Awesome Natalia asks, “I read one of your posts about the vibration of certain TV shows. I am such a visual person and I love watching TV. My favorite shows were Criminal Minds and such and now I am unable to watch them without being uncomfortable. However, I watch the entire franchise of Real Housewives and I can sit through the entire hour without any offense to my system! I am trying so hard to find out what is attracting me to these low-vibrational shows. It seemed as though criminal minds and TV shows and movies alike fell away from my liking so easy, but there is something in me that is having trouble with the Real Housewives (desperate housewives until they went off the air).
I am looking for some insight please. I recognize that they are low vibrational but I have somehow been naive and feeling as though if I watch the Smithsonian channel and the spiritual leaders on Super Soul Sunday on OWN with Oprah, that I am ‘ allowed’ to watch the Housewives and it somehow balances out.”
Dearest Awesome Natalia,
I’m so glad you asked this question. It’s come up in my coaching sessions more than once and I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about it for ages. I think you’re really going to like my answer.
“Low Vibrational” is relative
Ok, so before we go any further, there’s something I really need to clarify: Nothing has an intrinsic “low” or “high” vibration. It’s all relative. In the post How Exactly Do We Create Our Reality? A Technical Explanation, I go into great detail about what a low or high vibration really is, but basically, it all depends on where you are in relation to whatever it is that you’re focusing on.
I get that this can be very confusing. All this talk of raising our vibrations and looking for “high vibrational” activities, can lead one to believe that some subjects, people or activities just naturally have a higher vibration. But you have to remember that like beauty, vibrational level is in the eye of the beholder, the observer, the one doing the looking. So, one TV show doesn’t have a higher vibration than another, period; it has a higher vibration than another for you. Without your perception of the show and its content, it has no vibration at all, as far as you’re concerned.
You’re allowed to watch whatever you want
I want to address your statement that if you watch enlightened shows like Oprah, then you should be “allowed” to sin a little and indulge in your guilty pleasures. I’ll bet that you use the same mentality with food – if you eat your broccoli you “get to” have some chocolate. But this isn’t a diet plan (which is good, because diets don’t freaking work). This is your life, your joy, your happiness, and your spiritual evolution. No tradeoffs are necessary.
What you’re employing here is judgment. And the Universe doesn’t judge. There are no TV shows or books or websites or people who represent more value than others. They all have their place, they are all manifestations; they are all answers to the questions that someone out there asked. It’s all beneficial. The Universe doesn’t make mistakes and it doesn’t waste anything, not so much as a subatomic particle. So, when you judge one show to be more spiritual than another, that’s your decision, not the Universe’s. As far as the Universe is concerned, you’re allowed to watch whatever the hell you want to watch. Period.
Whatever floats your boat
But, aren’t some TV shows “better” for you than others? Yes, of course. Some TV shows will uplift you more than others, but notice that this is a very personal thing. What makes you feel good might bore the crap out of me. What uplifted you six months ago might now leave you feeling decidedly “meh”. The key is to figure out what makes you feel good in any given moment and honor that, instead of trying to apply bullshit rules about what is “acceptable” and what is shameful.
But… isn’t TV the evil spawn of Satan?
Here’s where it might seem like I’m contradicting myself. I’m sure that I’ve written somewhere that I don’t watch a lot of TV. While I first want to point out that this is my own, personal decision based on what feels best to me, I want to clarify:
- I don’t watch the news. I’ve found that subjecting myself to a continuous torrent of negatively focused coverage of events that I don’t really care about and can do nothing about, lowers my vibration considerably. So, I stopped watching the news years ago and have never regretted it. Thanks to the Internet, I can look up specific news stories any time I like, compare different views and log off when I’ve had enough. And the Law of Attraction makes sure that any stories that are relevant to me, find me. I never miss anything that I actually need to (read: want to) know.
- I don’t watch TV shows on the television. I don’t subject myself to commercials. I don’t mindlessly flip through the channels. I’ve found that turning on the TV and flipping through is not only a huge time suck, but I almost always end up watching something I wouldn’t have deliberately chosen. No thank you.
- I do watch shows and movies on DVD, YouTube or other streaming or download sites. Of course, it’s also totally possible to let Youtube and Facebook and their cousins lead me down the road of drooling, unconscious channel surfer, but it’s much easier to be more deliberate about my viewing choices on the Computer than the boob tube. I watch what I want to watch, when I want to watch it, usually without commercials (YouTube has them but they can often be skipped), and when I’m done, I’m done. The tendency to flip to another channel and get sort of sucked into another show in progress just isn’t there. I don’t inadvertently get bombarded with messages I don’t want to see. I have a lot more control over what I subject myself to.
