Earthworms’ Castings

With Jean Ponzi

Attitude Adjustment

I asked for it from Santa and resolved to maintain it in the New Year. An adjusted attitude, and do I ever need it.

I’ve been stuck in a state of crabby reactions, angry feelings, an overall dim view of things. I sense that I am not alone, but social awareness does not make this oppressive state inhabitable. Frequent tweaking worked for a while but my sorry attitude is really due for a transformation.

Time to dust off attitude-changing tools I’ve used many times before: Questions, knowledge, faith in the process. My first step in attitudinal problem-solving is to know what I intend to change. Not just identify it, know it. Find the light in my heart of darkness. It’s pretty convoluted in here right now, so this looks like a job for the Jean Ponzi Theory of Negativity.

Experience in feminism, mysticism, the arts and eco-logic have shown me time and again that the true nature of Negative plays by its own sweet, honorable rules. For wellbeing in the realm of Negative, IS-ness as usual is unsustainable, because Negativity ISN’T.
Perspectives that are hip to Zen seem to have the healthiest take on Negativity. Far from cutting it off as “bad,” you truly value zero, zip, nada, zilch, no way, nil and void. You ain’t afraid-a NO-THANG. You can give your all for naught, and feel yourself, in essence, as no body. You can boldly go … nowhere.

Sadly, this is not a popular or very practical M.O. in the U.S.A. today. We frantically fill up time and mind, mouth and charge card, basement, dance card. Too much of everything makes one one-sided. This is “bad.”

What part of NO do we understand?

Any good student of duality can tell you that opposites are constantly becoming each other. Breathe in, you will soon breathe out. Night and day alternate like clockwork. Qualities of male and female – in other words, yang and yin – make up every type of life form, body style being one of many options.

Examples abound in the natural world of something from apparent nothing, and vice versa. Like the elegantly efficient way, when life leaves bodies, that physical components are recycled into stuff like soil so new physical plants will grow. Hey presto: compost happens!

Where every end is a beginning, no-thing starts to feel OK, thrives in its place in the great scheme of things, essential to life’s sacred balance.
Guided by a motto adopted from nature – In Cycles We Trust – a person can bravely embrace the un-known, trusting it to come ‘round again to things you can get your mind around. And changing mind is a (frequent flyer) ticket to transformation!

Yet what minds in this whipped-up world can tolerate even the idea of the no-zone? When was the last time you completely stilled your flow of thought-forms? Boss Brain is so unwilling to take a b-r-e-a-k. This is certainly true of my mind. I know I get a habit-forming super-charge from constant multi-tasking, the anti-no-thing drug, As Seen (constantly) on TV. No need to trek to Canada for a socialized Rx freebie for this one.
However desperate I may be for inner change, a Mind-Bypass is too radical a procedure.

I can’t afford it anyway, given what I believe to be my purpose in life. For the good of Whole Self I had best say “know,” with feeling, to heart-level operations.

This is a big shift for brain-based me, but it’s something – and no-thing – for which I’m willing to make some time and space. It’s also a kind of tune-up I expect to have to take myself in for periodically, all my life.

Inhale. Exhale. Pause for thanks in empty as well as full spaces. Affirm with feeling: In Cycles We Trust.

And what will I use to keep my retooled attitude in tune? Nothing!

Jean Ponzi hosts the environmental talk show “Earthworms” every Monday, 7-8 p.m. It’s live, green and lively on 88-1 FM KDHX and podcast for your convenience at www.kdhx.org/ondemand.