Inner Life Challenge

Are you up to the challenge?

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Postby Scenario Thinker » Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:37 am

alwen wrote: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.
That's what I meant by reading something accidentally, counting or not.
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is it cheating if you're in Costa Rica?

Postby patedwards » Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:19 am

I realized the week I was in Costa Rica that I had not seen a TV, movie, heard the radio, or news. it was awesome. I couldn't help reading though.... I'd have gotten lost and you can't stop reading once you know how. but I get the gist of your challenge. big realization: I have no affect on that aspect of the world. it was wonderful. Pat
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Postby KyleM » Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:15 pm

Like Urzula, I hardly do many of these things anyway - rarely watch TV, do not subscribe to anything but the Sunday paper and hardly read that anyway, etc. There are days I need a sound break and keep the CDs out of my car stereo. Avoiding email/computer is tough! But it's only 24 hours! There are people out there who undergo silent retreats for much longer. Clearly, not most of us! My dad wonders how I can stand to be so under-informed about the world but I trust I'll hear the important stuff eventually. Aquarius - I hope you count yourself lucky to feel as you do, even though it's bothersome. It means you are more aware than most and will probably end up doing something to change it.
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Postby Scenario Thinker » Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:12 pm

KyleM wrote:My dad wonders how I can stand to be so under-informed about the world but I trust I'll hear the important stuff eventually.
I'm the same way, I don't listen to/watch the news. I heard about 9/11 on the way to work (was running late that day) on the radio station I normally listen to music. I tell people, "If it's really, really important, I'll hear about it, OK?"
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Postby ekf » Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:59 pm

I kind of do this naturally. Not all the time, but if I have a day off or am in a time of transition I try to avoid media ( at least all in one day every day). Like if I watch tv, I won't read the paper--too much news. Or if I spend too much time on the computer, I won't watch tv or read for fun that night. Too passive. Also, I try to have a couple days a week with no media at all. The writer Walter Mosely said every person should try "3 months without media". Here, you would read for work; but, you would avoid the newspaper --it's media--and novels,even good ones,because they're entertainments/escapist. Also, avoid watching sporting games etc. On tv and live. That he saw as fun, but "spectacle". I never made it 3 months. But I can easily avoid a couple a day. I think it's just as much about giving up media persuasion and cynicism as giving up technology. And doing it does help you hear your own thoughts...and helps your attention (no changing channels)...and your sense of optimism (no models and advertised products you can't afford)... helps you hone in on real life (problems aren't solved in 30 minutes) Not to mention, Neal Postman (media critic) said our brains actually change when we watch too much/are passive/have too many images
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Postby Aquarius » Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:08 pm

KyleM wrote:
Aquarius - I hope you count yourself lucky to feel as you do, even though it's bothersome. It means you are more aware than most and will probably end up doing something to change it.
I never counted myself lucky, really. Out of step, certainly. I hope you're right that I will end up doing something to change it.
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Postby twisterintexas » Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:45 am

I reckon anything is possible for 24 hours. But how can one go a week without reading (intentionally), as was mentioned in "The Artist's Way"? My mind grows by leaps and bounds with every word I take in. But then I carefully select the words I read so I can find inspiration. My current project is "The Machine in the Garden" by Leo Marx. This book has completely altered my worldview - a major milestone in my search of truth. It's a study on American culture's insistence on a manifest destiny. I understand the part of not reading newspapers, magazines etc. because they tend to create wants and desires, not food for the brain. But good literature is not an avoidance technique, it's salvation!
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Postby Mandy_ » Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:43 pm

Interesting challenge! I have never thought of doing this before. It would be difficult for me to avoid TV, music, computer, news, telephone and especially reading, even for 24 hours! No wonder I have difficulty turning off my mind. Hmmmm.....
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Postby pumpkin_pjs » Wed Mar 09, 2005 3:47 pm

if you really want to turn off the TV no matter where you are: http://www.adbusters.org/metas/psycho/tvturnoff/ adbusters holds their \"turn off the tv week\" annually along with \"buy nothing day\" (the day after Thanksgiving).
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Postby audreyh1 » Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:20 pm

I don't know if I'll take the challenge yet - I might. But, I have been cut off for several days at a time - up to a week. No TV, no radio, no newspapers. We were camping for almost a week and didn't find out about the shuttle blowing up on reentry until on the way home we noticed flags at half mast and so turned on the car radio. It's very nice to be cut off from all of that. Why is there a "need" to here the news. It so rarely impacts our daily lives. It's a total distraction. But I don't count books in this vein. Books are totally different. Books are not something you "have on" while you are doing something else. You sit down with a book, control the pace, decide when to open and close. You aren't force fed. I only read non-fiction so I don't know if that makes a difference. For me books are a conversation between me and the author - they lead me to deep thinking, contemplation, etc. I find myself just as much reading a worthy book as I do watching birds or drawing or writing. Audrey
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Postby audreyh1 » Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:34 pm

