Red peak this, silver fern that (my country is debating a pre-election flag change), Syria, Greece, house prices (and has a housing shortage) blah blah blah.
If only the daily horoscope (yes, I’m one of those) was displayed on the front page of the paper then I wouldn’t have to look at any of this…
It has just occurred to me that I deliberately choose to ignore mainstream news and media and I am very politically inactive.
Many of my friends on social media have been harping on for weeks about human rights, about national pride, fairness and equality, and I am a little disturbed that I will have absolutely nothing to do with it.
I feel like I should be rallying support but I haven’t shared a post or petition or even a rant like this in a very long time and I have slowly removed myself from all forms of media. I don’t watch the news or read the paper, I don’t even watch TV or listen to the radio.
The closest I get is streaming straight from Spotify and Netflix.
In fact, the only time I am exposed to ads is when watching Ted talks on YouTube and let me tell you, I hardly step foot in a mall, my wardrobe is happily out of date, my body image is fabulous and I haven’t been to the supermarket in over a month.
While I may sound ignorant or like I’m tooting my own purity horn, there is one very simple reason why I’ve chosen to do this and its goes a little something like this:
When the internal journey begins, we go all the way inward.
And we need to stay there a while.
When I was studying gender and critical psychology I found myself hurt and disturbed by the injustice I saw in society.
Sexism, sexualisation of women and blatant misogyny, even in the way of an advertisement or a joke would hurt my heart. To add to this, I was now more primed to noticing unfairness around me and I started to withdraw and feel down.
My remedy was living more of an internally focused life.
I did countless courses on meditation and a few months after graduating I ran off to Bali to become a yoga teacher (in 2012, a moment before it became cliché). I lived in the calm oceans of myself that were not so easily turned by external circumstances.
From that year almost all of my energy has been spent working on myself and what I consider to be my issues. Healing past hurts, trying things out, travelling and working my 9-5, making mistakes, learning and trying to figure out the reason I was put on this Earth.
This is why I feel my energy is better spent on sorting my shit out than complaining about how the world is run. If I am whole, I am not going to hurt anyone else, and I may even have a little energy to help out.
My favourite author, a woman who I admire in hero proportions, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote deep into her self-discovery:
“When you set out in the world to help yourself, sometimes you end up helping Tutti [everybody in Italian]”
When you are whole, at peace, without fear you are better placed firstly to not cause harm and secondly you’re in a better position to give to and help others.
I by no means suggest that we cannot ask for help; we should and we will ask for help when we need it from those that can give it. But when we have healed, when we go within and find that place within ourselves that is at peace with the present moment and has infinite love, we do not cause harm.
We do not get into tricky relationships, we do not lie, we do not cheat, we do not anger, we do not fuel the fire of negativity and complaint, we have no greed.
Imagine a world of humans that are whole and therefore incapable of harm and exploitation of other humans, the planet or animals.
Would we need politics then? What would media be?
I don’t suggest that this utopia is the only way. Perhaps some people are at a point in their journey where they can rally and help and perhaps I need a little more time. Or maybe I was always meant for the internal life.
What I am saying is that my guilt for not taking part in activism does not serve me and shall not stay.
Go within, or go without.
Author: Alexandra Antevska
Editor: Sarah Kolkka