I know you may be surprised to hear me suggest a diet. It’s a little presumptive of me I know, but hear me out. I guarantee it will help you shed some weight.
In the world of Chinese medicine, it’s taught that anything you take in has to be broken down and digested. That includes food, information, images, situations, conversations, headlines, statistics, beliefs, traumas and emotions. If it’s not digested, it gets stuffed as inflammation, fat, tension, noise and stuck emotions in the body.
What you put in you becomes you and we need to become better stewards of what we allow into our systems.
What I’m noticing is that many of us humans are experiencing a wicked case of acid reflux and constipation. What I mean by that is that we’re consuming so much information and media, yet we’re not digesting it. It sits in our bellies and hearts like a lump of spicy Szechuan beef, festering because we don’t know if what we just ate was real or full of preservatives and ‘added flavors’. We’re not sure who’s cooking it or how to break it down into bite-size pieces, we don’t chew long enough and we certainly aren’t doing a good job of putting the darn fork down.
Under the acidic reflux of anger, judgment, name-calling, finger-pointing, ‘I’m right-ness, you’re wrong-ness’, making “others” the bad guys and chaotic communication happening right now, lives a human who craves certainty, can’t get it and feels very scared.
It causes us to stop sharing what’s really happening and become constipated because it doesn’t feel safe to express, even with loved ones and friends. “We don’t go there” becomes the new way of side-stepping the turd in the room to keep the peace, but negates the fact that peace can’t be had with toxins circulating through the system.
Diarrhea can also run rampant when we overly express our unprocessed emotions, opinions and information and aren’t sure what bits are nutritional and good to absorb and share, and what bits are good to let slide by.
The more plugged into media you are, the more your nervous system is hijacked and you’re crawling around with your lizard brain calling the shots on everything that now looks like life or death (read here for more on how to identify when you’re in the lizard and what to do about it).
Would you want a lizard calling the shots in your world? Me neither.
This is where you get to exercise choice and where your diet comes in. Stop feeding the lizard.
Treat your media intake like you do your food.
It does the EXACT same thing in your body. Would you consciously choose to eat something that makes you scared? Depressed? Lose hope in humanity and the future of the world?
It’s really natural to be craving certainty and security right now. When we don’t feel those things we tend to look outside of ourselves for guidance and reassurance. I’m challenging you to start looking inside to determine when you’ve had enough.
Let’s talk about how this diet works. First, it applies to ALL media you eat, how you eat it and what portions you serve yourself. It requires you to start to notice something we’re really not good at - - knowing what ENOUGH feels like. So let’s get better at it now.
Here’s how to play Media Diet:
Notice what you feel like before you sit down to a meal of media.
Get a general baseline – body, mind, heart.
Decide how big your meal is going to be and stick to it
(i.e. 5 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour). Set a timer and stop when it goes off.
Notice what you feel like after you eat the meal.
Are you full? Are you digesting what you’re consuming or do you feel mentally bloated? Can you let yourself taste the emotional impact of what you’re taking in and pause before you move on to the next thing? Do you feel overwhelmed? Satisfied? Can you let your sensations and emotions inform you as to when you’ve reached ‘enough’?
What are the results?
Did consuming the media meal enhance your life or detract from it? Create more noise or less? Do you feel lighter or heavier? More clear or confused?
Based on what you find from using media mindfully, what will you do differently the next time you take it in?
This is HOW you create a new, healthier habit around taking your world in and discerning what works for you. No one else can tell you what’s right for you, but the more you practice tuning in to your own guidance, the less you need to search for certainty out there and the more you can create it for yourself.
Drop me a line – I’d love to hear what you’re finding!