Awesome Natalia asks, “I read one of your posts about the vibration of certain TV shows. I am such a visual person and I love watching TV. My favorite shows were Criminal Minds and such and now I am unable to watch them without being uncomfortable. However, I watch the entire franchise of Real Housewives and I can sit through the entire hour without any offense to my system! I am trying so hard to find out what is attracting me to these low-vibrational shows. It seemed as though criminal minds and TV shows and movies alike fell away from my liking so easy, but there is something in me that is having trouble with the Real Housewives (desperate housewives until they went off the air).

I am looking for some insight please. I recognize that they are low vibrational but I have somehow been naive and feeling as though if I watch the Smithsonian channel and the spiritual leaders on Super Soul Sunday on OWN with Oprah, that I am ‘ allowed’ to watch the Housewives and it somehow balances out.”

Dearest Awesome Natalia,

I’m so glad you asked this question. It’s come up in my coaching sessions more than once and I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about it for ages. I think you’re really going to like my answer.

“Low Vibrational” is relative

Ok, so before we go any further, there’s something I really need to clarify: Nothing has an intrinsic “low” or “high” vibration. It’s all relative. In the post How Exactly Do We Create Our Reality? A Technical Explanation, I go into great detail about what a low or high vibration really is, but basically, it all depends on where you are in relation to whatever it is that you’re focusing on.

I get that this can be very confusing. All this talk of raising our vibrations and looking for “high vibrational” activities, can lead one to believe that some subjects, people or activities just naturally have a higher vibration. But you have to remember that like beauty, vibrational level is in the eye of the beholder, the observer, the one doing the looking. So, one TV show doesn’t have a higher vibration than another, period; it has a higher vibration than another for you. Without your perception of the show and its content, it has no vibration at all, as far as you’re concerned.

You’re allowed to watch whatever you want

I want to address your statement that if you watch enlightened shows like Oprah, then you should be “allowed” to sin a little and indulge in your guilty pleasures. I’ll bet that you use the same mentality with food – if you eat your broccoli you “get to” have some chocolate. But this isn’t a diet plan (which is good, because diets don’t freaking work). This is your life, your joy, your happiness, and your spiritual evolution. No tradeoffs are necessary.

What you’re employing here is judgment. And the Universe doesn’t judge. There are no TV shows or books or websites or people who represent more value than others. They all have their place, they are all manifestations; they are all answers to the questions that someone out there asked. It’s all beneficial. The Universe doesn’t make mistakes and it doesn’t waste anything, not so much as a subatomic particle. So, when you judge one show to be more spiritual than another, that’s your decision, not the Universe’s. As far as the Universe is concerned, you’re allowed to watch whatever the hell you want to watch. Period.

Whatever floats your boat

But, aren’t some TV shows “better” for you than others? Yes, of course. Some TV shows will uplift you more than others, but notice that this is a very personal thing. What makes you feel good might bore the crap out of me. What uplifted you six months ago might now leave you feeling decidedly “meh”. The key is to figure out what makes you feel good in any given moment and honor that, instead of trying to apply bullshit rules about what is “acceptable” and what is shameful.

But… isn’t TV the evil spawn of Satan?

Here’s where it might seem like I’m contradicting myself. I’m sure that I’ve written somewhere that I don’t watch a lot of TV. While I first want to point out that this is my own, personal decision based on what feels best to me, I want to clarify:

  • I don’t watch the news. I’ve found that subjecting myself to a continuous torrent of negatively focused coverage of events that I don’t really care about and can do nothing about, lowers my vibration considerably. So, I stopped watching the news years ago and have never regretted it. Thanks to the Internet, I can look up specific news stories any time I like, compare different views and log off when I’ve had enough. And the Law of Attraction makes sure that any stories that are relevant to me, find me. I never miss anything that I actually need to (read: want to) know.
  • I don’t watch TV shows on the television. I don’t subject myself to commercials. I don’t mindlessly flip through the channels. I’ve found that turning on the TV and flipping through is not only a huge time suck, but I almost always end up watching something I wouldn’t have deliberately chosen. No thank you.
  • I do watch shows and movies on DVD, YouTube or other streaming or download sites. Of course, it’s also totally possible to let Youtube and Facebook and their cousins lead me down the road of drooling, unconscious channel surfer, but it’s much easier to be more deliberate about my viewing choices on the Computer than the boob tube. I watch what I want to watch, when I want to watch it, usually without commercials (YouTube has them but they can often be skipped), and when I’m done, I’m done. The tendency to flip to another channel and get sort of sucked into another show in progress just isn’t there. I don’t inadvertently get bombarded with messages I don’t want to see. I have a lot more control over what I subject myself to.

