Pinterest as a spiritual practice? Can a conscious Pinterest practice help us psychologically as well?
I am an old fogey late-comer to the world of social media. As a psychotherapist I was well aware of the downside of it:
- Anxiety and depression in teens has risen sharply with the relentless social pressure and narcissism the medium encourages.
- We are not sure yet if the steady exposure to the electromagnetic fields involved may be part of this, but suspicions exist.
- The sense of social isolation and loneliness has actually been increasing as people substitute cyber–connection for the warmth of genuine presence.
- Destructive addictions to online gaming, gambling and pornography are skyrocketing.
And yet, here I am, online! And I've fallen in love with Pinterest!
I made a commitment to myself a few years ago not to waste my energy expressing opinions unless I was going to directly participate in at least a tiny part of the solution. (Wow, has that decision saved a lot of hot air and wear and tear on the nervous system!)
So here is my suggestion.
Start a Pinterest account and make it a conscious, wholehearted psycho-spiritual practice. Make your boards a gathering place that feeds your well-being and spreads what you hope for. Don’t use Pinterest solely to document your frustrated acquisitiveness or materialism. (You can create "secret" boards for that!) Use it as a meditative focus to grow more of what you truly yearn for.
Let your boards reflect the best humans can aspire to:
- loving relationship
- healthy embodiment
- inspiring people, etc.
Create a reality you truly believe in and "seed" the internet with your vote: "reality TV is NOT my reality!"
I have come to love Pinterest! Make sure to include a clear intention for your boards in their description. (You can visit my boards for examples: http://pinterest.com/mfmathews/boards/) Your Pinterestboards can be considered a sort of modern day “lectio divina”… food and inspiration for the soul. What you focus on grows. PicMonkey will help you turn your own photos or quotes into pins. It's free and easy. (for suggestions about image size and text length see this pin) Media that uses images recruits more areas of your brain than words alone can. Research proves that what we view has a direct affect on our blood pressure, mood, and pain tolerance. You can experience what I mean by that right now by quickly visiting my "Smiles" Pinterest board. Do you notice the shift in your body or mood it creates? Choose the images you consume every day carefully!
A Pinterest practice is only beneficial if you do this:
Limit your computer time on Pinterest by setting a timer. When it rings, stand up and walk away. Go forth to actually live into what you have been picturing and affirming online.
Share this post and invite friends to do this practice with you. Will you let me know when you have created your boards? What did you name them?
Remember to "Like", Share, Pin & Comment: It Helps!