July 31st, 2011
When I read this post on Owning Pink I wanted to share it with the world and shout it from the rooftops wearing naught but a pair of sandals like a modern day prophet ‘o love. It’s just that stunning. Please help us welcome the ever inspiring Kate Northrup Moller to Femme Tales. ~ Melanie
It will happen later. His best friend will ask you out instead. You’ll be kissed in the movies instead of on a beach. You’ll end up going to a different school because the one you thought you’d get into didn’t work out. Read the rest of this entry »
July 10th, 2011
Originally published on Owning Pink 7/1/11
Also published on Care2.com
I recently heard that Kim Kardashian has released an X-Ray of her famous backside to prove to the rest of us that it is au naturel.
Who, exactly, cares? Read the rest of this entry »
June 26th, 2011
Originally Published on Owning Pink 6/20/11.
If there were a season for “Rockin’ Life”, don’t you think it would have to be summer? No one remembers having a steamy spring romance. No one fantasizes about long winter road trips or the dog-eared days of fall. To experience summer is to dip a long, pink, curly straw into the marrow of life. To taste life’s succulent joys until you’ve slurped yourself straight into fall. Summer is spittin’ watermelon seeds, peeling shoulders, blackberry stained lips, and cool-colored waterholes. Today is the first day of summer, are you ready to really live it?
Read the rest of this entry »
June 19th, 2011
Originally Published on Owning Pink 1/30/2011
It was midnight on a Saturday and I was sprawled in bed with The Kr8z and a box of Gingersnaps. After working a long but fulfilling day that started at 7:30 a.m. I had the mental capacity of an amoeba. I watched the last ½ hour of Erin Brockovich and a tear slid down my cheek during the denouement. I don’t know if this lone tear was from exhaustion or the story of this powerful kick-ass woman. Either way I was touched. And then, the energy of the airwaves went ballistic.
I couldn’t find the remote (I think So-kr8z must have been sleeping on it as he’s wont to do) so I was torn asunder from my sentimentality and watched in utter horror as a show called Wife-Swap came on. *Show of hands* — Have y’all ever watched this show? Wow. I felt like I was watching a platypus give birth to a micro piglet in a tub filled with orange Jell-O. I. Just. Couldn’t. Look. Away.
The Storyline and a Side Note:
Side note: So I don’t remember the names of the wives but let’s call them Mrs. Zeal and Mrs. Satisfied for the purpose of my relaying their stories.
Storyline: Mrs. Zeal is a rather firm believer in affirmations and positive thinking. When I say “firm” I’m talking as “firm” as my 17-year old ass. Mrs. Zeal reads her affirmations every. single. morning. She wakes her children by saying “Be your best Me” and tells them they’re going to have a wonderful day and gushes over how beautiful they are. Mrs. Zeal works out religiously, cares for herself physically, and fixes healthy, organic meals for her family. She claims that she has “manifested” her large home, her husband, and her son and daughter — down to the color of their eyes. Her life is near to perfect.
Mrs. Satisfied, on the other hand, lives in an 800 square foot trailer with her husband and two sons. She appears to be living a life of joy in a tiny space that requires constant interaction amongst the members of her family because, well, frankly, there’s no place else to go. Mrs. Satisfied weighs approximately 300 lbs. and both of her children are classified as “obese” by today’s “Weight Standards for Kids.” Her husband is also overweight, has lost his job and has yet to find another. Both Mr. & Mrs. Satisfied are missing front teeth, and Mrs. Satisfied’s stained and holey clothing is kept in a filing cabinet. Mrs. Satisfied regularly fixes their favorite supper of “Butter Burgers” and chili-cheese fries (or they just head out to the shelter for a free meal a few times a week.) For fun the Satisfieds take the kids fishing for free right off the town bridge.
Both Mrs. Zeal and Mrs. Satisfied are owning their respective lives and seem perfectly fine; happy even. Well, from what I could garner, apparently it’s the job of Wife Swap to come in and muck about in that happiness and turn these folk’s blissful lives on their backsides by asking the wives to swap families for one week. So there’s the gist of the storyline.
Before you continue reading let me just warn you up front that I turned off the show about 25 minutes in so I have no idea how it ended. If there was a happy denouement that might have caused another lone tear to slide down my cheek, then I missed it. Frankly, I was more than a bit concerned that I would end up having nightmares if I continued to watch this program. (Like maybe my anal organized self would swap places with a hoarder or a scary clown named Charlie, or some such other horrifying scenario.) But I don’t need to tell you how the show ended in order to share some thoughts with you.
