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EULOGY FOR AMERICA

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to say our goodbyes to our dear friend America, who died recently after a brief, intense battle with fascism and a long, slow battle with carbs. Thank you all for coming out to help say farewell. It’s not easy. But at least America died doing what it loved most: deep-frying Halloween candy while white men tried to explain to women what jazz is.

America was sick for a really long time. In the early stages, I think we were all in denial. You could tell that America was unwell—public displays of brutality, deeply internalized prejudice, “Entourage”—but it seemed curable. Just a case of plain old electile dysfunction. We thought that we’d caught the fascism early, but, as we now know, it had metastasized. America was more Florida than country by the end.

America was born right here, in America, and lived here its entire life. America was always about family. It is survived by its similarly ill father, Britain, and its large brood of children: baseball, Google, fireworks, losing your fingers to fireworks, giving your Uber driver only four stars because he talked to you, thinking granola is healthy, Chicago (the place), “Chicago” (the musical), “Chicago” (the movie adaptation of the musical), Chicago (the band), “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Justice,” “Chicago ‘Chicago’ ” (a show about the Chicago production of the musical “Chicago,” coming to NBC this fall), and a bunch of wars.

I’d personally be nowhere without America. America was there when I was born, when I got married, when I saw Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl. Remember that? After that happened, none of us slept for days, because we had never seen the pointy part of a boob on our TVs before, and it really upset us. America was really cool that way. It would always get mad when you’d see the pointy part of a boob on a TV. I’m gonna miss that.

However, we should not dwell on the loss of our dear country, friend, and place where all the Cheesecake Factories and Lids stores are. Today, let’s celebrate America’s life, and remember all of the remarkable things it accomplished and how many actors playing Spider-Man who keep getting cuter and younger were inside of it. America gave us so much. And, boy, did it look good for its age. America was two hundred and forty-one years old when it died, but it didn’t look a day over a hundred and sixty-four! It looked so young, it could’ve been the very same America that put its own citizens in internment camps!

America got a bunch of things really right. Mostly how to put food inside other food. Anyone can just eat a chicken. But in a duck?! In a turkey?! In a gun?! No one is going to forget the Turduckenun any time soon. America was so inventive that way. And, I mean, everyone does silly stuff when they’re young. America was beautiful, too. Sure, it was a little lumpy, and you could always see its Florida through its pants, but it just got hotter with age. So hot. It was so, so hot by the time it died. Almost too hot to live in.

If there’s anything we should take away from this tragedy, it’s that you should always check yourself for fascism, especially around your midsection. It’s easy enough to do in the shower. If you catch it early, it can be cleared up with a rigorous regimen of local elections and books and yoga. But America was cocky. Nothing bad had ever happened to it before! It assumed this fascism would pass, just like the Second World War and “Entourage” had.

What a shame. America was just the best damn country in the whole U.S.A. I’m sorry that I’m getting choked up. I get really emotional when I think of America, and also I took too big of a bite of Turduckenun and it got lodged in my windpipe. We will all miss America greatly. Every time I see an American flag or a gun, I’ll think of America. But we can all rest easy knowing America is in a better place now: Russia.

We’re encouraged to meditate every day, even for a short time, in order to cultivate this steadfastness with ourselves. We sit under all kinds of circumstances - whether we are feeling healthy or sick, whether we’re in a good mood or depressed, whether we feel our meditation is going well or is completely falling apart. As we continue to sit we see that meditation isn’t about getting it right or attaining some ideal state. It becomes increasingly clear that we won’t be free of self-destructive patterns unless we develop a compassionate understanding of what they are.
—  The Places That Scare You, Pema Chodron
Mental Health Check

You betta check yo self!

1. Did you eat in the last 8 hours? 

- remember it’s better to eat junk food than nothing at all. If the only thing you want to eat is unhealthy, that’s ok, let yourself eat it. 

- Your body needs energy! Even if you aren’t hungry you should eat a little bit, otherwise your metabolism will slow down and you will feel tired and slow. 

- If you are too busy to stop and have a meal try and grab something quick like an apple, or a handful of nuts.

2. Did you smile or laugh today?

- laughter releases endorphins, stress releasing hormones, and antibodies that help fight infection and disease!

- smile at yourself in the mirror for thirty seconds

- look up a funny video and make yourself laugh at it even if it’s a bit unnatural at first. Sometimes once you get laughing your laugh becomes funny too and then you can’t stop!

3. Did you drink enough water today? 

- Water is so important. It flushes all the bad stuff out of your body. Without it your blood thickens and your brain might get a little foggy. 

- If you forget to drink water try to drink a glass before a meal, or before bed, or right after waking up! This might help you remember!

- The recommended amount is 8 eight ounce glasses per day. It’s okay if you don’t drink the recommended amount. Everybody’s body is different and it depends on the amount of physical activity you do in a day. Just drink what you can, your body, and skin, and brain will thank you for every drop!

4. What do you need to be happier?

-Do you need to take some medication that you forgot about? Do you need to see a doctor? Remember, mental health is just like physical health. Make sure you are taking care of yourself!

-  Go for a walk, do a few pushups, or jumping jacks, or hula hooping. Whatever you feel like! Even if it is just for a second it will help you by releasing endorphins!

- Wash your bed sheets with some yummy smelling soap or essential oil. 

- open the window for some fresh air and open the blinds for

- Maybe you could call up a friend or a relative and talk to them for a few minutes. 

- Make sure you get a full nights sleep. Sleep is your bodies way of healing and resetting itself. (If you have trouble sleeping try turning your phone off at 9pm. Make sure you never eat in your bed or do other activities. It will help you to sleep if your body knows your bed is just for sleeping.)

- Find something that you love! Do you love a certain type of food? Spend some time making it! Do you like to read? See if you can borrow a new book. Be it knitting, yoga, drawing, soccer, dancing, listening to music, writing, beading, playing rugby, making sock puppets. Whatever it is, do it! 

- Set goals for yourself. Discover what you are good at and what you want to be good at. Improve. Be proud of yourself when you smash your goals and try again when you fail. 

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WARNING:MEDITATION MAY CAUSE INCREASED HAPPINESS, FOCUS, MEMORY, COMPASSION, PRODUCTIVITY AND PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS. DECREASED STRESS, REDUCED ANXIETY, INCREASED FOCUS, HIGHER TEST SCORES, OPTIMISM, BETTER HEALTH AND INNER PEACE.

Suze Yalof Schwartz was a former fashion editor and opened a successful meditation studio in Los Angeles, CA. 

In her new book, Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers, she tries to demystify a meditation practice in fresh and simple ways.