I pay little attention to the news. It’s not that I want to put my head in the sand and ignore world events. There are a couple of daily emails or weekly news magazines that I’ll scan so I’ve got an idea of what’s happening. But I’ve come to believe that our obsession with 24-hour media is another way of keeping the masses in line. Or rather, of keeping us terrified, powerless, angry and at each other’s throats, pointing our fingers and yelling, It’s all your fault, so we don’t have to take responsibility for our lives.
I notice in my own body the immediate effects of sensationalized reporting, scare tactics and hateful rhetoric. I feel my heart close, my fear rise, my shoulders hunch as if to protect myself from the latest terror. Earthquake, tsunami, uranium mining, wolf killings, policy changes, short-sighted politics – the bad news takes a toll on our psyches. I educate myself on topics that matter to me. I sign petitions and get involved because I think it is not only a right, but a duty to shape the world our children and grandchildren will inherit.
At the same time, I limit my exposure because it makes me feel better. Because when I surround myself with beauty – my family, nature, inspirational music, books, and friends – I am better able to hold my vision of the world and to contribute to that. When I allow my heart to be touched by all that is good in the world, I am more willing to be a force for good myself. By being kind, compassionate, hopeful, a loving parent, partner and friend, I am helping to shape that world of the future. I believe there is great power in that.
What are you choosing to be a part of your experience that you no longer want? What’s one tiny step you can take to change that? Please share here in the comments, email me, or simply write it down on a sticky note. Then take a big, deep, compassionate breath and do it.