So, how has your media diet been going? Have you sat down to the same meals, or perhaps tried intermittent fasting? Binged a few times? Skipped meals?
I have gotten some great feedback from the last post and wanted to share my confession/findings with you.
First of all - wow! I’ve been noticing my own media diet since I’ve been writing about it and I’ve got to say that I can feel how my brain chemistry has shifted over these last couple weeks. Instead of being on a diet, I actually ate more. And not in a “I’m going to sit down to a delicious meal” kind of way. It was work because I regularly posted to social media these last two weeks and while I love to see friends, family and clients on there, I absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, dislike how it feels being on it.
What I noticed over these last two weeks is that my multi-tasking habit, which really doesn’t serve me, went through the roof. My attention span got fragmented; I was easily distracted and accomplishing less. Very unsatisfying. The ‘unsatisfying’ then became a vicious cycle for more scrolling and searching for the whatever would feel like ‘enough’ or ‘satisfied’. Thanks dopamine.
I could feel the slippery slope where mindfulness slides into the abyss of unconscious habit-forming. Blinking notification light on the phone, anyone?
I realized just how trainable I am when I’m not present. I became entrained to the rollercoaster of emotions behind the headlines, stories, and pictures of other peoples’ lives and started to think they were real. There was this sense of comparison and wondering if I’m where I’m “supposed” to be mixed with hopelessness at the impossibility of current affairs. It made me angsty.
Media is a mixed bag.
I also learned of an old friend’s death that I would never have had it not been for social media. I got to see my nephew-cat Steve dressed up like a bat for Halloween (he likes it), and cried every time I watched another animal being rescued on The Dodo and remembered - people are good and animals make us better.
The thread through all of it is how conscious I’m being of my own behavior and tracking how it makes me feel. If it feeds me or depletes me, adds to my life in a beneficial way or makes me want to repeatedly look outside of myself for assurance.
I consider my media diet experiment a success, even though I put more food in my belly. Why a success? Because we move like pendulums in order to find our middle way. We have to taste too much (bingeing) and too little (isolating) to know what feels correct and sustainable.
I got confirmation that Lisa on Media in large doses doesn’t work well. As I often tell my clients who think they’ve fallen off the wagon in some way – congratulations! Now you know what off the wagon feels like. That’s helpful information so that you’re not just taking someone else’s word for how it should be done.
Your experience is what matters. You are the only one creating and living your reality. Your reality is formed by what you put into you. If you don’t like what you’re seeing right now, consider not only changing the channel, but consciously putting good stuff in that creates a more yummy reality.
You are what you eat.
Many of you asked what I've been choosing to eat so thought I'd share a bite - see if you like it!
Book: The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson- science fiction meets nonfiction meets climate change and optimistic solutions.
Movie: The Alpinist (do NOT research this movie beforehand, just watch it). Pure, free spirit, bold, gut-wrenching humility.
Podcast: Brene Brown & Esther Perel – phenomenal discussion on competitive suffering, straddling the paradox and relationship during the pandemic.
I’m off to retreat and unplug in Ecuador now – I’ll catch you on the flipside!
Until then, watch what you eat. ;)