I was at a family gathering last weekend when the conversation turned to television. Someone mentioned watching TV in their retirement and long story short, I ended up saying, “I don’t have a TV. I don’t watch.” Needless to say, they were a little surprised. Someone else asked, “How do you get your news”? When I said, “I don’t” they replied, “Oh, so you live in your own little bubble”. Well, yes I do. And, here’s the thing – WE ALL DO! Every single one of us lives in a world of our own making and YOU get to decide what you put in your bubble. What’s in your bubble.
I’m not suggesting you give up television, or anything else. I used to watch plenty of it. I remember a friend years ago getting a speeding ticket rushing home to watch an episode of her favorite show. This was the moment when I began to question my own television habits. At the time I was married with kids at home, so ditching the TV wasn’t so easy (not that I didn’t try).
What I am saying is this…
1. Your energy, time, and attention are the currency of your life. They belong to you!! You get to decide what to allow into your heart and mind and make no mistake, what you let in affects how you feel and how you show up in life. I simply decided to fill that space with other things that feed my soul. (Maybe television does that for you…no judgment).
It was definitely weird at first. I felt I had to fill the time with something…but what?
I started to connect with feelings I hadn’t been willing to feel while I was distracting myself with television, including all the ways in which I felt I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live. Most people don’t make time for this, because it’s scary to sit with yourself and feel empty, dissatisfied, alone, and all the uncertainty and fear that comes with that. Filling time and keeping busy is a habit we’ve all gotten into that actually keeps us from truly being alive. This brings me to the next point.
2. Silence and stillness are important to well-being. I haven’t had a television for nearly 10 years. (Full disclosure; I watch Netflix once in a while). When I first decided I didn’t want television in my life any longer, it did feel strange. Quiet. It was in the quiet, stillness, just letting myself be with the silence that I began to get clear about what I wanted my life to look and feel like. We live in a a go, go, go world and think we don’t have time for to be still – like do nothing but stare out the window and contemplate life kinda still. Not having a television was simply the beginning of listening to what my soul was calling for.
Instead of travel shows, I began traveling. Instead of watching someone else’s pretend life, I was creating a new more fulfilling life of my own – on purpose. Instead of feeling anxious or fearful about things I can’t control on the news, I’d found peace and calm that give me space to focus on creating the work I want to do and living the life I want to live. I am no longer distracted by the noise.
3. Television doesn’t make you a more informed person. Hear me out on this. What is available to you and me through television (especially news channels) is what someone else wants you to see, hear, and think. It is selected by other humans who have their own agenda. The brain is wired for confirmation bias; to seek out evidence that supports what you believe and disregard everything else. So, we tend to tune into the news, television, and other media that confirm the way we think life ‘should be’. This essentially can make us far less informed, because we rarely, if ever, get curious about or consciously seek out other perspectives.
I’m not bashing television or nor do I think anyone is wrong for watching. It’s part of most people’s lives and I respect that. I simply choose to remove it from my bubble and it has made all the difference.
I speak with women all the time who, at midlife, get into a funk, they’re restless, questioning who they are and what they want next. If this is you, ask yourself, “What’s in my bubble”? Pay attention to what you are allowing into your consciousness, your one wild and precious life (thank you Mary Oliver). Notice what you are giving your energy and attention to, and, most importantly, how it makes you feel.
Then ask yourself, “What would I love” and “How would I love to feel”? Choose that. Let go of anything in your bubble that doesn’t feel the way you want to feel. This creates space for you to do more of what makes you come alive. The more you do what makes you come alive, the more the world comes alive with you. The world needs more of this…and you are so much more powerful than you think.
Oh, and let’s be clear. I am one of the most interesting people you can talk with. Why? Because I want to know YOU. I want to know all about you, where life has taken you, where you want to go, what lights you up, what and who inspires you, and how I can support you on your journey. This, to me, is far more interesting than anything on television and this is where I come alive and can absolutely have an impact on the world…one conversation at a time.
Ready to create clear your bubble and create a more intentional life?