photo: mollybob on flickr

photo: mollybob on flickr

What’s your favorite form of entertainment?

TV? Movies? Video games? Reading? (I know there are still some of you out there.)

These days, we have bazillions of entertainment choices. Thanks to the electronic revolution, many of these choices are available 24/7.

These choices leave us with questions:

What do I want to watch/play/read? When do I want to watch/play/read it? Who do I want to watch/play/read it with?

photo: Mark Vitazko on flickr

photo: Mark Vitazko on flickr

But there’s another question we need to ask ourselves, one that is far more important than Who, When, and What.

When it comes to our entertainment choices, there is one question that is primary. One question that allows all other questions to fall into perspective. One question that has the power to change our lives for the better.

When it comes to our entertainment choices, that one question is:

Is Sponge Bob Square Pants involved in any way? Because if he is, I’m in.

SpongeBob Samaritan NY

No? That’s not your primary question?

I guess it’s just me.

Okay, after the Sponge Bob question, there’s another question that’s crucial to ask. One that really does have the power to change your life for the better.

And that question is:

How does this show/movie/game/book make me feel?

photo: Emran Kassim, tamckile, ePi.Longo, and Michael Yim on flickr

photo: Emran Kassim, tamckile, ePi.Longo, and Michael Yim on flickr

I didn’t use to pay much attention to this question. If I did notice that a particular form of entertainment made me feel moody or depressed, I held myself to blame.

Not anymore.

The work of Abraham-Hicks has made me acutely aware of the power of emotions in spiritual practice. Our emotions, Abe says, are a finely-tuned barometer that shows us how aligned we are with the Divine in any given moment.

Feeling like crap?

Not aligned.

Feeling awesome?

Aligned.

Yes, it sounds simplistic. Yes, I was resistant to the idea at first. But I tried it out. And I agree with Abe.

One of the best examples of this is when we’re pissed off at someone. When we’re in this state of mind and heart, we’re not seeing the other person – or ourselves – with the eyes of love. Viewing the world with the eyes of love is how the Divine sees.

And when this is our view, we feel great.

photo: CalamariGirl on flickr

photo: CalamariGirl on flickr

Which brings me back to our entertainment choices.

I used to love the show Weeds. I watched season after season, enjoying the offbeat storylines, the clever dialogue, and Mary Louise Parker. And then, just recently, I rented the last season of Weeds on Netflix.

I still appreciated the storylines, the dialogue, and Mary Louise, but something had changed. I noticed that, when I was finished watching an episode, I didn’t feel good.

In the past, I acknowledged that the show was a little dark, but it didn’t bother me. In fact, I liked it.

But now, the dark edges were leaving a bad aftertaste.

photo: David Goehring on flickr

photo: David Goehring on flickr

Did the show change? Did I?

I have no idea. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I started to notice the effect of the show on my emotional state.

Now, some of you might point out that I wasn’t seeing Weeds with the eyes of love. After all, if the Divine sees everything with love, then wasn’t my view of Weeds not in alignment with the Divine?

Oooooooh. Great question.

Ultimately, seeing everything with the eyes of love is what I aspire to do. But I’m not there yet. In the meantime, I’m a human being, with all the requisite contractions and illusions that go along with the job description.

Given this fact, why not surround myself with people, places and things that help me align with who I really am? No need to make it any harder than it already is, for God’s sake.

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with Weeds, per se. Someone else might watch it and feel great. Nurse Jackie is another show that some might categorize as dark, and I love that show.

The important piece is my own particular reaction to Weeds.

It didn’t make me feel good. It didn’t strengthen my alignment with Love and Energy and Creativity.

photo: AJ Leon on flickr

photo: AJ Leon on flickr

There’s another question you might ask, another question that – unfortunately – has nothing to do with Sponge Bob Square Pants.

What about watching movies and shows that challenge us? What about the forms of entertainment that choose to shine a spotlight on areas of pain and suffering?

Here’s the thing: There are two ways to approach such subjects.

The first way is to shine the spotlight. Period. No suggestions for improvement are offered. This approach can leave the viewer feeling hopeless and depressed.

The second approach is to shine a spotlight and then provide suggestions for things the viewer can do to improve the situation. This approach can leave us mobilized to make the world a better place.

In other words, even though we’ve woken up to an issue that needs to change, we’re inspired to take action to improve it. And inspired action feels good.

In other words, our entertainment choices have the power to optimize our emotional well-being and inspire us to make the world a better place.

And it all starts with one question.

sponge bob last done

How do your entertainment options make you feel? Share your comments below!

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