Friday, January 11, 2013

A Media Free Twenty Four Hours Plus Some

As part of my Sunday night Apprentice Series book study, the "soul training" assignment this week is to be media free for forty-eight hours.  The instructions are: no internet, television, newspapers, magazines, radio, video or music devices.  I started with 24 hours because I knew how difficult it would be to abstain.   The purpose is to show how sexually saturated the media is.  But that is not what it really did for me.

I am aware because I have two young girls.   Any show I sit down to watch with my ten year old, it is painstakingly obvious how much sexual innuendo there is even with sitcoms with children in the cast.  I have watched "Dancing With The Stars" where spray tans and costumes comprised of bikinis are the norm and I have become accustomed to it.  I know that magazines are photoshopped and this is what my girls will aspire to look like, an ideal that doesn't exist.  Female celebrities are critiqued endlessly for their weight gain or loss, etc.  The list goes on and on.

And I am aware because my self worth was boosted in part from my looks and other external forces while I was growing up.

"Miss Representation" is a great documentary of how women are portrayed in the media and it's not good.

I didn't watch the whole 2 hours because it felt overwhelming that I could make any impact.   I need to challenge myself to speak up more with my own children.  Learning to have a voice now in my forties, means that I have to actually SHARE what I learn with my own children.   This is unfamiliar territory yet I continue to practice, practice, practice.

Within the first two hours of my media ban, I began paying attention to all the thoughts in my head which is something as you know, dear reader,  that I do anyway.  Yet, it is so much easier to hear with silence.  Friends that I needed to contact, as well as activities that I needed to do popped in my head.  I began to really look forward to chats with my best friends and interacting with another adult at an appointment.   I wanted human contact!

As I ran errands on a particularly heavy rain day, I watched the weather radar in my car because I needed video stimulation!  The silence in the car was deafening.  No Oprah radio or music to lighten my day.

After six of my twenty four hours passed, I watched a "Housewives" show while I ate lunch.  I needed companionship!   I proceeded media free after lunch.  On Day 2, I decided to keep going, yet on the way to lunch with a friend, I turned on Oprah Radio in the car.  I was meant to cheat because it was a Classic Soul Series with Rev. Ed Bacon, Elizabeth Lesser and sex therapist, Dr. Laura Berman.  They are some of my favorite people.  They were talking about spirituality and sexuality.  Can you say apropos?

This assignment has been interesting.  I miss Facebook less that I thought.  I miss TV on in the background at home as well as music in the car more.  The biggest consequence is that I am reminded I don't want to be told what to do anymore.  My journey of authenticity and learning to listen to my own voice and let go of others' opinions has taken hold!  

Yet,  I have been reminded that disconnecting is good.  When I am quiet, I will eventually hear God's voice.  Deepak Chopra who has meditated every day for the last forty years knows what he is talking about.

And perhaps I could get by with less TV. {grimace}

I am thankful I tried the experiment.  The girls will be thankful that they can listen to music in the car again.  I will be too!  Though, every now and then, we can turn it off and learn to be silent.  I am excited about exposing them to this lesson at their age.  I am equally excited for myself!

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