1. Instead of Take Out…Take In
There’s this great outdoor café in Santa Monica called Urth Café. It’s kind of pricey so on Tuesdays and Fridays (when I’m in town), I’ll pack a lunch and enjoy it in Urth Café’s sun-drenched patio. That way I get all the atmosphere without needing to pay. This is something that anyone can do in their favorite restaurant with outdoor seating. I do recommend being aware. The other day the manager kicked me out after saying, “Sir, I know you’re not a customer. We don’t serve corn dogs, fruit rollups, and Capri Sun.”
2. Donation Yoga
Let’s face it. Yoga costs a small fortune. So I’ve started taking donation-only classes where you place a donation in a wooden box after class. In lieu of money, I’ve been paying with little notes that say, “This note is worth 1,000,000 hugs” and then I’ll draw something nice like a sun with a smile or an image of small phallic people in a faraway land.
3. Involuntary Altruism
I’m not sure if you’ve tried the licorice flavor Altoids, but they are absolutely fabulous. When paying the check at a restaurant, you’ll often notice the server will write a little note on the check: “Thanks, Come back soon! Rhonda.” After paying the bill, in lieu of tipping with money, I’ll leave 3 of those licorice Altoids and write back to her: “Rhonda, Instead of tipping you, I’ve decided to donate the $10 to a poor child in Africa. God Bless You.” It’s a great way to bring out the best in servers while helping them see the value of altruism.
I encourage you to take a deep breath, and loosen your grip. There’s nothing more healing in tough times than a little humor. I recently read that the freedom of any society varies proportionately with the volume of it’s laughter.
If there’s one thing that will blossom through the darkness of 2009, it will be greater freedom. Freedom to laugh, freedom to relax, freedom to trust that money is not the end-all-be-all we once thought it to be. And as I just shared, you can live the good life practically for free. Henrik Ibsen said, “Money may buy the husk of things, but not the kernel. It brings you food but not appetite, medicine but not health, acquaintances but not friends, servants but not faithfulness…”
My Playlist from 7-2-09
Constellations Jack Johnson
Alive Ima Robot
The Wanting Comes in Waves Decemberists
The Heart of the Matter India Aire
Fortunate Son Donavon Frankenretier
Om Namah Shivaya Wade Morissette