December 31, 2020

Elephant Journal’s Best of 2020.


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Happy New Year! Should Auld Acquaintance be forgot…

I hope you ran around the block with a suitcase. I hope you kissed a loved one, or hugged your sweet self. 

We made it. Not all of us, and many of us are worse for the wear. Those of us who were stable, are vulnerable. Those of us who were vulnerable, are hurting.

The good news: we voted. Many of us cared for one another, even as lies and hate spread like wildfires and hurricanes.

The bad news: we need to show we can change, and be heroes we are waiting for…and we don’t change. We look forward to air travel, rampant tourism, clicking Amazon, and eating our burgers…instead of shopping locally, say. But if we don’t seem to change, you might change, and I might change, and together, you and I are a we.

Thanks to you, Elephant survived and thrived another year. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised. Here’s our best offerings from all of 2020, for a mindful look back.


Bookmark these. Share ’em up with a loved one, if helpful.

These Best of 2020 articles are the equivalent of that popular, yet grounded, and kind person you looked up to in junior high—these were…are…quality, and connected with our readers (you).

For independent media, for this mindful community to have survived and thrived another year…it’s all thanks to you. ~ Waylon H. Lewis, founding editor.

Here’s one of my favorite moments.

2020 was an unforgettably difficult year for most of us, and nearly all of us who aren’t…rich.

Raging fires, hurricanes (so many, they ran out of letters), and floods.

A civil rights awakening born of bloodshed, and racism. Climate change.

Voting in impressive numbers…despite, and because of, rampant voter suppression in what was once regarded as the World’s great Democracy.

A pandemic that showed the lines between those who care for truth, and those who care for…themselves.

A pandemic borne of wet markets, of factory farming…a solution to pandemics and climate change (veganism) right in front of us, that we have invested nothing in making happen.

But within the pain of 2020—the division, the delusion, the lost jobs and businesses, the raging fires, fearful floods and the growing, belated understanding by the masses that Climate Change Is A Thing…a quiet life went on, with its little sweet un-Instagrammed joys, its daily challenges, its tough Fridays and tired Mondays.

And your Elephant battled on, beneath the boot of Instagram and Facebook, which have killed nearly all blogs and media.

Not only did we battle on, we did so with our mission ever in mind, taking careful yet bold steps forward. Why? Because as the world shudders, our mission—that is your mission, too—to be of benefit—becomes all the more beautifully urgent.

May 2021 bring some overdue action, truth, and accountability. May the joy in our basic human nature flower into compassion. May we be of benefit! ~ Waylon

PS: All that matters is that we stay active in 2021. Yes, we’ve voted. But now is the time to keep showing up with caring. The fate of our planet, and species, and all other species depends on our bothering to care. No pressure (!). Just show up, and find a way to contribute. Get your friends to care about animal rights, or climate change, or equity. Share truth, and eco-responsibility—share urgently, and for love. Love.


Your dear editors at Elephant have selected all our very best reads of 2020. Drumroll, please…

> “Positive Vibes Only” is Toxic: the Danger of New Age Spiritualism.

> How I feel about Kobe.

> The Viral “Be a Lady” Video that is Slapping Societal Norms in the Face.

> 5 Surprising Truths about Women, ADHD & Sensitivity.

> Hey America, I Can’t Breathe.

> I’m not a Single parent—I’m a Lone parent & it’s F*cking hard.

> This is the Kind of Love you Deserve.

> Why “Tiger King” is just Poverty Porn for the Privileged.

> The Metta of Mask-Wearing.

> Don’t make Yourself a Project: Why the Pandemic isn’t the time for Self-Improvement.

> 11 Quotes from Kahlil Gibran for those Seeking the Meaning of Life.

> How Unresolved Childhood Trauma Conditions us to Ignore Emotional Abuse.


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> 7 Buddhist Thoughts to Help Reduce our Anxiety.

> I am Black. This is what I Need (& what I Don’t) from White Allies.

> This is for You: The Adult who Needs to Let Go of Childhood Wounds.

> Here’s The Proof that President Trump has done a Fantastic Job against the Coronavirus.

> Dear Candace Owens: “Manly Men” are Not Coming Back & Here’s Why.