It struck me that, as Mrs. Zeal was trying to bring her positive affirmations to the Satisfieds, she continued to say “they will die” if they didn’t change their thoughts. It was as if she believed that a 3 x 5 note card emblazoned with “I love myself” would help her to avoid the inevitability of death. There was such a fear in her thought processes of “manifesting” and positive affirmations. Three times in that 25 minutes I heard her talk about death for the Satisfieds if they didn’t get on board the “Positive Thinking” train (leaving immediately, mind you). It felt creepy to hear her bubbly-spouting-of-affirmations-organic-eating-self so full of portending doom.
And don’t even get me started on Mrs. Satisfied. I wanted to reach into the airwaves and give her a hug. This was truly my first instance of seeing someone on my television screen with Magical Eyes. Yes… she claimed to be joyful but her lack of robust health and her utterances of “we can’t afford to eat healthy and buy vegetables” made me want to sob into my Gingersnap box. Her son, who is being teased at school because he’s overweight, seems to be the only member of the family who really wants their situation to change, but he dutifully ate the plate of chili-cheese fries that his mother placed before him. Mr. Satisfied didn’t seem to have an ounce of confidence in his ability to land another job and he just couldn’t grasp Mrs. Zeal’s “accusations” that he himself had created his own reality.
Owning the Middle of the Road
I’ll “Own” that I lie somewhere between Mrs. Zeal and Mrs. Satisfied. I believe in the power of being positive and of creating your own reality through your thoughts. I believe in our Purple Kangaroo Sebastian and I am constantly tinkering with my Vision Board. However, I don’t believe that I’m going to keel over and begin the process of rigor-mortis if I allow a negative thought to seep in or if I don’t write “I love myself” in passion pink lipstick on my bathroom mirror.
But like Mrs. Satisfied, in bed with my dwindling box o’ Gingersnaps, I don’t always make the best decisions for my “best me.” And sometimes, when I’m cutting out a picture of Venice for my Vision Board, my inner Gremlin, as Lissa calls it, comes out and screams, “Dream on lady, by the time you get there the city will have sunk!” I also know, to the depths of my ever-lovin soul that, like Mrs. Satisfied, my life could use some more Mrs. Zeal. Further, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that there are times when my positive-affirmation-loving self could use a bit of just relaxing and enjoying WHAT IS, just as it is, like Mrs. Satisfied.
How about you? Could you use more Mrs. Zeal in your life or would a visit from Mrs. Satisfied do you some good? Have you ever had an A-Ha moment inspired by watching mindless t.v.?
May 22nd, 2011
Originally published on Owning Pink 5/21/11
Yep, yep. The CDC posted an article yesterday on how to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse. What with the end of the world nigh approaching today, a mother giving her 8-year-old Botox, doctors in Florida refusing to treat overweight women, and Skechers making butt-toning shoes for 7-year-olds, I’m really not all that surprised.
So yeah, the CDC is jesting a bit, but just in case the world IS ending today, they’re giving some great advice on emergency preparedness for other types of “lesser” disasters like tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and more.
However, upon reading about the undead this morn over my first cup o’ Joe, I couldn’t help but mutter, “Aren’t I already living through a Zombie Apocalypse right now?”
You see, I just moved to Utah and I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve lost my way on my life path and have been infected by the Zombie hive myself. I seem to be shuffling along, arms outstretched into the void, not quite sure where I’m going or if I’ve reached my destination. In my journey to Utah, somehow I think I accidentally took the red eye to a proverbial Siberia, and I’m not sure how I’ll get back, if ever.
My Own Personal Apocalypse
According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale developed in 1967, changes in living conditions and changes in residence add up to place the process of moving in the top ten of stressors we face in our lives (though I can’t imagine why a Zombie Apocalypse isn’t up there among them). Moving is right there alongside death, divorce, and losing a job. I’m here to tell you that ain’t the half of it.
When my young heathen self decided to “Go West,” I called Budget Van Lines to pack me up and help me over that Oregon Trail. Being the Anal Retentive that I am, I handled all the details months ahead of time, paid my $600 deposit, and commenced to “tossing and taping.”
