>I guess it was around the time of The Sopranos, my favorite TV series on HBO, when I began to eliminate television from my life.
During this time, I only watched my favorite shows, recording them on the DVR, and fast-forwarding through the commercials if there were any. Other than this, and the movie rentals, the TV was off.
Then the screen went black on The Sopranos (literally). Everyone died on Six Feet Under, another HBO favorite. And the ER doors closed for the last time on NBC. And now, except for my Friday night Oprah-thons, and the movie rentals, the TV is off.
But last night, the TV was on. Instead of going up to my room to be alone, and mope about not writing, I watched American Idol and part of that angry chef show. By the beginning of Kitchen Nightmares, the top of my head felt a flutter. I could not focus, and asked my family: “Are they speaking Chinese?” The words were not registering. My mind could not process. Too much happening on one tiny screen (actually our screen isn’t that tiny).
I have had this feeling before when watching TV. I was worried I had a rare brain disorder. But I don’t think I do. I think the media world has a disorder. This morning while I sat in traffic, I decided to listen to people chat on the radio, also a rare event in the past few months:
A radio station tag-line: some gossip, and lots of laughs.
Two hosts talking: We have to catch up on Pants on the Ground, the Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks Grammy performance, and is Brad-jelina breaking up?
Ugh, is this what we care about? I turned the radio off.
Something happens when we leave something for awhile, and then come back to it. We change, and now what we witness changes too. This is what has happened for me with several forms of media. Upon my occasional returns, I find it intrusive and somewhat assaulting to my senses, and well-being.
For example, watching some of the performances on the Grammy’s this year, lights flickering, choppy music, people appearing from all corners with something new to express to what was already overwhelming, makes me feel a bit ADD, and has me ask: where is the harmony, and flow? A natural rhythm that sings along with my inner rhythm?
I suppose this is why I prefer movies. There is time for a story to unfold. And classical music- all pieces flowing together in one continuous rhythm. And books, where every word leads effortlessly to the next to create an expanded space of…whatever.
There is a certain rhythm and flow to our souls, our minds, our bodies. I will venture to guess this vibrational flow and rhythm matches that which is in nature. The rhythm is steady and constant, yet always moving and changing in a continuous and often subtle flow. For instance, the trees right now, are preparing for new life. We can’t see this occurring, but inside there is a pulse- a silent rumbling process that is taking place.
The same pulse, and process is occurring within us. But, since this is a rant, I must flow back to that. So much outside of us does not follow our natural rhythm. Has anyone seen the movie Halloween? Not the first one with creepy Michael Myers, but one of the last ones where the television screens are infiltrated by I don’t remember what. The screens flicker with light and images, and some creepy music, all with the intention of some sort of mental manipulation and eventual catastrophic destruction.
Well, guess what? Our various forms of media is doing the same thing. It disrupts our natural rhythm. And I believe there will be, as there already is, catastrophic destruction. Think of our children, and their short attention spans and behavior issues- being diagnosed with ADD. Think of how fast time seems to be moving, making us all feel a bit frazzled. Think of how everywhere you go someone is peering into their phones and computers, hypnotized by “virtual reality” but lacking a connection to real reality?
In a sentence: our essence doesn’t jive with this chaotic, random, flickering of movement, and energy and compulsion. It just doesn’t.
And the only way to disrupt this artificial flow, and get back to our soul’s natural flow is to turn off the media. No, not forever. But have it off, more than we have it on. Allow ourselves a break for awhile. Get outside. Be with the trees. Listen to the birds. Feel the air. Look at the stars. Be in awe of the moon. Squish the grass (well if you are anywhere other than I am).
And as you sit under a tree, and squish the grass with your toes, be curious and interested in the screen in your mind. What are you thinking? What are you dreaming? What characters are you playing? What dialogues are you speaking? Who is the you, you are expressing? Who is the you, you are repressing? At first, the images and thoughts may appear fuzzy, but stay with it. They will get clearer.
Get to know yourself. Your natural rhythm, and flow. We are much more interesting than Brad-jelina break-ups and make-ups. We hold more wisdom inside of our souls, than the so-called expert on TV. We hold more depth than our global economy. We hold more heart than the violence we see. We hold more power than the egos we see on TV. We hold more truth than we have even begun to understand.
I implore you to go inside, as often as you can. And as you do, share what you’re discovering with the rest of us, so we can be reminded of who we really are.
Oh, and meditation helps dispel the mental mind flutters, and gets you in touch with the True Pulse- our Breath.
The Soul Reporter