on filtering and digestion

in which your fearless newsletter writer reveals a surprising new skill...

Over the last week I seem to have gotten a lot better at filtering what I take in.

I’m not binging food, I’ve cut down on TV consumption (which was, quite frankly, getting out of hand), and while I read the news every morning, I don’t overdo it.

I’m fully aware that at any point things could swerve in the other direction, but as I write these words I seem to have a pretty intuitive sense of what’s working for me and what isn’t.

I assure you, no one is more surprised at this turn of events than me!

That said, I’m not totally shocked because, for the past decade or so, I’ve been studying with an Ayurvedic practitioner who has helped me think a lot about digestion. That has naturally involved looking at what I eat and drink, but it’s also extended to an examination of everything I take in—as well as the state of mind I’m in when I take stuff in.

I am far from perfect at this practice but I’m seeing it start to pay off.

How do I use filtering in my creative practice?

Again, let me say: I don’t always! There are plenty of times when I mainline drama and desperation right into my veins! (And not even like minor veins in my ankles or something. I’m talking jugular and vena cava, people!)

But right now, I can’t afford to do that. I know I am susceptible to anxiety and depression and so I need to protect myself from information that is simply not helpful for me to have.

That is not the same thing as tuning out the world.

I think we all have an intuitive sense of what is healthy for us and what isn’t. I am someone who has watched no fewer than five horror movies about Satanic sex cults this month, so please know I am not trying to moralize about “good” or “bad” content.

What I am encouraging us all to do is understand how media consumption affects us personally. Armed with that knowledge, I think we can conserve the energy we need to take in important information, create things that are meaningful to us, and help our communities—even in times that leave us feeling frightened and powerless.

I think this practice can be as simple as watching how we feel when we consume certain things. Does it make our bodies heat up? Our hands and jaw clench? Do we want to crawl into the fetal position?

If so, do we want or need to keep going? Do we want to respond right away? (I can be impulsive so I always want to respond right away, but I’ve been challenging myself to wait before taking action, and I can tell you—I’ve never ONCE regretted waiting.)

I’ll see some of you tomorrow on the first day of my course, How Introverts Do It. We’re just about at capacity (!!!) but email me if you still want in.