ENLIGHTEN UP! a blog
Self-awareness stories: lighting our way to clarity, contentment and resilience in a complicated world.
ENLIGHTEN UP! a blog
Self-awareness stories: lighting our way to clarity, contentment and resilience in a complicated world.
Laughter promotes overall health and wellness, relieves physical and emotional stress; boosts the immune system, and releases dopamine and serotonin – the feel good chemicals. Having a sense of humor enables us to laugh at, or at least see the humor in life's absurdities. With pandemic swarming, global warming and political storming, we have all the absurdities we can handle at the moment. So I decided to clap back at corona with some word plays. With contributions from family, friends, my writing colleagues, and a few online sources those word plays became a Covi-dictionary organized by theme. Hope some of them tickle your funny bone.
Words to describe our current global situation
Cover-whelmed – A feeling of utter exhaustion with the intensity of the covid crisis, and the overwhelming amount of information we get every day. Can you say TMI? #2020!
Corona-phobia – the fear of catching Covid 19.
Pan-damn-ic – A curse; a feeling of anger and disgust at the corona virus and the way it has disrupted any semblance of normal life.
Corona-coaster – The crazy topsy-turvy ride we rode in 2020 and are still riding in 2021.
Pandemic Park – Any town, city, rural community or country where the corona-coaster can be found.
Corona-times – All of 2020 but hopefully, not too much of 2021.
Corona-pocalypse – A widespread crisis, full of pain and suffering along with civil unrest and failing leadership at the highest national levels during 2020.
Quaran-teens - Sometimes called coronials; a term used to describe those who are in their teens during corona-times and its aftermath.
Corona Bae — Also known as a "quarantine bae," someone you start dating virtually while in self-isolation.
The 'Rona’ – Shorthand for corona; for example, ‘Rona’s Chicken and Waffles,’ the online program my writers’ group produced in 2020.
Words to describe appropriate behavior and responses to covid 19
Covid-coping – The ways we practice prevention until we can get the vaccine. This includes the 3-W’s: Wear a mask, Wash your hands and Watch your distance.
Covid-copia – The vitamins, supplements, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, PPE, toilet paper, sourdough starter, and other stuff we keep in stock during corona-times.
Quaran-team - The social circle you risk exposure for in order to stay sane and have actual in-person conversations with people other than those you live with. Note: you and your team need to get tested regularly to avoid infection.
Quarantine-while – The things we do to keep busy during lockdown and self-isolation such as baking sourdough bread, planting a garden, knitting, reading, playing a musical instrument, binge-watching TV, learning a new language or screaming into the wind.
Quarantini - A mash up of quarantine and martini. This is any cocktail you mix at home while in lockdown or self-isolating.
Words to describe existential ignorance about covid 19
Covidiot – describes science-deniers and those who refuse to ‘follow the Fauci.’
A lot like maskhole (see maskhole). A maskhole can be a covidiot.
Covid Crazies – Extremely stupid behavior; those who move beyond being covidiots or maskholes and take their delusional mindset to the level of covidiocy.
Covidacious – Those who scoff at and defy sensible covid-coping protocols for safety of self and others, and are recklessly bold in defiance of CDC guidelines.
Covidictator – An individual who actively encourages covid-acious behavior.
Covillusion – A baseless conspiracy theory that the virus will magically disappear.
Maskhole - Rhymes (sort of) with a commonly used profanity beginning with the letter ‘A.’ It applies to those folks who, for any number of unenlightened reasons, refuse to ‘follow the Fauci’ or practice the 3-W’s.
Moronavirus - This is what covid 19 is called when covidiots and maskholes test positive; a word sometimes used by foreign media to describe what's happening with the pandemic in the United States.
Stuper-Spreaders - Those who test positive, are a-symptomatic, highly contagious and capable of transmitting the virus to uninfected individuals in large public gatherings. Stuper-spreaders are also covidiots, covid-crazies and maskholes who gather in large numbers to party.
Words to describe treatments for existential ignorance about covid 19
Cov-institution – a 14-day lockdown facility for covidiots, covid-crazies and maskholes.
If the lockdown fails, the next step is surgery on the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain implicated in moderating decision-making and social behavior. There are three recommended surgeries listed here in order of severity.
Pandem-otomy - Surgery in which a damaged portion of the prefrontal cortex is separated and then permanently partitioned off from the healthy part by a big, beautiful wall. The bad news? It’s an expensive operation. The good news? Mexico will pay for it.
Pandem-ectomy – Surgery designed to completely remove the damaged section of the prefrontal cortex freeing the individual to ‘follow the Fauci,’ believe in science and practice the 3-W’s.
Prefrontal Covid-ostomy – Last resort surgery to cut a hole in the prefrontal cortex and insert a tube, which is then connected to Tyler Perry’s Madea character who takes off her earrings, puts her hands on her hips, rolls her neck, and yells into the tube telling the patient exactly what she’ll do to them if they don’t ‘follow the Fauci’ and practice the 3-W’s.
Words to describe work/life activities and outcomes related to the pandemic
Blursday – Refers to the difficulty in determining what day of the week it is. Actually, it’s everyday on the covid-calendar that runs our lives during this difficult time.
Covideologist – Videographers and photographers who do their best to capture any and all video, and pictures, grim, or hopeful, to feed the news machine.
Covideoholic – The irresistible pull to remain glued to our devices in order to watch any and all news related to the pandemic.
Covidivorce - Exactly what it sounds like: when forced togetherness as a result of quarantine hastens a couple's realization that they probably don't belong together.
