Switch Off the TV
Regain your life
Back in 2012 I had minimal goods as a result of a deep desire for Union through Yoga, however I still owned a TV which I used to watch a weekly movie. As I read The Camino by Shirley Maclaine, I delved deep into where my desires were planted and I discovered that TV is constantly selling us ideas aswell as material goods.
A Bond movie will sell you a type of car, a type of PC, a watch for your boyfriend….the list goes on and on! Cars, perfumes, make up, appearances, ideas of how love should look, countries to visit….and on and on. You watch a movie and before you know it, you subconsciously are desiring a Smeg, a certain meal and your boyfriend is no longer The One you thought he was so you end the relationship!
It sounds funny and I might have exaggerated a little but…
We are consistently being told what to buy, where to buy it, how to dress, how to speak, think, feel, eat, walk, talk….all of these ideas are sold to us by the corporations who are funding the movies, the ideas; the people who influence the authors or the screenwriters etc.
I mean this whole thing can get exhausting and make us feel inadequate, restless.
What can I do to gain more? I know, work more, sell more of my time….
Does this sound like a fair exchange to you? You sell a few hours, maybe a day, a week, so you can purchase a designer dress? When you are lying on your deathbed, do you think you’ll be pleased that you did that? Or might you regret it? Just a little? You don’t even have to go that far back….how long does the happiness last when you buy the new dress? But how long does the happiness last if you don’t work the overtime and you spend 3 hours with your loved ones instead? What’s going to last you a lifetime? What is going to fill you up with lightness and make you smile so much that you create a new laughter line (heaven forbid in this Botox obsessed world gone mad!)?
Even movies are selling ideas and visions that ultimately do not belong to us, in that they are not our truths. I might watch a movie and admire the slim physique of an actress and crave that I too am so petite. I might watch a movie with a view on a certain country or an attitude about a certain place, person or religion. Ideas and desires are planted subconsciously. Ideas can get out of control and the desires grow deeper. I got rid of my TV entirely after I got home from Holkham and I have never looked back. I am not saying I don’t watch the odd movie; I do. But I choose what I watch carefully. There’s no longer the risk that I will channel surf, see a commercial or advert selling something I really had no desire to buy. But best of all? I have oodles more time to do what I want with my time; journal, type up a blog, practice yogasana, listen to an audiobook.
So, tip number 1 is to kill your TV. You can do this in baby steps:
Ideas as part of our Happiness Prescription:
Choose what you watch ahead and stick to that plan rigidly based on subjects you are interested in or passionate about
Never surf looking for things to watch; turn it off instead
Minimise the time you spend watching TV; be strict about it and ultimately work toward cutting this addiction to half so maybe 30 minutes a day for week 1, 30 every other day for week 2, twice for week 3, 2 movies for week 4, 1 movie for week 5 etc.
Never eat meals whilst watching TV; this is part of a presence practice. Food not only tastes better, but you will chew better, be less impacted by stress or emotions caused by a programme or movie and your food will actually digest better
Only watch movies. Never routine programmes
Turn the sound down when commercial adverts start or walk out of the room so you are not conditioned to being or thinking a certain way
If you are not physically watching TV, then turn it off. Don’t use the sounds for comfort or as company
Get rid of the TV altogether which will free up space in your lounge for something else, save you about £120 in licence fees plus more for electric and the cost of purchase/insurance etc.
Things you can do instead of TV watching:
Cook, bake, create meals which taste DELICIOUS! Bonus; feeding your body, mind and spirit creative abundance and slatherings of nutrition
Run, jog or walk outside being in nature. Bonus; enhanced health and vitality which leads to trillions of bonuses including longevity and increased fitness
Listen to music for inspiration
Listen to an audiobook
Create a visionboard
Write down and reassess your goals or intentions
Go out for a meal
Visit a museum
Visit a local beauty spot or place of interest
Dance or take up a new fitness regime tai chi, pilates, yoga, karate, boxing. You can use the £200 minimum you save a year to pay for classes, a gym pass or a membership
Draw, write, paint; create
Redecorate your house
Clean your car
Play with your children
Play with your pets
Have a conversation with a loved one
Phone a friend
Paint your nails or pamper yourself in some small way; pluck your eyebrows, make a facemask, body brush
Have a bath; read a book or light a candle. Relax!
Meditate; get present
Do anything you darn well want; just enjoy the fact that you are not wasting your time. You’ve got this!