Remember the “olden days”? The TV was in some sort of cabinet and in our city, we had three channels – 4, 5, and 9 (NBC, CBS, and ABC). When I was about 10, we got channel 19 (PBS) but our antennae wasn’t good enough to pick it up – but I could go to my friend’s house and watch Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Other friends got a color TV and it was a very big deal to go to their house and watch “Bonanza” – in Living Color! Those opening credits where the map would catch on fire and Cartwright men would gallop into view were ah-MAZ-ing! TV used to actually go off the air (horror!) at about midnight, and you’d see a “test pattern” until they resumed broadcasting at about 5 or 6 a.m. Now of course, there are hundreds of channels that run 24-hours a day (with really not much worth watching) and it is nauseatingly ubiquitous -you can’t go out to dinner without monitors everywhere – grocery store, gas station, in your car – jeeze! If there isn’t a screen in your face somewhere, bring you own – phone, tablet, laptop – makes me want to puke! I’ve been nostalgic in the last several months for a simpler time – phone attached to the kitchen wall, TV that you had to manually turn off and on, and switch channels by getting up off your butt and walking across the room, etc. So, you’d think the “No TV” assignment would be easy for me. And you’d be wrong. It was very difficult this year.
In addition to the TV, there is now social media, and computer games and all kinds of crap to hold our attention for hours on end. It made me wonder – what is so compelling about all this? I do know that it is habit. Simple. When I was sick in 2004, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t have the energy to read or crochet or sew or garden, so I became glued to the recliner — phone, remote, notepad and pen, and glass of water next to me – and the TV was on about 20 hours a day. And of course, then came the internet into our household, etc, etc, etc., until we became zombie-like consumers of the pipeline of garbage that no one needs to be hooked up to.
The assigment caused me to think about why I needed that much distraction. What is it about my life that I have such a hard time breaking these habits? Of course, our friend Charles Haanel gave me a hint in MK 7: 3 & 4 last week: ” Make the image clear and clean-cut, hold it firmly in the mind and you will gradually and constantly bring the thing nearer to you. You can be what “you will to be. This is another psychological fact which is well known, but unfortunately, reading about it will not bring about any result which
you I may have in mind; it will not even help you to form the mental image, much less bring it into manifestation. Work is necessary – labor, hard mental labor, the kind of effort which so few are willing to put forth.”
That nailed it. Being distracted is easy – and the results are predictable. Give nothing, get nothing. If I want more, I need to give more – and hard, mental labor is a big part of that. I’m going to use Sandra’s method and replace the pronouns to make Marianne Willaimson’s quote below personal:
“My deepest fear is not that I am inadequate. My deepest fear is that I am powerful beyond measure. It is my light, not my darkness that most frightens me. I ask myself, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who am I not to be? I am a child of God. My playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. I am meant to shine, as children do. I was born to make manifest the glory of God that is within me. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as I let our own light shine, I unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As I am liberated from my own fear, my presence automatically liberates others.”
Turn off the TV. Give more, get more.