Peace devours fear and gives you a quiet courage.
- Beth Hemmila
I gave up my TV in 2011 and haven't missed it once. I was addicted to television, so I was actually pretty surprised how easy it was for me to let it go.
However, the other day when I was running on the treadmill and a guy turned on the TV, I realized something important. My brain can't handle TV anymore. It was easy to get off TV because through meditation and yoga my brain was going back to its most primal way of being, which is not hyper aroused, disjointed, and afraid, but instead empty and content.
TV is like a cyber drug dealer, and what it's dealing is a spiritual form of attention deficit disorder. The jumping from one picture and thought to another, the comedy shows interspersed with laughter and loud yelling, the multiple framed pictures, and the constant advertising that wants you to be afraid of yourself and the world are all urging you to be emotionally caffeinated and disconnected from yourself and the natural order of the universe.
Advertising is incredibly debilitating, and I know that now because my life has changed so much from lack of exposure to it. Here are some of the things I've noticed since leaving my TV behind and reducing the amount of advertising I'm exposed to through television, Internet, and print media such as magazines or direct mail catalogs.
- I have less craving for unhealthy foods and eat less.
- I don't buy a lot of unnecessary stuff.
- I have more self-esteem because I'm not being constantly bombarded with images of how I'm suppose to look, behave, and be.
- I've stopped wanting what I don't have.
Advertising breeds fear. It's communicating the message that you won't be loved, appreciated, or feel safe without buying or doing X, Y, or Z. Advertising preys on our fears and wanting to alleviate them. More importantly, advertising tries steal your peace when you are swayed by the power of fear.
So consider going on an advertising diet. Get rid of the TV or turn it off. Don't look at ads or billboards, throw catalogs out when they arrive, turn off the radio, and find a news source that gives quality headlines and ignore the rest. Weed out what is most important from the other messages that are creating a climate of fear. See ads as white noise and don't react.
Engage in a sitting or moving meditation practice or prayer. Do more aerobic exercise outside. More importantly, connect with something larger than yourself -- spirituality, nature, or a cause you believe in.
Pretty soon you'll realize there is nothing to be afraid of, and you already have everything you need to be happy.