You’d be surprised how many amazing people are working behind the scenes at elephant journal.
The newest of us are Editorial Apprentices: we dream of growing up to be fabulous editors and currently play with the elephant journal Facebook pages.
When you think of an elephant journal Editorial Apprentice, you are probably seeing an enlightened soul who enjoys biking, chanting, practicing yoga, and writing life-affirming words of love and not the girl sitting on the park bench eating nachos while throwing sticks at passing cyclists and giggling as she watches them tumble to the ground.
I’m the girl on the bench.
So, you think, what in God’s good name is she doing here? Well, I have a slight addiction to random online classes and fun certificates. I would never describe myself as enlightened or “in tune with nature,” but I will gladly admit my less than mindful quirks:
- Fat happy Buddha terrifies me. Some kids are afraid of Santa, other kids hate clowns, but I’ve always been scared by the chubby and cheerful Buddha. I was just never sure of what made him so darn happy, and it gave me the heebie-jeebies.
- I don’t know what ayuverdic means. I’m not sure exactly what it entails, but it’s a fun word to say.
- I’d rather have my alarm clock blare Nickelback every morning than be forced to drink warm honey lemon water. Keep your organic magic potion and just give me a delicious cup of caffeinated black coffee.
- I own more than one fruit dress. Just to be clear, the girl running a “Conscious Consumerism” Facebook page found only one dress featuring citrus wasn’t quite enough.
- I can’t ride a bicycle. That’s right, I am the one person who forgot how to ride a bicycle. I drive my SUV everywhere. I also live in the middle of nowhere with no public transportation and lots of snow, and let’s face it, the Prius is a complete dork mobile.
- My DVR is filled with cartoons, and I’m 27 with zero children. I’d really just rather watch Adventure Time than the news.
- I am not a yogi. I know it is sacrilege to even consider writing for elephant journal when my mom and I couldn’t stop giggling during the ending meditation of our first (and last) yoga class.
- I don’t meditate. Instead, I color in my mid-century modern animals coloring book, and take bubble baths with wine…lots of wine.
- I get up and grab a snack during our pre-meeting meditations. I’m not sitting up straight, and breathing deeply, I’m in the kitchen staring into infinite wisdom of the fridge.
- Steaming my vagina? No. Just no.
- I’m not vegan. I jump on and off the vegetarian bus from time to time, but I just can’t make the commitment to veganism. And I’m sorry, but vegan “chick’n” tastes like a rubber ball of disappointment.
- I throw up in my mouth every time I read the word empath. Ew, there it goes again. You feel the pain of every living thing around you? Terrific. Now quit humble-bragging about it.
- I will not make my own shaving cream/soap/laundry detergent/shampoo/signature perfume. I will continue buying these things like a goddamn American. So you don’t flame me, I only buy products that aren’t tested on animals, but I’m not making a mess of my kitchen and buying a ton of ingredients just to make my own deodorant.
- Your “healing soup” tastes like sadness. Probably because of all the crying I did while eating it and dreaming of pizza.
- What’s the big deal about Waylon Lewis? All apologies to the Waylon Fan Club, but I just don’t get it.
- I love Disney World. I know it’s a concrete, consumerist hell on Earth to some people. But, I would rather ride roller coasters and hug a mouse than go insane in a silent meditation camp.
- My fridge is always full of Foodles. Don’t know what a Foodle is? They’re Mickey Mouse shaped plastic containers filled with pre-washed and cut apples, grapes, cheese, and pretzels made for toddlers. It’s one of the only ways I’ll eat my fruits. Don’t worry. I always recycle the container.
Why am I admitting all these less than flattering personal details? Because, I don’t want to be seen as the majestic floating head in the Wizard of Oz, but the normal person behind the curtain running all the controls.
Also, living a “mindful life” doesn’t have to be a bunch of hipster clichés and rules. You don’t have to sport white person dreadlocks, or need to tell everyone you’re just trying to live an authentic life. It’s also okay to have a burning desire to punch those people in the face.
To me, mindful living is all about creating a better world while doing what makes you happy. If all the new-age mumbo jumbo doesn’t make you feel at peace, that’s cool. I’m with ya! Do whatever makes you feel contented and gives your mind a break from constantly sprinting, unless, you know, that thing is murder.
Don’t forget to help others and the planet. But, focus on your abilities and passions. You were given them for a reason. Personally, I’m not all that “green.” Seriously, enough with the evil propaganda against coffee cups and books. I love the smell of new books and showing off my controversial Starbucks cup. But, I love advocating for rescue animals, and volunteering with organizations helping impoverished children.
Do whatever it is that calls to you. And be your imperfect, un-enlightened self, because that person is awesome!
Author: Staci Lerch-Moist
Editor: Travis May