Everywhere you turn, it seems there is some new version of disaster. There is some new, horrible news. There is some new tragedy. There is some new loss. There is some new atrocity happening, and I just want to remind us of a couple of important things.
One is you are allowed to tune out excess noise. You do not have to read every article. You do not have to watch every news broadcast. You do not have to stay up on every current event. This whole thing of the 24 hour news cycle is a very recent development. I mean, even when I was a kid, the news was a half hour at night. The newspaper came once a day. We were not constantly delusioned by breaking news, breaking news, breaking news. And in previous generations, it would take months for the news to arrive. So it is okay to not be up on absolutely everything.
Remembering how much control you have over the overwhelm is a feeling you do to you. It is not something that other people do to you. And I think it happens when it feels like everything’s kind of coming at us at the same level of intensity. And you have to remember the news is part of the entertainment industry. Their job is to keep you watching. Facebook wants you to be on Facebook… to stay on Facebook. Buzzfeed wants you to stay on Buzzfeed. Instagram wants you to stay on Instagram. They are doing everything they can to keep you hooked in. I don’t think it’s necessarily malicious- it’s just what their business is.
So, I just want to give you that permission slip- make sure that first thing in the morning, you are not looking at your phone. Get your phone out of the bedroom, get it off your nightstand. This habit people have of waking up and looking at their phone? It throws you into it. All of a sudden, you’re not thinking about what you’re thinking about. You’re thinking about what they want you to be thinking about. So give yourself some time in the morning.
I would vote the first 90 minutes maybe. And let yourself come into the day in a civilized way. Do your work, spend your 15 minutes a day on your projects that matter most to you. Connect with your spirit, connect with your body, do your breathing– whatever it is you like to do. Give yourself that time.
And even if some of you are rushed or have kids, or, you know, there’s a lot going on. If nothing else, give yourself 15 minutes. All right? Can we do that? Can we take the pledge that we’re going to give ourselves 15 minutes in the morning? No news, no email. Just centering. In whatever way you like to do that. You want to stretch? Stretch. You want to dance? Dance. Do you want to lay in bed and breathe or daydream- do that. You want to sketch or doodle, do that.
But do it first thing, because when you stay centered in you, you’re in the middle of the wagon wheel, right? So the world can spin around you. And you don’t have to get pulled out to that outer rim where you’re going to get tumbled. You can stay in the column, the center, just having a coffee in the bedroom.