Coronababies – The term used for the number of babies conceived during the pandemic who will be born in 2021. This is a result of sexy-time replacing baking, gardening, knitting, reading, playing a musical instrument, binge-watching TV, learning a new language and screaming into the wind.
Quarantine 15– The average number of pounds gained while staying at home trying to avoid catching the virus.
Corona-cation - A stay-cation forced by the pandemic. It’s also what some are calling WFH (working from home).
Spendemic - This word refers to the increase in online shopping during the pandemic.
Zumping - A reference to getting dumped — whether by a significant other or your company — over Zoom.
And I’ll end with this Covid one-liner: All yoga instructors are now under nama-stay-at-home orders.
They say bread is the staff of life. I disagree. As difficult as it might be, I could live without bread. I don’t think I could live without chocolate. As long as there are cacao beans growing on the planet, someone will roast’em, crush’em, and flavor’em and I will eat the finished product.
I’ve tasted it all, dark, light, white, and everything in between. I’ve chewed it, brewed it, crunched it, munched it, baked it and flaked it. If there is such a thing as an addiction to chocolate then I’m a chocoholic and I have no interest in being rehabilitated. All kidding aside, I love chocolate but addiction to anything, food included, is not a laughing matter.
However, when consumed in moderation (the key to pretty much everything in life), chocolate can be center stage in family and friend gatherings, holiday rituals and parties. Unfortunately, many of those in-person events will be on the back burner until our ride on the Corona-coaster is over. But eating chocolate can be a solitary, social distancing, mask-free pleasure, and if you love chocolate, you know that eating it is a delicious, exquisite and blissful experience.
Chocolate has a long history among humans. It is believed to have begun in Mesoamerica, specifically with the Incas in Peru and the Aztecs in Mexico. The word "chocolate" comes from the Classical Nahuatl word chocolātl. The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom. The seeds held high value and were used as a form of currency and in rituals such as human sacrifice (shudder) and marriage ceremonies (sweet).
First, the beans were harvested, fermented, roasted, and ground into a paste. The paste was mixed with hot water and spices, such as chili, vanilla, allspice, and honey. Then they frothed the mixture by pouring it back and forth between two containers. The chocolate drink was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to give the drinker strength. Fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to 450 BC. Legend has it that in 1522, a group of nuns in a convent in Oaxaca, Mexico began adding sugarcane to their cocoa drinks. In the 1850s Spanish Conquistadores introduced it to Europe and chocolate, as we know it today, was born.
Chocolate is still considered a special, spiritual and ritualistic item. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzeng Norgay, the first men to climb to the top of MT Everest actually buried a chocolate bar there as an offering to the gods of the mountain.
Eating dark chocolate is healthy. Here are seven evidence-based benefits from Healthline.com.
1. Contains fiber, healthy fats and a boat load of minerals
2. Powerful source of antioxidants, as much or more than blueberries
3. May improve blood flow and lower blood pressure
4. Raises HDL (“good” cholesterol)
5. May reduce heart disease risk
6. May protect your skin from the sun
7. Could improve brain function
My search to find the perfect chocolate ended unexpectedly on a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. The group I traveled with visited a chocolate shop where we watched it being manufactured in small batches. The next day at Seasons of My Heart cooking school we made it by hand. We took the roasted beans and ground them with a mano and metate (the Mexican version of a mortar and pestle), added spices, a little sugar and kept grinding until it turned into a thick paste, which was mixed with water and greedily consumed on the spot. Then we tasted the finished bars from the gift shop – What an eye-opener! I brought several home. I was so impressed that I wrote a verse about it.
Making chocolate from scratch, oh, boy!
Mixed with water and drunk warm, oh joy!
Dark chocolate, full of texture and taste,
What perfection! I’ve been graced.
Thanks to Quetzalcoatl who gave us the seed,
It’s the healthiest obsession, I’ll ever need.
As a result of that experience, I am now a superfan of Mexican dark chocolate, which is chocolate without milk solids added. The Mexican chocolate I prefer comes in round discs that are made with less sugar than most other types, and no additives like soy lecithin. I like the grainy texture and mouth feel of this chocolate. It was a revelation to make and to taste. It took a bit of research to find a local source but I found one at www.tazachocolate.com. They have a small chocolate operation in Somerville, MA. Not only do they make Mexican chocolate, they have personal relationships with the cacao growers who provide them with organic beans. It’s probably the least-processed chocolate you can find in the US.
I take one or two pieces in the morning with breakfast – like a daily vitamin. I think the way you experience chocolate says a lot about how you experience life. Here’s one way to deepen your relationship with chocolate using your five senses.
A Chocolate Meditation
I first experienced a version of this chocolate meditation, at a local yoga studio. Since then I realize that I have an interesting choice to make each time I eat it. I can have a chocolate quickie, or I can extend the experience for greater pleasure and satisfaction.
Practicing this chocolate meditation helps us witness the full five-sense experience of eating a piece of chocolate.
Remember this connection between life and chocolate:
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna’ get.”
— From the film "Forrest Gump"
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BETH GIBBS started her yoga practice in 1968, four months after her son was born and she’s been practicing ever since. She currently teaches all levels therapeutic yoga classes for adults, and specialty classes for seniors in the Hartford, Connecticut area. Beth is a certified yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists and is guest faculty at the Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy. She writes for the blogs, Yoga for Healthy Aging, and Accessible Yoga. Her master’s degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA is in Yoga Therapy and Mind/Body Health.