Recently I ran into a road block with my songwriting projects. I’m the type of person that has to be in constant motion. I had to confront this incessant need to be working in the recording studio as a means of distraction. I wasn’t neglecting any obligations, I just felt the need to crank out a bunch of new songs. What I was neglecting was down time.
It’s ironic when your family and friends recognize you need down time more than you do. Being in a constant state of motion isn’t good for anyone. Toxic productivity causes tension to both the body and soul. That tension needs to be released in the form of relaxation and play (fun time).
With that said, there are many distractions in our lives, one of the most distractive items you own, you’re probably reading this from right now–your phone. Smart phones, tablets, and computers are very distractive. Social media, checking emails and responding to text messages, and gaming apps keeps you glued to it. These devices are so distracting they can lead to toxic productivity.
We carry our distractions with us every waking moment. When we have a minute of silence, such as being in the check-out line at a store, it leaves us feeling anxious, so what do we do, we pull out our smart phones to distract us.
Thankfully I found two spiritual activities to assist in transforming me from being distracted to being a better version of myself: the Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration.
I would pray the Rosary whenever I found the time. But that was the problem. I had the time, but I allowed less important activities to take precedence. One of the beautiful elements of praying the Rosary daily is it teaches you to sit still and be quiet. Even if my mind is wandering, which happens almost all the time, I simply incorporate whatever is on my mind into the mysteries. I also pray the Rosary asking Our Blessed Mother’s intercession to help me detach from being distracted.
I spoke to my pastor about my music and all the distractions happening. He recommended I go to Adoration. I hadn’t been in years, mainly due to my work schedule. By His grace I was able to make some small changes to my schedule, allowing me to attend Adoration every week. Similar to the Rosary, spending time with Our Blessed Lord in Adoration is also teaching me how to detach from distractions, and to sit there quietly and adore Him in the Eucharist.
Lately I've noticed that I put my phone away more frequently, especially on the weekends to avoid being distracted. And I’m elated to get back in the studio soon to record another song, not because I have to or I need to distract myself, but because I want to for fun. The Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration are two spiritual treasures that have given me a new attitude on how I approach distractions and knowing how to detach myself from them. This time I've spent to refocus on what is important has been like being on a spiritual retreat. You never know where the Holy Spirit lead you next.
Ave Maria, Ora Pro Nobis.