How TV can be meditation | part 1

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Sometimes we all just need a break from people, work, cooking and cleaning! Those are obvious, but  I’ve found sometimes we need a break from things that we love & enrich our lives as well, like blogging, writing, yoga, meditating, learning and even our spiritual practice.  When I started my full-time job I would work all day and then in the evenings I would want to work on my creative projects. Things like my blog, learning by listening to metaphysical podcasts or reading nonfiction books, doing yoga, coaching friends. While all those things were great, they were stimulating my mind. In a deeply positive way, yes, but I felt I was never getting a rest or even a breath between days.

Then I remembered something my mom always said:  “Honey, at the end of the day, I need some mindless TV.” My mom is the hardest worker I have ever met in my life (if her boss is reading this, she needs a raise or at least a pat on the back) and after devoting her entire work day to her job, she would decompress by watching some “mindless TV.” This isn’t a foreign concept – many people do the same. However, for some reason, I was dead-set on not watching TV at the end of the day, but rather doing something enriching to my life, like learning something, writing something, making something, helping someone. That worked for a while, but as my job picked up and on-boarding (the honeymoon of the job) was over, work got busy and I realized my method wasn’t working. I was constantly feeling drained because I was never allowing my mind to rest.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Gossip Girl & Friends, and love Downton Abbey as much as the next guy. But I was bound and determined not to have a TV in my apartment (a choice I still stand by). My mom tried to ask me, ‘are you sure? sometimes you just need to escape.’ But I was  determined to never let my mind off the hook….I would either be working on work, my blog, other creative projects, or myself through meditation, etc.

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This was all fine until the night of the Academy Awards. That evening all I wanted to do was watch TV and it was nothing I could stream online.  On the night of the Oscars I just straight up wanted to watch some good old live television. Luckily, that evening I had my book club – a perfect way to close my week and start a new one. However, after we hung up the phone, all I wanted to do was see dresses and acceptance speeches. So I did what anyone of my generation would do – I turned to twitter. While I did get some live tweets from the red carpet and did get to see a few dresses, it was a tweet from my guru author of our book club’s book, Gabby Bernstein‘s, tweet that stuck out to me that night. It was so profound. She tweeted this…

@GabbyBernstein does anyone know where I can stream the Oscars online?

Yes Gabby could have been meditating, or working on her next vlog, or her 4th book, but even Gabby needed a little – as my mom calls it – mindless TV. And she was in the same boat as me, not having a TV and turning to twitter for the answer. In that moment I felt comfort & the answer to my internal dialog of ‘When do I stop working completely, even on myself and just be?’

I can literally feel my mind turning to mush when I watch too much TV, so I avoid it all together, but it is all about balance. Everything in moderation, and this completely includes television. For me, I wasn’t getting enough.

Just as my hard working mom could use some more creative projects, at the same time I needed a little more TV. By not taking any time for myself, my creative projects were lacking. I needed balance. For me, I needed that TV to relax and be better in the end for my friends, work, and projects.

So there I was, all set up on Netflix, a sea of television madness….

TO BE CONTINUED…

part two here. 

no fear Shakespeare

Like I said here, it’s finally hitting me that I’m not going back to school for the first time in my entire life. While having no homework is liberating, I’m finding myself a bit nostalgic for all the things I enjoyed learning. Math was definitely never my strong suit, but I excelled in English and always loved reading the classics.

At the time, the context and language seemed dated, and I did not fully grasp how knowledge of classic literature connects us as a culture in such a beautiful way. I never could have imagined how many times a reference to The Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mockingbird, or The Crucible has come up in coversation or pop culture. It would be a travesty if I missed these references so thank you middle & high school English teachers for forcing me to struggle through some of the classics like Old Man in the Sea and  introduce me to some favorites like The Great Gatsby.

Shakespeare was always one I would begin reading with such apprehension only to realize beyond the dated and complex language were simple, timeless stories that are told and retold in our society constantly. I always loved these versions of Shakespeare.

My favorite is 10 Things I Hate About You, a spin off of Bill’s A Taming of the Shrew, with the late Heath Ledger.

Then there was this Romeo & Juliet…

…But I much preferred this one with Leonardo Dicaprio and Clare Danes.

Clearly, the story of star crossed lovers never gets old. Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick will star as Tybalt in the latest Shakespeare adaptation.  The newest version of Romeo and Juliet is said to hit theaters in 2013 and will star Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet. What’s your favorite Shakespeare adaptation, film or otherwise?

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