One good mental health instruction is to go back to the last time you were really happy and try to recreate that feeling and that moment now. So from us to you - the sixties: Turn On, Tune In, Drop out! (Previously published as Suggestions)
The one thing that everyone seems to agree with is that the world and especially the United States will never be the same after 9-11. (Perhaps you could add the last eight years of the current administration, also.)
But looking toward the future, one has to think about ways to deal with this changing world.
So here are some practical suggestions from the 1960s, the "Peace Love Hippy Yippee Commune" era which might help people get through the dark times ahead.
The tried and true has been shaken. What have you got to loose? Shake out the cobwebs! Go ahead. Just try doing things differently. Instead of getting up on one side of the bed, get up on the other. Take a day off and just enjoy doing the other. Go to a park even in the snow. Reach out to someone you haven't seen in a while like an old friend or a relative, send them a present. Play games, do puzzles with your children. Hang out with your parents or grandparents and listen to them, really listen. And don't read the newspaper, listen to TV or engage in small talk. Talk about important things like justice and equality. Write a letter. Stand up for something you believe in, especially if it's tough. Serve the greater good, not yourself. But make changes especially small habit ones.
This is important to understand. Don't get fuzzy like with alcohol. Don't get stoned like with heavy drugs. Just get high! Some can do it with just will power but I recommend smoking marijuana. And be careful, it is still illegal and drug testing is a fact of life in the working world. (I still wonder why after all these years, society still wants to push alcohol and drugs like cigarettes which are seriously bad for your health and not legalize marijuana!) But go easy with this, a little can go a long way especially if you are not used to it.
(And no I don't know a source but its out there and be prepared to pay more than you expect. See, crime must be paying for someone!) The intent is to get detached, above it all and look at things differently. But really look, not just skim the surface. Look for the real essence of things, people and situations. And see if you can figure out what to do with this reality.
Put Out Positive Vibes
It's easier if you start with getting yourself connected to the new through experimentation and then getting high. Put out those positive vibes on the people you are around and the situations you are involved with like family, shopping, the library, whatever. Put it out on your car or bike or house or plants or trees. Broadcast it to the heavens. Feels good right? And don't worry if you don't just feel it coming back though sometimes the return is immediate. Often you have to wait a bit and it can be very, very subtle.
Follow the Vibes
Listen to the voice within. This may take a while especially if you haven't been listening so you might have to practice a little. In the 60s you could end up at a bookstore or a meeting place or a supermarket or just an address. Even then it was chancy. (The famous story in Berkeley was Charlie Brown who got high, maybe a little too high but who can say, and was inspired to go to a location and meet someone and so he went there and got busted for drugs by a narc.) But when you go, be aware of what is going on there and look for the meaning of being there, either for you or someone else. (Did anyone else see a movie with George C. Scott where he thought he was Sherlock Holmes? The plot flirted with whether the character was crazy but by following the vibes and the voice within he solved the crime.) Another good point is sometimes you have to be a detective with keen powers of observation to understand what is really happening.
Give It Away
This is a basic rule of many religions (including Islam, by the way). Through giving you create a space so that something else can come. Of course it may not be the same thing, but obviously you have to take your chances. But whatever you do, it has to stay free so don't give to the Goodwill or anyone who is going to sell it. Try passing it on inside your family, circle or friends and then move out toward neighbors or just strangers on the street. Give to organizations who might need it but no money can change hands, it has to stay free. Speaking of money, give that away too. Again start with individuals and move out from there and give some substantial amounts not just five or ten bucks. It matters more if the amount can get some ones attention like at least a hundred bucks. Money is one of the substantial problems of his age so by confronting it and giving it away you get good energy. And it feels good. And people can really use it right now. That's why you have it, to give it away. (Are you wealthy buggers listening? This is a real opportunity.)
Life really can be very simple. But you have to keep it that way. Take all the clutter out of your life and put it in a big garbage bag and if after a week or two you don't miss it then dump the bag. And get rid of all those noisy things like the vacuum cleaner that you should wear ear plugs to use and the florescent light that hums when you turn it on. (Objects tell you when there is something wrong, but people have a vast capacity for making due.) If there are two of you and you have two cars and two jobs, it may be time to get down to one. The person not working can improve the quality of life for the family. Having problems at school with your kids, teach them at home. There are answers only sometimes you need to look differently to see them.
Get Back to Nature
This can be a tough one. In the 60s many unprepared people moved to the country and made a mess of things. So don't just move! Try to do it where you are. Start a small garden, even in an apartment you can do something. The important thing is to get in touch with the cycle of life from seed to fruition. Focus on the changes of the moon and the sun and the weather. Global warming is not just an interesting subject but very visible. Look at what it means to you where you are. Feed the birds or the squirrels or the foxes, or whatever animal that is around. And if you can, buy some land with water rights, build your own house with alternative energy and move there. (Might as well go there if the shoe fits!)
This is the basis for all the above. You have to get in motion and stay there. Things that make you passive like television you should keep to a minimum. Work on your car, change the oil. Fix a broken appliance. Sing in the shower. Mop the floor. Clean the windows. Write a story, write the story of your family. Bake some bread and give it to your relatives, friends, co-workers, neighbors or strangers. Involve your children and grandchildren. Give them chores and teach them how to do them correctly. The new world will always need skilled people!
With peace it often is better to understand what it is not. It is not supporting killing even when the cause appears to be "just". It is not about being right. When people die needlessly, everyone is wrong. It really is true that we are all connected and killing large numbers of people whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, the West Bank, Northern Ireland, Africa or wherever affects us all very detrimentally. (Has anyone noticed all the older people dieing now, with no apparent connection to the conflicts? No apparent connection!) But to have peace you have to also support peace and eliminate the causes of war and one big cause is inequality. It just is not fair that some people have so much more than the rest due to some accident of birth. Bucky Fuller proved almost 30 years ago with his "World Game" that there was enough on the planet for everyone. It is just about the will power needed to share and then the distribution.
It really is about this. If you can love anyone or anything then you can open that love up to all the world.
And then... and then..
See the 60s were right, it is Peace and Love!
Stay with it!
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