Do you have a spirit animal?  If not, the owl is a very wise choice.*

By claiming the owl as your totem, you’ve picked a symbol with deep sagacity, not to mention “gut instinct.” With the owl by your side, your ability to see what’s hidden to others will flourish.  Let the owl guide you beyond illusion and deceit to the true reality. But don’t flinch: often this reality isn’t what we’ve been led to believe by our teachers, parents and local news outlets.

In addition, if you’re ready to explore the unknown, with its potential for mystery and magic, the owl offers the courage necessary to venture into a parallel universe without fear.

*Here we reveal the SuperOptimist totem named “Oooty,” performing a ritual known as “meditating as if one’s hair is on fire.” Stare at this rendering and you’ll soon absorb the intuitive knowledge that will keep you awake, alert and in touch with what’s really going on!

There’s an ancient proverb that states: “If your own house is not in order, how can you possible help another to tidy up theirs?”

So before offering a hearty handshake to a friend, colleague, or local law enforcement officer, we suggest you start with yourself first.

Clasp your hands together. Doing so is a great way to get in touch with yourself, get centered, and remember “I am here now.” There’s a reason your own two hands clasped together is the inter-cultural symbol of prayer and spiritual growth.

Try to pay attention to what your hands feel like. Grab a knuckle and study your wonderful opposable thumb, the keystone of humanity’s progress. Those hands are loaded with more nerve endings and wired with greater familiarity to your brain than any other part of your body.

When you explore what your own hands feel like you can learn things about your own body, your temperament, your personality. Are they hard and tense — or soft and supple? Warm or cold? Damp or dry? If they’re dry, you might enjoy reaching for one of the 5,000 commercial hand moisturizing products and see how that feels.*

Saluting yourself, adoring yourself and sparking the divine in yourself is a great way to start the day. So slap ‘em together, give your own hands a good shake and say “hello, adorable friend.”

*While we are not endorsing any particular hand cream, lotion or balm, we do recommend choosing one that’s unscented.

Feeling stuck? Blocked? Like you’ve hit a brick wall?

You’re not alone. But rather than work yourself up into a froth, we suggest taking a page from Marcus Aurelius’ notebook.

True, it is a pretty old notebook. After all, Marcus was a Roman ruler back when you could count the centuries on two fingers. But that doesn’t mean he was ancient in his thinking. In fact, he was one of the first guys to carry around some papyrus and stylus and pen notes to himself to keep him on track.

It was his journaling, at first untitled, then known as “Marcus’ Writings to Himself,” and finally as the “Meditations”, where we gain our understanding of Stoicism, an early form of philosophy.

Stoicism sets out to remind us of how unpredictable the world can be, how brief our moment of life is, and that the source of our dissatisfaction lies in our view of the situation, not in the situation itself.  In fact, Marcus wrote to himself that any problem we might face could actually be opportunity in disguise.  As he put it: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

In other words, everything is opportunity.  Even the brick wall that you’re currently banging your head against. So there’s no need to panic. Being stuck isn’t “bad.” It just is. By stepping back from self-flagellation and gazing at the problem dispassionately, you can begin to accept it. And in the acceptance comes growth.

So enjoy every blessed obstacle in your path, and they’ll return the favor by offering you a chance to overcome them!


Want to shake off the midweek routine and turn the day into something special?  We suggest altering your reality by donning a mask. While not everyone is cut out to be a shaman, spirit channel, or voyager to higher levels of reality, this ancient activity allows humans to “check in” with their identity, superego, and true self. Moreover, 1 person out of every 362 has the potential to enter a higher dimension of time and space. Maybe it’s you!*

*To find out, fashion a simple mask from paper or cardboard (or cut out the John Wayne “Duke” model shown above). Place mask over face, then go look at yourself
 in the mirror. Is it still you? If not, who? Ideally, you will be transported from your current state of reality and have a mystical experience. If not, be patient and try again. You are also invited to conceive a more personalized mask based on an animal motif or other natural spirit-guide. Enjoy!



Performers expect to hear applause after they do their job.  In fact, standing ovations have become the norm at entertainment events. But why should this be the case for actors and musicians only?

Getting applauded feels great, and everyone should experience that acknowledgement of their effort.  Hotel maids, traffic cops, baristas, coders, heavy equipment operators, escorts…they all deserve a rousing cheer for a job well done.

And while you’re at it, give yourself a big hand for whatever you’re doing right now. Whether it’s successfully delivering a power point presentation to a grim boardroom, navigating the bowels of Penn Station to make a train, or cleaning out your hall closet, the one you haven’t touched in 12 years — three cheers for you!  Remember, you deserve it!*

*The researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have discovered that applause is contagious, so the more you give yourself, the more others will join in.

Routines can be mind-numbing.  So why start your day with one? 

Why not wake up at a different time on Monday than you do on Wednesday?  It doesn’t always have to be 6:45 am. Why not 5:00 am tomorrow?  And 7:30 am the next? What about getting up at 4:00 am and seeing what’s going on outside?   

What about “no alarm day”, where you don’t ever leave your bed? Or “double alarm day”, where you sleep for four hours at one stretch, and then four hours at another?

These are all just suggestions, mind you.  But the thrill in deviating from one’s well-worn path is worth changing your routine, even if it’s for 15 minutes at a time. As for the amount of sleep you need, that’s why naps were invented.