Mindful Meddling

Book Review

Mindful Meddling.  Still Waters. Awareness Press. $17.00

Mindful Meddling“If you’re going to stick your nose in others’ business, you can at least do it mindfully” opines celebrity life coach Still Waters in her latest best seller, Mindful Meddling. The how-to guide takes nosiness to a new level, offering techniques for interfering in people’s lives—for their own good, of course—in a focused, contemplative way. “They won’t even realize what you’re doing,” she reassures readers, “because your ethereal demeanor will completely transfix them.”

Mindful meddling adds yet another practice to the fast-growing field of extreme mindfulness, which already boasts mindful couponing, mindful boxing, and mindful AC repair.  The key to success in all areas is concentration, whether you’re sorting coupons or gently suggesting someone should lose weight. The important thing is to free your mind of extraneous thoughts and give undivided attention to the task at hand. Continue reading

Smile Your Way to Success

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As seen in The Satirist, December 4, 2015

Hold onto your lips, folks ― the hottest trend in self-improvement has arrived.  Smile shaping is taking the country by storm, and classes can’t keep up with demand.

What the heck is smile shaping, you may be asking yourself.  With roots in ethology, the science of animal behavior, smile shaping uses systematic exercises to teach people to use various forms of smiling to meet challenging social situations.  For example, want to cast a malicious smirk in the direction of your nemesis, or perhaps don a flirtatious grin to attract that hottie across the room?  Then smile shaping is just the thing for you.

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Docent Corps Takes Portland

Add Pizzazz to Your Event with a Master Docent® Volunteer Guide

While being trained as a volunteer tour guide for a botanical garden in Portland, Oregon, I was encouraged to upgrade my work to that of a “docent,” like you find in museums and art galleries. This enhancement included using scientific names for plants instead of the common names. The first time I used the term Arctostaphylos uva-ursi with a tour group, a few members snickered. Nevertheless, I was determined to act like a docent, whether the unschooled liked it or not. So a few months later, when Portland launched its Master Docent® training program, with only 30 privileged candidates to be accepted into the inaugural class, I applied immediately.

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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Terry Glase, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)

Like similar programs around the country that produce Master Gardeners, Master Composters, and Master Recyclers, the Master Docent Program is designed to appropriate idle time from retirees and eco-zealots in order to staff public programs otherwise starved for funding. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, Portland ranks sixth in the nation for volunteerism, behind Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Charlotte and Rochester. (I can understand why Salt Lake City is ahead because of all those white-shirted young Mormons on bicycles, but what’s with the Midwest?) Also, Portlanders can breathe a sigh of relief that Seattle moved down to seventh place after beating the Rose City the previous year. Regardless, why does Seattle, with its exorbitant sales tax, need so many volunteers to run the city, anyway?
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Bamboozeled by Bright-siding

Americans Lash Back against Positive Thinking

Poppies closeupAmericans have been bamboozled by bright-siding1. We’ve been falsely led to believe that positive thinking will save us from all harm. Our generation has been duped into thinking that we can (indeed must) stay young forever, maintain perfect health, have it all, visualize our way to success, get rich, and enjoy 15 minutes of fame. To this end we have diligently followed expert advice, nurtured our bodies, worked like zealots, banished self-doubt and affirmed our inner strength. But a creeping suspicion is growing that maybe, just maybe, we’ve been blind-sided by a cruel hoax. Gasp—have we been fed a fairy tale?

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