As the date drew near, I got a call from Budget Van Lines to let me know that my moving truck would arrive on 5/12 between 9-10 am. I was stoked as I ate my Top Ramen out of the one bowl I had yet to pack with a pair of disposable chopsticks. To say that I was “ready” to start my new adventure would have been a vast understatement; like saying I am simply “ready” for Johnny Depp to come by any old time for our date at the Bowl-O-Rama.
And then Budget Van Lines called to cancel, saying the carrier that had booked my pick up had an emergency. Well shit, I was sorry to hear that and sent a little prayer hoping that everything was okay for said driver. Fortunately, I still had days for Budget Van Lines to book another truck, pick up my gunk, and hit the trail.
Instead, I was infected by their Zombie strain.
After approximately 46 phone calls on my part with no answer and no response to my increasingly desperate messages bordering on the insane, I finally reached one of the undead in their NYC offices who told me that I should just look for alternative means to move. They weren’t going to be able to honor their contract.
I had just flown my little brother in to help me make the drive out West and he had to get back to work. We scrambled and rented a U-Haul, I called in a favor to a dear friend, and we loaded up and headed out, exausted and wet from the torrentual downpours plaguing the States (which I hear is yet another sign of The End).
It’s always been my firm belief that when things are meant to happen they just flow. Like shiny lights come down from the heavens and bless every step you take and the sky parts and the angels sing “Kumbuya” into your ears. Perhaps I had made a drastic mistake in following the signs that were boldly telling me it was time to move on.
Nope… I just can’t buy it. Sometimes you just end up dealing with a company of Zombies who go rote through their days and don’t consider the living being on the other side of the telephone line. And it doesn’t have to do with the Universe not having your back. It doesn’t mean you’ve ignored the signs. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost your way. No! It has to do with a company whose heart has died.
Oh, of course the Zombie hive at Budget Van Lines promised to refund my $600 deposit on Friday the 13th (a day which couldn’t have been more fitting for dealing with Zombies) but I still haven’t seen it, and I’m back to my stalking by telephone, trying to reach a survivor who hasn’t been infected and praying that one will return my phone call. But it hasn’t happened.
Maybe I’ll never get my deposit back.
But that’s not what pisses me off. What torques my jaw and sets my ass to burning like the bush of Moses’s fame, is the fact that I feel like a doormat. A well trampled, traversed, covered-in-muddy-footprints doormat and I’ve allowed this company to infect me with rote shuffling and questioning. It has made me to feel like I’ve lost my way in life and made a horrible mistake in reading the signs so lovingly placed before me by the Universe.
Luckily, the CDC has provided me with a list of items needed for my emergency kit as I try to get well and survive. And, as an added bonus, in the event that the world does end today, I can enlist the help of live atheists who “vow to rescue pets in case of Rapture” as I head to the pearly gates this evening. This “post-doomsday pet rescue service, comprised of sworn atheists, already has 259 clients who have paid $135 for the first pet and $20 for each additional pet at the same address. You can trust an atheist, according to Eternal Earth-Bound Pets.”
At least the Atheists are among the living and will take care of my beloved pup So-Kr8z as I hopefully ascend into nirvana, where I will no longer be plagued by Budget Van Lines, doubts about my spiritual path, or Zombies.
Am I alone in thinking the Zombie Apocalypse has already begun? Have you ever dealt with a company of Zombies during a stressful time in your life? What do you do when the Zombies seem determined to sway you from your path?
UPDATE: And like a gentle ray of sunshine from the Celestial Sphere, a lovely live non-Zombified woman, whom I will just refer to as “M” has called from Budget Van Lines to help me. Like she’s all-out trying to fix the problem with my deposit. My faith is on the mend, my zombified heart is starting to thump its normal rythym, and I can see a tiny glimpse of my path…
May 1st, 2011
I was driving to school yesterday listening to what BBC coined their “Royal Wedding Disco” when the DJ pulled out Journey’s classic “Don’t Stop Believing.”
I almost ran my little Beetle right off the road.
How apropos. You see, I myself stopped believing in fairy tales when I was fourteen. My mom had recently married a man who would wake me each morn by yelling, “Wake up and piss, the world’s on fire,” through the railing of my bedroom loft. I would roll over and wonder what my mother saw in this vile man whom, with bitter irony, would get so plastered drinking Milwaukee’s Best that he’d forget where the bathroom was and piss next to the coal burning stove. That pretty much put the royal kibosh on any romantic idyllicism that I had up to that point.
