I wanted to share Oprah's Life Class with Deepak Chopra a remarkable conversation about what it means to be spiritual.
One surprising guest was gossip blogger Perez Hilton. Years ago, at the height of his fame and vile, I confess, I was a fan. I can't pinpoint exactly when it was when I stopped following him, but I am sure it had to do when I was working on my book three years ago. I spent a lot of time tuning in, and that nasty was not something that I wanted swirling inside my head.
Gossip was never really my thing, but in the business of media I saw firsthand how gossip can make a company extremely wealthy. Trading secrets to embarrass and shame people is, sadly, a huge industry. And it made Perez, and many others wealthy. But it's not just the dishers, it's those who consume the dish... and there are millions of folks who thrive on consuming garbage about others.
I came to a point in my life when I really understood it to my core and even if it was to keep up with my colleagues that it did not feel good reading him and other trashy magazines and papers. But, it's not just media, it's in our interpersonal relationships. I always say, each time we gossip about others, a little light leaves us... Gossip is poison and by allowing it inside your brain, or partaking in it actively you allow in and exhale toxicity. And really, who cares if X celebrity is gay, or of X star is banging another. Don't we have better things to do with our time...
Part of taking care of yourself better, starts with how well you nourish your brain. Fill up your brain with garbage you create a nice little landfill in your head.
When I cut out all the gossipy, reductive, and toxic TV, blogs and magazines, I noticed a sweet change. Consuming media that inspired me and being surrounded by folks who would rather discuss an idea than a who is sleeping with whom has opened my heart and mind to live a sweeter version of myself each day. It works people... try it.
The last time I saw Perez, he was overweight and had blue hair. But, during the show, he was different and not just physically, the transformation was as Deepak said, transcendent. After the spate of gay teen suicides as a result of bullying, Perez looked into the mirror and realized he was also a bully of the worst kind-- with a huge platform. He realized that he was sending out nuclear energy to the world and it was not just hurting others but himself. Today he is a new man and his old mean nasty ways gone.
Deepak's eloquence was touching and his compassion for Perez inspiring: "What you say about others is a mirror of how you see yourself," he told Perez. I think it's a lesson that all of us, not just those in the business of gossip, can mind.
It reminded me of another beautiful quote from David Simon: Before a word passes through your lips, ask yourself three questions: is it true, is it kind and is it necessary?