The Latin word for inspiration is “inspirare” which means to “have something breathe life into you.” Isn’t that a wonderful image? Even modern explanations of this word tend to agree that inspiration comes from an external force whether it comes from an inanimate or animate object. Of course, many, many people believe that that external force is a higher being.
One of the most reliable external sources of inspiration that have stood the test of time is God. God speaks to us through His Word and when we pray through prayerful meditation, we are able to harness this powerful tool for inspiration. Prayerful meditation can sweep you off your feet. You will see the world from a different aspect and you will feel blessed and at peace even if life is throwing everything at you including the kitchen sink. According to many who meditate in prayer regularly, this is a habit that will open your eyes to see beyond human error and weaknesses, and deliver you to a place where it won’t affect you as much as it did before.
Meditation is not a difficult habit to start and maintain. The most challenging hurdle would be at the start when you cannot silence distractions. Every person will experience mental, physical, emotional, digital, and environmental distractions. Here’s the difference between these distractions:
Mental Distractions – Thoughts of pressing appointments, work to be done, places to go, people to talk to
Physical Distractions – Need to go to the bathroom, twitches, itches, feeling hot or cold
Emotional Distractions – Feeling lonely, thinking other people will judge you, being in a lousy mood
Digital Distractions – Internet, social media, phone, emails, notifications, gaming, texts
Environmental Distractions – Noise pollution, smoke, odors, children, spouse, boss, strangers, thunder, wind
How to Ignore Distractions
Here are a few ideas on how you can practice prayerful meditation even in the midst of multiple distracting noises and disturbances.
- Let those around you know that you need quiet time. Be firm about it. Initially, you don’t have to admit you’re going to meditate. Most beginners hesitate to reveal their meditation plans to others but over time, it will happen and people will respect you for it.
- Listen to the distraction. Often when given a few seconds of your attention, distractions cease to bother you and you can block them easily.
- Start training your mind to focus without allowing your mind to wander. You can do this any time of the day and for short periods. Your brain will learn to concentrate better and this skill will bode well for your work and personal relationships – not just for meditation.
- Shut off your digital devices.
The bottom line is that most distractions and interruptions are self-inflicted. You can control many of them – if you want to. For instance, many people think that multitasking is great but it’s a myth most of the time. You cannot think of two things at the same time. You switch. According to the University of Michigan, switching slows you down by at least 50%.
If you want inspiration, you need to set boundaries, even before you start meditation, otherwise it could be a wasted effort.