"We are always doing something, talking, reading, listening to the radio, planning what's next. The mind is kept naggingly busy on some easy, unimportant external thing all day." – Brenda Ueland
What would it be like to go without some of our external stimulation for a week? Especially the kind that doesn't feel our souls? In "The Artist's Way," Julia Cameron suggests a week without reading. These days, I think the harder challenge would be no internet. How many of us check email and Facebook twice or more daily? It gives us certain benefits, I know - staying in touch with people, finding out stuff that's not in the mainstream news, watching fun and inspiring videos, etc. For some of us, email is essential for work. But it can also be ONE BIG DISTRACTION from being in touch with our selves or being creative.
And what about TV/Movies/Netflix? True confessions: I watch 1/2 hour - 2 hours a night! I think I need that TV time to chill out, relax. If I have too much pain of some kind, and I can't feel it all the time, it's a much needed distraction for a while. Or maybe it's a kind of company - while folding laundry, sorting papers, or some other half-brain task. I'm interested to see how I do without it, though.
I might find that it makes me uncomfortable. You might feel satisfied, connecting with yourself more deeply. Someone else may feel edgy and fidgety. Another might find creativity blossoming within them. It might seem a bit risky to you, but think of it as an experiment. You may choose to try three days instead of a week. You may choose to forgo reading, if you do it obsessively. You may choose only internet, only TV, or internet and TV.
What would you do instead? The possibilities are endless. Jot a few ideas down in a notebook instead of checking email. Call a friend instead of liking their Facebook post. Write a card or letter instead of watching TV. Make a collage, whittle a stick, get up and move to your favorite music, light a candle and meditate, make up a silly song of the moment, make up a far-fetched story back and forth with someone, draw your boot. You may get inspired to go to a woodworking class in the evenings, or learn how to play ukulele from a video. One never knows!