Your magazine stack, your Netflix queue.

A few years ago, I got really serious about what I was consuming (and, I’m not talking about food, although that’s super important, too). I took a good look around at the magazine stacks in our apartment, the feeds I was scrolling through on Instagram and Facebook, the books carefully placed on our shelves, the shows in our Netflix queue and (at the time) that we watched via cable. And, I thought...are these really serving me anymore?

We are bombarded by messaging all. the. time. Some sources have said anywhere from 3,000 - 5,000 ads creep into our heads every day, and that’s not even counting what we choose to watch, read, see, hear. It could be exhausting. But, what if we started to pay more attention? What if we got a little more intentional? What then?

“What we consume, determines the lives we live.” - Becoming Minimalist

My media consumption choices were not reflecting the life I necessarily wanted to live or how I wanted to feel. Instead, a lot of them - ahem...some ladies magazines, Insta profiles, TV shows - actually contributed to the stories I told myself about attaining happiness or contentment. You’ll be happy when you have that designer bag. You’ll be happy when you can do that yoga pose. You’ll have made it when your kitchen is pristine and has an island. You’ll find joy in having six pack abs.

Um...what? That’s so not true! Am I right? Some of these messages didn’t contribute to lifting my soul up, but rather dragging it back down. I’m going to guess that many of us here have so much to love about ourselves and our lives as they currently are. Do you have a warm, cozy bed? Can you hold five rounds of breath in Warrior 2? Can you lift up your baby niece or chase after your grandkids? Do you find peace when diving into a novel with a warm cup of tea? For me, the answer is yes. And, that’s where the joy is. That’s where the good feelings live.

Magazine art by Eloisa Gomez. Perhaps something to try when clearing some of the clutter? 

Magazine art by Eloisa Gomez. Perhaps something to try when clearing some of the clutter? 

It’s not all in the media. But, we CAN get intentional with what we consume and how we’re doing it, and perhaps that can benefit us. Take a look at:

  • Your magazine stack
  • Your Instagram feed
  • Your Facebook timeline
  • Your podcast queues
  • Your bookshelf (if you’re like me, then it’s shelves)
  • Your email advertisements
  • Your Netflix and DVR queue (is DVR still a thing?)

Ask yourself: Is this content inspiring me today? Is this lifting up my heart? Am I learning something new?

If it isn't, why not get rid of it? Replace those mediums with books that you can get lost in, conversations with people who warm you from the inside out, podcasts that encourage you to chase and live out big dreams. Remember how you want to feel. And, know, that we can get to choose and take responsibility for that. Even with all of the ads and noise coming our way, we do have a say.

Yoga encourages us to get intentional, and to really begin to clear the crap...maybe clutter is a nicer word. I challenge you to take a close look at what it is you’re consuming, from a media standpoint this go-round, and release those things that aren’t serving you. Plus, that will leave time for more learning, more living, more appreciation of being.

- Leanne Matullo