Note: The following excerpt has been used with the permission of a former client and/or the publisher. Please note that I can adjust my prose style for a particular genre, and the following is not intended to represent my full range of styles or the number of genres I consider. For nonfiction, the level of complexity can be adjusted depending on client preference. .
I am baffled by most New Age phrases and mantras. For example, I have a friend who is always advising me to operate from my "higher self." I have no idea what my higher self might be. Do I have a medium self and a lower self? Do I have a basement self in which all my day-to-day-crap is stored? I always try to behave in an honest, loving manner, so I how do I top that? Levitate and chant "Om"? Quote Confucius and the Buddha? Bill Gates? I confess that I'm out to lunch on what my higher self is or where it might be hiding. Perhaps I haven't mediated enough or been to the right chakra retreats.
Another phrase that was popular in the 1970s and is still around is "Embrace your inner child." Okay, but exactly where is my outer child? Is it tethered to a point above my head like some newspaper cartoon balloon? The question of where "my child" is aside, how do I embrace it? Do I strip naked, jump into the air, and yell "Hiawatha!"? Do I watch Woodstock >in order to see hippies getting back to the land and go swimming in the nude? I know, I know – it means to embrace my sense of innocence, and that's fine. Everyone should try to be less jaded and more forthright – should try to be spontaneous and humorous and playful, ignoring outdated rules and regulations that are the trappings of adulthood.
Or maybe it means that I should "follow my bliss," a phrase used by twentieth century mythologist Joseph Campbell. This famous author wasn't a New Age devotee, but he was certainly popular with those who engage in healing ceremonies during which crystals are placed on the supine human body. And what exactly is bliss? People who look blissful to me are usually stoned. A statue of the Buddha also >look blissful, what with that barely perceptible grin on his face, as if he just saw this week's winning lottery numbers with his Third Eye. "Follow Your Bliss" sounds enticing, but I really don't have the financial resources to do so. If I decided to follow my bliss and climb Mt. Rainier, I'd have to quit my job, and my mortgage company might not be on board the bliss train.
I suppose the proper course of action is to allow my higher self to embrace my inner child, who will, in turn, follow his bliss and toddle across the floor until he gets bored, at which point he will engage in primal scream therapy because all this metaphysical mojo just isn't working. Or not. At the end of the day, we all >have to get out of bed, go to work, wash the dishes, and vacuum the house. These are not blissful enterprises, and most children I know would sneak out the back door to avoid doing their chores and homework. As for my higher self, it usually demands that I pay my bills and tell my noisy neighbors, who like to party into the wee hours, to shut the hell up so that I can sleep. They are, of course, following their bliss and embracing their inner child after ten shots of tequila. If the party goes on too long, the police are usually pretty adept at channeling their lower selves in order to make sure the New Agers turn off the music and go to bed. And by the way, someone should tell the inner child that hangovers are a bitch.
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