Found Messages

I am working on this large research project on “local culture” and meaning with a group of seminar students, part of what we do is collect folk sayings, graffiti, bumper stickers, common use phrases, etc. in the community within and surrounding the uni as a way of re-constructing local identity. The project is truly fascinating and not as complicated as it might sound. The impact it has had on my own life is that I am constantly looking at little snippets of things all around me, fallen pieces of paper, scribblings on napkins, sayings on gum, etc. Today, while shut up in my house riding the theraflu haze I came across something in a pocket in the laundry that seemed like a fitting thing to share on the blog. Apparently, it is a manifesta about healthy living my gf picked up last time she went shopping for yoga clothes. Call me touchy-feely if you like, but what I like about this “found object” is that it talks about health and healing (and from an anthro standpoint it is also an example of “local culture” creation through linguistic cues being mobilized by a corporate entity; I know blah-blah-academese-blah-blah) at a time in which I think these things are needed. I prefer healing to tearing down, conversation to conflict, and healthy group dynamics to the circling of wagons. So I am sharing this found object with you as a culture building exercise reflecting my re/commitment to radical love in the blogosphere I made at the beginning of this year and a call to healing.

Below are all the sayings on the sheet. (Note – I am more than a little disconcerted by the children and orgasm analogy both from a child advocate perspective and probably a prudish Catholic one. For me, even though they are making a point about internal knowledge, I think a different metaphor would have been more appropriate and that I couldn’t post this without registering that to all of you. There are also some things that are specific to that “creation of local culture/identity” thing I was blathering on about that won’t fit for everyone but you could replace them to references to where you live)

The sayings:

  • Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.
  • A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.
  • Do one thing a day that scares you.
  • Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.
  • Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.
  • Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.
  • Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
  • That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.
  • Stress is related to 99% of all illness.
  • Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.
  • The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!
  • Friends are more important than money.
  • Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.
  • Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.
  • Don’t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.
  • Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.
  • The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.
  • Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.
  • Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.
  • Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
  • Dance, sing, floss and travel.
  • Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.
  • Successful people replace the words “wish”, “should” and “try” with “I will”.
  • Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment.
  • Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.
  • lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.
  • Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.
  • SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.
  • Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.
  • What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
  • The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.

2 thoughts on “Found Messages

  1. The one local thing is interesting: “Live by an ocean” We can’t all live by the ocean. I live in California, and I know plenty of people here think the folks who can’t live by an ocean are missing out. But my body misses the terrain I come from. Michigan has lots of water (no salt water, though), and I might say live by water. But the person who comes from Arizona would say something else. When I lived in Colorado, it felt very moving to live near a mountain. It made me feel small in a good way.

    I think Western cultures have lost a real understanding of how deeply connected we are to the land we live on. That list tries to make its commands easy, but sometimes they’re not. You could say “Travel, and then come home.” But I traveled to Brazil, lived there a year, and feel part of my heart is so far away. And if we partner with someone from a different place, one of us cannot live in the terrain we grew up in.

    Western Michigan, its sand, dirt, water, clouds, seasons, undergrowth, trees, is my body’s home. But as a lesbian and as an intellectual, it’s not an easy place for me to live.

    (I wasn’t raised catholic, and I’m not much of a prude. I agree with your concerns.)

    • Funny, it was exactly the statement to live by the ocean that made me say you would have to adapt somethings to your local circumstances. I hear your concerns but I thought of them differently. I prefer to think of home or the place you came from as subjective and not biological perhaps it is because I too am a lesbian and know that my partner’s home “place she came from” is not the place she was born; and as a transnational I also think that while living as a permanent condition is not possible, living in multiple places can be, in the same way that travel can be a state of mind in which you travel through books or music or a reference to mobility in which you go on walks or to new places in your own town and not just across borders (state or national). Perhaps I was being a little too free in my interpretations; theraflu will do that for you …

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