Get Your Mouth Off That

So apparently a bunch of little girls have contracted salmonella from kissing frogs. Thank you Walt Disney. Come on girls, kissing frogs is a metaphor. Not like when mommy says you are making her crazy, that's hyperbole. Or when your parents tell you you're a crybaby that's just honesty. Now, I don't want to minimize the potential dangers of salmonella but girls, FormerlyFun spent a good 15+ years in the dating world and there are way worse things you could have caught than a little dating diarrhea. Take it as a cautionary tale of a cautionary tale, get yourself some yogurt, stay hydrated and when your freshman boyfriend suggests you go under the bleachers(another metaphor), remember what happens when you put things in your mouth.

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Ohm, Have You Seen My Chakra?

Have you ever read the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary? I read it somewhere around the age of seven or eight and to this day, I remember portions of it vividly. I also recall laughing so hard during quiet reading time that my teacher threatened to send me out of the room. There is nothing like being told to stop laughing that makes it even more difficult to stop laughing. In one of the books Ramona, at the time a spirited kindergartner, is told by her teacher to "sit here for the present." Of course the teacher means only that she take a seat temporarily. For Ramona, excitement ensues when she contemplates this unknown present she will be receiving, then of course, confusion when the day ends without her getting the promised gift.

I had much the same feeling yesterday when I sat in my first Zen Buddhist meditation orientation. The Zen master said "be present in each moment" and I imagine myself, nestled in a box, limbs folded on themselves, wrapped in brightly colored paper with an iridescent cellophane bow festooning my head. Biting the side of my cheek, I realized I am probably as immature and easily humored now as I was at eight. "Be present in each moment," the Master urged us. The promise being that if I sit here with my legs folded, being still(adult Buddhisty word for quiet and not at all fidgety)I will get rewarded with the thirty-something mom version of Disneyland: calmness, acceptance, enlightenment, a clean refrigerator and organized mind.

Some meditations ask that you clear your mind of thought. The goal of this particular meditation was to focus on your breath allowing the thoughts to come as they will, acknowledge them, and then return to the breath. The problem with doing this, this being conscious of your internal voice is that you notice what a neurotic little chatter bug you are.

Ok, close your eyes. Keep them closed, don't get distracted. Hmm, I smell perfume. Is that Aqua Di Gio? Oh, I don't like that smell, definitely hate it. Still, it is better than Patchouli and armpit which is what I expected half these hippy types to smell like. Hippy types? What am I, my eighty year old Grandpa? I do like sandalwood though, used sparingly. You know what I should do when I get home is make more of those homemade essential oil laundry sheets. Maybe I should give those to people for Christmas, wait that's right Gene and I decided no more consumer Christmas, icknay of the gift-ay, but does a homemade gift really promote consumerism? Probably because someone might feel they needed to get you something in return. Wait I'm supposed to be focusing or not focusing or focusing on breathing, wait how did I get to dryer sheets? What is wrong with me? You know I should really give my internal voice an Australian accent or something just to spice things up a bit.

This is just a small snippet of my stream of consciousness, I could write another fifteen paragraphs but believe me, it doesn't get any more interesting than that. I'm told it gets easier to shut off this dialogue, the internal equivalent of what crazy people say out loud. It would be helpful to eliminate the negative chatter of you shoulds, you shouldn'ts or any of the other tracks that keep me from being the me that is free of all that. Still, I would miss the neurotic girl who's head is full of stories, impressions--she has a good vocabulary, makes me laugh, keeps me company and tells me it's ok to buy more shoes so she can't be all bad.

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