Embracing Boredom


Boredom is one of those uncomfortable emotions that we run from as if it were a large dragon with fiery breath guarding the bridge to the castle. As modern women and men we have even more tools for distraction at our disposal than ever before.

Boredom is one of the reasons that we keep ourselves so busy that we are exhausted. We are afraid of the discomfort.

I do not see boredom as a destructive dragon to avoid, but as the bridge to get to a place a want to be. Usually, when I feel bored, there is something about the present moment that I find disagreeable. Rather than immediately distracting myself with some pretty, shiny new thing to ease the discomfort, I lean into it. What in this moment is unpleasant? Why does this song on the radio, that I have heard thousands of times, irritate? Is it the unimaginative chord progression? Or the sexist lyrics?

Why am I sick of making this recipe at this moment? Do I no longer believe it to be healthy and nurturing? Am I irritated at the person in the household who claims it as a favorite?

When I answer these questions, I learn something about myself and the world and am able to move forward with more clarity and effectiveness. I have come to value these moments as powerful teachers. I invite them into my life by simplifying the distractions out and leaving space for the powerful Now to reveal itself.

So you are bored? Lucky you.


4 responses to “Embracing Boredom

  1. I like that, using boredom as a way to get in touch what’s going on in your mind. I’ve noticed when I’m bored, I get restless and start searching for something yummy to eat, to perk up the endorphins, maybe, or distract myself. Not healthy. I wouldn’t advise that. What’s interesting is that I often don’t realize I’m bored until I’m reaching for the cookie jar, and wondering why. Just bored, that’s all.

  2. I like this idea, too. Usually, I get bored because I don’t allow myself enough fun. I’m the breadwinner in our house, and I’m coming of the age where it’s time to have kids…or not. But I think more and more, as I’ve downsized, I find myself content. When boredom hits me, though, I think it’s because I haven’t found a new idea, mental shift, or new way of doing something. That’s why I’m so delighted to have found your blog. Holy cow, I’m mental shifting all over the place!

  3. What a wonderful post! Your insight feels so fresh, new, inspiring! Let me think for a minute, when am I bored?… I believe I am hardly never bored when I am alone because I love to daydream. For instance, I love to take the bus and look at people. However as soon as I take the bus with someone (a friend or my boyfriend) who does not feel like talking I become extremely bored. I remember I also felt very bored the first few weeks I was breastfeeding. So my conclusion is that I feel bored whenever I want to communicate with another person but it is not mutual (there is not so much exchange with a couple of weeks old baby). Food for thought! Like Jane, I am mental shifting all over the place :-))

  4. I’m rarely bored because I love reading and fill the empty spaces doing that; however, on the rare occasions when I don’t feel like reading, I usually end up planning things in my mind. Via boredom, I’ve planned a financial goal to ensure my mortgage is paid by the time I retire; I’ve planned my complete retirement (which city Ill be moving to; will I buy a house or condo: which furniture I’ll sell; which I can start selling now, etc. Boredom can be very productive!

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