Inner Life Challenge

Are you up to the challenge?

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Inner Life Challenge

Postby Tituba » Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:19 pm

I have a challenge for you. 24 hours with no: TV computer phone radio stereo/ipod etc. and no reading (not talking about the accidental text that you might see. I read sitting down with a magazine or book. You can, however, talk to people but only face-to-face. You spend 24 hours with your own thoughts with no input from written or electronic sources. No diversions or distractions. Anyone up for it? If so, let me know what happens. The theory is you will be able to get in touch with your own self once you eliminate the static of modern living.
Last edited by Tituba on Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:11 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby AVATC » Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:10 pm

It's almost impossible to get away from all the things you mentioned, especially M-F, for those of us who are employed by someone else. I get in touch with my own self by writing in my journal or lately by creating artwork that goes in my journal. All of those things on your list are emitting energy. I have noticed that sometimes I will be writing in my journal about a question, and the answer will come to me through something said on TV. In my experience, you don't always need to eliminate the static of modern living -- you just need to be in harmony with its frequency! :)
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Postby urbanpioneer » Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:41 pm

Gee, sounds like camping! You can't get these things away from you. You have to get away from them.
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Postby Scenario Thinker » Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:00 pm

I might give it a shot on a day next weekend. Here will be the order of difficulty for me in descending order: 1. Reading. (If we read something accidentally, does that count? You're talking concentrated reading like a book, magazine or web, etc., right?) 2. Computer. No posting? :cry: 3. TV. This will be tough on a weekend (movies, etc.) 4. Stereo. I usually have silent time at home, except for the music in movies that I'd watch on the TV, etc. 5. Radio. Easy, I only listen to it in the car on the way to work, and it's mostly for my music fix. 6. Phone. Another easy one. I never answer the phone 8) . Can we draw, doodle, paint, sculpt, i.e. a visual communication, if not a written one? Or more precisely, can we write (by hand) if we don't reread it? You could also define reading offline versus online with e-mail or web, i.e. anything non-electronic is legal (just a thought). I'm dissecting reading, because many of us could probably spend 24 hours just reading. But, I don't think that's the point of this exercise, right? Even if I end up not doing it, it was interesting to analyze the importance and dependence on this stuff (and maybe try something new, and to see what it's like to be with yourself?). It may be easier for introverts than extroverts (although they could seek out people and experiences).
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Postby Day Owl » Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:04 pm

Because I work for myself at home, I often have public radio on most of the time to keep me company and stay informed (our public radio station has excellent public affairs programs). In the past couple of weeks, work has been so demanding and has required so much concentration that I've kept the radio off while working. I find that I concentrate much better and feel more peaceful throughout the day and at the end of the day. I like that! Now, the big :?: -- to maintain that peace and still keep up with the issues.....
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Postby Tricia56 » Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:07 pm

Julie Cameron of the Artists Way recommends this too. I think it would take me more than 24 hours to think things through though. It is getting rid of avoidance techniques.
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Postby Tituba » Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:55 pm

I was talking to a friend of mine about dependencies on being "in touch" electronically. We have a mutual friend who went camping in Maine with his wife and he brought his laptop! How many people feel very uneasy in silence! Especially in the car. The thought of not touching the computer for a day, not checking email, not being influenced by the "stuff" going through the air scares the be-jeebies out of some people. My friend said he'd feel really uneasy without background sounds of some kind. One woman I know told me she'd be afraid. When I asked her why, she said she was afraid of the thoughts she might have! I let it drop because the very thought of driving in silence was a big issue for her. By reading, I meant books, magazines etc. Journaling is different. Maybe start small - baby steps. Drive to work next week without the radio on and see how that feels. For those that are in cubicle-land, you could spend one night after work unplugged. PS - Day Owl - I have found that for me anyways - keeping up with all the ugly, toxic issues filling the news just makes me feel hopeless and negative. There is nothing I can do to change what is going on in the world and a steady diet of this toxic information isn't good for me. Scenario
Can we draw, doodle, paint, sculpt, i.e. a visual communication, if not a written one? Or more precisely, can we write (by hand) if we don't reread it? You could also define reading offline versus online with e-mail or web, i.e. anything non-electronic is legal (just a thought). I'm dissecting reading, because many of us could probably spend 24 hours just reading. But, I don't think that's the point of this exercise, right?
Yes! Do other things! You absolutely read what you write. No reading offline. That would mean reading off the computer and the computer stays OFF for this exercise. Let's pretend the computer is broken. There are several purposes of this exercise. One is to quiet the sounds and go to center to hear one's own counsel. Another is to realize just how much technology holds us hostage. How all these things can stop being tools and become resistance monsters/avoidance techniques. How many hours spent mindlessly surfing? Answering posts but not doing diddly on our own dreams? Letting silence be a friend, a tool and see what happens. This isn't forever - just 24hrs
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Postby KateinCanada » Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:29 am

