We live in a world where the opinions, thoughts and art of others are constantly paraded through our awareness. Endless social media feeds, books, magazine subscriptions, Netflix. All of this is well and even good – to an extent. Rapid communication and exchange of information can lead to progress and innovation. But it can also lead to overwhelm and consuming, consuming, consuming (with no creating).
It can feel like there’s no escape from the various forms of media. But I’m going to try to get away. For one week.
When I worked through ‘The Artist’s Way’ for the first time, the most difficult (yet rewarding) exercise was a week long media detox. This book was originally published in 1992, before the internet completely transformed society, and even then there was value in taking a hiatus from the constant bombardment of media.
Here’s the idea: one week with no reading, no social media, no TV, no YouTube, no newspapers (wait, does anyone still read physical newspapers?). If it sounds brutal, that’s because it is!
The week long Media Detox: tougher (and more beneficial) than a week of eating lemons & cayenne pepper.
I can tell this is necessary for me right now. I need to walk away from all the noise & outside influences. I’m becoming easily distracted by bloops & bleeps. I’m comparing my own creative works to others. I’m having a hard time discerning where the input of others ends & my original thoughts begin. I’m wasting time clicking on link after link after link (they NEVER end).
The 7 of Swords is traditionally associated with deceit & slyness. But when I looked at the card this week, I saw a different message. I couldn’t help but think the 7 of Swords was the perfect representation of a media detox. Swords represent thoughts and the mental realm. The figure on this card seems to have gathered his own thought-swords and left two behind (the thoughts of others, or in this case, the media at large). He’s walking away from a colony of tents (the entertaining but overwhelming circus of media).
When I think of it this way, the figure in the card doesn’t seem sneaky or deceitful. He seems like he’s taking his own path for a while, getting his mental bearings. Doing his own thing. Minimizing outside influences, getting all the jibberish out of his brain so his originality can peek through.
If you are a creative type, you probably see the appeal of taking your own week long Media Detox. I challenge you to truthfully observe how much time & mental energy you are spending enchanted by the media circus. Can you walk away for a week? Think of what you could do with those heaps of newfound time & energy. Here’s what I’m thinking: go for long walks. Work on my own novel. Dust my bookshelves. Practice yoga. Listen to records. Write poetry. Plan my next tarot projects!
I’ll still be posting on Facebook & Instagram, but ONLY to share my original creations and words (no mindlessly scrolling through my feeds this week!). I’ll still be checking email and completing private readings for clients, as well. Once the week is up, I will begin consuming media again – but more consciously. Leaving behind the fried, mindless junk and choosing the healthy, thoughtful, soul-affirming delicacies.
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