The Shopping ChannelJanuary 9th, 2008
I was on the Canadian Shopping Channel this week. THE. SHOPPING. CHANNEL. I might as well have been transported to Neptune in terms of the planet-hopping involved. Think whizzing, whirring TV studio that basically never stops, from 6 a.m. to midnight–every day. Lights, camera, ACTION! Think jewellery and colon cleanses and those little trampolines called rebounders. Oh, and don’t forget the knives, the graters, the juicer and the scale! All for $39.99!! Think the salespeople and the models–and me–hanging out in the green room between our “shows”, during which we are interviewed by the “host”, who grills us about our “products” for ten minutes, live, 3 times that day. Think the number of units sold ticking away down in the left hand corner of the screen. Think people with VISA cards out there–VISA cards just itching to be exercised–and the potential of reaching millions of people. Think: I HAD SUCH A GOOD TIME.
It’s easy to be a snob as a macrobiotic–in fact, MB practice sort of creates it. You start to feel good–really good–and one of the first things the mind say is “I feel so GOOD!” And then it rationalizes (because it must rationalize, and place itself within duality): “Anyone who doesn’t eat like me is an IDIOT!” It’s easy to get arrogant, sanctimonious, and frankly, boring. Thank God the real principles of macrobiotics–the laws of yin and yang–have nothing to do with judging anyone.
It would have been easy to be a macro snob this week, thinking that these two worlds shouldn’t rub together. But had I held onto those attitudes, I might have missed the whole experience. Instead, I looked at it all in the spirit of PLAY–George Ohsawa’s bottom line (read my book if you don’t know who George is). To George, life was play.
Now, play doesn’t mean having fun every single second of every day. The real meaning of play comes when you study yin and yang, seeing the larger picture of attraction and repulsion, with everything eventually becoming its opposite! When you begin to perceive that, you can detach from the conventional wisdom and “play”. Eating macrobiotically also allows you to have a natural flexibility in all situations, which makes life more playful. “Play” is an apt term too because, when you eat whole grains, abstaining from crappy, processed food, your body cooks up your natural happy chemicals, and you feel a simple, God-given high-on-life euphoria that kids often have. The MB ride is soft, and deep, and exciting and fun. It doesn’t mean there isn’t pain, and loss, and that you never have problems–and that they don’t sometimes really suck– but they are all eventually perceived as part of a bigger puzzle of yin and yang.
So, it was great to “play” on the Shopping Channel this week. Great to be part of the health food industry’s great expansion over the last 30 years, as this whole thing becomes more and more mainstream. George also said that yin attracts yang and yang attracts yin; so maybe it’s not so strange when the macrobiotic diet–the ultimate labor-intensive, hardcore health food nutcase diet goes on a date with its whirling, cubic zirconia–strewn, sugar-laced, get-one-now, “only thirty seconds left” energy OPPOSITE. Yin and yang, baby. It’s the only game in town.
Truth is, I didn’t sell a huge number of books–but I think I might have planted some interesting seeds. And for the people out there who did order the book off the Shopping Channel, THANK YOU and I would love to hear from you as you begin your macro adventures.
Life is play. Chew well,
P.S. Now I can get an “As seen on the Shopping Channel” tattoo on my ass!