Soon many of us will leave on summer vacation. We have great plans with family and friends but before we know it, we have checked both emails and answered phone calls. I have many people in my practice that claim that this is not a problem, but being back in the performance/job loop will not only steal your time, it also disturbs your energy and ability to be present and relax on your vacation.
Together we have created an expectation that we all should be available and more and more of us accept being disturbed regardless of where we are. Somehow, we have agreed that a vacation is no excuse for being unavailable.
…And vacation time is just one example of where we compromise our personal goals and needs in order to be available. Every day we encounter things, situations and people on our way that we let hijack our energy and focus.
Things that have nothing to do with us or our loved ones, situations over which we have absolutely no control, or social media content that is not even remotely interesting or relevant. We willingly let these disturb us in the belief that if we refuse to do so, it will be wrong or we will be left out of the loop.
But every time we allow ourselves to be disturbed and let something or someone hijack our focus and energy from what is currently relevant in our day or life, we lose the ability to be present and be the best version of ourselves.
I recently said goodbye to a dear friend due to cancer, and being with him during the last weeks made it clear that the only thing that mattered to him was presence. Being disturbed by finding the right soda, asking details from the nurse, etc. was never more important than one of us sitting with him in the bed holding his hand.
We need to be aware of how much our focus and energy is hijacked, and how this disturbs our lives. And we need to be conscious about where, when and what we let ourselves be disturbed by. Every disturbance we accept might be a prioritization of largely unimportant things, and this forms the lives we live. By now we have so much evidence which shows that letting ourselves constantly be disturbed creates a more fragmented and less focused energy, which in turns makes it harder to be present and give the best that we have.
My hope is that this summer we will be better at respecting each other’s “DO NOT DISTURB” signs and that YOU will choose wisely when, what and who you will let disturb you.
How to choose your disturbances:
- Is the disturbance prohibiting me from being with the situation I am in? Which is most important right now?
- Is the disturbance something that I need to get involved in at all?
- Is the disturbance something that I can actually influence or control?
- Over time evaluate your level of acceptance to being disturbed, and how this fits with your goals and personal values
My best wishes for a present and relaxing summer