TV isn’t evil. Neither are any TV shows or movies. They all serve a purpose. Whether or not a particular show is “good” for you, really depends on where your vibration is at and what particular mood you’re in right now.
For example, sometimes, I like to have some passive entertainment. I want to just turn my brain off and let someone tell me a story. I might choose to watch a comedy, even something “stupid but funny”, and not particularly challenging. I might not even remember the story line the next day, but as long as I was entertained in the moment, I’ve gotten what I wanted. At other times, I want something that will make me think. I might watch a documentary, choosing whichever one appeals to me at that time. One night, a certain show might really make me laugh, while on another night, it just sounds boring and I stay away from it. If I’m sad, I might go for something more schmaltzy, while when I’m feeling adventurous, an action movie might appeal to me more. The same applies to books, internet sites, conversational topics and people. There is no right or wrong choice, there’s just what makes you feel good in any given moment.
There’s no reason for shame
Ok, I’ll admit it: Sometimes, I spend an extraordinary amount of time looking at pictures of cats doing funny things. And you know what? I don’t care who knows it. I very recently discovered the X-Factor (UK version). Yes, I know it’s been around for years, but I don’t watch anything I don’t resonate with and therefore have shockingly little knowledge of current pop culture. I love this show. I watched the entire 2011 season on YouTube. I thought the people who couldn’t sing were brilliant and funny and brave. I was intrigued by their different vibrations, and the beliefs that shaped each of them. I was inspired by the massive talent that was on display, and so enjoyed watching each contestant grow not only as a performer, but personally. It’s like a study in vibrational growth. These individuals become more confident and authentic with each passing week. They drop their fake defensive mechanisms, they figure out what they really want, and they’re taught to believe in themselves. Even if you’re not sensitive to energy, you can see the effect this has on each person. I thought it was brilliant (oddly enough, I got really bored in the final show. I didn’t care who won. When the “growth” part was over, I lost interest and ended up fast forwarding through the whole thing just to see the end and get some closure).
Is the X-Factor a guilty pleasure? Well, I’m sure it is for some, but not for me. I see so much value in a show like that. It gets people focused in a positive way – both the contestants and the audience. Does it do this for everyone? Of course not. Can it also serve as a negative manifestation? Yep, it sure can. The point is, though, that whether or not this, or any other show, serves to uplift you or bring you down, gives you a chance to rejoice or functions as something to push against and get upset about, whether or not it’s a positive manifestation or a trigger, depend entirely on who’s watching. Any guilt you experience comes from judgment, and it’s usually not even your own. Someone, somewhere decided that reality TV is bad for you. But, think about it: if it served no purpose at all, would it even exist? The answer is no.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t personally watch just anything that comes on and try to derive benefit from it. I have never seen the Jersey Shore, I’ve watched one episode of Honey Boo Boo and don’t plan on doing it again, I don’t watch any reality TV shows where people eat maggots or try to out-shock each other for 15 minutes of fame. But just because these shows aren’t my personal cup of tea, doesn’t mean that they aren’t somebody’s. And just because watching shows like this would bring down my vibration, doesn’t mean that they aren’t uplifting to someone else. I was once invited to watch an episode of a show called “Strange Addictions”, and found it absolutely fascinating from a psychological and sociological point of view. I ended up having quite a few conversations about what I learned that day, in terms of human behavior. Even though this isn’t something I’d watch for entertainment, I definitely benefited from being exposed to it.
So, in conclusion, stop feeling guilty and watch whatever makes you feel good or better in any given moment. Don’t let anyone convince you that there is no value in something that you find enjoyable. The only one who can judge whether or not something is good or bad for you, is you. Watching a show you’ve deemed to be enlightening isn’t going to be valuable for you if you’re not enjoying it. If you’d rather watch frat boys getting hit in the nuts, or hedgehogs getting a bath, or satirical cartoons featuring third graders that curse more than I do (South Park, and yes, I’m a fan), go for it. Oh, and while we’re at it, stop feeling guilty about the chocolate, too. When you ask: “Why does life have to suck so bad?”, chocolate answers (in a seductive whisper): It doesn’t. And the Universe agrees.