Om is Where the Heart Is

woman-meditating-in-the-outdoors-2908175In a subtle attempt to calm me down, my husband enrolled me in a mediation course. I love meditation, in theory, and had a random practice that included meditating in bed, grocery store lines and during TV commercials, but I didn’t have an actual sit-down meditation practice.

Now I do. Twice a day I sit for 20 minutes and watch the thoughts in my brain battle to the death. According to Instagram, nothing proves how spiritual you are more than sitting quietly with perfectly styled hair and make-up. The longer you sit, the better a person you are. Fact.

So now I’m a super-spiritual Zen person. I make sure I talk about my meditation practice all the time. The more you talk about how you’ve merged with your inner self, the more interested people around you become. They could listen to you talk about your meditation practice for hours.

You also need an expensive meditation cushion. Here’s a conversation I had with my husband, who just couldn’t understand the complexities of meditation.

Husband: Can’t you just sit in a chair?

Me: To be uber-spiritual, I need an $80 meditation cushion so I’m closer to Mother Earth.

Husband: Why don’t you just sit on the floor?

Me: Don’t be crass.

I tried sitting on the ground to meditate. I was in San Luis Obispo at a conference, and I went to the beach early in the morning. I listened to the waves, communed with my inner being and radiated calm as I left the beach to go back to the hotel.

As I ran up the trail from the beach, I tripped on a rock and fell face-first onto a wooden stair, nearly breaking my nose and spending the rest of the weekend with a bruised and swollen face. If I’d been sitting on a beautiful cushion instead of the ground, my inner being wouldn’t have been pissed off and try to kill me. Fact.

Meditation in nature is supposed to be super-relaxing, but right when I close my eyes I feel an ant crawl across my foot and I have to look to make sure it isn’t a spider because then I have to jump up and scream.

The only reason to meditate outside is so people can see you meditate and understand you’re a super-spiritual person.

I’m teaching my puppy to mediate with me, hoping my calm energy will soothe her. After 10 minutes of getting her to settle down, I’ll place my hand on her back, syncing our breath and heart rate. Just as I create an intense connection to her heart chakra, she jumps in my lap to lick my face and ruins everything. She’ll never be as spiritual as me. Fact.

blue-buddha-ceramic-head-figurine-1597017People ask what I do when meditating. First, I sit quietly on my expensive cushion, noticing the thoughts running across my mind. I spend several minutes trying not to notice the thoughts running across my mind. I achieve two seconds of stillness before the thoughts start up again.

Soon I become numb from the waist down. The more numb you feel, the more spiritual you are. I can’t feel my toes and my knees are screaming for help. But that just proves to the Universe that I’m dedicated to my meditation practice. Sometimes I fall asleep and jerk awake before I hit the floor.

I expect I’ll achieve enlightenment any day now since I’m so good at meditating. If there’s one thing I excel at it’s doing absolutely nothing. Fact.


Originally published in the Davis Clipper

My Christmas Wish List

Christmas is a time for making wishes–even those outrageously ludicrous wishes that involve Dunkin Donuts, sweat pants and unlimited calories. So if we’re making unrealistic wishes for Santa to grant, here’s my Christmas list:

Dear Santa,

I wish that:

Repubs and Demos can put their differences aside for the next two years, and actually focus on healing this country. What a concept!

I never have to see another picture of any Kardashian’s ass ever again.


(Another big Kardashian ass.)

Milk chocolate will be deemed the new health food–especially when it’s filled with caramel or poured over cashews.

North Koreans will develop a sense of humor.

Jon Stewart will announce his candidacy for president of the United States, with Stephen Colbert as his running mate.

People will stop shooting each other.

Pope Francis embarks on a world-wide tour, with the Dalai Lama as an opening act. Or Eminem.

 FotorCreated(The Pope-Marshall Immortal Tour.)

People will stop asking me if I’m ready for Christmas. So much guilt! So much shame!

Every child in the world can go to bed with a full tummy.

The Mars Curiosity rover will find wreckage from the Star Trek Enterprise. Or Amelia Earhart’s plane.

Vladimir Putin will stand the hell down.


ISIS will self-destruct, or be eaten by a random band of zombies–who then self-destruct.

Girls in every country can attend school without fear.

Celebrities will stop talking about how “real” they are.

No one will ever say “gluten-intolerance” ever, ever again.

Governments will stop fixing blame, and start fixing problems.

And finally, I wish for peace. Not the Miss America kind, but a lessening of anger, a quieting of turmoil and an overall kindness to people worldwide. Is that too much to ask?

Thank you, Santa.