Hi dear friend,
I’d love to share something with you today that I’ve recently discovered that I hope you might find helpful for your meditation journey.
In my 20 Tips for Finding Stillness, which I have included a link to again at the bottom of this email, I touch on the subject of the effects of social media on our meditation.
We all know about social media and how discouraging it can be. We know that what see on social media is the best side of people’s lives; the “show reel” – or in other words, the highlights. And we know how bad this can make us feel when we see pictures of people looking glamourous, going out doing all sorts of exciting things while we’re stuck at home doing our 100th load of laundry, washing dishes and trying to stop the children from fighting with each other. It can certainly make us feel left out, miserable and discouraged.
It’s mainly for this reason that in my “Tips for Finding Stillness” I suggest avoiding screen time, especially before going to bed so that discouragement or things that might upset you don’t have an opportunity to get into your spirit before you sleep and before your morning meditation time.
But I recently realised something else about social media that can be even more disruptive to our ability to be still, find peace and meditate on God.
We know so much more today than ever before about the mind and how it can be trained. I find the subject fascinating and I love to read and study about the power of the mind, however I am not a neuroscientist and I have not done any scientific studies, so this discovery I have made is purely from my own personal experience, although I suspect there may well be studies out there to support this.
I had a period of time recently where I was finding it very difficult to focus in my meditation time. My mind kept fluttering from one thing to the next. I wasn’t anxious or worried about anything but my mind just wouldn’t stay still.
I’m not quite sure how I made the connection, perhaps it’s because I had been spending a bit of time on social media but it occurred to me that the constant scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and even online news articles was training my brain to only be able to focus for very short periods of time because social media and online news stories are very short. And this was affecting my ability to be still and focus in my meditation time.
On social media a “story” is usually only about a paragraph long and then we move on to the next story… and when we are very tired we can sit there mindlessly scrolling through story after story. This trains our brain to only be able to focus for about a paragraph-length-of-time then it wants to move onto the next thing.
It suddenly made sense to me why I was also finding it hard to read through a whole book. I love reading and have always been a big reader but recently when I was away and had the opportunity to read I couldn’t get my mind to focus for very long. I wanted to read but my mind didn’t.
It all became very clear to me when I realised that social media was re-training my brain to only be able to read short snippets at a time and only be able to focus for very short periods.
I immediately started to cut back on how much time I spend on social media and it was amazing how quickly it made a difference to my ability to be able to be still and focus for longer in my meditation time without my mind flitting all over the place.
I haven’t cut back completely because I do love to stay in touch with friends and family and stay up to date with what they are all doing. And of course, I love staying in touch with my God Centred Meditation community on Facebook and Instagram (and if you don’t already – I would love you to follow us – the links are below).
But I have taken more control over how much time I spend on it because I don’t want social media dictating, controlling or affecting my ability to be still, focus and spend time with God.
Romans 8:6 says that the mind controlled by the Spirit (not social media 🙂 ) is life and peace. I would say a big amen to that!
I know today’s blog is a bit more of a practical nature but I hope that it might help you if you’ve been finding it hard to be still and stop your mind from jumping from one thing to another while you’re trying to meditate on God. If you spend a bit of time on social media, you might find it helpful to cut back a bit if you find that it is training your mind to be less focussed than you would like.
My prayer is that every one of us would be able to experience the deepest, closest encounter with God that we possibly can without any interruptions or disruptions to our ability to connect with Him, so I really pray that this helps you this week as you meditate on God.
Praying you have a blessed and peace-filled week! God bless,