I like thinking of this process as a cycle:
When that happens, that cycle just completed you as your soul or as your higher self sent an impulse to say pay attention to this moment you received the message you paid attention to, and that completed that cycle of intention. Then in doing so it expanded your consciousness.
It is the distractions that keep this cycle from working fully within you. The distractions that come about in the form of being busy at work busy with family, busy in your everyday life, busy looking at what might be going on in the media; I could go on and on.