Friday, February 27, 2009

What's New Pussycat?

Oh, have I found a gem. Need a smile?

Watch k.d. lang sing "What's New Pussycat?".

Admit it! That's just totally fun.

Maybe you prefer the classic Tom Jones version, but I think this one's much, much better.

It's hilarious that the audience maintained the Tom Jones ritual of tossing the underwear.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Infinity and Time

You can be attuned to infinity, but

Time keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea,
Till it's gone forever -
Gone forever -
Gone forevermore.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Validation Story

A story about validation, smiling, and love.

Thanks to the friend who sent cheer and caring to Matt.

Social spread + kindness = Good for everybody

Valentine's Day is for LOVE

The soul is made of love and must ever strive to return to love. Therefore, it can never find rest nor happiness in other things. It must lose itself in love.
~ Mechthild of Magdenburg

One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul, and yet no one ever comes to sit by it. Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

But those rare souls whose spirit gets magically into the hearts of men, leave behind them something more real and warmly personal than bodily presence, an ineffable and eternal thing. It is everlasting life touching us as something more than a vague, recondite concept. The sound of a great name dies like an echo; the splendor of fame fades, into nothing; but the grace of a fine spirit pervades the places through which it has passed, like the haunting loveliness of mignonette.
~ James Thurber

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence, nor imagination, nor both together go to the making of a genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of a genius.
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love, and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sensation of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant.
~ Thomas Moore

Words, like nature, half reveal and half conceal the soul within.
~ Alfred Tennyson

There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.
~ Victor Hugo

Oh, they loved dearly; their souls kissed, they kissed with their eye, they were both but one single kiss!
~ Heinrich Heine

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
~ Emily Dickinson

May you enjoy a Valentine's Day filled with love and light!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back Off

What beams me on isn't limited to rainbows and stars and ethereal flights.

There are all kinds of energies, and sometimes I need an infusion of pure strength.

The kind of strength I'm thinking of is an oddly female-specific sort of power. As a woman, and a woman raised to believe that women should be submissive to men, I still tend to yield (however it may look on the outside). I tend to offer the benefit of the doubt, even when dealing with a problematic personality. I try to understand another person's context and perspective. That's an ethic of compassion - but it can't be a blind one, nor one based on lack of power. Compassion must come from interaction, from the space between that is created between and among equals. If not, compassion becomes slavery, or pity.

There are some who will try to leverage kindness into their own agenda. You can understand their perspective, but you still have to protect yourself from what they might do. Even the worst predators have background narratives that help explain how they got to where they are. You may have total clarity about your own motivations, but your kindness may be taken for weakness or ambivalence or even encouragement if you aren't very, very careful. If your understanding and insight is misinterpreted as approval, it's time to walk.

If you notice that you're being taken down a road that you don't want and haven't chosen, no amount of suggestion should induce you to take even one more step. It doesn't matter if you'll feel awkward, or it seems unreasonable. Listen to yourself. If your body is sending you messages, listen! Do you feel afraid, repulsed? Are the hairs on your arms and neck bristling like a cat? Listen! Listen and respond.

If you run into someone (or are pursued by someone) who tries to dominate, use or abuse you, be strong! If your boundaries are being invaded, PUSH BACK.

Push beyond any fear and strike a pose. My mom had a great pose. We called it "Mother Superior" and it worked pretty well in a variety of different situations. I have a variety of such poses, and they continue to serve me well. I think my favorite is "Scary Librarian." Practice in a mirror until you find the ones that most authentically work for how you look and who you are.

It's not that men cannot be dominated or that these issues affect only women. Men have responses and sources of strength in such situations as well, but the flavor of that strength can be quite different. I don't mean to gender-code too strongly (I don't believe in that), but we live in a set of cultures that are readable - still - in gender codes and these can be tapped. Think Athena, Artemis, Kali, Isis, Mary, Venus, Lilith - or any of the thousands of others from around the world. They express facets of the different energies.

Why do we still smile to think of Wonder Woman? It's not just the outfit, the voluptuous body, or even the bracelets. It's the optimistic projection of female power - and the longing for that lasso of truth. She is a crystallization of one set of characteristics projected out onto a figure (however nationalistic and naive it might seem now).