TV isn’t evil. Neither are any TV shows or movies. They all serve a purpose. Whether or not a particular show is “good” for you, really depends on where your vibration is at and what particular mood you’re in right now.

For example, sometimes, I like to have some passive entertainment. I want to just turn my brain off and let someone tell me a story. I might choose to watch a comedy, even something “stupid but funny”, and not particularly challenging. I might not even remember the story line the next day, but as long as I was entertained in the moment, I’ve gotten what I wanted. At other times, I want something that will make me think. I might watch a documentary, choosing whichever one appeals to me at that time. One night, a certain show might really make me laugh, while on another night, it just sounds boring and I stay away from it. If I’m sad, I might go for something more schmaltzy, while when I’m feeling adventurous, an action movie might appeal to me more. The same applies to books, internet sites, conversational topics and people. There is no right or wrong choice, there’s just what makes you feel good in any given moment.

There’s no reason for shame

Ok, I’ll admit it: Sometimes, I spend an extraordinary amount of time looking at pictures of cats doing funny things. And you know what? I don’t care who knows it. I very recently discovered the X-Factor (UK version). Yes, I know it’s been around for years, but I don’t watch anything I don’t resonate with and therefore have shockingly little knowledge of current pop culture. I love this show. I watched the entire 2011 season on YouTube. I thought the people who couldn’t sing were brilliant and funny and brave. I was intrigued by their different vibrations, and the beliefs that shaped each of them. I was inspired by the massive talent that was on display, and so enjoyed watching each contestant grow not only as a performer, but personally. It’s like a study in vibrational growth. These individuals become more confident and authentic with each passing week. They drop their fake defensive mechanisms, they figure out what they really want, and they’re taught to believe in themselves. Even if you’re not sensitive to energy, you can see the effect this has on each person. I thought it was brilliant (oddly enough, I got really bored in the final show. I didn’t care who won. When the “growth” part was over, I lost interest and ended up fast forwarding through the whole thing just to see the end and get some closure).

Is the X-Factor a guilty pleasure? Well, I’m sure it is for some, but not for me. I see so much value in a show like that. It gets people focused in a positive way – both the contestants and the audience. Does it do this for everyone? Of course not. Can it also serve as a negative manifestation? Yep, it sure can. The point is, though, that whether or not this, or any other show, serves to uplift you or bring you down, gives you a chance to rejoice or functions as something to push against and get upset about, whether or not it’s a positive manifestation or a trigger, depend entirely on who’s watching. Any guilt you experience comes from judgment, and it’s usually not even your own. Someone, somewhere decided that reality TV is bad for you. But, think about it: if it served no purpose at all, would it even exist? The answer is no.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t personally watch just anything that comes on and try to derive benefit from it. I have never seen the Jersey Shore, I’ve watched one episode of Honey Boo Boo and don’t plan on doing it again, I don’t watch any reality TV shows where people eat maggots or try to out-shock each other for 15 minutes of fame. But just because these shows aren’t my personal cup of tea, doesn’t mean that they aren’t somebody’s. And just because watching shows like this would bring down my vibration, doesn’t mean that they aren’t uplifting to someone else. I was once invited to watch an episode of a show called “Strange Addictions”, and found it absolutely fascinating from a psychological and sociological point of view. I ended up having quite a few conversations about what I learned that day, in terms of human behavior. Even though this isn’t something I’d watch for entertainment, I definitely benefited from being exposed to it.