Don’t get me wrong. I spent a good deal of time in my life wanting to be Snow White, Cinderella, “Baby” of Dirty Dancing fame, and Julia Roberts in pretty much Every. Movie. She’s. Ever. Made (well, except Sleeping with the Enemy.) I’ve certainly envisioned my knight, a.k.a Johnny Depp, swooping me up to take me to Outback Steakhouse for a Bloomin’ Onion many, many times. But I think the older I get, the more I realize that I need to return from La-La Land posthaste. It’s just not reality. And while I still enjoy me some Chick Flick action, I just feel, like so many women before me, that fairy tales in literature, television, and movies set up our little girls for epic failure in the relationship department. I just can’t watch any more.
The Most Realistic Portrayal of Love Ever Televised
Instead I turn to much more realistic portrayals of love, such as that found in Sex and the City
. One episode in particular continues to be what I deem the
most realistic portrayal of love ever televised. Harry and Charlotte were trying to bring back the romance in their marriage when Harry took Charlotte out for a lavish meal complete with a cheese cart. Later, fully sated back home, they lay in bed, Charlotte in a negligee and Harry, well, just hairy, they began to kiss and talk about how romantic their evening was. Then Harry’s stomach started to rumble. He let out a half giggle and apologized but, again, his stomach protested. Once more, he apologized and then he ran for the bathroom. In the meantime Charlotte’s stomach, taking a cue from Harry’s, began to shout as well and pretty soon she was trotting to their second toilet. Back and forth they dashed from bed to bathrooms, until eventually they ended up in the same john, lying on the floor, clutching their stomach’s, and Harry said, “Ohhhh, the f*cking fromage.”
That, my friends, is love. It may not look romantic on the surface but lying on the floor next to your partner, after you’ve both just shit your guts out, speaks oodles to what real relationships are all about. That’s why I haven’t watched a stitch of the royal wedding coverage. Personally I’m not over Princess Di, the royal divorce, and her heartbreaking death. Instead, I’ll just push play on The Freak Show, my second favorite episode of Sex and the City, wherein Carrie dates a bunch of freaks, including “the man who appears to have a lending library in his pants.” I’ve known someone similar – so much for fairy tales.
January 2nd, 2011
Originally Published on Owning Pink 11/29/10
Also published on Care2.com
I’m about to get real folks. Really real.
I like to be alone. I’m not simply saying, “I like my alone time.” Nothing puny like that. I’m saying, “I utterly love being alone.” I take a lot of flack for this — from society, from those whom I love, from therapists around the world spouting “connection” and “human interaction”. I have frequent conversations with myself wherein I ask, “Am I normal? Is there something wrong with me?” When I allow myself to buy into society’s spigot of “norms”, I’m pretty certain that I’m whack. Except then I feel that rush of joyful bliss that makes me giggle out loud when I’m all by myself and all of those theories flush right down the drain.
Make Thanksgiving dinner the night before Thanksgiving because you simply cannot wait and you’re not expecting company anyway. Prepare only the foods you love, mainly those with a sauce of some sort. Prep your $1100 mattress for a canvas o’ culinary goodness and feast on roasted turkey with sage, whipped mashed potatoes drizzled with real butter and smooth, creamy gravy, baked yams with bubbling brown sugar sauce, and Waldorf salad swimming in sugar syrup, minus the gross bananas. Watch Disney movies while you eat and spill blobs of said gravy onto said mattress. Lay there after your gorge, feeling like a sixteen year old boy who just lost his coveted virginity in 3.2 minutes. Sleep in the wet spot.
Let me say up front that I love my friends and my family and I realize that, at their hearts, they really just want to spend time with me. I should feel honored and I want this too. In theory. I love the idea of gathering with friends, catching up, breaking loaves, laughing at memories. However, when it comes down to the actual leaving of my apartment, that joy deflates like a broken condom. I want to read. I want to work at the jobs I love. I want to plot my future on my vision board. I want to write. I want to lie in bed and snuggle with the most glorious pup in the land – my lil So-kr8z. I want to eat directly from the fridge with the door propped open. As you can imagine, this does not go over well for the folks I disappoint.
