Often people ask how they can get past boredom. The simple answer is presence. Presence is a state of Being, there is no doing needed. People tend to seek excitement or entertainment to avoid boredom. Part of uncovering what boredom has to show you is being with it and inquiring about it, getting curious.
-What is it about boredom that you do not like?
Ex: It means I am not doing anything.
-What is “wrong” or “not ok” with not doing anything?
Ex: I won’t get anywhere, or reach my goals, or be successful
-What does that mean? Or What are you afraid will happen if that were to occur?
Ex: I would be a failure
Association: Boredom = Failure
At this point, one could delve deeper to understand what failure really means. We usually make it personal, about us as a person. For example, failure could mean, “I don’t matter”. What really gets triggered when this person is bored, is that they make it mean that they don’t matter, and won’t matter. Here is the complete set of associations triggered by boredom:
Boredom = Failure = I Don’t Matter
This is precisely why we avoid things like boredom, because we will do just about anything to avoid feeling like we don’t matter, it is an emotionally painful belief. As soon as one begins to feel a twinge of boredom, out come the distractions with lightning speed. The only problem with avoidance, is that whatever we run away from, we run right into. We can’t run away from ourselves.
Boredom is really a gift. It is a chance to Be in our busy lives of doing. These pauses in our lives give us opportunities to be creative, focus our intention on what we want for our lives, and reflect. We need these pauses to reflect, take inventory, and prepare to receive the fruits of our previous labors.
The next time you encounter boredom, sit with it. If you experience discomfort or have a hard time with just Being, then inquire. See if you are making boredom mean something it doesn’t. It is okay to do nothing sometimes. Some of the greatest ideas and inventions have come to people in those open and receptive times when they were doing nothing or just daydreaming.