Bottom line

So, in conclusion, stop feeling guilty and watch whatever makes you feel good or better in any given moment. Don’t let anyone convince you that there is no value in something that you find enjoyable. The only one who can judge whether or not something is good or bad for you, is you. Watching a show you’ve deemed to be enlightening isn’t going to be valuable for you if you’re not enjoying it. If you’d rather watch frat boys getting hit in the nuts, or hedgehogs getting a bath, or satirical cartoons featuring third graders that curse more than I do (South Park, and yes, I’m a fan), go for it.  Oh, and while we’re at it, stop feeling guilty about the chocolate, too. When you ask: “Why does life have to suck so bad?”, chocolate answers (in a seductive whisper): It doesn’t. And the Universe agrees.

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  • I used to watch dark serial killer kind of movies(Misery, Saw etc) but then stopped watching them about six months ago(for whatever reason). I used to watch violent crime TV shows like Criminal Minds, The Inside etc too and then switched to dark comedy TV shows like Dexter,Walking Dead(not comedy) and Breaking Bad. Now, I’m waiting for the latest seasons because I enjoyed all of these TV shows very much. I’m not a news, politics person at all. I used to find myself wanting to participate in those political discussions(with my work colleagues) to show I care but I really would be pretending to care. I am so glad I don’t have to pretend any more. I get to like what I like and not pretend to like anything I don’t like. I feel like so many years of my life went by in wanting to learn all the different topics, watch all the different TV shows, keep up to date with all the news about the world, fashion,politics. I cared to much about how others would perceive me if I didn’t participate in those discussions. In these past few months, I have learnt more than I ever have with the dearest, kindest, awesomest person ever– darling Melody! And so, won’t be watching anything that doesn’t interest me. The problem is I’m still figuring out what really interests me. A wide variety of topics interest me but then I lose interest and get bored :/ And then forget what I learnt with so much passion and dedication. ha ha

  • I’ve found myself LOVING the new Sherlock Holmes series, it excites and exhilarates me with its uniquely intellectual angst-ridden comedic style but when I stop watching, I feel drained, like my life is just too boring xD! It gives me a need to quell my boredom of an unfulfilling life ^^; But when I’m watching moments of a show like that, where the actors are so superbly talented, playing such complex characters and breathing emotion into them (I totally get off on an anti-hero searching for his ‘feelings’ <3) I get goosebumps. Even in the saddest moments of stories, like self-sacrifice and goodbyes, the emotion on the actors' faces brings me so deep into the characters, sometimes I'm not sure if this is dangerous for me or not, but I always enjoy it 🙂

    Screw the News! I'm goin' home~ 😛

  • Hey Melody,

    I visit your blog less often, but when I do is always like a manifestation of valuable insights, to particular moments of my life. You warm my heart.

    I would like to make a retribution to you and the community and tell you about something that reminded me of LOA. A documentary that explains the role of water in our world and how it reacts to vibrations. I saw it a couple of weeks ago. Here you go, in case you haven’t heard of it, “Water, the Great Mistery”:

    Take care! 🙂

    • Thanks, H., for sharing that water documentary. you know, scientists have found that water is actually extra-terrestrial, that is, it was amassed here at that particular time billions of years ago during the earth’s formation, when it was all coming together. It has been here ever since.

      I always say cheers before drinking water!

  • Finding myself home alone for the first time in ages i pondered about what movie i could watch that would make me feel good! I had just finished listening to one of your coaching calls sitting in the sunshine and that had made me smile alot and given me some great incites the end i decided to watch the dvd of Take That from a concert they did 4 years ago ‘ the circus’ and it’s raised my vibration no end!! The lyrics and love are fantastic!!I had watched live an earlier show in Glasgow and it changed my life!! Melody thank you for such a great piece , I agree completely!! Watch what FEELS right!!Love and light bernie xxx

  • I also watch TV online and find I enjoy it more than being at my parents’ house with cable and STILL finding nothing I want to watch. I’ll get into a series and it will suck me in – currently Weeds and Mad Men on Netflix. I don’t know why these stories suck me in, but they’re amazing. The Walking Dead sucked me in too, and I really don’t like zombies at all. I also don’t watch the news, especially the 24 hour news channels. I had to turn the channel for my mother at one point. She kept her TV on Fox News for three days and got extremely depressed. When I heard the same story repeated for about the millionth time I said, okay, time to get out of this house for a while and when we come back you don’t watch the news. She’s gotten better about it but still keeps it on the news channels way too long, IMO. I love that everything is relative and there is so much talent out there with creative stories and ways to present them, and I love the technology that allows us to watch what we want and when. I don’t think the influx of technology has hurt creativity – I think it’s allowed it to expand.

