I'm among the throngs of avid early-morning exercisers at the gym. Ten large TVs loom above my Stairmaster blasting a potpourri of programming, all competing for my attention.
I resist the lure of E! Hollywood True Story, since I'm fairly certain I'll be swept into someone else's drama only to be left bleeding on the side of the road.
Confession: I learned the hard way... Fifteen minutes of the profoundly sad "Andrea Yates" E! Hollywood True Story, and the dark shadow of doom and gloom attempted to abscond with my early-morning happy vibe.
Let's be honest, it's easy to be distracted from our own issues by focusing on other people's lives. Our culture is wired to keep us constantly looking outside ourselves for fulfillment.
There is a mega ocean liner buffet of news, headlines, Internet and oodles of TV channels to tempt us into a hazy, mind-numbing state of disconnection. The drama is everywhere and it is intentionally enticing. Market and drugstore checkout lines offer an assortment of magazines all blasting out salacious rumors of celebrity's lives. A profusion of reality shows, each more outrageous than the next one, promise to delude us into thinking there is something better to focus on than what is right in front of us.
My resolve kicks in... I won't make the same mistake twice. I pop in my headphones to listen to The Power of Now. Eckhart Tolle is talking about "psychic pollution." He serenely explains that psychic pollution is the negative thoughts in our minds: judgments, criticisms, blame, anxiety, stress, anger and fear. This harmful energy not only touches us as individuals, but spreads like a virus of which no one is immune.
HELLO! AHA moment!
Instantaneously, I'm reminded of the pollution prevention campaign, "Keep America Beautiful." In one of the ads featuring Native American actor Chief Iron Eyes Cody with a tear running down his cheek, the tagline reads: "People Start Pollution. People Can Stop It."
Individually our negative thoughts combine collectively, mixing with the negative messaging in the media to produce a murky ocean of grime that we are all unconsciously swimming in.
As Gandhi famously said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." I'm inspired to set my intention for the day... I will not contribute to psychic pollution.
I open The Huffington Post to scan the news. My attention is captured by Arianna Huffington's blog announcing a new app: "GPS for the Soul." It goes on to say, "HuffPost is partnering with a group of top-shelf innovators to bring GPS for the Soul to life. Just the beginning of a journey to reconnect with our creativity, our intuition, our wisdom -- and ourselves."
I have an idea for a new ad campaign for 2012: "People start psychic pollution. People can stop it."
We always have a choice...
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