The Decoy Dance

It’s 10:34pm on Thursday night and I, just now, am sitting down to write my blog post for Friday (tomorrow)!!! I probably shouldn’t admit that there are about five more things that I want to accomplish before I settle in to bed! “Where did the last 4 hours go?” I ask myself, a bit frustrated that yet another night has escaped me.

“Where did the time go?”

Does this same question pop into your head more than you would like it to?

For example:

Do you ever plan an hour of yoga into your evening and notice that it’s 11pm and you haven’t even rolled out your mat yet? “Where did the time go?” Do you choose to eat salty or sweet (or both) snacks instead of returning important phone calls? “Oh my, it’s already 10 o’clock and I still haven’t called anyone back!” Do you check e-mail and facebook constantly but don’t start working on your project until the wee hours of the night? “Ugh, why did I waste so much time?” Do you find yourself watching television but still feel bored and uninspired? “But I don’t feel like doing anything else!”

I could go on with probing questions but I’ll stop here.

So where the heck does your and my time go?

To decoys. Plain and simple.

Huh? What is a decoy, you ask? A decoy is something that is used as a distraction to conceal something else, something that we overuse or over-do. For example, continuously checking e-mail, facebook or other social media sites, and eating because we “feel like it” or because we are bored are just a couple examples of activities that we use as decoys to avoid paying attention to what actually needs attending to. What needs attending to? Our emotions.

But we have learned to stay busy with decoys to avoid “feeling things”. Can you remember the advice you were given after a serious break-up? Work lots, go out drinking with friends, take up another hobby; anything to keep your mind off of what is really going on! This might sound like good advice, but it’s actually keeping you from doing exactly what you need to do, which is feeling your emotions. If we are not feeling our emotions, we are suppressing our emotions. And if we are suppressing our emotions we are that much closer to experiencing chronic pain. Emotional energy doesn’t just disappear. It will store in our bodies and create tension until we learn how to take the time to feel our emotions.

Are you wondering why I still experience decoys, since I am a mind-body coach?

Well, I am human, after all. So I will never ever be perfect. But luckily I’ve learned to catch on to my decoys! My most popular decoy now makes me laugh, even if I give in to it from time to time. Here it is: when I start thinking of all of the tasks I want to accomplish, I usually start to feel overwhelmed, and BAM, like clockwork, I have a seriously strong inclination to run to the kitchen and mow down whatever I can get my hands on! It’s hilarious! And sometimes I give in, and sometimes I don’t. But I now know what’s going on and why it happens, and awareness is the key to healing yourself! As soon as you become aware of your decoy, it loses a lot of its pull. And that goes for anything, for that matter. Awareness creates space which takes away the power!

So what are your decoys? If you experience chronic body pain, why not make a list of everything that you waste time doing? I guarantee you it’s a decoy! Then the next time you catch yourself engaging in that decoy just notice if anything feels different about it. If it does, you know you have created “space”. The space that starts to take away the decoy’s power. I invite you to take that time to ask yourself what you are feeling emotionally instead.

Another step forward on your pathway of healing.