March 30, 2017

Three-Step Meditation for Avoiding Political Poison Ivy.


Author’s Note: This blog does not represent the thoughts or opinions of elephant journal, Donald Trump, or anyone serious. It is an attempt to feel comfortable, at ease, and humored by the use of Oxford commas, politics, and the political climate that seems to be getting us down. 


I was driving down the road the other day, and there was a horrible accident. In the past, I would have sought to help or get out of the way as soon as possible. Instead I slowed down, craned my neck, and attempted to see whatever carnage, twisted metal, and mess there might be.

It was a mess—a supreme, once in a lifetime mess. There were bodies strewn all over the place, angry people, executive orders, pulled bills, and unkind words. Yes, the accident that I couldn’t stop looking at was in Washington at a house that used to be white. It is now a sinkhole of integrity, a swamp, a place reality, honesty, and integrity go to die.

After about 15 minutes of looking out the window, making love, meditating, writing blogs, or FaceTiming my granddaughter, I find myself reaching for my iPad to discover what new revelations, goofy twists, and downright idiotic events are pouring hot lava through the pixels of Apple News.

Focusing outside.

I have spent much of the past three decades doing internal work, then sharing what I have learned through deep meditation and observation in the form of workshops. At my ripe old age, I thought I was wise, done, ready to retire, and just travel the world.

But I wasn’t to slink off into a vapor of pleasure, complacency, and peace so easily. Instead I’m ready to kick some serious butt, embrace some beautiful change, preside over the restructuring of integrity, and observe a new, unreal reality show.

I owe you an apology. You might not have been as peaceful as me; you might have been busy with family, occupation, and getting on with breathing fresh air, taking your own sweet steps to cope with climate change, and otherwise integrating into the world as it was.

The impossible election caught me sneaking away into my internal, peaceful world, and I’m self-centered enough to imagine that the recent choices for high offices was aimed right at me, and I have to say that it hit the bullseye. Sorry that it overshot me and hit you too.

Now what?

Here are three steps to dealing with today’s politics:

Step 1: Find the funny.

If you are pissed off, pissed on, or otherwise upset by the goings on in our country, then hold your peace or shout at the trees, mountains, and valleys until you have purged yourself of all that toxic reactivation.

Under all that venom is your sense of humor, and like a standup archeologist, you can find it. Once you have, then write, talk, or otherwise share your humor. But beware; sometimes, when you haven’t found the real humor in things, especially things as deep, dark, and ridiculous as chocolate or the Trumphouse, you may not yet be all the way to the light, liveliness, and playfulness of real humor.

If you are still secretly pissed, sarcastic, or think that something happened that shouldn’t have—like an election—then scrape, scratch, and claw your way a bit deeper until you find the motherlode of real humor, the gusher of funny, and the lightness in both light and dark. Then pass that around.

Step 2: Alternation of Generation

Some plants, like mullein, play it cool one year by sprouting forth with just a few leaves close to the ground. The following year, they reach for the sky with an erectile stalk that could poke out a professional basketball player’s eye.

We need to take a lesson from this by letting the executive pollution pronouncements roll off our ideologies like so much Coca-Cola off a duck’s back. And then we need to imagine ourselves choking to death on coal dust and our blood boiling from global warming. Alternating from one extreme to the other—from ridiculously good to ridiculously bad—frees us from getting stuck in the righteous middle of the political spectrum arguing loudly, foaming at the mouth, and turning people we love into our enemies.

Step 3: Don’t get snagged and watch out for Poison Ivy.

I was out for a walk the other day and found my favorite bike jersey I wear as a hiking coat snagged by a blackberry bush. It’s not berry season, so I didn’t have the option to remain there like a bear and stuff my face. So I, as delicately as possible, used my right hand to unhook two thorns and marched on through the woods.

We are all, at one point or another, snagged by the craziness of others, lovers, and presidents. When that happens, it’s worth pausing for a moment to gently remove the barbs that have caught us and then to continue wandering along our way.

Watch out for poison ivy too and, if you get into it, remember two days later when you are itching like crazy or licking your wounds from having lost your politically correct mind, nothing “wrong” ever happens here: Relax, and realize that this is above all an entertaining, interesting, and ever-changing world.

Sweet relief.

It’s a difficult political time. A time when we need our senses of humor more than usual. A time when, whether we are for or against, we still tend to focus a whole lot of attention outside of ourselves on the mischief of others.

It’s a good idea at times like this to remember the airplane advice and “place the mask over your own face before helping others.” In the case of politics, it can be useful to focus attention inside before you either attempt to give political CPR to Uncle Charlie or choke Aunt June to death for her particular uninformed, ignorant, or Nazi ideology.

Relax, take a breath and have a good laugh; then get on with fixing the world, one sweet moment at a time.




Author: Jerry Stocking

Editor: Travis May


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