Photo by Milad Fakurian (from Unsplash)
I’m been on a spiritual quest almost my whole life. As a kid I wanted to be closer to God by being good. I wanted to go to church because it wasn’t something my parents did, so I went a few times with my Aunt Sophie. Shortly before my 25th birthday, I befriended a proofreader where I worked, who became a spiritual mentor of sorts. Thanks to him I studied eastern philosophy and religion for several months.
Following that incredible experience, I was told by a fortunate teller, that I was too spiritual. That I needed to be more grounded, more down to earth. I took her advice and came back down to earth. After so many months of being somewhat of a hermit, I was back out in nightclubs, dancing and seeing bands, with spirituality on the backburner. Then years after that a different fortunate teller said I wasn’t as spiritual as I should be. Little by little, I grew more spiritual, and it felt like home.
Balance between the heavens and the mundane is hard, but I believe I’ve achieved it in recent years. I’ve gone on in my life, with my spiritual journey. I’m big on Law of Attraction, Jesus, and the work of Joe Dispenza (who I call a modern-day Gurdjieff). In addition to regular work outs, I love yoga and qigong, beautiful workouts that are an asset to my journey. (I swear, when I practice qigong several days in a row, I can get a crazy sense of “the giggles.” You truly can live like heaven on earth with these practices!)
And I’m a vegan, which I believe is a result of my spiritual practice. It was going to happen sooner or later. That’s just how it was. I felt closer to the source and decided it was the way to go.
However, I have a confession. I still clogged up my brain with junk. What kind of junk may you ask? Junk television.
No, not the news–I got off that years ago. It’s worse. It’s a certain television series that ran from the late 1990s until 2006 and is very popular with women. I won’t name the show, you may be able to figure it out. And I have a severe addiction to it and I want to stop.
I didn’t watch this show when it first aired. I made fun of it without knowing anything about it. It was a popular show, and I wasn’t a fan of popular stuff. When I heard women giggle about it, I rolled my eyes. I had better things to do than watch it. I was living my own life with a similar storyline, working in NYC as a writer.
But then the show accidentally snuck into my psyche. It caught me by surprise. It was a few years after the show ended and shown in re-runs. I was under the weather and lying on the couch with the television on. Then my subconscious heard it. I was intrigued. Dreamy-eyed, I awoke. I sat up to watch. Then I realized….Oh, it’s THAT show.
I became hooked instantly. I binged on every episode like it was a drug. I watched and re-watched and re-watched. Then I learned some of my friends liked it too. I talked to them about it, but it was never enough. I joined various groups on the internet to talk about this series. I’ve spoken passionately about this show, had great discussions and bonded with women I didn’t know.
When the face of the lead actress showed up in my psyche during one of my meditations, it dawned on me, this can’t be good. How can a television show seep into my spiritual journey? It wasn’t right.
I thought long–and hard–about the show and why I watched it. I had nothing in common with these characters. I remember a friend telling me she went to see one of the show’s movies with her boyfriend. He asked her, “Why do you like this? You’re nothing like these women?” The same could be said about me. Why did I watch it? It had so many negative boxes to check — ageism, man hating, Brooklyn-shaming, slut shaming, body shaming, homophobia, infidelity, bisexual-phobia, class shaming, racism, and friends who treated each other badly. There were also way too many generalizations that could mislead young women into thinking negative things like men and women can’t really be friends; that love isn’t exciting unless there’s a “chase” and you have to settle to be happy. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
This show is so un-me, it’s the anti-me!
It also seemed like the producer of the show had a shit fetish because there literally was shit in so many episodes, like a character stepping in dog shit, another character accidentally getting baby shit on her face, another character shitting in her pants while on vacation in another country, a dog having diarrhea, and even the producer making a cameo appearance yelling, “Feces! Feces!”
But, like a drug, there was also cool stuff to pull you in, like sex, career, independence, relationships gone right, stylish women, and super cute shoes. And occasionally a relatable storyline, but not too often.
Next thing you know, you’re so far in, you can’t get out. Since I work at home most of the time, I have lunch and a tea watching television. I’ll watch snippets of this show every day. Or YouTube videos about the show, or about influencers who make fun of the show or dissect the characters.
It all seemed so harmless. I didn’t take the show too seriously. It was just “camp” to me. I didn’t take the trip to see where the show was filmed or eat at any of the restaurants that were featured in the show. I could care less about the shoes the main character made famous (they were ugly to me, like witch or granny shoes). But the reality is — I was in deep, and I caught myself. When I watched this supposedly “fun” campy show or talked about it online, something happened inside me. I wasn’t as happy as I was when I first got up. The show was a downer, as were many people who followed it and participated in online groups. It’s all a bitch fest I could no longer get down with. It’s as if the “real me” gets abducted by aliens when I watch it.
Perhaps I’ve grown so much in my spiritual journey and this is what I’m getting, I can now see an ugly television show for what it really is. I refuse to waste any more of my downtime watching this show or talking about it.
If you know the show I speak of, please enjoy it. It’s a great show despite the flaws. Just know, that when you eat a ton of junk food, your body won’t be the same. If you watch a lot of junk television, your brain won’t be the same either. My brain is bloated and overwhelmed. It’s time to get off the “crack.”
Today, I went cold turkey. My brain is officially on a diet. No more junk food for my brain – yay!
Instead of watching THAT show today as I snacked on tempeh faux chicken salad and had my matcha tea with almond milk, I watched a Ted Talk. I returned to my computer feeling inspired. My brain feels lighter already.
If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha: https://ko-fi.com/maryannechristianomistretta
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is the author of the following books:
“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary
“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You
Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/
Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.
And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos
Visit my business page, Pear Tree Enterprises, at: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/