When I was working my way through the Artist's Way, I did a week of no reading except what I had written, no music except what I played, no TV, no computer. Phone calls were okay. The no reading part was really tough. I screwed up a couple of times and found myself reading by accident. Having no music in the car also seemed really strange. The TV part was easy although I almost felt like I was cheating because I just taped everything I would have watched and watched it the next week. It was a good week though for writing, practising the piano and clearing out the clutter. I'd definitely do it again, although I might excempt the no phone calls.
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Postby jims » Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:00 am

This is an interesting challenge. In today's world it is difficult to manage more than an hour or so,but we can get great benefit by just being with ourselves for an hour. I try to do this frequently, but again only for an hour or so. I find it easiest to do when I am walking in the woods or sitting on a beach watching the waves. I also write in a journal every day. Jim S
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Postby dahlia » Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:12 am

i've been thinking lately of doing this very thing -- the no reading will just kill me, because i use reading as a huge escape and avoidance technique. and for plain old entertainment too, of course.
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Postby Unity » Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:30 pm

I do most of those things already - I don't listen to radio at all, rarely any tv, never stereo, don't have mobile phone and rarely use normal phone, have days without reading. However, I do find it hard to avoid the computer. I don't use it for anything other than reading online daily newspaper and a couple of forums but I was nearly climbing the walls when it crashed last month. It was all I could think about. Made me wonder if I was addicted to it.
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Postby Laura » Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:49 pm

Very interesting. I'm sure that I've had weekend days where I've avoided all of the media on the list. Reading is the hardest one for me as well. I only have a couple days a week where I watch a tv program or two. Then again we have Tivo so things I like are taped for when I watch them. Not big on the radio and it's broken in my car anyway so that's not a big deal. Computer I have no real problem going without for a day or two but a lot of my chores are online so it'd have to be a goof-off day. The reading vs. writing thing is also compelling to me. I think that often I read instead of write or do other creation. It's engaging my mind but not necessarily in the more complex and possibly painful way that writing does. Perhaps I should try a day where I only do output rather than take in input...
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Postby Aquarius » Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:00 pm

This is interesting, because it touches on something that's been bothering me for a while. I feel like I'm suffering from a certain amount of stress just by being "plugged in" to modern society. And I am a person naturally resistent to plugging in -- I don't have a PDA and no cell phone (I absolutely refuse to be accessible anywhere, anytime). Yet I feel drained, exhausted, hopeless, powerless, a tiny meaningless cog in the big wheel of society. It seems like everyone around me feels the same way. Little hamsters on wheels, running to the next appointment, reading our emails, returning our voice mails, run, run, respond, respond, all the while going nowhere. Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of. I will have to give this challenge some serious thought. And Tituba, I know what you're saying about the toxic effect of being informed. I'm struggling with whether to pull back on my lately-acquired activism. But I wonder if the genie can be put back in the bottle that easily.
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Postby Tituba » Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:10 pm

Glad to see so many of you willing to give it a shot. The no reading part is so that you get your input from yourself and not some else's words. A chance to have clear thoughts without background noise. One person I told about this said they wouldn't know what to do with themselves without these things. That just shows how dependent we've become to technology.
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Postby alwen » Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:58 am

I tried the "no reading" prohibition when I did Artist's Way in 2003. One thing I found interesting was that I caught myself reading silly things, cereal boxes, the text in a book of knots (when I meant to look up a picture). A fluent reader can't *not* read text that they see. I mean you can't turn off the interpretation if you see the "Stop" sign, and turn the letters into gibberish. And I did find that when I didn't want to think about something, do something, I do binge on fiction. It was very enlightening, even when I found myself failing at it.
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