The Joy List Continued

48. If you’re going to get a cat, consider a black one. Little sweeties. They are the most euthanized due to superstition. It’s a small act to end ignorance.

49. Thank the elements. When you are in the shower, thank the water. When you are cooking, thank the fire. When it’s hot and there’s a breeze, thank the wind. When you get your bearings, thank the earth. When you relax, thank space.

50. Get a group of friends who are healers and perhaps prayer-givers so that when someone is hurting and you feel helpless, you have something to offer, a place to guide them. Vet well. Put yourself in the healer’s hands to ensure you would want to recommend to others.

51. That thing you do because you fear they may leave. Don’t do that. Liberate yourself each time you abstain.

52. That formula you’ve been given to get from others. Don’t do that. Just offer. Liberate love itself each time you do.

53. Do the real version, not the easier softer version. If you are going to do yoga, read Patanjali’s sutras. If you are going to eat corn, skip the corn syrup. If you are going to do a journey, do it with a qualified shaman. The sacred loses its meaning in the diluted. It can feed the wrong wolf as they say; two wolves, one causes harm, one is good. Feed the one who does good. That one is usually linked to something ancient.

54. Brussels sprouts, figs, and persimmons are vastly underrated. Give them their proper due!

55. Read a Joseph Massey poem. Notice the marriage between space and gritty earth coming together.

56. Keep a cool glass of water near you. Or room temperature if that is your thing. It’s one of the few things that lives up to the hype.

57. Make your bed first thing after your prayers.

58. If you want to take a nap, tell yourself that’s fine-after you take a walk or read some poetry or check in on a friend. Disengagement sometimes disguises itself as fatigue.

59. Recognize name and fame for what they are—extra weight we carry around that saps energy from simply doing what we love.

60. Go mycelium crazy. Go down the rabbit hole. Watch Fabulous Funghi. Read The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web by Robert MacFarlane. Listen to Paul Stamitz. It’s a model for a new millennium. Don’t take my word for it.

61. Try sleeping on the other side of the bed.

62. Become a boundaries aficionado. Know when you are hitting a limit that if you do one more thing, there will be a resentment. Stop prior to that and let the world off the hook.

63. Start a Beauty and Truth group aimed at expressing the beauty of a marginalized group you are a part of. Scorn never made it to the finish line. The world is love deficient and if you can offer the real deal, many, not all will change their tune. Thirsty people drink. Be the nectar not the vinegar.

64. A wonderful suggestion from a friend. Listen to The Emerald podcast on Spotify: Animism is Normative Consciousness. Revelatory and poetic. A restoration of a lost sense faculty.

65. Go on a complaint fast. Internal and external.

66. Speak well behind someone’s back. Be the cure for the “someone was just talking to me about you” wince.

67. Build a little fire somewhere safe. Say a prayer, something on the order of, “Any action that I took that was not reflective of unconditional love, I give over.” Put some black sesame seeds in your palm and drop them in. Each representing one of those deeds. If it feels like it has an effect, do it again the next day.

68. Do whatever you do wholeheartedly. Don’t go on social media to condemn social media for example. The mind goes into learned helplessness. Get out of the skid by going in the direction you are going to reclaim control of your vehicle. Get yourself moving in one direction. Then, when you’ve gathered yourself, you might (or might not) want to cut down your use of social media.

69. Send something, prayers, jackets, aid to the other side. The dark side that is being mean to your side. Knock down the mind wall that grows between you and the world, the one that sees a big bad, albeit invisible “them.” This allows you to see that there is only imperfect person one, person two, person three. See the sea of faces, stubbed toes and unmade beds, the regrets and the child births.

70. See yourself as a drone that can tune into the individuals that make up the offending “them” and feel their hearts. See if they are different from your own. If not, wish them well and thank them for letting you see in.

71. It’s okay to communicate only in cat memes.

72. Spend a day keeping your ambient attention at the navel. See if it shifts your perception.

73. Read Robert Bly’s warm and instructive Little Book of the Human Shadow. Call back the inner witch and the tyrannical patriarch that you may have projected onto the world.

74. Imagine yourself in a bubble. Say your name with the invitation that all that is not you can exit. And then do it again. This time with the invitation that all of you that has been lost can return.

75. Watch a YouTube on tea ceremonies. Get some high grade tea. Watch the Mozart in the Jungle episode about the tea ceremony. It’s stunning. Offer this to a friend whom you consider noble.

76. Write down 5 things or people you are jealous of. What is it that ignites this jealousy? What do they have that you do not? Vow to develop that. Then, because tithing works, support them in some way. If they are a better writer, buy their book. If they are a better teacher, take their class. Post their work on your social media. If they took your lover, send them sky prayers. Notice if a sympathetic joy begins to replace the tight, gripping hand of jealousy.

77. Watch the video of Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlslyle or perhaps Stevie Nicks and Miley Cyrus. Witness the grace of legacies ushering in the new and the humility of the women receiving the baton. See it expertly done. Model this and defy the “women are competitive” division.

78. Good desk chairs matter. Not too fancy. You don’t need to feel like you are on the Spaceship Enterprise.

79. If you’re in New York (otherwise online) check out Nicholas Roerich’s work. Note how he translates emptiness. Marvel. Then read about what a wild character he was and know that the two can co-exist.

80. You can regularly say “I am doing this for you” into the ethers to lost loves. You can say, “I want this world to be better for you even if you choose to be in it without me.”

(Painting: Buddha Investigator – by Nicholas Roerich)

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