> Un-Break my Heart—Why the relationships of Adult Children of Alcoholics Don’t Work.

> 50-plus Things to Do to Make the World a Better Place (instead of Being Bored Sheltering at Home).

> 10 Life-Changing Books & 11 Unforgettable Quotes to make you believe in the Power of Words.

> What it’s Actually, Really like to Get Over Heartbreak.

> Unf*ck Yourself with Russell Brand’s 12-Steps.

> Demi Lovato’s Political Performance of “Commander in Chief” just Broke the Internet.


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> We shoot Mountain Lions…don’t we?

> What Herpes can teach us about COVID-19.

> The Toxic Programming we Inherit from our Mothers.

> 5 Stages of Mindful Decision-Making in the Midst of Emotional Turbulence.

> From Suicide to Success: How He Gave Meaning to his Life.

> The Journey of Forgiving our Parents & Releasing our Family Conditioning.

> 10 Practical Ways to Prepare for a Global Pandemic.

> Why my Obsession with Self-Improvement Kept me Stuck & Unable to Change.

> Stop Romanticizing Lockdown—It’s a Mental Health Crisis in the Making.

> Amplify Black Voices: Yoga, you can do Better.

> STFU: 7 Ways the Patriarchy Gaslights Women.


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> To Abort or Not to Abort: What we Get Wrong about Pro-Choice.

> The Rupi Kaur Poem that every Brokenhearted Woman should Read.

> How COVID exposed New Age Narcissism.

> I Will Always be the Crazy & Difficult to Control Woman.

> “What if he’s Turning into a Butterfly?”—Thoughts on Grief as I Witnessed my Father’s Passing.

> 25 Self-Loving Ways to Take Care of Ourselves when we Feel Sad.

> Why I’m both Proud & Sad about Kamala Harris’s Historic Win.

> 6 Simple Ways to Kick-Start our Mornings with Intention.

> 5 Ways to Respond when Someone we Love Cuts us with their Words.

> Shared some BLM posts a month ago? Now it’s time to really Show Up.

> Never Settle for Anything but This Kind of Love.


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> This Dalai Lama Quote about Happiness is what we all Need to Read Today.

> How Not to Suffer: the Buddhist Way to Let Go of Attachment (to People, Places & Things).

> Brené Brown & Boundaries: Why we’d Rather Move on than have the Uncomfortable Talks.

> Our Nights are for F*cking. Our Mornings are for Making Love. {Adult}

> I Don’t Want to Come Out of Lockdown—& here’s Why.

> Love on La Rambla: An Unlikely Love Story between Strangers.

> Screw “Self-Care.” This is what we Really Need.

> How the Way our Partner Loves us affects the Way we Love Ourselves.

> A 7-Step Grief Survival Guide for the Holidays.

> Why We Keep Choosing Emotionally Depriving Romantic Relationships.

> 9 Soul-Piercing Bukowski Quotes to Carry us Through Life.


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> The 5 Things Emotionally Intelligent People Do Differently in Relationships.

> What if the Coronavirus is the Ultimate Pause & Reset Button?

> A Man’s Perspective on Toxic Masculinity (& How we’re Perpetuating It).

> To the Chronically Ill Warrior: You are Not Alone.

> Rumi on Grief. There’s no Such thing as Separation.

> Meet Our First Lady—A Powerhouse: Dr. Jill Biden.

> Why Gen-X Women are Furious.

> Why Am I So Tired?—7 Signs that your Body is Toxic According to Āyurveda.

> 10 Emily Dickinson Quotes for the Broken, the Hopeful & the Lovers.

> 43 Days Sober: Why I Finally Let Go of Alcohol during COVID-19.

> “Nudity empowers some women. Modesty empowers some women. Different things empower different women. Feminism is their right to choose.”


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> When we’re Triggered in Relationships: How to Respond instead of Fight or Flee.

> We’re No Better than Joe Exotic: Why We’re all “Tiger King” Hypocrites.

> Women who Dine Alone are the Best Kind of Women.

> Compulsive Self-Sacrificing leaves us Guilty, Cranky & Exhausted—8 Ways to Restore Balance.

> How to Find the Sweet Spot between Numbing Out & Empathy Overload.

