from experiencing our emotions. I had some courageous conversations, made some hard decisions that I’d been avoiding, and gave my overstimulated brain the much-needed respite that it required. The findings of my experiment produced the following strategies:

Creativity Clearing. I am writing this message for you on a beautiful Saturday morning. This is huge because I usually sit at my laptop and stare at the screen on Monday mornings for hours before anything comes to me. I had been experiencing the dreaded writer’s block and felt as though I was trying to squeeze water from a rock. When I took a break from my distractions, I was gifted with a burst of inspiration that I hadn’t felt in months.

Spaciousness. The things I was using to cope created a barrier that was closing in on me rapidly. I no longer felt free to just be without the use of those things that were outside of me. Those walls were stifling my thoughts, emotions, and everything else that needed to break free. I took space to rest, take it slow, be silent, and settle my soul. I reclaimed the role of leader of my life, instead of allowing life to drag me. I faced how I really felt about things instead of constantly pushing them down and burying them in the soil of work under a sea of coffee and wine which was suffocating me. I was able to rise to the surface and breathe again.

Liberating Release. What is your drug of choice? Perhaps it’s a relationship, Netflix bingeing, potato chips, social media scrolling, the news, or gossip. You are not bad or wrong for using these things, and I’m not advising you to stop. Simply become aware of their impact and ease up on anything that is ultimately causing you more harm than good. I’m participating in a program that has taught me that treats are necessary, and you don’t have to wait or do something spectacular to deserve rewards. You are worthy as you are. They only become troublesome when you end up feeling worse as a result of consuming them.

This week I challenge you to consider which distraction needs subtraction to liberate your soul and make you whole.

Manifestation Affirmations

I am worthy and deserving as I am.

I am subtracting that which is distracting.

I am inviting spaciousness into my life.

Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide

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