I write this while watching two bright yellow finches squabble at the feeder. I think they are upset that the food has run quite low. One just buzzed the window. It is so difficult some days to stay focused, to stay on task. There are so many distractions. Oh, here comes a squirrel to check what has fallen and there is the neighbor walking his dogs—two Golden Retrievers and a Black Lab.

The tasks we need to complete—the to do lists, the deadlines at hand—can appear so critical and so utterly essential in completing until life flies up in our faces. I welcome the distraction of the joys of mother nature but sometimes distractions come from something more serious and it can be more than difficult to put those distractions aside. It can be painful.

A distracted mind is an unfocused mind for certain, but it can also be a mind of anxiety and worry. When we come to the yoga mat to perform a well known pose, we sometimes get distracted by someone’s mat or by the sheer boredom of repeating the same thing again and again. This kind of distraction we can practice overcoming by choosing to be fully present for the reasonable time it takes to complete the pose. In this way, we strengthen our ability to train our mind to be present.

And, that can spill over to the times when more difficult situations come to light. It is challenging to put aside the worries of what might happen, but a trained mind sees the distractions and draws it back into alignment. It subtly tells us—worry can be a wasted distraction when all we truly have is this moment.

With that, I pause and relinquish. Yes, I want to have a more focused mind but honestly, I like a few distractions from the regular routine. And, does not yoga teach us that all of life is a balancing act? If so, perhaps today we offer ourselves the conscious means to focus in the present but enjoy the occasional distraction.

Ohhh, now that’s pretty bird…..

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