We Interrupt this Program for an Intervention
Before you get all defensive, remember that you’re here because we care about you. We’re concerned about the changes in your behavior. Frankly, your addiction has gotten out of hand, and it’s time you were made aware of how it’s affecting you and those around you.
Oh, sure, we understand that it started innocently enough with a quick pick-me-up in the morning and a nightcap before bed. It made you feel so grown up. After all, your parents did it, and so did your friends’ parents. You didn’t really need it, and most of the time, to be honest, it was rather unpleasant, but you figured you’d grow into it. And grow into it you did.
Yes, you can make a case for how much it has helped you. It made you more effective and productive. That morning fix gave you the extra edge and helped you get to work on time. So what if it made your pulse race a little, or occasionally made it difficult for you to focus on the task at hand. Other people admired you for it. You were the go-to-person when people needed answers. In social settings, it broke the ice and helped you to appear cultured and urbane. But you can’t ignore the down side. It made you argumentative, and when you overindulged, it contributed to very bad behavior. More than once, you woke up in the morning with no recollection of the things you had said the night before, and no idea why people were so upset with you.
One day, you stopped being just a casual consumer. This was no longer a recreational activity or a hobby for you: it was running your life. It’s not entirely your fault. After all, it’s readily available 24 hours a day, almost everywhere you go. And it’s almost impossible to avoid second-hand exposure. But it has to stop, and it has to stop now.
Step away from the television, and turn off the news.
You’re not yourself when you’ve been watching the news. You become tense and edgy, and short-tempered. And don’t get me started on what you’re like after you’ve been mainlining the hard stuff—the pundits and the talk radio propagandists. The last time you listened to Rush Limbaugh, you were wired for days.
Sure, you insist that it’s not a problem for you. You can handle it. And what’s more, you could give it up anytime you want, right?
Well, prove it. For the next seven days, go on a complete media fast: no newspapers, no talk radio, no television news, no blogs, no magazines, and no conversations with anyone about current events.
Notice how you’re feeling right now, with just the suggestion that you give up your daily does of the media. How would you describe it? Fear? Panic? Anxiety? Anger? You’re so addicted to the news that you can’t even imagine how you would survive without it.
This is the first step: admitting that you have a problem.
The next step is doing something about it. Unlike many other addictions, you don’t have to give up the news forever. You can learn how to consume media responsibly. Before you can do that, however, you first have to break the cycle of your addition. You need to completely unplug from all news media for the next seven days.
Going cold turkey won’t be easy, but you will have help. Go to www.GetAngryGetHappy.com and download the free MP3s of the Present Moment Awareness Safety Meditation (it’s in the Phase 2 Tools section). You can use this powerful tool to help you through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms, as you purge the toxins from your consciousness.
Where Ignorance is Bliss, ’tis Folly to Watch The News
The news media is toxic, negative, and generally detrimental to your health. The main reason for this is that the news is none of your business.
That’s a pretty bold claim, so give me the chance to back it up.
Remember, in order for something to be “My Business,” it must meet three criteria. Let’s see how the news stacks up.
First, does the news affect you, right now? No. If something affects you, right now, you already know about it, and don’t have to learn about it from Wolf Blitzer.
Second, is the news your responsibility? Again, the answer is no. If the news were your responsibility, you would already know about it; ergo, it wouldn’t be news to you.
Third and finally, can you do anything to affect or change the situation? Of course you can’t. It’s not your responsibility, and you didn’t know about it in the first place, so how on earth could you have the ability to influence or change it?
The news is not even remotely part of “My Business.” This means the news comes entirely from Victim Consciousness. The more you watch the news, the less happy you will be.
Think about it: how do you feel when you watch the news? You’re either anxious or pissed off. The news is almost exclusively about two levels of consciousness: Fear and Anger, both of which live in First Kingdom/Victim Consciousness. The odds of your being truly happy when you watch the news are the same odds of you winning the lottery, which isn’t surprising, because hearing your winning lottery numbers on the news is about the only good news you’re likely to encounter.
