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For the distracted among us

We're all distracted

Unless you’re living in a cave somewhere, distraction is the name of the game these days. Between social media, the news, too many demands on our time, and the personal challenges we are all facing, it is really, really easy to find yourself swirling in the mental and emotional chaos of it all.

I know people who go for a run when they get like this. I can only imagine how effective that is, because I wouldn’t actually know…

Sometimes grabbing a drink with a friend will do wonders. But not at work, when you might really need it.

What do you do to pull out of thought-swirling, emotion-churning distraction mode?

Find your remedy

I’m asking, because it’s no different than having a go-to remedy for a headache (essential oils?), or tight shoulders (massage?), or an upset stomach (ginger tea?) or a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (hot bubble bath?)

You need to have something you can quickly do to pull out of distraction and the negative feelings that seem to always tag along.

Would you be willing to try writing a haiku? (My go-to remedy, as if you didn’t know that ;)

Even if I’m driving when the moment hits, I tap the syllables out on my leg as I search for just the right words to clear my head. If I come up with a really good one, I record it on my phone at the next stoplight and inevitably feel so very self-satisfied.

Quickly switching gears

That’s a pretty great replacement for churning away in a state of anger or frustration or any of those inner dialogues that keep us spinning. And it only takes a few minutes and 17 syllables to stop the noise.

In case you’re unfamiliar, here’s the formula for a haiku:

Line 1: 5 syllables

Line 2: 7 syllables

Line 3: 5 syllables

If you’re like my friend, Dave, who has trouble counting syllables, there are 3 syllables in the word syllable. Chaos has 2. And it’s really fun to find 5 syllable words, like imagination or abracadabra.

You might think such a tight structure on saying what you need to say would be constricting. But no. It is not only liberating, it is the secret to taming the chaos.

Test it out

Here’s a prompt for you. C’mon, just think about trying it.

Revisit the last thing that set you off on a distracting tangent. Don’t try too hard. The world offers them up on a platter every single minute. There are big issues out there in the world, as well as trying ones in here, in your life. Chances are there’s something still gnawing at you from any one or more of the pressures you might be feeling.

Choose one that really got you going and let it percolate for a minute. Or focus on how it still makes you feel.

Now go ahead and write a haiku about it! Find just the right words to nail what’s at the core of this thing that grabs you and won’t let go.

And if you’re so moved, post your haiku in the comments below. I’d love to read it, and I know other people would, too.

PLUS, I’m going to pick one haiku writer to win a free pass to my 7-week online program. Just write your haiku and post it by Memorial Day and you’re qualified to enter.

One more (big) thing

If I have anything more to say, it’s this. You may not like haiku, but do yourself a big favor and figure out what your remedy is for this all too common ailment in the world today. The less of us there are adding to the mental and emotional chaos, the more chance we all have for world peace.

And yes, my ultimate goal here is world peace.

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