If you want to read the preceding posts in this series you can find them here (most recent at the top).
On to our third way of quieting Her voice in our minds…
We listen because we feed her. BUT… we can change her diet.
When I make changes to my diet it’s because I recognise that what goes into my body can help or hinder my body’s health. It’s fairly simple, isn’t it?
I can treat my mind in the same way. What goes into my mind can help or hinder my mind’s health. This is especially true when it comes to Her. What I fill my mind with is Her food. I need to decide whether Her diet needs to change – am I fueling Her negative voice?
When it comes to changing what we eat in order to have a healthier body we cut out, reduce and increase:
We cut out foods that just do us harm
If a cuppa at bedtime means I don’t sleep I cut it out. If eating a tomato makes my face swell up, I cut it out.
We reduce foods that fill us but don’t do us good.
If I snack on crisps and biscuits I may be full, but I won’t have room for food that will really satisfy and nourish me.
We increase foods that can be trusted to do us good.
A healthy body requires healthy food. This is the food that is the most likely to leave us feeling full, energised and growing well.
Eating healthily isn’t about starvation, restriction and rules. Unless a food is poisonous it isn’t ‘bad’ – crisps aren’t ‘bad’, fruit isn’t ‘good’. Food doesn’t have a moral value. Our use of and relationship to the food we eat can have a good or bad effect on us though.
What we fill our minds with is generally neither good nor bad. Facebook isn’t ‘bad’, high-brow literature isn’t ‘good’. Our use of and relationship to the things we allow into our heads can have a good or bad effect on us though.
It’s worth taking time to reflect on the ways we fill our minds and consider how our diet is helping to nourish, satisfy and grow us.
Is there anything to cut out?
I know there have been times where I have cut out reading magazines or watching certain TV programmes because their effect on me was so negative. But there are no rules – for me, I’ve cut things out for a limited time. It’s been a temporary action taken while it was necessary.
Is there anything to reduce?
Sometimes we see that we are giving a disproportionate amount of time, thought or energy to something that isn’t giving us the very best in return. I’ve noticed that recently I have spent hours just faffing about online. I check my favourite sites and then I do it again and again. At the end of it I feel full. My brain is sploshing around with thoughts and images and ideas for Her to feed on. But I don’t feel satisfied, I don’t feel nourished and I don’t feel I have grown.
Is there anything to increase?
The disappointing thing about filling up on crisps and biscuits is that I’ve forfeited a meal that would have been much better. I wonder what the things, places and people are that reliably fill you up with good things? When we have more of these things and less of the rest we are likely to be more satisfied, nourished and growing.
And here’s a secret – the more satisfied we are, the quieter She gets.
(* * *I think this is potentially a thorny subject. I struggled to write this post. I’d like a disclaimer saying, what does you good is good for you. If reducing your intake of romantic films, pinterest and ‘hiding’ a particular person on facebook does you good, well hooray! But that doesn’t mean it’s the solution for everyone else. Agreed?!* * *)
Address your diet
-Think about the various ways you fill your mind. You might want to break it into sections:
- Internet viewing
- Social media
- TV and film
- Music/radio/other audio
-Is there anything to cut? Is anything simply doing you harm at the moment? Will cutting it out help? Can you try it for a limited period?
-Is there anything to reduce? What fills your mind but leaves it dissatisfied? This can be hard to spot (e.g. – I LOVE pinterest because it’s so full of ideas, but it rarely makes me more satisfied with my life!). What practical steps will you take to identify and reduce anything that fills you up but isn’t truly fulfilling?
-Is there anything to increase? What things fill you in ways that satisfy, nourish, energise and grow you? How can you increase these things in your mind’s daily diet?
Over to you:
- I’d be very interested to know your opinion on this – do you think the things you read, watch and listen to have much of an effect on your thoughts and feelings?
- Are you willing to share anything that you would like to increase? I’d love the comments to be a celebration of the good things that give us real nourishment.