Consume Media Responsibly
The media is no different than any other mind-altering substance: it’s safe to use in moderation. With practice, and support, you can learn how to consume media responsibly. If you only suffer from a mild addition to the news, you may find it relatively easy to modify your consumption to adopt these guidelines. Otherwise, you will need to begin with at least a seven day media fast to flush the accumulated negativity from your consciousness.
Here are some guidelines that will help you:
- Limit your consumption to no more than 30 minutes a day.
- Balance your consumption with a variety of sources.
- Avoid the hard stuff and just say “no” to the pundits, the commentators, the agitators, and all talk radio shows. Anyone that tries to create controversy or to push your buttons is only hoping to get you addicted so they can steal the energy of your anger.
Kevin B. Burk has been helping people around the world to improve their lives and relationships since 1996 through his astrological counseling and relationship coaching practice. His humor, wisdom and compassion are always present, in his books (ten so far, including Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart, The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life, and his newest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy, his classes and workshops, and his interactions with his clients and students. Kevin’s focus is always on the practical, exploring how we can actually use astrology and spiritual practice on a daily basis to transform our lives.
In the astrology world, he is best known for making Classical Astrology accessible to everyone, taking complex and abstract concepts and showing how they can be used to create concrete, specific and practical interpretations. Kevin’s website, The Real Astrology with Kevin B. Burk is one of the premiere astrology resources on the Internet. His book, Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart is a textbook used at Kepler University in their Undergraduate Astrology Degree program, and has been translated into Russian, and is currently being translated into Bulgarian. Kevin’s articles have appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, the Australian publication,Well Being Astrology, and in Llewellyn’s Moon Sign books.
In the non-astrology world, Kevin is best known for his unique approach to understanding and improving all human relationships through The Relationship Handbook and The Relationship Workshops.
Kevin has released a series of DVDs of his Law of Attraction workshops: the self-contained Prosperity & The Law of Attraction, and Astrology & The Law of Attraction, a series of 7 DVDs recorded live in Houston, TX at a weekend workshop for the Gulf Coast Chapter of NCGR.
Kevin has developed a revolutionary program for spiritual growth called Archetypal Astrology: The Hero’s Journey. This intensive program guides participants through the process of meeting and moving into Right Relationship with each of the seven Astrological Archetypes (you may know them as the seven personal planets).
Kevin is currently synthesizing astrology and spirituality into his next series of books: Astrology & The Law of Attraction, Prosperity & The Law of Attraction andRelationships & The Law of Attraction.
ABOUT ANGER MASTERY
Author Kevin B. Burk wants to make you angry. Burk believes that getting angry is the first step to happiness, and his newest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy shows you how.
“Anger is like fire,” says Burk. “When you master it, it’s a powerful source of energy. If you don’t master it, however, it can be dangerous and destructive.” More importantly, Burk asserts, until you master your anger, other people will steal your energy, your power, and your ability to be happy.
The Anger Mastery Process has three phases. In Phase 1, you learn how to use more of your own energy, which makes it harder for other people to steal it from you. (This involves going to the gym at least five times a week.) You also learn how to leave Victim Consciousness and move into integrity by answering the question, “Whose business is it?”
Phase 2 of the Anger Mastery process helps you to stay out of Victim Consciousness by learning how to feel Safe. You meet your Safety Needs with a tool called the Present Moment Awareness Safety Meditation, available for free at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com.
By the time you complete Phase 2, you will already notice significant changes in your life. In particular, you will have considerably more energy. Phase 3 shows you how to use that energy to become truly, completely happy.
Anger Mastery is not your typical book on anger. Not only is Burk’s approach unique, but also the book itself is laugh-out-loud funny. “Humor is a powerful tool to shift consciousness,” said Burk. “Laughter instantly transforms anger. Plus, funny sells more books.”
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