Now I have to admit to it being unusual for me even to be watching television at all. I've cut down my programme watching by about 90% in the last couple of years and am much more selective about what I do watch. But I'd found some re-runs of a programme I watched back in the eighties and although much was dated, especially the clothes, I was fascinated to see actors now long gone. and others who had grown into major stars.
Hence the flee from the adverts and my sudden excursions into shopping channels. For the first week it seemed to be either a beauty hour or a clothes hour when I popped in to the shows.
Having been a holistic therapist for over ten years, I'm very particular about what I apply to my skin and rather sceptical about the claims made by some of the presenters.
At a deeper level, below the superficial skin if you like, a couple of things struck me. One that it's human nature to want to look our best and two that the standards by which we judge our outer appearance have changed significantly since I was not just in my teens but in my thirties.
Outside in or inside out?.
We're often advised that if we want to be healthy we should work from the inside out - that is what we put inside our digestive systems has a huge effect on our outward physical condition. Having just eaten some crisps I'm in the process of convincing myself that an occasional treat won't do me any harm!
After watching those beauty shows and listening to the prevailing angst about ageing, I want to pose the question. Outside in or inside out?
In her conversation with me for the current Writing From Your Heart Gathering, August Gold discussed the importance of going within to find the true treasure of our lives and how spending 5 minutes a day pays off big time to enable us to be more effective in the outer world.
Her 5 minutes, and here she was being gentle with us in terms of time, is a part of a 15 minute daily practice which she recommends.
- 5 minutes reading a sacred book
- 5 minutes in silence contemplating on what we've read
- 5 minutes writing what comes up for us
It's no accident that she recommends that to us because that is a practical way of starting our day. Almost like the putting on our face time to greet the world at our best.
And just like we're powered physically by what we eat and drink, so we're powered spiritually by our willingness to set aside this time, invest in ourselves and reap the benefits in a smoother and more joyous passage through the outer world.
Oh but don't tell her I was watching television because that's something else she recommends - a media diet. Like I said I'm 90% of the way there, it's that last little bit I can't let go of.
Join us to talk about meditation and self-enquiry