In a world that’s obsessed with what’s in the food we eat, there seems to be little concern for the quality of what we consume with our minds. Most of spend hours in front of technology, consuming information at an unprecedented rate. Yet often this content is received passively without much concern for how it is affecting our over all mental, physical, and spiritual well being.
Although the debate about fluoride, GMO vs Non-GMO, organic vs pesticides has dominated the imagination over the last years, little attention has been given to the effect that movies, music, and media are having on our lives. What is the cost of living in a world where so many of the messages we receive reinforce a sense of anxiety, worry, fear, sorrow, and loss?
Over the course of the Pandemic, many of us have sought solace in spending time on social media connecting with others and watching movies and shows on all the new available platforms in order to escape from the stress and isolation. This was certainly true for me ad my family. Yet as the weeks went on, I began to realize that many of these outlets were making us feel worse. The constant focus on the negative, the perpetual fear about the future espoused by almost every network and media outlet started to take a toll on us.
As I struggled to find movies that were actually uplifting, I began to notice a trend. The bulk of the movies seemed to be either dramas, thrillers, or documentaries about events or people in which something tragic, sad, or heartbreaking had occurred. Where were the comedies, the feel good stories, the hope? Surely the world wasn’t only hate, war, death, and grief? Anytime I would actually find a movie that seemed promising, I would be saddened to discover that they were mostly old movies from the 80’s and 90’s. I began to wonder, what had shifted in our world since then? What had happened to feeling good? Who was the intended audience of this programming, and to what end?
Much of Social Media turned out to be another deep dive into separation, discord, and doom. Although there were groups and forums where people shared uplifting content, success stories, beautiful music, and examples of unity, so much of it was riddled with anger, violence, intolerance, and projections of doom and gloom which made Lord of the Rings seem like a light comedy.
Along with many others, I began to wonder what effect a diet of the mind so full of despair and worry was having on all of us. Was I in denial, or was this the real “reality”? After meditating on this for several days and removing myself from all of it, I remembered that reality is not something out there, but something that happens individually within each of us. The world out there is a reflection of the thoughts in here. The more we hold these thoughts of worry, fear, loss, and hopelessness the more the world out there needs to mirror this. In choosing to reaffirm a world that is attacking us, we are attacking ourselves. In choosing to watch programs, movies, and music that heighten a sense of fear and dread, we further program ourselves to believe in it.
I realized that collectively we need to pay as much attention to the thoughts, ideas, and images we’re letting in to our minds as we do to the food we eat or the products we use. We are ultimately responsible for what we choose. The movies, media, and people will respond with content that mirrors what we demand. No demand no supply.
Since then I have put myself on a diet of the mind and become very selective of what I consume when it comes to media. The question I ask before engaging is, “is this aligned with my goals”? Since I know my goals are to be peaceful, joyful, healthy, happy, connected, and abundant, I only chose to watch programming that aligns with that goal. I can already hear some of you thinking, “but what about the news? Aren’t you in denial”? My grandma always said that bad news travels fast and I have found this to be true. Everything I need to know that really matters comes to me effortlessly, and from a place of peace, I am much more able to respond and handle what ever it is than before.
Today I invite you to claim your authority over your life and your mind. Assert your capacity to choose to feed your mind only that which makes you feel better. Like all things, the more you do so, the easier it will become. The future and the present are only as bright as we dare to believe.