Deconstructing Trump Mania

For months I’ve mumbled and bumbled over the millions falling head over heels for the rants and raves of Donald Trump. How could this dark force have taken over the minds of so many? What is it he offers that makes this megalomaniacal, attractive?

Rebbe Nachman, the 19th century Hasidic master, said: Free will means you do what you want to do, and you don’t do what you don’t want to do. Thus, these many millions, including the heretofore blustery Chris Christie, who stood silent guard this past week behind Mr.Trump while listening to him proclaim himself king in waiting, have become his willing subjects, filled with enough hate to say yes, to his every whim, no matter how heinous .

When I read Dana Milbank’s Washington Post column: “Trump’s Captain Underpants Campaign,” I got it. Milbank assigned grade levels to the candidates’ speech. Accordingly, Trump’s is at third grade level, Hillary’s at 7th, and Bernie at 8th. Thus, he’s easy to understand. No pressure brainwise. And just right for  a nation of spoiled, angry  children, stamping their feet, and run amuck.

What a Mess

This past week, a dear friend emailed me his take on this mess:

“The Republican candidates are a travesty. What disturbs me more are the many people supporting them. They represent the mindset of a great number. It seems to me that coarseness and a lack of civility is tolerated and applauded in the public square. I find it to be a sad situation.”

Yesterday, I saw the following in Richard Cohen’s column in the Post:

:“Today, we live in Kardashian country. . . When it comes to decorum, it’s always Casual Friday in America.”

 Where have refinement and manners gone?

Indeed. Coarseness has become the norm. I notice it in my own speech as well. Words I never heard from my parents, sister, brother in law, or even my friends, come out of my mouth too often. Where has refinement gone off to? Perhaps it’s just around the corner and I’m too weighed down with my own Casual Friday belief system to notice. How did it become so rare, so discredited?. I recall how my mother would question me when i started to date someone. “Is he refined?” she would ask. I thought it didn’t matter, that she was being silly. I was wrong.

Though coarseness can make what we say sound funnier, more  dramatic, the loss we suffer by giving it free rein does us in. And our careless disregard has resulted in  the full blown birthing of this unapologetic madman, who in many ways is our own creation. Can he be stopped . . . Who knows? But the one thing we can do is to start this reformation within ourselves.

Here’s an image that makes a correction I’m ready for.You may choose to use it as well. And yes, perhaps the custom of washing a nasty mouth out with soap isn’t  such a bad  idea.

 Brain Bath

Intention: To get rid of habitual, devitalizing thoughts that deter you from living a clear, refined  and balanced life.


Close your eyes and breathe out three time. See yourself kneeling beside a clear flowing stream. Unzip your head and carefully remove your brain. Place it gently in front of you and submerge it in the stream. See and hear the bubbling, waters surrounding and permeating your brain,cleansing it of all debris. Now find beside you a golden brush and with it scrub away anything else that may be hidden there which keeps you from being calm and clear. Take it out of the stream and dry it in the sunlight. Put it gently back inside your head. Now zip up your head and go on your way, noticing how you look and feel.Then breathe out and open your eyes.


Radical Grace*

Last Friday Gay Marriage became the law of the land. Later that day, Barak Obama paused for thirteen seconds in the midst of his eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney and allowed the silence to sweep over us before he /began to sing Amazing Grace and 5000 mourners in the arena, and millions more watching on TV, sensed that this was the opening in the waves — that the world had turned and we were fortunate enough to have witnessed it..

What a journey its been.  What grace, we’ve experienced by being here  To go through the joy and the pain of it. And to have the chance to learn from this pain, and to honor it, instead of resisting and denying it, is far more than I expected or hoped for.

We’ve hit a more fearless, deliberate stride . There will be no turning back. The people in that arena cried out Hallelujah, and many of us cried out with them. And the tears flowed. And hope was reborn. For what we saw with our eyes was barely a sliver of what we were able to see with our hearts.

Hallelujah indeed. At this moment of radical grace,,nothing less will do.

Use the following image to welcome grace into your life, and to suspend your disbelief. It costs you nothing but your doubt. Then see what happens.

 Receiving Grace

Close your eyes and imagine yourself floating face up in the water. Sense and feel how you are supported without any effort.

Breathe out and see yourself as a falcon, soaring high above the earth. Sense how the air and the wind hold you aloft without any effort.

Breathe out. See and sense yourself in free fall, floating into the Creator’s loving  embrace.  Know and live how you are surrounded and supported by the power and light of grace.

See how you feel. Then breathe out and open your eyes.

*Radical Grace is the name of the sterling documentary about three nuns who risk their place in the Catholic Church to follow the higher calling:of social justice. It was, produced by Susan Sarandon..

