Break Through Your Threshold: A Whole Media Detox
By Jai Maa
Stop engaging in the information overload. Delete the apps, turn off the tube, and practice a whole media detox.
I stood on the edge of a cliff with my face covered in clay from the inside of a cave. After peeking over a twenty foot drop to ensure there were no rocks in the water below, I made peace with my choice to jump.
“Ahhhhh!!!” echoed from the jungle as I plunged into a pool of three merging waterfalls. Yes, I am an adrenaline junkie, and there was no way I was missing out on a bucket list item like this. Cliff diving into the kind of water that corporations try to bottle up and sell to you is as close as it gets to Heaven on Earth. Aloha from Hawaii!
For two months, my fiancé and I bathed on white, black, and green sand beaches, hiked to the most extraordinary waterfalls, swam with sea turtles and seals, soaked in natural hot ponds, played in banyan trees like five year olds, and made new friends with incredible musicians. Along with the endless poke bowls (ahi tuna), we discovered exotic fruits such as liliko which is from the passion fruit family, noni, which tastes and smells like stinky cheese unless prepared correctly, breadfruit which is best cooked into savory dishes, and rollinia which tastes like a decadent custard. Our cups were filled to the brim with new exciting experiences.
There is something quintessential in the Aloha-spirit that feels missing in what Hawaiian residents refer to as the mainland. Everywhere we went, we were greeted with warmth and generosity. People made eye contact and shared from their hearts as if we were long trusted friends. There was no rush to be anywhere, which gave an air of peace and contentment with the present moment. No one seemed to be glued to their phones, and conversations about what was happening in the world were almost nonexistent, even during the election. Nothing was more important than the unspoken agreement of Aloha: to treat others with kindness and generosity, and live in harmony with the land.
Out of dozens of people we interacted with, there were two folks along our journey who seemed restless, agitated, and had random outbursts of anger. They were also the only two people I noticed who watched the news and stayed plugged into social media.
A short while before our trip, I decided to put myself through a media detox after watching an eye-opening documentary film on Netflix called The Social Dilemma. I had been rotting into a flustered couch potato who felt discouraged from what was happening in the world, and it wasn’t until I stopped engaging in all forms of media that my inspiration to embrace life’s adventure returned. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone, stopped watching the news, turned off all bell-buzzing notifications from my phone, and asked myself how I could create my best life now.
The result was experiencing the Aloha-spirit, and remembering what was truly important in life no matter the state of the world. Taking a break from media allowed the love and trust I feel for life, our planet, and humanity to flow more freely.
Have you ever had food poisoning or eaten too much that you made yourself sick? You were probably less likely to experience maximum joy, creativity, or adventure until your body healed. The same is true for what you put into your mind. If the media you are watching opens your heart and inspires you to love yourself and all others, while helping you feel safe and confident to create your dream life, then great! If the media you are engaging in makes you feel worse and disconnects you from peace, then what good is it doing you?
Take a break from the draining distractions of media and allow your mind to restore peace and clarity. Life is an adventure, and we all deserve to live it. Aloha!