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Thriving in the Trump Era

29 Nov

Suggested Drink: Chateau Simone. Any year, any color will bring a smile.
Suggested Song: Deeper, Ella Eyre

Are you feeling exasperated and powerless during this current baffling political season? Events in Britain, America, and soon France leave us questioning core beliefs about our communities and the greater world at large. It’s a weird time full of strange characters and unpredictable outcomes. Unsettling.

hillary-donaldMany of us have been passing through the classic 5 stages of grief since early November: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Okay, perhaps we’ve managed to navigate just 4 stages but it’s still early. I’ve been trying out different coping mechanisms and arrived recently at the following simple approach: less looking out, more looking in, drink better wine. I’m letting go of what I can’t control and focusing on what I can control, and then there’s the wine thing. Let’s take a closer look.

Less looking out

Embracing the wider world requires an effort in reading, watching, listening, discussing and debating. Despite my best efforts to be enlightened I have come to accept these realities in the new era:

  • I no longer understand the greater electorate and its true tendencies.
  • I have zero control over who gets elected.
  • I have no control over the policies and actions of the newly elected.
  • The press has no idea about what they write in this political season.
  • The pollsters have no clue about what they survey at the moment.

I am not planning a crawl to the cave just yet but have stopped considering the public discourse online or in print as somehow rational and informed. I can’t help myself from engaging in debate and the dinner table discussions with my local Provence cabal remain spirited. But I accept that all our righteous pontifications over delicious meals and endless bottles leads us no closer to understanding the new reality.

It feels like a good moment to unplug.

More looking in

We can’t dress the greater world in our own wishful designs – or even understand the fashion season at the moment – but we still dress ourselves, thank goodness. Physical, emotional, and educational growth still remains 100% under own purview and control.

This is a fantastic opportunity to get good with our personal development. Get the body healthy and balanced, the soul nourished and full of zest, and the mind exploring new and esoteric endeavours.

Where to start:

  • Physical: Listen, we’re all going to be adopting a new fitness regime come January 1 (as goes the custom of grand resolutions) so why not get a one-month head start. Run, swim, bike, gym, yoga, tai chi, paddle board, … you decide. These are all good for the body and 100% under your control. Start today.
  • Emotional: I believe in the merits of meditation and consider it essential to our emotional balance and durability. And meditation can come in whatever form that works best for you; whatever provides the easiest release from the daily grind and stress, like the current political season. The classic lotus position stuff or a good walk along a peaceful lake, painting, dancing, music, anything that stops the gears in your loopy grey matter from spinning on everything except the moment. This is essential healthcare for the soul and 100% under your control. Do it now.

Another topic of emotional wellbeing is happiness. You want more of it in your life. There are plenty of ways to create and strengthen your positive emotions. Way too much to discuss here but join my Interprize Group (click here to go to my website and join) you’ll find endless readings, resources, exercises and more, … and you can always call me. Start today.

  • Mental: What a perfect moment to educate yourself in a deep topic – historical, scientific, philosophical, …whatever – outside the myopic minutia of the daily media. If you missed today’s news you wouldn’t know Trump’s latest cabinet pick (who will be fired shortly) or Taylor Swift’s plans for a TV channel. However, you could take, just as an example, that time to start a journey into the 20th century’s most influential philosophers (I’m reading Sartre and Michel Onfre at the moment, both of whom leave me fascinated, but more winded than a morning run with Jill Finkle). You could alternatively seek out books on China’s Zhou dynasty, or take a deep dive into the dynamics and dissimilarities of human societal advancement by reading Jared Diamond (GJ&S is a good start, but anything he writes is golden). Any of these undertaking and an infinite list of others will create a richer and more interesting you. This is essential gymnastics for the brain and 100% under your control. Do it now.

simoneDrinking better wine

Only this will I say about that: life may be shorter than anticipated given the ongoing turn of political events. It’s a good time to clean out the wine cabinet and toast your good fortune. If it all blows up tomorrow you’ll be toasting me, and if we’re lucky enough to be still breathing in 20 years, you’ll still thank me for enjoying those special wines with very special people. That is 100% under your control, so enjoy them now.

My french girlfriend jokes that our occasional disagreements can be explained through our choices of favorite authors. She reads Proust and de Beauvoir and I read Hemingway and McMurtry. She prefers dandy and ambiguous. I prefer cowboy and direct. Maybe she’s right, not sure, but this much is indeed true: I prefer a debate on any given evening over literature, philosophy, recipes, and a great bottle of of wine than a sterile discussion about a boring rich guy who’s never had a drink and wouldn’t know Chomsky from Camus.

And now I step off my soapbox.

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10 Comments

Posted by on November 29, 2016 in Essays

 

10 responses to “Thriving in the Trump Era

  1. BB in SD

    November 30, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Its all about Cosomology & Changes in Vortex, that allow new realities
    1. Brexit
    2. Cubs win series
    3. USA Presidential elections
    4. Browns go 0 – 16
    5. Chargers move to LA
    6. Cheapest gas in years
    7. Lowest Mortgage rates in 45 years
    8. Lowest unemployment in USA in 8 years
    9. Some folks think everything is all bad ???
    10. Eat and drink per Bill’s instructions only at happy hour.

     
    • Bill Magill

      November 30, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Well said, and happy hour starts when you say it starts.

       
  2. Anonymous

    November 30, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I could not agree more with your your energizing words in this paradoxical times. Some suggestion of follow-up song for the reader on the mood: Pony, Tom Waits, Mule Variations

     
    • Anonymous

      November 30, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      “These” paradoxical times. What a time.

       
    • Bill Magill

      November 30, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Totally agree with the song suggestions and always looking for the best paired musical accompaniment!

       
  3. Anonymous

    November 30, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I liked the suggested song, especially when it says “You got that feeling/You say that you mean it”. Perhaps the singer told that in anticipation for the feeling one has reading this post. I had some nice feelings doing that.

     
  4. Anonymous

    December 1, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Your post reminded me of Voltaire and the conclusion of Candide: il faut cultiver notre jardin…

     
  5. Bill Magill

    December 1, 2016 at 9:21 am

    je l’adore!

     
  6. Anonymous

    December 1, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Me too – Very good post. A bientot – Stephan

     
  7. Carolyne

    December 3, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Bill in times of need “drink better wine” is a great plan, and why not one of my favourites Chateau Simone!

     

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