Women's Retreat

Mar 12, 2007

I went on a women's retreat this weekend and it was exactly what I needed. I have been feeling negative and unmotivated lately and among other things, I discovered that it may have to do with television and news.

About three months ago, or so, I decided that I "should" read the news everyday because I thought it was what an adult is supposed to do. How could I be so disconnected from the rest of the world, how could I not know what was going on. In the past I never watched or read the news and friends would ask me if I knew about the deadliness of iced tea at Arby's or whatever local fright news story there was out at the time and then act like I was completely disconnected when I wasn't aware that there was a problem with the iced tea at Arby's. I started to feel like maybe they were right, but instead of the fright stories I started reading the BBC news- mostly international stories that interested me.

What I learned this weekend is that much of what happens in the world- the stuff that makes the news anyway- is often negative. And, while it may not seem like it directly affects me, like a suicide bomber blowing up 100 people in Bagdad, for example, taking in the negative energy of that news does affect me.

In a similar vein- I watch way too much television. Reality tv shows are based on the human fascination with fear and humiliation. When we watch television indiscriminately we are filling our heads with negative energy. What's worse, if we fall asleep in front of the tv, we no longer have control over what we are filling our heads with.

I spend between 3 and 5 hours watching whatever is on tv most every day. I like watching American Idol and I watch Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report almost daily. All three of those shows are negative- Idol because it's the fear and humiliation, competition, etc. Jon and Colbert because they are so cynical- funny as hell, but it's all negative commentary on politics and other current events.

I have decided to remove television and news from my life for a little while to see if I start to feel better. Yesterday was my first day without television and it was a little difficult. I took a quiet nap on the couch (usually that would have been accompanied by whatever was playing on Discovery or whatever). Later, I dug out my half read copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera and read. I worked out for a little over an hour, got in the bath with my book and finally spoke to my sister on the phone for about an hour before going to sleep with out the television as a companion.

I felt very calm and peaceful today. I'm not sure how much of that is related to the aftereffect of the retreat or removing media from my life, but I'm feeling better. So, if you don't see me making many nasty celebrity gossip comments it's because I'm not paying attention to that. I'm working on getting centered and being positive and letting go of all the negative influences that are working in my life consciously and subconsciously is a part of that.