When we welcome light into our lives, we sparkle. While all stones and crystals are sacred, as they derive from our earth, some are said to be imbued with particular magical powers. Imagine you are shown two photos: a picture of a man in a dapper business suit behind a desk, and a mother rocking her newborn. Which person do you believe has more empathy for others? Most of us would probably pick the woman, right? In modern culture, women are often stereotyped as being nurturing, empathetic, and compassionate. Men are frequently portrayed as being aggressive, domineering, and less emotional. The coupling of maternal instincts and the ideals of femininity clearly paint women as the gender more in tune with their emotions. The idealization of women as caretakers existed long before the scientific study of EQ. However, just because a stereotype exists does not mean that it is true. Are women the more emotionally intelligent gender? The answer is complex. Women excel at some traits, but men hold their own in others. Components like regulation and internal motivation are often self-derived. Some people may be innately more internally motivated or have an inherent ability to regulate their emotions, but these skills aren't more representative of one gender over another. Empathy, however, is a trait that women are more likely to exhibit naturally. If you've taken an introductory psychology class, you may have learned that there are three types of empathy: empathetic concern, cognitive empathy, and emotional empathy. Indistractable people are as honest with themselves as they are with others. If you care about your work, your family, and your physical and mental well-being, you must learn how to become indistractable. The four-part Indistractable Model is a tool for seeing and interacting with the world in a new way.

It will serve as your map for controlling your attention and choosing your life. Consider the game of pool. What makes the colored balls go into the pockets? Is it the white cue ball, the stick, or the player's actions? We understand that while the white cue ball and stick are necessary, the root cause is the player. The white cue ball and stick aren't the root causes; they are the proximate causes of the resulting event. In the game of life, it's often hard to see the root cause of things. When we're passed over for a promotion, we might blame that cunning coworker for taking our job instead of reflecting on our lack of qualifications and initiative. When we get into a fight with our spouse, we might blame the conflict on one tiny incident, like a toilet seat left up, instead of acknowledging years of unresolved issues. And when we scapegoat our political and ideological opponents for the world's troubles, we choose not to seek to understand the deeper systemic reasons behind the problems. These proximate causes have something in common--they help us deflect responsibility onto something or someone else. It's not that the cue ball and stick don't factor into the equation, just like the coworker or toilet seat, but they certainly aren't entirely responsible for the outcome. Without understanding and tackling root causes, we're stuck being helpless victims in a tragedy of our own creation. The distractions in our lives are the result of the same forces--they are proximate causes that we think are to blame, while the root causes stay hidden. We tend to blame things like television, junk food, social media, cigarettes, and video games--but these are all proximate causes of our distraction. Change in any of these relationship dynamics can be difficult and may not be possible on your own. If that's the case, please find a therapist who's knowledgeable about couples counseling. These patterns may not stop with only your partner. Perhaps you've surrounded yourself with friends for whom superficiality has been the norm. And, of course, as we discussed previously, you may have come from a family that refused to discuss anything painful or unpleasant.

Or that ridiculed you for doing so. You've talked more about common or "acceptable" stuff with them, such as problems with your kid's teacher or who won the ball game. But to reveal that you've thought about suicide? Or that you have sexual problems? Or that you're afraid your child might be depressed? Those much more revealing conversations have never taken place. On the more optimistic side, you may find that if you open up just a bit, one of those "superficial" friends may quietly share, "I can't believe I'm telling you this, but I've felt the same way." Or, "I've been on an antidepressant for two years." Even your partner may hesitate but in the end say, "I haven't been all that happy either. Let's give this a try." Opening up can be a huge breath of fresh air in what have been stagnant relationships. On the other side, your partner, your family, or your friends may have more defensive, knee-jerk reactions that might be unwelcome or harsh. And their impact on a very vulnerable, sensitive you could be confusing and painful. What you want to avoid is retreating inward and once again hiding. You may have to give others time to become more comfortable with this new you, realizing that a more fearful reaction is, hopefully, temporary--and that with time they'll respond more thoughtfully. For clarity, let's divide potential negative reactions into the four well-known responses to fear: fight, flight, freeze, or fold. Your internal dialogue triggers a physiological change. As a result of every thought you have, there is a physical reaction. If your internal dialogue is telling you that you can't succeed, that you're about to embarrass yourself, the physical response might be sweaty palms, a tic, or an uncontrollable shiver; maybe your heart rate goes up. These physical consequences accumulate. As we will see, internal dialogue that is pessimistic and defeatist can be as destructive to your physical health as any injury or virus. Your internal dialogue is heavily influenced by your locus of control. Locus of control, which we looked at in the previous chapter, directly affects the content of your internal dialogue, whether your orientation is internal, external, or based on chance.

