What is #heartcenteredmedia?

This wasn’t the most popular tweet on my feed, but there was something in her eyes that looked tired. Our children are tired.

One jaded writer’s fresh take on producing and consuming media in the age of #fakenews: #heartcenteredmedia holds space in mindfulness to hone in on truth.

Today’s media is the bane of my existence: it got me to where I am now, but also holds me back as a human who believes in living and expressing herself authentically, mindfully. I’ve been writing professionally my whole adult life, either as an academic, a journalist, a poet and everything in between. In short, I’ve always been an artisan of words. Sometimes along this journey I’ve been asked to be writer that I’m not — a shill for brands, a whore for advertisers, the pied piper of causes. It’s exhausting. Sigh. Big sigh.

HeartCenteredMedia is an intention shoring up in my consciousness lately as an antidote to the Disease of More that we suffer from as producers and consumers of media. HeartCenteredMedia thrives in expansiveness. It’s media become aware of itself — perhaps it’s easier to define by what it’s not: it’s not clickbait, propaganda, fake news, narcissism, trolls, brands, agenda, junk, ego, dis-ease …

HeartCenteredMedia leaves the ego out of it. It’s not only pure writing, it’s also pure reading. Of course, nothing’s ever that pure. All expression exists in duality, but at least we work on the intention to be cognizant of our biases. HeartCenteredMedia isn’t fast, doesn’t swipe left or right, and it doesn’t break stories — it seeks to heal the broken state of storytelling. It’s truly writing and reading in the now. It’s tantric, word made flesh. HeartCenteredMedia sees through a glass darkly. HeartCenteredMedia is a really good listener, and often prefers silence.

Last month, I covered the March for Our Lives with no plan. Took the metro to Chinatown, got off, went with the flow. Couldn’t get to the main stage, but the side streets off Pennsylvania Avenue were even more interesting. I looked with my heart, not my camera’s lens — 800,000 people were gathered in the heart of Washington, D.C. to practice ahimsa (non-violence), broadcast all over the world. What could I possibly capture?

Then the children spoke silently to me. In the throng, rush, energy, there were many singular nows, finite moments with infinite meaning. “May I take your photo, sweetheart?” I asked. And they posed.

This moment. This now. I am speaking to you with my eyes, Maria. I am speaking to you with my heart, child. This will never happen again. Love lives here.

Too young to vote, old enough to care

Squinting in the sunlight, this teen got over 4,000 likes on Twitter.

Click. So very simple, yet so profound, to capture the message in the flighty medium of Twitter. A photo. A caption. One of them ended up in Twitter Moments, circulated over 200,000 times that day — and still counting. Why that tweet in a sea of endless tweets? I don’t know. And I’ve got no attachment to that knowing, or even the popularity of that tweet.

The one simple message was clear as the blue sky that day, and still rings true in the collective din of our chaotic hive.

HeartCenteredMedia hones in on the kernel of truth.

I am a child, do not kill me.

This is HeartCenteredMedia. The recognition. It can also be many other moments, so long as they are mindful and born of compassion. HeartCenteredMedia only asks that you become aware, and the fact that you ask, is, for the moment — enough.

More moments from the march.

— Originally published on Medium.

artisan of words | award-winning indie writer + journalist, poet | teacher | publisher of #heartcenteredliving new and founder of the #heartcamp unconference