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Would you invite a rapist, mugger, mass murderer, dictator or lunatic into your home? Probably not. Yet, people blithely switch on the TV every day and permit their home life to be polluted.
They scroll through the news feed on the web or listen to the news on the radio. There is no determining what will be said or seen, and much of what you encounter will be unpleasant.
This is strange.
Your home is where you live. Treat it as a your sanctuary. Your safe place. Nobody with any sense would voluntarily invite anything remotely unsavoury into their personal space, would they?
The things you experience at work are mainly determined by your job. You must endure clients and colleagues, bosses and adversity. This is just part of making a living.
You accept it because you are paid to.
But would you really want those same people and problems in your home? Not likely. Home is where you go to get away from work. To rest. To recover. To recharge. To relax.
It is healthy to make a clear distinction between private and public life. Your public life is subject to many influences and concerns that you are required to address.
Your private life is your own. Within reason you are not answerable to anybody. At work you may be the lowest rung on the ladder but at home you are the King.
With today's round-the-clock
access to news we can now receive a twenty-four-hours-a-day parade of mostly
negative information about random shootings, drug wars, environmental
disasters, racially motivated hate crimes, rampaging serial killers, and
gruesome sex crimes. As they say in the world of television news production,
"If it bleeds, it leads." The news, in fact, has become so stressful that
health experts recommend 'news fasts' to improve psychological health.
(Dr Bradley Wilcox, Dr Craig Wilcox and Dr Makoto Suzuki)
Many people behave as though their home life was subject to the same demands as their working day. This is a common delusion. At work, you are accountable for how you spend your time.
At home, you personally decide how to spend your time. You choose. Nobody else does.
It is quite common for people to pretend that they have no control over their own lives, but is it really true? And if it is true, then what does that say about you?
A pure place
It isn't necessary to watch TV, or to have your phone switched on all night. You aren't paid to be 'on call'. The internet can be switched off too.
When all sources of news, information and communication are disconnected, you have peace. There are no unwanted intrusions. No interruptions. It is quiet and your mind can rest.
Many people are watching a flickering screen all night; TV, web, phone or electronic book. What happens when you switch it all off? Suddenly, you have more time.
Freed of distractions, you can do other things or not do anything at all.
Learning to let-go
A lot of people are stressed. Their minds are racing with thoughts all the time. This is not healthy. It can lead to numerous health problems ranging from impotence to insomnia.
In order to find balance and tranquillity, the mind must be allowed to come to a stop. To rest. To be at peace. This will require patience and the desire to change...
A healthy home life is not an accident. It is the outcome of the choices you make. Whether you read a book or watch TV. Whether you meditate or take a walk outdoors.
The type of hobbies or interests you pursue. The way in which you exercise (or don't). Your choice of food.
Alcohol & sugar
Finally free of the yoke of work, people get home, slump in front of the TV and drink alcohol or adopt the affectation of drinking wine with their evening meal. So what?
After hours of renting out your mind and body for money, the first thing you do is dull your senses... Blunt your acuity. Make yourself less than you are. Why? Because you don't know how to relax.
If you require an external substance in order to relax, then you have a problem. A dependency.
Similarly, people use sugar or caffeine-based substances in order to 'perk them up'. This is rough on your body and agitates the mind. It is a falsehood. An external stimuli.
Tai chi and Taoism encourage people not to rely on outside sources for physical or mental health. You don't need to drink booze or eat a chocolate bar in order to feel good.
You feel great without any outside source/substance/cause. It comes from you. Your mind is clear, composed, calm and alert. Your body is strong, agile, lithe and comfortable.
You can move easily and freely. This is your birthright. It is what is means to be 'human'.
When you get home, it is important to feel that this is your safe place, your sanctuary, your haven. Let work, politics, gossip, news, hassle, stresses and worries wait until tomorrow.
Enjoy your personal space. Feel free of concern. Make good use of your time. Do the things that you enjoy.
Things that are life affirming: a home-cooked meal, exercise that energises rather than drains you, the company of friends, a healthy family life, stimulating hobbies.
If you watch a movie or TV program that features torture, horror or stressful drama, are you really being entertained? Is this what you enjoy? How can you possibly be healthy, let go, de-stress, have fun?
A political conversation, worrying about the future, about work or comparing health problems is sabotaging your peace of mind. Your home life.
It perpetuates a miserable habit and will not make anyone feel good. Least of all you...
Savour the good things in life. Upbeat, positive, constructive stimuli will really lift your mood. Celebrate what is positive and optimistic. Be hopeful. Be vital, alive; completely and fully.
Be comfortable saying NO to anything and anyone that seeks to intrude on your personal time. It is not mean spirited or selfish. If you are drained and tired, you have nothing to give anyway...
18 April 2005
Last updated 09 June 2019