Making a commitment for a set amount of time works for me. I have a clear goal, I understand the sacrifices and the potential upsides, AND it can feel either ordinary, or, epic. It stretches me, feels a little crazy, and compels me to rethink everything I thought I ever knew about myself and life.
This News Fast - not checking in on CNN 5-6 times per day - has deeply affected my other media usage; I now rarely check in on Facebook and less on Twitter (Instagram only when my daughter shows me the latest, really silly, bichon frise photos). I've begun reading actual, physical books, and I feel...happier. Is it naiveté, the love of ignorance, living in the dark?
I know Trump is still out there. I know North Korea and the Russian investigation are looming. The hurricanes and all the damage they've wrought. But, I don't have any of the current specifics.
It'll all be there when I return - the news of the world. But, for today, I see what's in front of me. I do what I can for my family, my friends and the world I know of. My children get the benefit of their dad not mumbling about, "Did you hear what Trump said...", "Can you believe that damage..."
Not that I'm saying kids shouldn't hear my unvarnished feelings about what's happening.
Just that I'm appreciating this self-imposed breather.
Then again, no matter how disciplined I am, sometimes my eye get caught by a headline -
Yesterday, it was the Las Vegas shootings.
It grabbed me. Pulled me in, and I went for a spin down the rabbit hole. It was enough to rattle everything up. Enough to raise up the grief, anger, indignation, and fear. Enough to want to point fingers, to weep for both the injured and those killed by the gunman, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE GUN LAWS.
My mind wanted to know everything about the shooting. It said, "Enough of this simplistic, bullshit Fast! The world is going to hell, PAY ATTENTION DUMMY!"
I took this as a cue to step away. To write. To hold my children, to make amends, to love my wife, and appreciate the here and now.
Do I know what to do about Vegas? No.
Will I do something? Yes. (Even writing this is a beginning)
But, today I'm back on the News Fast. However, there is one thing that has been consistent during all of these events: each yoga class I've attended during this 30 Day Challenge, has had a component of offering up it's benefits for those suffering from these tragedies.
It seems like a small thing - but, it's purpose is to expand our awareness, and love, to include all beings, everywhere.
Buddhism also has a unique practice called metta or loving-kindness. I added this link if you're interested and want to do something more, or, like me, have felt uncertain about the best course of action to take.