elephant’s Best of the Week: 14 Aspirations for 2012, Sh*t Vegans Say, The Fat Trap…

Via on Jan 10, 2012

The Trouble with Paradise.

Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven. ~ Mark Twain

In the Buddhist tradition, we refer to our all too-human tendency to want everything to be perfect as God Realm. Boulder, Colorado, where I live, is in some ways a God Realm. Even better (or worse, rather), is a smaller, richer “community” like Aspen or St. Tropez or Cabo or any suburban gated community.

Pema Chodron talks about this God Realm tendency as always being unhappy with this present moment. If it’s cold, we want to turn the heat on. Then, in the summer, it’s too warm, so we turn the AC on. We go for a drive to the local grocery and complain about the 10 hot feet between our door and the car.

A funny thing happens on the way to “perfect”—we spend our lives irritated. We never relax with things as they actually are. We never make friends with ourselves. I’m pretty good, my relationship is good, my dog is good, my house is good…but I’m out of shape, or I’m lonely, or I’m pissed off: our journey to happiness turns into a realm of endless discontentment.

As Twain puts it, there’s no humor in heaven. My grandpa made good money. He was stingy. My mom is broke, always has been. She’s ridiculously generous.

Over four years of blogging with elephant, and five years as a magazine before that (yes: we’re about to turn 10!), I’ve loved creating and working with our readers. 98% of us are positive, constructive, respectful, fun…or, at worst, don’t leave many comments.

But then there’s the 2% of us who are perfect. Those of us who are righteous—about our diet, our religion, our politics, our equality. As you’ve noticed if you read elephant consistently, some yoga folks (like some vegans, some feminists, far-right Republicans, far-left liberals) have no sense of humor.

And I’m here to tell you that’s okay. That’s what we’re here for.Seriously uptight folks with stuff stuck up their yin-yang can’t win. Recovering Yogi, a sister publication, and elephant are fighting the same fight against spiritual materialism. Whether that materialism comes in the form of too-easy clubhouse passwords or advertorial or withering attacks on those we regard as “other,” PC won’t win. As elephant grows and we get more editorial help (thank you Bob, Tanya, Andréa, Kate, Brianna) we’ll be able to continue to raise the level of what we offer and sharpen our satire and soften our hearts. Frequently, in comments, I play a rather lose-lose game of making nice. Asking meanie commenters to be nice to an author they regard as out-of-line (even if I disagreed myself with the author). Sometimes, in comments, I go on the attack—and every time, I lose, and realize that my anger isn’t righteous—it’s mistaken. It’s my bad.

So elephant isn’t a web site, or independent media, merely. We’re a community. We’re a mission, in human form. We’re here to keep things fun, real, serious, and gentle…all at once. Join me in exercising that disused American muscle known as the ability to disagree without becoming disagreeable. Let’s reintroduce respectful debate instead of the partisan football that our democracy has become.

This article is an example of that, as are the comments. I hope to see many more. Email us with your article or idea and join our independent, reader-created media enterprise.

Yours in working (and playing) to create enlightened society,

Waylon Lewis

Top Ten Mindful Blogs of the Week.


14 Lasting Aspirations for a Happier New Year. 

~ Kimberly Roberts

Isn’t it nice to know we have a new start every year?

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The Fat Trap? ~ Hannah Siegle

This story hit a nerve amid the New Year’s weight loss hoopla.

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5 Tips: How to Handle Criticism. ~ Kate Bartolotta

If you love me, tell me the truth.

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Grounding & Pleasure: The Journey Begins. ~ Julian Walker

Fun with Chakras!

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How to Live an Extraordinary Life. ~ Bob Weisenberg

An Interview with Kripalu’s Stephen Cope.

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Maybe She’s Not that into You. ~ Andréa Balt

Rejection 101.

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Becoming a Carnivore. ~ Jamie Ginsberg

5 Reasons to start eating meat?

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20 Reasons I Would Rather Vote For Ron Paul Than Rick Santorum. ~ Waylon Lewis


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How to Stop Cuddling with Your Ego. ~ Kate Bartolotta

5 steps to keep you in check.

Read more





And the Average Annual Salary of a Yoga Teacher is…

Say wha’?

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Walk the Talk Show

Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis: Laurie David—Family Dinner & Inconvenient Truth.


Funny of the Week

Sh*t Vegans Say.


Wow of the Week

A Man’s Life, in 45 Seconds {Video}.


Quote of the Week

“The whole idea of compassion is based on…”

~ Thomas Merton

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About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive. Questions? info elephantjournal com


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One Response to “elephant’s Best of the Week: 14 Aspirations for 2012, Sh*t Vegans Say, The Fat Trap…”

  1. ourworldtreeyoga says:

    I guess I'm understanding you guys better! I was offended by a post from a fellow writer at your Elephant. But the more I read from The Elephant Journal and The Recovering Yogi, I get you and everyone that writes! I see the same stuff you do and I wonder, is it just me? I love yoga, but I do not believe in everything that was recited to me from my training…like what you see does not exist! Huh??? Really! Or the better one of: you cannot eat mushrooms or onions! HUH…do they not understand that I'm from Chicago and that is a staple on pizza? I also do not buy into you must eat only vegetarian cuisine! But its hard understanding this when I love yoga! So thanks to everyone that contributes to the Elephant and The Recovering Yogi. Thanks so much!

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