> Relationship Advice for Women from Some Random Guy.

> This is the Cold, Hard Reality of a Piglet Killed for Sensory Pleasure.

> For the Women who are Holding so Much: A Letter from your Post-Pandemic Self.

> What Love Is.

> 33 Signs of Hidden Childhood Trauma.

> So-Called Self-Diagnosed Empath Culture is complicit in Caroline Flack’s suicide.


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> I love old statues. But… ~ Waylon Lewis

> Alcoholism isn’t about Drinking too much: Alcoholism is about Pain.

> If only I had a Partner in Quarantine.

> What my Time in a Psych Ward Taught me about the Power of Routine

> 12 Ways to Actually Be an Anti-Racist Ally.

> Why Introverts Tend to be Sh*t Friends. 

> Untame your Wild: Stop being so Pitifully Domesticated.

> The Self-Love Checklist: 50 Ways to Self-Care Every Damn Day.

> No, I Didn’t “Love Myself First.” I Practiced Self-Love Within my Relationship.

> What I Wish I could tell a New Widow in her Grief.

> I am no Longer Available for Things that make Me Feel Like Sh*t.


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> This Maya Angelou Poem is All I Need to Save Myself—Every Day.

> Marcus Aurelius for Healing a Broken Heart.

> An Affirmation for Making Space for Grief during the Holidays.

> A Therapist Explains How Childhood Programming Teaches us to Seek Toxic Relationships.

> At the End of Life: What 100-Year-Olds Say they Regret the Most.

> I Would Choose You Again & Again.

> What I’m learning about Hope from my 85-year-old Mom during COVID-19.

> Growing Pains: When Healing means Letting Go (& How to do it with Grace).

> The Magnetism of Sean Connery Lives On with these 14 Quotes.

> The Only Reason to have Hope as we Burn.

> 3 Sexual Anatomy Lessons You & Your Partner Need to Know.


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> No Alcohol, Sugar, Carbs & Coffee: How my Life Changed after a Simple Experiment.

> If you’re Vegan & you’re Consuming Palm Oil, you’re Not Vegan. {Partner}

> Hips don’t Lie: What our Tight Hips are trying to Tell Us.

>Unsolicited D*ck Pics & 4 Things you can do when you Receive Them.

> Why you should Give Up Meat—according to Ayurveda.

> The World needs to be Kinder to Childless Women.

> Beautiful & Impossible: the Truth about Quarantine.

> 6 Lies Men tell that are Ruining Sex for Everybody. {Adult}

> The Crisis we’re Funding Every Time we Visit the Supermarket. {Partner}

> Yoga Nidra & the Art of Sleeping like the Dead. 

> 3 Great Teachings from Rumi that have Changed me Forever.


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> Don’t date a Powerful Woman.

> 3 Reasons Communication is Needed for Long-term Intimacy.

> 40 Transformative Questions to Ask Ourselves Before 2021.

> Someday when I’m Yours & You’re Mine.

> Wake the F*ck Up, Karen—Breaking the Silence on White Privilege.

> Depression in Quarantine.

> White Folks: What it Means about You if you’re Getting Defensive about BLM.

> Why we Need to Quit playing Grandma’s “Find a Husband Game.”

> 10 Immunity-Boosting ways to Ward Off the Coronavirus (& any other Virus).

> Dear Exhausted Women: Stop Trying to Fix Everyone. Stop Carrying the Weight of the World.

> You might be Vata Dominant If…(Understanding the 3 Dosha Types of Ayurveda).


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> Narcissism is a Trauma Response.

> Oh, my, god. Not the moment America needs right now.

> The “Do it all Myself” Mentality that’s Born from Trauma & Feeling Unworthy.

> The 3 Things we Should Know by the Time we’re 40.

> Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscars Speech for “Joker” was a Wake-up Call for all of Us.

> Our Lungs hold Our Grief: What COVID-19 might be Trying to Tell Us.

> The 5-Second, Damn Good way to Know you’re with the Wrong Person.

> Rock Bottom Didn’t Make me Stop Drinking. ~ Annie Grace

> This is for You: The Adult who Needs to Let Go of Childhood Wounds.

> An Open Letter to Maskless “Rebels.”


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