It’s Monday, so you know what that means: Mindfulness Mondays! (Yeah, that’s a thing I’m doing now, get used to it.) It’s time to start the week off right by getting inspired to make some positive changes. Because why sleep in when you can get one step closer to being where you truly want to be in life, right?
So, today I want to start off by telling you about my mother. My mom is notorious for not liking dark stuff – I’m talking anything from police procedural dramas to news stories that are disturbing and/or sad to just plain graphic, violent content. Vehemently demanding that the TV be turned off every time there’s something too bloody on is something my mom gets a lot of crap for, and I’ll admit that I didn’t really get it myself until I was older.
Here’s what she knew that I didn’t know yet, and some people still don’t know: you have to be careful when it comes to what you consume. This can mean different things for different people; for some, being careful with what you consume could mean scrolling past the umpteenth article about why black women need to do or not do this or that, or opting not to respond to a troll on Facebook ranting about why black people are the scum of the Earth. For people like my mom (and me these days, tbh), it means opting not to watch graphic horror movies because even pretend murder just isn’t something that makes you feel good to watch.
The thing about having boundaries though is that people love to test them. They’ll send you a link to the kind of article that’s designed to get you mad, then act confused when you choose not to read it and get mad with them. They’ll give you crap for being “too scary” for not wanting to watch a movie about a killing spree and go in on you for preferring a Disney film instead.
What I had to learn for myself is that it’s ok to have boundaries, and that people have them for a reason. People who avoid reading every last bit of bad news may be struggling to keep their own negative emotions at bay without adding more fuel to the fire, and for those of us who avoid dark media, it just may be that we have enough crap in our lives that we want something different, something brighter and something lighter, in the stories that we hear. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
We all get to pick and choose what we ingest. It’s not “just a TV show” or “just a song” because the media you consume and the people and attitudes you expose yourself to affect you whether you’re aware of it happening or not.
You can choose not to watch something that makes you feel physically sick. Me, I don’t listen to music that I feel is degrading or disrespectful or espouses harmful or toxic values, because if I ingest too much of that, it makes me feel very negative and just not-good. If it doesn’t for you, that’s great, but something else we have to realize is that we all have different diets – what you’ve grown used to may be something that just doesn’t agree with me.
Be mindful of what you’re ingesting, folks, especially when you’re dealing with pressure from others to always be down with everything. Pay attention to what makes you feel good, makes you feel inspired and uplifted, and what doesn’t. Practice making deliberate choices instead of just consuming whatever’s around you. Listen to yourself, and eat well.
Oh, and here’s a dope clip that’s been floating around on the subject. “You diet isn’t just what you eat” indeed, brother.
How will you be more mindful of the things you consume this week? If you need ideas, join me in repeating “I will not argue on Facebook, I will not argue on Facebook.” Trust me, it never ends well, and these people out here aren’t really trying to listen, boo.