Originally published January 8, 2015
It has always bothered me that most New Year’s resolutions seem to revolve around losing weight and getting in shape. Gyms especially bank on this, with classes and machines overflowing those first two weeks in January, only to slim down to those who have been going all along. The attrition is a perfect example of not heeding our internal ebb and flow, not to mention Spring being a much more natural time to make such changes. So don’t feel bad if this describes you!
Instead, why not think about detoxing and tuning up your mental and emotional diets, adjusting your atmosphere and exercising a more positive attitude toward yourself and others?
In 1981, the advent of something called Music Television (yes kids, that was MTV in the olden days) meant that Video Killed the Radio Star. Although the sentiment initially applied to the music industry, it has evolved to include our 24/7, multi-device-always-on entertainment/info news cycle, and delivery of much nonsense and nuttiness through a gazillion distribution channels both online and off. The combination of media and technology is a powerful force that can either enhance or erode our humanity, but with the direction we’re going in, it seems like video has killed our sanity.
In a way, we’ve always been our own little radio towers with what we think and feel, but now we are literally transmitting these thoughts and feelings in a more tangible way with our gadgets and gizmos. What are you receiving and what are you broadcasting? How is it impacting your state of mind and mood?
What do you tune in to on a daily basis? Which intoxicating sights, sounds and stories infiltrate your being: cat videos, pundits, housewives, serial murders, frenemies? I admit I enjoy a little Mickey D’s now and then, but like Morgan Spurlock, remember what happens to you when you ingest that all day, every day. If we are what we eat (and we are), then we are what we read, watch and listen to as well. In the smorgasbord of programming out there, the pickings are slim when it comes to nutrition. Whether TV or social media, strive for the majority of your consumption to be thoughtful, uplifting, educational and/or informative, and know that good comedy is actually medicine.
(P.S. I hear there are some quality series that exist — but it’s curious we’ve coined the term to “binge-watch” say, Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad. What does that do to your sensory digestive system? What kind of hangover would you have from that? How could you have used your time and energy in a more productive way? When you are cranky the next day, is it due to your emotions or Walter White’s?)
I am not anti-TV/media/technology. I say all things in moderation. The trick is to become conscious and not be spoon-fed whatever the suits and advertisers want us to eat! Try a TV fast and realize you’re not missing all that much. You’ll have time to sleep more, learn to cook or finally begin to meditate. It’s up to us to control our technology and not allow our technology to control us.
So if you’re dragging in the morning, think about what you watched on your screen the night before. If you can’t get any work done or fall asleep, how many hours did you allow yourself to be led astray via random Facebook or Twitter feeds? And what it is that you are creating or contributing with your Wi-Fi and widgets?
In an increasingly desensitized and distracted world, with so many folks feeling stuck, confused and frustrated in their career and life, and with so many searching for purpose and meaning, wanting to enjoy better health and relationships in their lives, we must constantly pull out the weeds of static in and around our thoughts and emotions in order to operate at a higher frequency and create the best environment for ourselves and others.
Much of what is on television and the Internet these days is white noise, so protect yourself with some radio silence. Not quite sure how to detach from the media madness? Give me a buzz — I’ll help you march to the beat of your own drum in harmony with the independent soundtrack of your soul and keep away the Karma Police, who are there to remind you that you always have a choice.
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