Thursday, August 30, 2012

6 Reminders to Myself and the Entire World

(Warning: What follows is a dramatization. It is intended to make you smile.)

Babylon refers to all places where people do bizarre things like roll around in metal containers pushed forward by dinosaur goo, loot stores of superfluous items using a rectangular plastic talisman, and intently worship a god that can only be accessed on the other side of a 3" piece of glass that sometimes vibrates. Living and working in this strange land where people clothe their feet and put chemicals on their floors has changed me, my writing style, and my approach to integrative health. It's been a fascinating journey into the heart of the urban jungle. It is these 6 things that bottomline my ability to survive in this wild place.

Eat Salad
I put this first because sometimes it is all I can do in an insane world. When everything else fails you- salad is always by your side. It takes care of you, and it cares about you. Treat it like a sweet, sweet teddy bear. Remember, you can even eat it for breakfast.

Laugh More than is Socially Appropriate
Laughter is what comes to me when I reach the end of my rope--when things have gotten so out of hand that there is nothing else to do. It can solve anything. I recently laughed so hard at a mediocre joke that it was nearly dangerous. At the same time as nearly suffocating, my soul felt a billion times lighter. Special thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen, and to ESL students that make hilarious and endearing mistakes in their English.

Smile at Strangers
They like to smile back, and sometimes it comes with perks. Two days ago in downtown Portland, a homeless man (who was clearly the boss) was pointing at strangers and shouting "You're fired!" When he fired me in the middle of a crosswalk, I smiled at him and he immediately revoked his statement. "Wait- you're hired!" I am happy I get to keep my job working for this shoeless man with a skateboard.

Remember Why You Appreciate the People You Love
And don't be shy to tell them. For how much criticism people deal with, a little positive somethin' here and there won't hurt. The smallest things are sometimes the best. "It makes me feel so special when you leave mock world domination threat notes to my Super-hero Alter-ego in my room."

Unpeel Your Face from the Surface of Your Smart Phone
Look at the sky, the people, the cars going by, your family and friends--the ground even! Let your mouth hang agape and stare at something like a 5 year old. Let your mind rest for a minute while you observe the other people on the bus.

Use Your Imagination
Have a mock Kung Fu battle on the sidewalk, begin to narrate your adventures in the third person using dramatic syntactic constructions... Not knowing they were being followed, they strutted down the sidewalk with confidence. Faces covered and knives ready, the ninjas attack.


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