A friend of mine popped back into town this past week, and we caught up for lunch. The last time I saw her, she had been frail and drained, but the girl sitting across from me now was healthy and full of life. She had packed up her life and moved to Hawaii two years ago. It had obviously been the right move for her. When I asked her what she had been doing to regain her life force, her answer was simple. “I have been BEING with me.” I stared at her, paused to reflect, and she hurriedly added, “Which is hard by the way.” Thank goodness she added that for my benefit, because my pregnant pause had been full of questions to myself. Could I do this being alone with me thing right here in Dallas? It is funny, because as a single mom I am home almost every night after bedtime technically “alone with me”. But am I really? Between social media, netflicks, hulu, HBO, and especially any crime drama that my apple tv has to offer, I never really have to be alone with me. Oh and let’s not forget my trusty old friend Sauvignon Blanc who accompanies me while I follow the news media frenzy around real life crime dramas.
It is an addiction, a sickness even. I hear a story about a shooting, a terrorist attack, or any other horrific event in the world, and I immediately want to know all. Who did this and what is their story? Why did they do this? Was it a surprise to those close to the perpetrator? I refresh my news feed for new updates on the story, and fortunately, the press spoon feeds me story after story that feeds my rubberneck craving. Obviously I am not alone in this interest as media content is driven by numbers and data.
So this brings me to the question. What if together, as a collective, WE stopped opening those news stories and turned off our notifications? What if WE stopped glorifying such behavior and feeding this energy? Would the media stop focusing on the criminal and would less violent crimes occur? Would the media be forced to find a higher ratio of inspiring stories of hope and human goodness instead of the constant stockpile of negativity? Also if WE were all more focused on being, who would WE be?
So after my lunch, I went home and gave it a try that very night. At first it was terrifying. What do I do without a crutch, a newsfeed, a glass of wine? There is a panicked feeling that I should be doing something. Then after a few deep breaths, the panic subsided, the peace set in and I realize I could get used to this! This was actually what I needed! I realized I needed more time and accountability to create space which lead me to sign up for yoga teacher training, I learned a new song to sing to my baby at night, I felt peace and not fear. I challenge you to try it this week, and then please report back and let me know what your experience is and what BEING looked like to you!