Does your brain need a good clearing out?
One of my resolutions for this year is to declutter the physical, mental and energetic spaces of my life. I want to be able to hear the still, small voice and especially the loud, scary “I-dare-you-to-leap-into-YES” voice.
It’s awfully hard to get into – as Stephen Colbert puts it — “wonderful trouble” if your Muse is tripping over psychological and material junk. The Muse needs room to dance.
“Mayhem News” is the biggest source of mental clutter for me. You know the kind –upsetting events over which we have little or no power. Mayhem news tells us of the hurricane, the crime already committed, the scandal, the war halfway around the world, the shenanigans of the One Percent. These “stories” make us feel like the world is completely broken and humanity sucks. Mayhem news – which most news published today is — is junk food for the mind.
Far fewer are mentally nutritious stories about the billions of people being good to their children, helping strangers, or cleaning and fixing and building and discovering and being decent.
The best cure for this sort of mental clutter is a news fast. Try giving up the national news for 24 hours (all of it—including beloved news satirists like Colbert and Stewart). If your job allows, go for a week, a month, even six months. You won’t miss anything important.
Don’t believe me? Prove it to yourself this way: as an experiment, bookmark a front page and look at it a week, a month, six months from now. Know what you’ll find? Most of it doesn’t matter, or it’s the same story in different clothing. If anything really important happens, someone will tell you (I once went on a news fast for 6 months and this is exactly what happened).
During your news fast you may discover that the world is slightly better than you thought, that 80% of the people are decent, and you feel more calm and peaceful.
After a while, you may even hear the Muse’s invitation to dance – or find yourself getting into wonderful trouble.