Shower with a purple loofah, shave, wash your Egyptian cotton sheets and make your bed with them. Find your softest silk pajamas, put them on, grab a cup of steaming cocoa (always with bits of hardened marshmallow for some chew), and turn off the ringer on your phone. Get in bed at 6:30 p.m. and smell the hints of lavender & vanilla from your laundry detergent. Have your puppy lie heavily on your chest, sneaking a lick of your face with his Gene Simmons-esque tongue every few moments. Laugh from your belly because it feels as if you’re getting away with something in your secret paradise. Read a great book, wipe the puppy slobber from your cheek with the sleeve of your silk jammies, eat pumpkin seeds.
Let’s not get it twisted. I understand the value of relationships. It’s just that right now I don’t want to be in any relationships. Why? I don’t know. I do know it’s not because I’m scarred or scared. I know it’s not because I lack wonderful people in my life with whom to get out and about. I know it’s not because I dislike humanity or am suffering from disappointments. What I do know is that being alone feels stupendous and that, for the first time in years, I’m enjoying the company of me, myself, and I. Adding one more person to the party (pups don’t count) just feels crowded.
Study Native American spirituality for a decade. Discover that everyone has animal spirit totems that help to guide them; animals that reside within and around them that carry the same attributes as themselves. Learn that your personal “within” animal is Bear: Introspection. Relate to that, not to the claws and a penchant for raw fetid meat, but realize that you are deeply introspective just like Bear. Guffaw when you recall that bears hibernate which feels exactly akin to what you’re doing at present. Allow your Self to be filled with Bear’s attributes and hunker down in your darkened cave to dream. Store your fat for winter.
Do I have agoraphobia? No. I’m not afraid to go out, I don’t mind a crowd, I just don’t want to go out. Since I took a Pleap (Pink leap of faith) eight years ago, leaving my marriage and moving across country, I have spent seven days a week for the past seven years out amongst people — buttloads of people. Add to that the fact that I had a live-in boyfriend for the past three years (the relationship just ended about six months ago) and you’ll see that I was due for some quality time to myself.
Pee with the bathroom door open while playing Elvis the Rubber Chicken with your puppy. Only flush after #2’s and five #1’s to conserve water. Turn up the volume when Etta James or Van Morrison, start crooning and dance with your dog, dipping him every so often as if you’re Fred Astaire. Play hide and seek with your mutt and be sure to do puppy calisthenics with his bouncy balls, giggle at his pirouettes. Try one of your own. Fall. No one will see.
So there it is. The real me. I’m not sad. I’m not depressed. I haven’t fallen out of love with the folks in my life. However, I have fallen more deeply in love with myself and I want “our” time together to be abundant, meaningful and full of self-discovery.
How ’bout you? Do you listen to the joy within or the masses? Do you “buy” and read the DSM-IV-TR or will you write your own diagnosis of pure bliss? Let’s get real.
August 29th, 2010
Photo from David Zeiger’s film ”Displaced in the New South”
First Published on Owning Pink 8/19/2010
While traveling through southern Arizona on Interstate 10 did not provide me an overheated mirage of a tropical spa, I did experience delusions of a 100 MPH speed limit. Why not, since there’s a sandbar every ten feet to slow my runaway minivan? Among the yucca plants and dust devils I noticed the regular presence of border patrol, even 200 miles from the Mexican border in a wide sand bowl where lizards fear to cross.
“Really?” I asked my Samsonite luggage stacked in the passenger seat. “Are illegal immigrants really sneaking into our country through this misery? Anyone who survives a trek like that is a soul we may want on American soil — because that, my trusty traveling companion, is determination with a capital D.”
There’s no question Arizona has become overwhelmed by illegal immigrants desperate for a shot at the American dream: a decent living, a good education, medical care. These are the very systems that are being overrun. I understand that the demand made by those who are not contributing taxes is overwhelming those who do. It wasn’t surprising that the Arizona State Government felt the need to draw a line allowing local police, who have made a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” of an individual, to determine that person’s immigration status if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that they may be an illegal alien.
Of course this law carries the taint of racial profiling, which has made it controversial with the rest of the country. My hometown of Austin, 800 miles to the east, responded by drawing a line of their own: they banned travel and all business ties with Arizona. All of this political maneuvering reminded me of Europe — a place that has drawn more lines than a child’s Spirograph.