So, for example, if you're an externalizer, a lot of your self-talk might sound like, I can't do this. Someone else will just have to fix it. If you're an internalizer, on the other hand, you might be saying, I cannot afford for anyone to screw this project up. Better just stay here till midnight and do the whole thing myself. No matter what the situation is, or what demands you are facing, your internal dialogue is likely to be influenced by your locus of control. Said to be two billion years old, hematite is the most ancient mineral form of iron oxide. Often presenting in shimmering metallic grey, it may also appear in varied depths of muted red. Hematite is known to be a wonderful resource for energetic protection and, like black tourmaline, is used by many highly sensitive people, empaths and healers to help protect energetic boundaries and nurture the spirit. A light, warm and luminous quartz crystal, citrine is known to transmute negative energy, expand confidence and nourish creativity. I love to wear a beautiful citrine pendant around my neck. I certainly felt drawn to selecting this particular stone long ago, and still feel its magical essence every day. Vitreous and translucent, rose quartz is a classic choice for drawing love and tenderness closer to us. It is a healing stone to support us when our hearts need a little bit of special love, when we need to embrace forgiveness of ourselves or others, or when seeking romance. When in need of extra loving energy I wear rose quartz jewellery, or place little pieces of rose quartz into my pockets and pillowslips. Black and lustrous, shungite is a wonderful, glossy mineral compound that, like graphite and diamonds, is mostly made of carbon. Shungite, said to have first been found in the village of Shunga in Russia, is appreciated to cleanse and purify energy. I like to place a piece of shungite on my desk and in my meter box at home, believing it to help diffuse strong electromagnetic frequencies. Shungite can also be placed at the bottom of water filters or jugs - not to be ingested, of course, but rather to facilitate the filtration and purification of drinking water. It is rumoured that Czar Peter (the Great), ruling over seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Russia, preferred to drink his water infused with shungite minerals. Empathetic concern is the ability to sense a person in distress in order to provide aid and comfort.

Women generally excel in this skill, and evolutionary psychology helps explain why this is so. To begin with, women have traditionally served as the primary caretakers of infants. Knowing when a child needs food, water, or assistance is vital to their survival. Consequently, women seem especially attuned to be aware of the needs of others. Cognitive empathy is the ability to see the world in the same way as another person. Both men and women possess a comparable capacity for cognitive empathy, giving neither gender an advantage. Emotional empathy, or the ability to feel as another feels, is a trait more characteristic in women. School teachers, counselors, and nurses (female-dominated professions) are best suited for people with high levels of emotional empathy. As findings in neuroscience have demonstrated, emotional empathy takes place in a part of the brain called the insula, which is located in the cerebral cortex. The insula functions differently in men and women, and this helps account for variations between the genders. Have you ever heard a man say that a woman he knows (or that all women, in general) is too emotional? Conversely, have you ever heard a woman say her husband is too detached? It turns out that these are not just stereotypes. There are brain-based functions, rooted in the insula, that contribute to these differing emotional dispositions. Solely blaming a smartphone for causing distraction is just as flawed as blaming a pedometer for making someone climb too many stairs. Unless we deal with the root causes of our distraction, we'll continue to find ways to distract ourselves. Distraction, it turns out, isn't about the distraction itself; rather, it's about how we respond to it. If you're trying to escape the pain of something as serious as impending divorce, the real problem is not your pedometer; without dealing with the discomfort driving the desire for escape, we'll continue to resort to one distraction or another. Only by understanding our pain can we begin to control it and find better ways to deal with negative urges. Understand the root cause of distraction.