  • Hi Melody, great post. I particularly like your cat Fletcher. I think you get some great advice about what to watch television and how if it feels good to you then it is okay there is no right or wrong.

  • I also use the TV to watch pre-recorded show on DVD.

    My favourite show are Stargate SG-1 Stargate Atlantis .
    It’s about a military team stumbled upon the stargates – an invention of a highly advanced group of humans called “the Ancient”. They were so advanced that they can build self-sustained ships to scout the unverise for Earth-like planets. Once found, and confrimed that it can support human life, they would build portals (the stargates) to teleport from one planet to another. This cuts down on travel time. Before long, they have a network of stargates.

    They also found a way to switch between human form and energy form.
    This idea is very close to LOA and I am deeply fascinated by it.

  • My former roommates used to laugh at me because they thought I hated TV. I didn’t and don’t. However, I feel a bit bummed spending time watching mindless tv just for the sake of watching it. I prefer watching TV shows and movies online and being able to pick what I want to watch when I want to watch it.

    Also,slightly off topic, but I dislike the term “guilty pleasure.” Why should I feel guilty about something I like because others consider it trash. I will watch Jersey Shore, eat chocolate, listen to Beyonce and read chick lit without an ounce of guilt!

  • Thanks for tackling this topic! I grew up being baby-sat by the TV and when I started living more consciously a couple years ago I realized that my relationship with TV had to change. I cut my cable and have since only watched the shows I *like* via downloading (hurray to no more commercials!). Putting myself in the position to actively watch instead of passively watch has made a world of difference in how I feel when I watch violence on TV. Now I can turn it off or fast forward if it’s too much and the power is back in my hands!

    Much love & hugs!

  • Melody,

    Great post! I absolutely agree with you that the only judge is always you. Unfortunately, most news nowadays is not bringing us anything positive, unless you have been persistent and caught a moment when someone helped someone which is always worth admiring. So i excluded news from my preferences and try to watch movies or stories which i can learn from or live through. And, of course, always find time for a good laughter, it is always cheering me up.

  • Interesting article. I used to somewhat over indulge with the TV and for the last two years haven’t watched it at all. In fact the whole universe is safe and there is nothing wrong with watching TV or indulging in any other “harmful” activity such as heroin taking or mountaineering or what have you.

    But for me watching TV produces a kind of self alienation which I can live without. I every now and then surf to utube sites but never watch the goggle box itself.

    Of course my practice and perspective may change i the future.

  • Melody, we have the same TV watching style. I win! (Just kidding). I agree about commercials, dont need them, and I like Netflix etc, so I can watch a series back to back if I want, and since its commercial free its less time. I used to watch a lot of Forensic Files and the science fascinated me, but eventually I could feel it starting to bring me down, so no more. I have NEVER had an interest in even one episode of Jersey Shore or Honey Boo Boo, but they are so popular, someone is surely watching :o) And I have watched the History Channel’s show on the building of the Hoover Dam like 5 times. (Each time they managed to complete the dam. Amazing.) For a brain drain, it is Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster. I love the little surreptitious background music by Phish. I know we should not look to you for the ‘OK’ on our behavior, but thanks for reminding us that what serves us well in this moment is OK. Even junk TV.

  • So so true Melody – no surprise there, right? Had this discussion with a friend recently, who loves all that vampire stuff and can’t understand why it gives me the heebie jeebies. It just does, so I don’t watch. Ditto with news, politics and the like…and this from an old time political junkie. I began to notice how lousy I felt after getting caught up in it and gave it up on the spot.

    It’s always about whatever floats your own particular boat. I do watch some TV and like to turn it off saying…now that felt good.


  • Good call! I watch a little NCIS on occasion, but will get up in the middle of a show if prompted. I think it is “how I watch” that makes the difference in it’s ultimate worth to my awareness/consciousness. Noticing the reflection of my Mind in the actions of the characters can be enlightening!
    My T-shirt says: “Follow Your Promptings.” You know which ones….
    Thanks for the post! I HAD to follow it! (I was prompted!)

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