A History of Borders
My husband and I were very fortunate to live in Germany for three years in the late 90’s. He was in the Air Force, working four days on – four days off, with an outstanding vacation package. We decided to spend as much time and money as two DINKs could traveling the continent. In the end we had visited 26 countries. We loved seeing the red barns in the Swedish country side, the gothic architecture in Prague, the history in Cairo… and then there was Italy. There is very little to dislike about Italy.
But no matter where we visited, from Israel to Ireland, Spain to Russia, the locals always had a negative opinion to share with us about one of their neighbors. Unfortunately, a good deal of it was still being directed toward Germany. WWII may have ended 65 years ago, but the emotional turmoil lingers still. “Oh how sorry we are for you to be in Germany,” said a young Russian man on the Moscow underground. “Germans? We hate the Germans!” shared a French couple in a Strasburg restaurant. “Germany! Why it is no wonder you have come to Brussels to escape,” boasted a Belgium waffle vender. It became depressing for us to listen to these harbored feelings.
If only I could say it were the remnants of the World Wars, but Europe’s history is long and pock-marked with conflict. A Turk bragged that if we were Greek, he would kill us on the spot — while a Greek explained how they are striving to erase Turkey from the world map. The Poles want nothing to do with the Russians, do not insult an Englishman by referring to him as Welsh, and the Swiss — well, how can you hold a grudge against the world’s banker?
The Gift of Living in an Intermeshed Culture
Whenever we ran into this cultural discrimination, we would try to explain how odd it was to grasp the depth of this discrimination as Americans. We are still dealing with race issues and the inequality of the sexes, but you never find hate on the other side of a geographical line in the United States. “I am from the State of Wyoming,” I would explain. “Wyominites do not hate New Yorkers, or Californians, or Vermonters.” We love to ski and camp in Canada and take spring breaks in Mexico. They would wave me away, shaking their head, “Bah! You Americans, your country is still a baby.”
The truth is that our short history has saved us from this cultural discrimination. Why theGerman/French border alone has been moved and fought over for centuries. If the Canadians were constantly invading Minnesota, do you think we’d be nearly as enthusiastic today about their crude oil, low-cost prescriptions and bacon?
One of the greatest gifts we possess in this country is our lack of violent history with our neighbors. And our intermeshed cultural inheritance is a fantastic buffer to discriminate against any single group. Arizona checking the citizenship of its Hispanic population is like California checking the authenticity of its blondes. Look around… then tell me where they plan to begin?
When our country has drawn cultural lines in the past (racial segregation, the Japanese Internment Camps) it has proven to be an embarrassing regret. How many lines marked by massive walls topped with razor wire will it take for humanity to realize these physical divisions only make it more difficult to listen and work out solutions with one another?
Exporting the Dream
These are humans we are trying to keep on the other side of that line; people with the same dreams as our forefathers, people who hold a dream for their parents, spouses and children. They are not entitled to reap from our systems, but does that make it impossible for us to discover safer routes for them to access the human dream thriving in America? Do you think there may be a way to export The Dream across the border into their homeland? Can you envision a future Mexico that we would consider moving into?
August 16th, 2010
For the first time in Femme Tales history we are hosting a guest blogger. Please join us in welcoming the fabulous Dr. Lissa Rankin, a woman who is truly made of awesome: Dr. Lissa Rankin is an OB/GYN physician, an author, a nationally-represented professional artist, and the founder of Owning Pink, an online community committed to building authentic community and empowering women to get – and keep – their “mojo”. Owning Pink is all about owning all the facets of what makes you whole – your health, your sexuality, your spirituality, your creativity, your career, your relationships, the planet, and YOU. Dr. Rankin is currently redefining women’s health at the Owning Pink Center, her practice in Mill Valley, California. She is the author of the forthcoming What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin’s Press, September 2010)
First Published on Owning Pink 7/20/2010
The other day, I was hiking with Owning Pink blogger Shana James and we started talking about the purple kangaroo. Say what, you might ask? A purple kangaroo? Let me fill you in first.
A while back, former Editor-in-Pink Joy Mazzola and I were having our weekly meeting, during which we identified what it is we needed and spoke it out loud, serving as witnesses for each other. We try to do this often — getting clear on exactly what we need and setting the intention that the Universe will meet our needs in a timely fashion, if our need aligns with the Master Plan.
I said, “Owning Pink needs a graphic designer.” And a graphic designer showed up.
I said, “I need someone to sponsor my book tour,” and I got an e-mail about becoming a spokesperson for a company.
