Everyday it’s Facebook, Twitter, email, texts, blogs (yes, including mine). The “news,” punditry, advertising. We endure a pounding stream of information that is designed to ignite our primal fears and stroke our tribalism. Fear, sensationalism, and tragedy demanding and getting—whether we want it or not—our full attention.
Our minds are bloated and acidic from this constant pounding. Just as we try to rid our body of toxins, we must do the same for our mind and soul. We are overfed on information and undernourished on wisdom and peace. The modern world does not encourage us to take time for contemplation, to turn inwards, to appreciate silence, solitude and simply being.
It’s time for a mind cleanse.
For one week—one week, that’s all you have to do to start—turn off everything. No television, no commercial radio, no podcasts, no movies, and certainly no news or punditry. For one week, check out and check inward. This is not choosing to become uninformed. When your week is over, you will be able to catch up on everything you missed in less then ten minutes, guaranteed.
For one week let all the world’s chatter and anxiety wash from your thoughts while you listen to the breeze, the creek, to children playing. Feel the tension lift while you watch sunrises and sunsets, your cat sleeping, the tree leaves moving with the wind. The fastness of the world is obese. Slow beauty is starving. Feed it and feed your soul.
During the week of your mind cleanse read poetry instead of the newspaper. Skip television and sketch your garden. Ignore pundits and call a loved one to tell them how much you care.
At the end of the week, reflect on how you feel. See what value and new insights you have gained. And then go back to whatever you want to. Read your news websites. Debate politics with your coworker.
But appreciate the balance you have rediscovered. And when that balance is inevitably lost again in our noisy world, checkout and check inward once again.