When people think of consumption, they often think of what our body consumes; food, alcohol, or drugs. People generally don’t think of consumption of things related to your mind. Well this is just as important I believe. People need to really pay attention to things that consume their mind and their spirit. Your psyche is a very real part of who you are and if you ignore or neglect what you are putting in your mind, you will have some very real problems later on. I recently learned this when I was watching this sexually charged tv series which to me was equivalent to soft porn. I was exposing myself to something I normally don’t watch on a regular basis, which was disturbing my spirit, but I was ignoring it. After much reflection, I made the decision to stop watching the show. I realized that despite very much wanting to be part of the “culture” and watch shows that I could talk about on social media, that my mental health was more important. Most specifically, my peace of mind.
Consume content that makes you feel good and aligns with your values.
I saw this in a Colors of Yoga newsletter, where they talked about self-love. I felt that this spoke to my entire being. I do believe God speaks to me through people, situations, and the written word and seeing this gave me the strength to continue moving forward with eliminating toxic things (or people) from my life. I am now back to reading, my first love. I am reading some great books. I just finished up the audio book, It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan and now reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Bernice McFadden and it’s called Sugar. I am drinking chamomile tea every night to quiet my mind and relax my body. I am exercising more and eating healthier. I am taking more baths every week. I am reaching out to friends more and taking a step back from posting on social media. I am looking to align myself with like-minded people who lift me up and not tear me down or dismiss me. I am searching for not just a genuine connection with others but with myself. Your relationship with your self is most important. If you can’t be good to yourself, how do you expect others to do the same?
What are you consuming mentally and is it benefiting you? Or is it crushing your spirit and telling you bad things you don’t want to hear? If your “devil” is social media, perhaps you need to limit your social media intake. If your “devil” is certain people in your life that are toxic, maybe you need to create some emotional distance between you and them for the time being until the nature of the relationship changes. The things your mind consumes should make you happy or bring you peace. If it doesn’t fit that criteria, eliminate it quickly! Don’t let it seep into your spirit and have you doubting yourself and your worth.
I recently spoke with a client at my job who disclosed to me that she was feeling depressed because she was watching too much news. She is a black woman and the media coverage of the way black people were being treated had started to make her hate white people. Not just a general way but in a scary way that made her seek help. Her hate for white people began to consume her. I told her that maybe she needed to limit her consumption of the news because it was starting to affect her mind in a negative way. I explained to her that sometimes we consume things because we crave knowledge and not being left out the fold but sometimes it’s good not to know everything. She agreed that she needed to limit her intake so she could get back to being mentally healthy and pour her energy into things she loved. She talked to me about a Sister Circle she started at church and we discussed other ways she can give back to her community. By the end of the call, she was sounding and acting differently.
We are what we consume.
I challenge everyone to take a tally of the things in their lives that affect their mind. What type of person are you becoming as a result of what you are consuming? Do you even recognize yourself? Just remember, guard your mind at all costs. Make sure you are not just inhabiting the things of the world, but you are protecting your spirit. Be on the lookout for anything that you think may trigger you or take you to a negative space. We have enough to deal with in 2021, we don’t need to bring any negativity unnecessarily onto ourselves. Here’s to doing more things that make us happy!