I said, “I need Dr. Christiane Northrup to write the foreword for my book.” And @DanielleVieth on Twitter tweeted, “I’ve got to introduce you to Dr. Christiane Northrup. You’re two peas in a pod!”
Joy said over the phone, “Damn, girl. You’re this close to saying something out loud and having it just magically appear right in front of you. Say Purple Kangaroo!”
So I said it. “Purple kangaroo.”
Joy said, “Did it work? Is there a purple kangaroo standing in front of you?”
I said, “No, but there’s a deer staring at me from the other side of my window!”
Joy said, “But he’s eating purple flowers! He’s wearing a purple bow around his neck. He’s got purple eyes. Right?”
I shared this story with Pink Goddess Dana, and she said, “You’re not going to believe what I just got as a gag gift. It’s a calendar of toilets. And guess what September is?”
Yup. You guessed it. September 2010 is a Purple Kangaroo toilet. We named him Sebastian Murphy. (And incidentally, September 2010 is when my book What’s Up Down There comes out. Hmmm….sneaky, Universe!)
What do I need?
So Shana and I were talking about Sebastian Murphy, the Purple Kangaroo, and I asked her to speak out loud what she needed. She told me. And then she returned the question. What do I need? Now that I had a sponsor paying a boatload of money to send me on a 30-college book tour, I need someone who can actually book me to do speaking engagements at 30 colleges. I don’t know how to do this! And my publicist, editor, and agent have no clue how to make this happen. Am I just supposed to start calling colleges? Is anyone even there over the summer? If I get someone, will they just say, “Sure! Here’s a lecture hall – go to it.” Or will they need to send it through committee?
I have no idea, and it’s freaking me out. I’ve promised to get 200 butts in seats at 30 events, and time is running out. I’m supposed to do my first event at the end of September.
So when Shana asked me what I needed from the Universe, I said, “Help booking my college tour.” That was 12:32pm.
When Shana and I got back to my house at 2:00pm after our hike, the phone rang just as I opened the door. It was Owning Pink blogger Lakenda Wallace.
She said, “You’re not going to believe this, but I just spoke to a woman who works forBacchus Network, a nonprofit that’s all about educating college students about health and safety. They have a network of 900 campuses and would love to try to help you book your college tour.”
My heart was beating fast when I asked, “What time did you speak to her?”
Lakenda said, “12:45pm. Why?”
I just had to laugh. Damn, Universe. You’re getting speedy. It was a classic Purple Kangaroo moment.
What do YOU need?
What about you? What do you need? Have you gotten very clear on how the Universe can serve you? Have you asked for exactly what you need? Have you said it out loud in front of a witness?
Don’t just say “I need money.” Say, “I need $430 so I can go to this retreat that will help me grow my business.” Or say, “I need help paying the rent” or “I need help paying tuition so I can go back to school.” Get ridiculously specific about exactly what you need and how the Universe can help. Then put it out there. Tell people. Employ disciplined action if you need to. Then BELIEVE. Trust. Have faith. Let go. Surrender. Set goals, but release attachment to outcomes. Remember that the Universe knows better than you what will best serve you.
Tell the Universe what you need. Let us be your witnesses! Share what you need in the comments, and let’s all collectively lift up your request, with Sebastian Murphy as our guide. Now sit back, let go, pay attention to signs, and watch the magic happen. Make sure to report back! Did The Universe provide for you?
Trusting the Universe- and YOU,
© Copyright Lissa Rankin 2010
July 26th, 2010
First Published on Owning Pink 7/13/2010
Have you ever noticed how a high level of gratitude reinforces the very thing you are thankful for? In this shifting economy it is easy to be thankful for an income, the roof over your four supportive walls, a job that feeds AND inspires you, happy children, and good health. This alone can fill your meditative moments with buckets of gratitude. But what happens when you find heartfelt gratitude for something immeasurable? If a strong dose of inspiration springs into your life, and your consciousness of it triggers gratitude, will this spiral into greater amounts of inspiration?
