Every one of those objects briefly captured my attention. I was scanning visually and not intentionally, feeling the pull from every item towards an action or thought process. Classic ADHD brain activity- the distractibility, the open invitation to impulsivity, how it runs in the background most of the time… I “saw” the process, the pull from each distraction, and didn’t follow the distractions. This was a win, and worth noting and remembering.
Distractions and the pull toward them- we experience this phenomenon so much that we usually don’t notice the mechanism. In those brief moments- when we enable ourselves to come to an awareness of this process- that really inform us and set the stage for skillful change. I wasn’t directly asking myself “What am I paying attention to?”- I was simply taking a moment, breathing, not focusing on any one thing, and the sequence became transparent.
Bottom line- it’s powerful work for those with ADHD to practice being aware of what we’re paying attention to- without any particular focus. We should do it throughout the day, many times a day. A mere minute can be enough. Just breathe, keep a relaxed focus on the breath, give yourself the gift of that non-directed time, and see what happens. Every brief moment of awareness like this is another step along the path of understanding our own ADHD, and away from false beliefs that rule us and actions that don’t serve us well.
The skill of paying attention is crucial. Without it, executive functioning skills are harder to learn, sustain, and revise as we go. Like any skill, this type of paying attention can be learned and put into regular practice.
Small steps like this are big wins, and that’s just what we need to learn to enhance our calm and clarity, and proceed with skillful intent. This doesn’t necessarily mean sitting on a pillow, meditating for long stretches of time (though don't rule that out;-). It DOES mean that we need to stop the galloping horses in our minds now and then, and take note of what happens, and this is how.
You're welcome to contact me about this skill, and how to acquire it.