They voted Right: Or Is It Left?

Did you hear it? Was it loud enough? Do they get it yet? A resounding YES just echoed throughout the land. The Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 to keep the Affordable Care Act in tact. Millions, including one of my very dear friends, have been saved from being thrown back into the pit of disregard and hardship advocated by those those who would have given almost anything (except their own privilege) to see this grand accomplishment go down. Foiled! The brilliant and beautiful Black Man in the White House has pulled it off again. Sorry. Too bad. La di da. La di da. La di da.

I dare say this has been a good week. Out with the confederate flag. In with Obamacare. What’s next. I bet, hope, and pray, we go three for three. The odds are good. The wind is at our backs. Any takers?

We never know what things may come.  All we do know is our intention and our willingness to follow through. Here’s an image for momentum and resilience. Use it and see what happens.

 Beating the Drum

Close your eyes, exhale through your mouth, and imagine you’re standing within a circle of light. See, feel and sense how you are beating a drum that sends out a clear and powerful message. See all those who hear this message responding to its rhythm and coming to join you. See them entering your circle and see this circle growing larger. Hear the drumbeats flowing out into the universe, becoming stronger and clearer. Feel them resonating in your heart and in the hearts of others. See and sense what happens. Then breathe out and open your eyes.


Hate Takes A Holiday

The Washington Post  ran a piece yesterday informing us that the president’s popularity soared to a respectable 48%, this week, rebounding from the longest time underwater of any recent two time president.

Gallup’s editor-in-chief, quickly attributed the upswing to the overall holiday mentality. The reasons were as follows:

Increased support among Hispanic voters, pleased with Obama’s executive order on immigration.

Happiness concerning normalization of relations with Cuba.

The improved state of the economy.

And, of course, our innate American generosity during the holiday season — a “Christmas bump” so to speak, reflecting our exceptional charitable nature.

Joy to the world! There has been a sudden White-out, regarding the Black man in the White House. Thus, hate takes a holiday. Hooray for us. Let’s see how long it lasts. My optimistic heart says to the end of his term, at least. My logical mind says till next week if that.

Here’s an imagery exercise for opening our hearts during this season of light, peace and hope, no matter how brief it may be.

Lake in the Cloud

Close your eyes and breathe out through your mouth. See yourself climbing up high to a lake in the Cloud above you. Imagine reaching inside your chest, taking out your heart and cleansing it of all impurities in these cool, crystal clear waters. See these impurities swirling away and disappearing. Then take your heart and hold it up to the sun, seeing and feeling it infused with golden light.

Breathe out and carefully replace it in your chest and feel the change in its nature. From withholding to forgiving. From hate to kindness. From resentment to love. Then breathe out and open your eyes, knowing you have repaired yourself, and have helped to repair the world.


Aging in Real Time

Bill Maher’s recent commentary  on “Real Time,” featured a photo of a lovely young woman, definitely a head turner. That photo was of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Yes. That Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

We all start out young. We may even start out beautiful. Then we age, and get less young, and less beautiful. No matter how we struggle, there’s no way around it, . And though some manage to stay younger longer— I got carded when I was fifty. Now, cab drivers ask my advice about Medicare— the truth is, it all goes. And goes and goes and goes.

Botox and surgery have their limits. And those who indulge take the risk of looking pathetically “plastic.” Is it worth it? Ask some of our face-lift royalty.Though tempted, I won’t name names. But I’ll bet there are  more than a few regrets.

Held hostage to our American prejudice 

So what holds us hostage to this unholy American prejudice of “ageism”?  What makes us hand over our power and possibility while trying to hang onto something that’s guaranteed to be fleeting, no matter what? And why are the young so bent on labeling their elders as irrelevant?

Yes. The young are younger. That comes with the territory. But they lack experience and wisdom. And despite the sexy iPhone appendages that bind them to overloads of unnecessary information, wisdom is not their forte.

Starting at the top

My daughter is a civil engineer. She’s been one for 25 years. She’s paid her dues and still pays them, daily. She finds it absurd that newcomers to the business question the need for them to pay theirs’. They want to start at the top.  To do  her job, right here. right now. They think they are ready. Clearly, they’re not!

The invaluable payoff in aging

FDR, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson, got so much done since beyond being smart and canny they were old enough to know what they were doing! There’s an invaluable pay off in that. It’s time we stop our pointless groveling at the shaky altar of youth, give age it’s due, and let it roll. The following image may come in handy if you’re so inclined. .

Golden Age

Breathe out one time and see, sense and feel the golden mantle of maturity as it settles about you. Know and live the wisdom of the ages woven into its cloth. Lovingly pass this along to those who come after you. Give thanks for this privilege.  And then breathe out and open your eyes.