I started doing something new in the last couple days. When I reach for my phone out of impulse, I ask myself "What else can I do right now that would allow me to more fully embrace THIS moment?". I started this because I noticed that while sometimes I just go to my phone out of habit, other times it is a response to some anxiety or fear. It almost feels like the kind of hair trigger reaction that would have you pull your hand away from something hot. My hand darts to the phone in reaction to something painful in me in an attempt to quickly ease the feeling. This is a poor cover and doesn't really work... in any lasting sense anyway. It's kind of like choosing to put your hand on something that slowly burns you over time instead of the hottest fire... either way I am getting burned, one way is just a little easier to get used to and SEEMS preferable in the moment. There is another way, though. A way of addressing the underneath (there is that deep and simple approach again). It goes kinda like this...
If I feel that "quick grab your phone, something painful is on the edge of your awareness", I stop myself. Simply put the phone down and inquire within instead. Sometimes its a small social anxiety or a momentary worry about something in my life. Other times, and more routinely, it's an avoidance of facing the bigger problems in my life. Problems that need my intellect and effort to solve. Problems like, how I am going to bring money in as fast as I actually need it (like last month and every month) or like all the important projects that are hanging in the wings waiting for me to put effort into them. By stopping myself from the distraction impulse, I give myself permission to face and grapple with the issues of my present. By asking a question such as "What ELSE can I do right now that would allow me to more fully embrace THIS moment?", depending on the context of what I am feeling, I step into action in my life. Even if the first action is merely recognizing that I have things that are currently un-handled, that need handling, it is far more proactive than sweeping it under the rug in favor of cute cat videos on facebook.
I think this really comes down to the desire to be more deliberate in my life. I want to look my challenges in the face and bring the full power of my presence to the moment. There is really no more room for hair trigger avoidance mechanisms, no matter how comfortable or cozy. I love social media, tv and movies. But I can't actually enjoy them if the thing that drove me there is the pressure of un-handled life stuff. If I watch something mindless, I want to choose it. To enjoy it as a reward for my hard work. If I am feeling the very real presence of LIFE to be managed, I want to step up to that plate with pride in the adult I have become. Simple.
As always, we are all in this together!