Take Off The Spangly Gold Mankini: Tips For Enlightenment.

James Dean "Giant"

Edward De Bono loved a good a hat analogy and I have to admit, so do I.

Who wouldn’t? But in my analogy, I like to use all forms of adornments to explain something that seems to plague us all.

I was struck by this analogy during an awkward but necessary conversation with a complainer. He was a lovely guy, but simply could not stop complaining about everything, and frankly it was getting on everyone’s nerves. The conversation ended with a reconfirmation of his loveliness as a person but that the complaining seemed to be something he was wearing…like a hat.

It suddenly struck me, could it be that we all walk around with these silly adornments on that we pick up along the way, some consciously, but mostly through unconscious “gifts” we receive from our parents, our cultural conditioning and our schooling? Just imagine it. Pompous self-righteousness is a pair of bright orange trousers. Chronic judgmental-ness is a pair of garish chandelier earrings that would put Pat Butcher* to shame.

However whimsical this may be, if you want to get to your essential nature it could be important stuff.

Enlightenment, so they say, is the letting go of something, a revealing of your true nature.

Doing anything to get to enlightenment is foolish as you are already what you seek to be. You don’t need to do anything; you need to stop doing something. The truth is already there—you just need to take off the silly glasses and spangly gold mankini.

Taking off the rainbow-coloured beany however can be easier said than done, especially if you don’t have a metaphorical mirror handy. But here are a few things that might help to create a shiny surface in your mind:


Enlightened souls such as Mooji and Anthony De Mellio argue that the bottom line to enlightenment is awareness, awareness, awareness. You don’t even need to change anything. The awareness itself is enough to initiate change. That’s a massive relief for someone like me who has libraries full of self-help books searching for the right way to be—or perhaps the right thing to wear.


Sometimes those luminous green hot pants that you’ve been wearing for the last 16 years are just too welded on. That’s when you need someone else to give you a hand and pull them off. There are many different types of counselling, and when you consider that we currently live in a type of invisible prison with fear and success as the bars, don’t feel bad that you might need some help to cope.

Some of my personal favourite theories of the mind include: Transactional Analysis, Psychoanalysis, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and Re-evaluation Counseling.

Using Other People as Mirrors.

Sometimes, the best way to see how silly those leopard print platforms look is to see them on someone else. There have been many times when I’ve noticed other people doing things that I do and cringe thinking, “Eek, I wear that too.”

So if you find you have a silly hat on, or a joke mustache, don’t despair. Find a mirror so you can take it off and reveal your true inner beauty.

*Pat Butcher is a character from the UK soap Eastenders, who is famed for her large garish earrings.

Relephant Read: 

Building a Relationship With the Land

Author:  Suzanne Williams

Associate Editor: Kendra Hackett / Editor:  Travis May

Photo:  Flickr

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

It doesn't matter :) Feb 9, 2015 4:24am

Never stop writing. It would be a travesty. Engaging, funny and all so, so true. See you in the newspaper next to WIll Self before long. 😉

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is a woman in transition. After leaving the cold shores of the British Isles behind her she is now on a life long learning mission to find a more sustainable way of living. Currently she is studying Integral Permaculture on the beautiful Canarian Island of La Palma. Here she hopes to reconnect with her roots, literally and figuratively and find out what it really means to share this planet with all our co-inhabitants.