It descends like a cloud before you know it. Your mind turns to mush. You stare into space. Your focus goes out the window. Your body feels like a heavy sack. And there you are…bored out of your mind.
Boredom is one of those experiences that dulls your engagement with life. It’s a mindless state that blocks your creativity, enthusiasm, and interest. As teacher Francis Lucille says, it’s a rejection of the present moment.
Let boredom go unchecked, and who knows how long you’ll sit there in a fog. But come alive to your boredom, and everything changes in less than a nanosecond.
Waking Up to Boredom
As paradoxical as it might sound, what if you got interested in your experience of boredom? Instead of being bored, you shift your attention away from boredom to being here, aware in this present moment.
Instead of being lost, now you can study what you’re experiencing. And that’s when things get interesting.
Say you’re fascinated by Josephine Bonaparte, wife of Napolean (like I am). What do you do with that passion? You read everything about her. You become knowledgeable about the social and historical context in which she lived. You learn about the personalities of the people in her life and the roles thay played.
You put your thirst for information into practice.
Now, what if you found your own experience of boredom to be equally fascinating? You might ask questions like:
- What is happening in my mind and thought process when I’m bored?
- What emotions are present, maybe suppressed by the boredom? (for example, fear or anger)
- What does my body feel like when I’m bored?
- What happens to my energy?
- What do I feel like doing or not doing when I’m bored?
- How do I show up in my relationships?
- What triggers boredom?
Now that you’ve shown interest in boredom, where did it go? When you’re fascinated by boredom, it just doesn’t trap you anymore.
Finding Your Aliveness Again
This post was inspired by my own experience being bored while I was trying to write it. I “woke up” to realize I had shut down and somehow disappeared. But instantaneously, I was back!
I took a breath and said, “Hello, boredom.” Then I reconnected with my desire to communicate what would be most helpful for you, the lovely one reading this.
When you let boredom have its way with you, you’re consumed by it. But when you step back to find some space from it, all of a sudden you’ve found your aliveness again. It’s always been here, only temporarily obscured.
No longer stuck in the cloud of boredom, you’ve accessed a new, expanded state of consciousness—you might call it clarity. Fresh options become apparent that before were hidden.
In your full aliveness, what are you moved to do? What is most vital to you in this moment? What is calling you?
Next time you’re bored, remember this: the aliveness that is you is here, so incredibly present, overflowing everywhere. You’re just a shift of attention away. Wake up to the moments of your life, and see what begins to unfold…
What About You?
What do you notice when you come alive to boredom? I’d love to hear… And if you’re reading this by email, please click here to comment.
Always in love,
Note: I’ll be offering a half-day retreat on October 18 in Santa Barbara. Please click here for details and to register.