Warning: Shiny Objects Ahead

Shiny Object Syndrome

[shahy-nee] [n. ob-jikt, -jekt; v. uh b-jekt] [sin-drohm, -druh m]
  1. “The attraction to objects that exhibit a glassy, polished, gleaming or otherwise shiny appearance.  Attention to said object is directly correlated to it’s shininess and … attention fades as the shininess wears off.” (source)
  2. Condition in which a new object, idea, or concept captures the attention with it’s shininess/newness, and distracts from the initial goal, taking the subject off on a tangent.

The Universe is constantly communicating with us.  Do you hear it?

For a long time, I’ve been open to the idea that we receive guidance – omens, coincidences, gut feelings, chance meetings … I believed that they were all part of a vague and mysterious communication intended for our highest good.  It’s only been during the past year that I’ve come to discover that this guidance is actually clear, specific, and always available to us – it’s simply a matter of asking, and being receptive – knowing how to look and listen for the guidance.

My spiritual studies with Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic (SoMM) have taken me on a journey to the quiet place within.  I’ve learnt how to meditate effectively, and I LOVE it.  This quiet time has taught me to feel the subtle but powerful energies within my body, and to learn their language.  They have a lot to tell me, and are excellent guides.  This is such a source of comfort, reassurance, and personal power.

What fascinates and excites me though, is that I believe that the Universe is always attempting to guide you, and all you have to do is pay attention.  No matter what your problem, question, or uncertainty, you simply ask for guidance, and the Universe will deliver.  The logical, cynical part of my brain likes to pipe up here with “oh, but you can draw meaning from absolutely anything – it’s not really a sign!’ – but that is actually the whole point.  It’s a matter of attention and interpretation.  I’m discovering that we are each of us part of a universal whole, and consequently, we can draw on all the intelligence, all the answers, from within ourselves.  However, when we seek answers and look within, we are often met with fear, resistance, and blockages – the ego rears it’s ugly head.  Asking the Universe for guidance can help us to bypass that ego attack, and give us more confidence in the answers, even though they essentially come from the same core source.  We seem to more easily hear and accept the truth by taking this approach.  Asking the Universe/God/Source/a higher power – whatever you choose to call it – bypasses the egoic distractions, and takes a direct route to the truth at the heart of the matter.

Let me share an example with you.

I have been toying with the idea of relinquishing my full-time stay-at-home-mum status, and finding paid work.  I don’t know what this paid work will look like, but there’s no rush, and I figure that the Universe will begin to present me with possibilities as I ponder and dream.

Around the time that I first began contemplating this, I walked past a local shop that sells crystals.  I noticed a sign on their window: Business For Sale.  I didn’t think much of it.

A day or so later, as I was pondering the paid work idea again, the memory of the crystal shop for sale popped into my mind.  I was surprised – this wasn’t relevant to me! I didn’t want to buy a business.  I didn’t want to own a shop.  But here was this thought in my mind.

What?!?! I tried to ignore it.

A few days later, my children asked me to take them to the crystal shop to buy a birthday gift for their cousin.  The following thought stream began: “Damn it!  I was trying to avoid thinking about that darned shop! I can’t escape though.  Is this my sign from the Universe?  Am I meant to buy this business?  Please no!  Does this resistance and fear suggest that this is my destiny?  Gah! I can’t escape it!  But wait – I have an out – I have no cash or other means to buy a business.  Hang on … Marie Forleo always says “Everything is figureoutable”.  Oh crap.  I really need to think about this!  I don’t even really like the shop.  Sure, it has some beautiful crystals that fascinate and intrigue me, but it’s cold, kind of dingy, and I’m not sold on the energy of the place.  Maybe I’m meant to transform it, turn it around, make it my own … good grief! I can’t believe I’m thinking about this!”


Talk about an ego attack.  I was so confused and perplexed.  I knew, even though I really didn’t want to, that I had to ask about the business sale when I visited the shop.

I took the kids along, and got chatting to the owner.  I worked up the courage to simply say “I see you’re selling the business.”  She explained that they were moving interstate.  I left it at that – I had no more to say.

I was still confused.  I tried hard to stuff the whole matter away into the dark recesses of my brain space, but once you’ve begun on a journey of committed spiritual awakening, such attempts are futile.

I decided to get out of my ego, stop fretting, and wait to see what else the Universe had to tell me about the matter.

Over the next few days, the shop popped annoyingly into my head again, but I did my best to be mindful, and practice presence.  Eventually, I had a very sudden and unexpected epiphany: the crystal shop was a distraction.  It was my message from the Universe, just not the message I had been thinking it was.  I had been misinterpreting.

On reflection, the crystal shop was a metaphor for all of the distractions that lure me away from my path towards my soul purpose.  I’m prone to “Shiny Object Syndrome”, where new ideas and concepts capture my attention and distract me from my goal.  It’s fitting that in this instance, the distraction was quite literally the shiny crystals of the shop!  Crystals have been on my radar lately, I have a small collection of my own, and a Pinterest board dedicated to their shining beauty.  But I’m not keen on selling them!

What a relief!  The crystal shop was not meant for me – phew – and deep down I knew this, but it was put in my line of vision to highlight and demonstrate how easily I am distracted and confused.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with pursuing new interests – indeed, I believe that anything that truly lights me up is well worth my time.  The key lies in coming back and remaining focussed on the goals I’m committed to, practicing mindfulness around how I’m using my time.  When the journey takes me outside of my comfort zone, or takes longer than I’d anticipated or desired, it’s tempting to turn to “shiny objects” for a boost of gratification, without stoping to consider that it may jeopardise my journey toward my goal.

For me right now, this means a few things.  SoMM Level 2 – The Soul Essence Journey, is an epic undertaking.  It’s everything I’ve been yearning and searching for – spirituality, coming home to myself, finding the answers within, and discovering my soul purpose.  This is a huge priority, one of the most important undertakings in my life to date.  It demands focus, clarity of thought, concentration, dedication, persistance, surrender, trust, and to be “match fit”.  Already I’m finding that this undertaking is not easy – it has it’s challenges. When things aren’t moving along easily, those shiny objects look all the more enticing.

The demands of The Soul Essence Journey have me pondering on where I can best focus my time and energy.  My two biggest “shiny objects” at present are this blog – which has been a huge personal growth vehicle – and practicing some newly learnt energy reading skills from a workshop I attended with Belinda just a few weeks ago – a mind-blowing, fascinating, and thrilling experience.  Both are important to me and worth my time, but may need to take somewhat of a back seat whilst I focus on my number one priority – discovering the purpose for which my soul incarnated into this life.  I’m not about to disappear from this space, and I’m sure there will be times when I feel called to write and share, which I look forward to.  For anyone who has volunteered to allow me to practice reading their energy, I’m committed to practicing and will get through my (very long – thank you!) list, but I need to prioritise.

As far as paid work goes … we’ll I’ll just see where the wind takes me for now.  But I can assure you, it will not involve purchasing a crystal shop business.


Belinda Davidson's School of the Modern Mystic starts September 29th!

Enrolment for Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic Level 1 opens today! If you want to change your life, fix any area of your life that isn’t working, or discover your life purpose, look no further!  I cannot recommend Belinda and SoMM highly enough.  To find out more and enrol, click here, or feel free to contact me at rachael@rachaelstella.com if you’d like to ask me any questions about my experience with SoMM.

Image credit: Amethyst Macro by MattysFlicks.  Under license.

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