Finding synchronicity on Craigslist
I’ve been slammed this year by a waterfall of synchronicity. It has become so common that I wake each day expecting to find a “coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related.” Expecting may be a big piece in this mysterious cycle. Now I’ve found it in the most unlikely of spots; synchronicity is pulling some serious strings on Craigslist, particularly within the free section. You assume you’ve signed onto the site in an effort of ditching your “unwanted” items in the easiest fashion known to man. What you’re really doing it putting in a calling card to fill another’s need. Tell me if it’s not so…
The first time I noticed it was two years ago when we were giving away an antique kids kitchen. It had been in my mother’s kindergarten classroom for eighteen years before she gifted it to my daughter. But my daughter (and son) had outgrown it and now it was time to find another child who would find charm in its wooden pulls and red painted burners. A child who would not feel jipped out of the modern, plastic, ringing contraption they sell at Costco.
If you’ve never sold anything on Craigslist you’re missing out on a social phenomenon. There’s an acceptable behavior surrounding this site that you will not find anywhere else. The motto of the free section is “Your Trash, My Treasure.” It doesn’t matter what you are discarding: a kid’s bike, a broken mower, a pile of sand — there are people driving small pickups waiting for it. It’s perfectly legit for these buyers to promise you that they are in their car, driving, on their way to pick up this thing they can no longer live without… and then never show. It is also perfectly acceptable for the seller to give their item to the first person who pulls into their driveway, even if they promised it to you yesterday. It’s free, so the expectations on both parties are low; kind of like a blind date at a food bank. It may take six or seven people “promising to come” before someone actually knocks on your door, but it’s the person who knocks you want to open your mind to.
And so arrives the day care owner
Leslie finally knocked on my door to relieve us of our 1970’s play kitchen. As we stuffed the thing into the back seat of her Corolla, she mentioned how much her “kids” are going to love it. Apparently her daughter has medical problems that prevent her from being accepted into a day care, so Leslie decided to start her own day care. She can’t afford to fill her living room with toys, so she’s living off of the “kindness” of Craigslist. We were so touched, a year later we brought her the matching table and chairs to the kitchen when our kids outgrew them.
The college roommates
The next item we posted on the site was an old desk that had lived long past its life expectancy, plus four years. I happen to spot Committed Buyer Twelve pulling into my driveway from my den window. She walked toward my open garage, saw the desk, than promptly turned to run, and I mean sprint, back to her car, threw it into gear and tore down the street. I guess she had higher expectations of FREE. But then Committed Caller Thirteen pulls up: three roommates who are starting their first year at UT. You know the gig — empty apartment, nothing but a card table, a mattress, a laptop and a crate of Ramon noodles. They couldn’t have been happier to have an oak desk, with a chair on rollers. So Synchro-intuitous Dude!
The Vietnamese interpreter
Now that I’m moving, I can really dedicate some time to Craigslist. Yesterday I gave away our pile of scraps: mismatched wood, leftover fencing, dowels, some PVC pipe. A family shows up with a pickup full of carpet pieces and other “goodies.” They’ve brought their nine year old son to interpret English to his Vietnamese parents. As they joyfully load the stuff we’ve been piling in the corner of our garage for seven years, I offer them the craft table I’m trying to sell, some pots I don’t want anymore, and two chairs I won’t need in the new place. I figure anyone who will drive across town for wood scraps will put a nice country table and chairs to use.
The foster parent verses the good Samaritan
Today I’m driving my heavy park bench to the corner of Shoal Creek and Hancock St. My first committed caller, Don, wanted to come get it but couldn’t make it (he’s adopting his two foster kids) while the second caller, Henry, is doing a “beautifying Austin” project for the city on his dollar and thought my park bench would be a great addition. So a foster parent and a good Samaritan are juggling to put my junk to a higher purpose. Luckily, I happen to be in a predicament where I have more than enough to give away. So now I’m taking — and this is not the way this is supposed to work, by the way — a box of outgrown toys to Don’s house and my old bench will become a seat for those who have biked one too many blocks. Synchronicity, how beautiful is thy name!
Gratitude for the mighty string pullers
I can’t help giggling as the events play out. Would it be fortuitous of me to post that love seat I’m tired of, the filing cabinet I’m too lazy to empty, my child’s hamster? I could wait to see who will end up knocking at my door needing something I no longer care for, with their perfect story and a car that is impossibly too small.
As I send my gratitude to the mighty string pullers above I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I became conscious of the beauty in my life, or kindness, or truth. What would I like to draw more of into my day? Do you think the Universe is much like mankind in that it appreciates being appreciated? That it will preen for those who have the eyes to take it in? What immeasurable quality are you drawing into your day? Would you mind if you had even more of it?