I went back and read everyone's posts. Very interesting! I hope you all come back and share the results of your individual experiments. The toxicity of "being kept informed" - yes, it's a very seductive and the news people keep reminding you how you need to stay plugged in!!! I honestly think some people feel they have to watch the news just so they have "something to worry about" (or be angry, disgusted, outraged, etc.). I really, really worry about people who are connected on the cell phone all day. I see it a lot driving - everywhere. See it in all the public places I go. It just seems like they can't pay attention to anything around them if they are preoccupied with the phone. Audrey
I have uncluttered my life and I now live my dream full-time!
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Postby Day Owl » Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:43 pm

audreyh1 wrote:
The toxicity of "being kept informed" - yes, it's a very seductive and the news people keep reminding you how you need to stay plugged in!!! I honestly think some people feel they have to watch the news just so they have "something to worry about" (or be angry, disgusted, outraged, etc.).
I agree -- sort of. The news certainly can have an addicting quality, and I've often found myself in the grip of that very addiction. BUT -- there's a big BUT -- staying informed is more than giving ourselves something to worry about or be outraged at. Staying informed is an essential component of responsible citizenship. At the very least we need to be informed voters. In the steps beyond that, we need to be able to write intelligently to the newspapers and to our elected representatives, or know which of the many worthy causes to give our support to, or even decide which office to run for. It's a tricky balance to maintain. Just as tricky is the balance between self-development and engagement with the rest of the world. We're all familiar with the phrase "navel-gazing" but I like the more original one I heard several years ago: "jogging in your own phone booth." Ain't life complicated: this struggle for balance in all things? And surely an essential contributor to balance is taking time to listen to our own thoughts and nothing else.
Day Owl "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle" -- Abraham Lincoln
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Postby GiniDee » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:57 pm

I find it easiest not to have media on or around when I'm beading or otherwise working with my hands. I do the Artists' Way program start to finish on a regular basis, and the no-reading week would be tough if I weren't beading like a maniac. It's an amazing exercise, though. Hugs - G:D
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Sabbatical

Postby Karenlee_is » Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:44 pm

Well, I am not able to do this now...but I will eventually. I wanted to share that I have done this before. After I left my husband...I went through a huge emotional roller coaster. I was having a really tough time trying to figure out what to do next. A friend of mine said he had a cure for anyone who was confused or in need of re-charging their inner batteries. He would take them to his cabin in the woods with a box of food and tell them he would come back for them in 5 days. He called it an inner \"sabbatical\". I was his 3rd successful subject. Something happened and I was only able to spend 4 days there. The weird thing was, I needed one more day. There was absolutely nothing to interfere with my thoughts. I wasn't even allowed to write. I was to just be quiet, listen, go for walks, sleep and meditate. The first few days were challenging. It can be scary to be confronted by all the thoughts and feelings we try and avoid. Alas...by the 4th day...I was getting clear. What amazing awareness opened up. I heard my own voice...I grew some answers. I always wished I had had another day or two...but that also shows how far away I was from the ability to hear my inner voice. I had spent my whole life listening to other people's opinions and seeking their approval. After I came out of it we both agreed that everyone needs a sabbatical at least once in a lifetime. Obviously the vast majority of people are not able to do this for 5 days. Knowing what I know now, I would say 24 hours is awesome. The trick is to just ACCEPT the feelings and flittering ideas that are tossing around inside. That alone will save you 3 days! : ' ) This is an awesome idea and worthy of doing. :D
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Postby velvet » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:23 pm

What is funny is that nobody has been willing to take the challenge. lots of excuses, lots of reasons why not, lots of maybe sometime in the future. is this a metaphor for how we handle our lives and goals? it does make me wonder. so. March 24th is Holy Thursday - I am a practicing Catholic, and this is such an important time of year for my religion. I have been taking time to slow down, have some quiet times this Lent season. Beginning Thursday evening, (because I work Thursday), I will try this experiment, through Holy Saturday night. I might miss reading myself to sleep, but it's a bad habit to have anyway. But I look forward to the break from everything. I look forward to the quiet and peace. I've done the Artists' Way no reading for a week or however long she suggests, and I enjoyed it. If I saw a word, I looked away. I did it well. I hope this brings me some more room in my life for the life *I* want to lead. I'll check back in after Easter to let you all know how I did.
I see that they are happy, not because they got luckier than all the rest of us when they found each other, but because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.- Susan Page Destination, Determination, Deliberation! - Twycross, HP&TH-BP
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