Danzante Caldera, RPC

Taming the Media Monster

Danzante CalderaComment
Don't miss the forest for the screens... (2).png

One week from today as I type this, I expect to be deep in the country in a lakeside cabin in Montana (of all the unexpected places!). Ahh… swimming the hours away in a fresh mountain lake; the brilliant stars at night, away from the cities glare; long country drives wildlife spotting (I’ve been promised buffalo-sightings!); leisurely, lingering vacation breakfasts with loved ones… And perhaps best of all, getting completely unplugged from all media, social and otherwise.

When this unexpected get-away came up, I must admit that I initially felt unsure about the idea of being disconnected for a week. I toyed with the idea of taking a tablet. I’m in a creatively fertile period and have several projects on the go, so I’m reluctant to interrupt Flow... But then I remembered that same self-care that I’ve led so many workshops on.

Several years ago I had to reassess my work-life balance. The way I described it to a friend was that I had developed “Stockholm Syndrome” to work and the various hats I wear. I had got to a place where it felt like if I stopped for significant time I would be shirking my responsibilities. There were times it got so out-of-balance that I would even feel guilty for taking a full 2-day weekend off. And, like so many of us these days, connectivity is central to the work that I do…

But I’ve learned to be all about the self-care. The fact is, the more frantic my work-load and engagement got, the quality of what I was doing suffered, and I wasted time because I wasn’t at peak effectiveness. When I reordered my priorities, putting in significant time to just stop and simply be, in the quiet of my own breath, (a human being, not a human doing), the authenticity of everything deepened.

Today we are surrounded and inundated with media coming at (and often from) us in all directions in all sorts of formats. With all the voices and conversations seeking attention, how do we take care of our mental and emotional well-being? Where do you draw the line between feeling like an informed and engaged citizen and feeling like a slave to the media and the busyness of life?

A starting awareness should be to remember that, in just about every format, media is often driven by sophisticated manipulations of our natural psychological responses for somebody else’s capital gain - and often the most harmful voices are made louder for profit-motive. This is why it’s important to maintain some healthy boundaries in the face of this global challenge to our well-being…

The stressors are many – but our capability for resiliency and adaptation is profound. We are well into a new era, a new universe of communication, and I’m wildly optimistic at how communications will evolve over time. I am convinced that we can and will balance it all with our heart-felt human nature. But it will be a journey to get there…

To get to a healthy and balanced place in this new era, it’s important to have some good mindfulness about our media intake and engagement. By making conscious (woke!) choices, you can develop your own “Daily Media Practice”. This looks different for everybody, but here is my own personal (anecdotal & unscientific) prescription:

6 Suggestions for a Daily Media Practice

1. Find and embrace the silence whenever and wherever you can...
2. Live from a strength-based perspective. (If you truly know your strengths, you truly know your resiliencies…)
3. Consciously find your breath at least once a day…
4. Choose your media intake carefully, being mindful of the value of your time…
5. Choose your media sources carefully, being mindful of both your heart & mind…
6. Fall in love with your healthy boundaries…

Embrace the beauty of life. See the stars and watch yourself running with them.
— Marcus Aurelius

The more we are able to have a helpful and healthy relationship with it, the more we are more able to have the benefits of our current media environment – and the benefits are indeed many.

With a healthy daily media practice, we can embrace the wonder and gift of this new world of communication and connectivity without sacrificing our peace of mind, sense of wonder, or healthy sense of self. Our humanity can and will continue expanding into this new era. Peace…

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