About 10 years ago, I was visiting my friend Shilpa. She was mother to a six year old and we were talking about eating out with small children. As a non-parent, I was telling her that I always felt a bit sorry for parents whose children throw temper tantrums in public places. And in her always wise way, Shilps said to me: Kash, the magic trick is distraction!
Distraction you say! Her mothering superpower was that she never got into a chat with her toddler about the reason for the outburst. She would just say: Ooh, look at this shiny red car! Or “Isn’t this cheese yummy!” And as soon as the attention shifted, all was well!
In recent days, I have been mulling on this pearl of wisdom and its more wider effectiveness – mostly for us grownup toddlers. Have you set off in 2017 with an intention to eat better? Or get on your mat daily? Write 100 lines everyday? Or read 47 pages? Have you noticed that as you are cruising along, living your intention quite effortlessly, a serpent rears its evil head in your Garden of Eden? And could it be that this is the serpent of boredom?
Chat to Self: This is too easy. Maybe I am not stretching enough? Is this what <<<your favourite role model>>> would do?
And the next thing you remember is that you are out of the flow, the intention has dropped and you have reverted to your favourite binge option (Netflix, chips, chocolate, shopping, your choice)!
So what else is possible? I submit: distraction! So the next time chat to self starts to roll in your head, distract yourself. Ooh…look!!! Find anything that works for you. Here are some of my more effective shiny red cars:
- get up and walk for a few minutes
- drink a glass of water
- tick of a to-do item that is quick like paying some bills online, putting laundry away
- get away from your device, close your eyes and take 5-10 breaths slowly
And at the other end…voila…you will notice you are back on track, intention in place & minimal damage done!
Write in and share with me how your shiny red car looks!