So, I was doing something else, minding my own business, trying to pursue my own agenda for what needed to be done this morning. Then I looked up and saw that one of my plants was starting to look droopy.
Or, rather, the plant wasn’t droopy, but it looked as though it soon would begin to droop. There was an “I need water” vibe in the air. I could have held off and watered the plants later and stuck to my previously chosen agenda. But instead, and partly because I’m deliberately trying to better cultivate the ability to attend to matters that slip into my consciousness at the level of a barely noticeable whisper, I got up right away and watered the plants. I felt like that was very ADD-ish of me: something distracted me, so I wandered off away from what I was doing.
But–what if being distractible is a strength? Especially for intuitive work?
To do intuitive work, in my opinion, you have to be able to operate from a place of inner stillness. I don’t want to say that you have to silence the inner voice–that sounds so authoritarian!–but you do have to be able to turn down its volume, let’s say.
Well, when you turn down the volume on the inside, the stuff on the outside does get loud and clear. It’s distracting. Yes. But all that distraction does provide a certain amount of information that is worth attending to. For example, some of that tendency to notice distractions was selected for through the process of evolution–our ancestors who noticed threats in their environment, I suspect, survived to reproduce more often than our distant relatives who concentrated so hard on one thing at a time that they didn’t notice threats.
Of course, while I was watering the plants, my other work was not getting done, and here I am writing a blog post instead of going back to it. So, granted, distractions do mess with our productivity.
But my question right now is not, how do distractions affect my ability to be productive? but rather, how do distractions affect my ability to be intuitive? And I think the answer to that is, if I consciously stop and pay attention to distractions, then they improve my intuition. It’s like I’m training myself to notice when the phone is ringing rather than totally ignoring it (which happens to be something else I’m working on). Besides, I could still look at the caller ID on the ringing phone, and decide, no, I’m not answering this call right now.
Readers, can you comment on this theory? If you get distracted easily, do you think that your distractions play a role in helping to make you more intuitive? Or am I nuts? Or both? 🙂