Simplicity Health and Wellness (7) ~ filtering out the external world

September 17, 2012

One more for Simplicity……

The last step or option for simplistic health and wellness is probably the most controversial…but can yield immense benefits….

…’s “un-plugging” for real. Filtering out the external world.

Filtering out the external world, means saying no to the chaos and expectations of others, and tuning into our own inner voice and heart-thoughts.  This can look a variety of ways; perhaps turning off the t.v, computer and  radio, or setting down magazines and newspapers.  It may sound rash, but unplugging from mental and spiritual pollution can be very liberating!… and extremely healthy!

When we say no to screen time and outside influences, we begin to say yes to our true needs… by giving ourselves: time, ease  and compassion.

My belief with media, is that it’s another way which we get too much, too fast, and it creates a sense of urgency and false stress (and we have enough of that already).  Not only is it urgency that gets under my skin, but the base message that we’re not already enough (as we are), nor do we have enough.   This speed and message places our natural rhythms out of whack, and leaves us on edge and anxious, waiting for the next big thing to fulfill us, when we already are wonderful (dare I say perfect) just as we are.   I also see in the media, subtle undertones, that pit people against each other, neighbour against neighbour, pretty girl against pretty girl, your car vs. our car and so forth… and then even on a deeper level, human against nature (fight aging), and worst of all, us against ourselves (we stop trusting our natural instincts…and instead are told, what the next thing we need or want is.)   In place of having peaceful down time to recuperate, we’re being told how to function as humans, what to do, what to wear, how to look, and act.   Do you ever stop to wonder if you even agree?  Are these values that are fed to you, your own?  Honestly, I don’t think people even question it…..        Case and point, today at work (I work in a gym), I picked up a magazine, and flipped through it – not something I do often, but as I looked through it, I seriously started thinking “maybe I should start wearing makeup again, eyeliner looks so pretty” and “well I’m good for my exercise, but maybe I should eat a little less, thin is so innocent and pure looking”…and I am not even kidding you, these are seriously the thoughts the had.  I think I only noticed them, because it’s not something I normally do.  I put down the magazine after a bit, and after thoughtfully looking at the lovely Gwyneth on the cover I reached for the next mag to cover it – thankfully it was a a fitness mag, (a real fitness mag – not a model-fitness mag) with a cyclist on the cover (full crazy gear, mud and all), and I thought… “that’s better, he’s out there experiencing life, and doing something he’s passionate about, I’m happy to promote that”.    …It was as simple as that – to get hooked, the media was there in my office, I got caught, and so easily…in fact, even though my mind says “don’t be so shallow”…I’m sure that at some point this week, I probably will put on makeup… just because I feel a little more inadequate now.  Before, I wouldn’t have cared so much…I like me as I am.  But that dagger, it struck, and it hurt.  And we’re human and emotional beings, so it does hurt, even when we know better.   So, for me the answer is to simplify, to tune out.  I covered that mag, and next time I hope I’ll choose not to pick it up.

It comes down to choice:  to pick up the magazine or not to, to tune into the t.v. or not to… Let’s look at just how much time (use today as reference) you spent indulging in media – t.v., computer, radio, magazines and newspapers.  How much do you think it is per week?  Do the math and see.

Now, think about the things you most love to do…the things you feel like you never have enough time for… what if you swapped that media polluted time, for the time of your life… what if you opened that door to possibility… what would that world look and feel like if you were to step into it right now?…… YOU can create that.  Do the things you love, your passions and hobbies…and adventure…and even the quiet peaceful time….

I’ve only recently started this venture myself, but for me it was the computer, that had me attached.  We haven’t had TV in years and years, I’ve never liked the news, but the computer had a magnetic appeal to me… so I did the same thing, I did with the magazine, I covered it.  I used a pretty, funky, happy yellow-gold tie-dye bit of fabric and draped it over the top.   When I see it, it’s a reminder to get out and live my life, have fun, and un-plug.  I allot myself an hour in the evening for computer time and sometimes I use that whole hour, sometimes only a bit of it.  I feel positive about the change, and like I am better able to give to myself and live out my dreams, when the computer’s off and a non-option.  Sometimes, however,  I miss out on last minute info (also because I truly despise the phone, so friends usually email me) ~ but that’s okay and in time I have learned to plan more ahead of time, and be less rushed and more slower paced.  It may not be your way, but it’s worked for me, and I’m happy stickin’ with it.  I feel more grounded and alive…  you’ll find your groove too.

So, to end off, we all know that media is media…and maybe you feel like your not as sensitive as I am;  and maybe your not, perhaps you more immune or aware, but if you feel that way, then you know it’s a negative…and why would you want that negative in your life… or how much of that negative are you going to allow in?  By turning off, I vote for my values, I make my own path and create my own fun…and I like that feeling.

I truly believe that slowing down is what we need as a human race, it’s what we’re lacking, we’re overlooking…and we’re loosing ourselves.  We need simplicity for health, well-being and happiness.

Step back, un-plug…. see what’s really there.

❤  Alyssa




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