Even knowing that you are strong sends off a vibe that helps to protect you. It says "You don't really wanna mess with me." Actors use their imaginations to psyche themselves into a role. What you imagine can radiate off of you. Remind yourself of your strength - and actively imagine what it feels like, what it is like - from time to time.

To be strong in yourself, sometimes you have to draw the line, to set the edge of the boundary, to step back out of the interaction and set yourself apart.

You have to give yourself advance permission - especially if it is a little out of character for you to be strident - to say either in words or actions - "I have not issued an invitation. Get out of my way. I'm not interested. I've said no. BACK OFF!"

There can be no hesitation. Loud, strong voice. Unwavering certainty. Ideally, you'll always want an immediate plan for escape - or even attack - at hand.

If it comes to a physical confrontation, don't try to follow any rules. Fight dirty. Speak gibberish, act insane, scratch, spit, vomit - whatever might make someone back off is acceptable behavior in a dire situation.

We do have characters to model our behaviors at such times, but the addition of specific attachments to songs can really help you to visualize. I love strong female artists. Some of my favorites for this kind of female strength include Pat Benatar, Blondie, and Pink. Not everyone can pull off this particular kind of energy, but having a song that you love - and a visual in your head - can help you develop your own vibe. Enjoy.

U and Ur Hand - Pink

Watch the original music video at YouTube - This is the best video, but embedding has been disabled.

This is a live version. It's still pretty good.

Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh
Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh
Check it out
Going out
On the late night
Looking tight
Feeling nice
It's a cock fight
I can tell
I just know
That it's going down
At the door we don't wait cause we know them
At the bar six shots just beginning
That's when d*ckhead put his hands on me
But you see

I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it is over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight

Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh
Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh

I'm drunk
I don't give a f*ck
Wanna dance
By myself
Guess you're outta luck
Don't touch
Back up
I'm not the one
Buh bye
Listen up it's just not happening
You can say what you want to your boyfriends
Just let me have my fun tonight

I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it is over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight

Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh oh
Break break break
Break it down

In the corner with your boys you bet up five bucks
To get at the girl that just walked in but she thinks you suck
We didn't get all dressed up just for you to see
Quit spilling your drinks on me yeah

You know who you are
High fivin, talkin sh*t,
but you're going home alone, arentcha?

Cause I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it is over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight
(It's just you and your hand)

I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
Cause you know it is over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just you and your hand tonight
Yeah oh

Sunday, February 1, 2009


We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, and callings.
~ Abraham H. Maslow

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.
~ John Albert Michener

Do you undervalue your accomplishments?

The problem with setting very high standards and almost unreachable goals is that it's easy to feel like a failure. Given so much, I hardly ever feel that I've done as much as I should to make things happen. This kind of thinking is all right once in a while, but it can easily become a trap since it creates a loop of self-loathing.

What did you accomplish? What are the things you succeed at doing every day?

On a day like today, the accomplishments seem small - very small, but they still count. It may be mortifying that it took this long to do it, but it feels good that the Christmas tree is finally(!) gone. The front room looks fabulous. The laundry is all done. I'm psychologically prepared for the week, and I didn't sit around feeling sorry for myself as I was tempted to do.

I did spend some good time with my son today, and he's got a head start on his homework for the week. I did think through how to have a dialogue on an important subject at work. I did put together some clothes to donate. I could have done some work last night, but it was better for us all that we had an enjoyable evening with friends.

No, I didn't work on my novel, or write the poem that's bumping around in my brain and just waiting for a little attention. I didn't create a killer presentation with all the slam-dunk graphs and stats. I didn't even sing, or practice the piano - or send that package of books to my mom. But this wasn't a day to do those things - that's all. I have done enough for what I need to move forward.

Sometimes accomplishments are big, and they can even take you by surprise because they can be so in tune with who you are that you tend not to count them as accomplishments. However, sometimes the accomplishments seem very small and it can be disheartening when they require such Herculean effort.

Remind yourself what you accomplish across all the areas of your life. Be kind to yourself. There are always so many things happening at once - have you forgotten something that you did accomplish today? Did you say a kind word, take out the trash, compare prices on an upcoming purchase, get some exercise and fresh air? When things are really rough, it can be an accomplishment that you got out of bed in the morning and managed to slog through a disaster-free day!

Find something to celebrate - even on the days that you feel a little disappointed in yourself.

Big or small, important or trivial, you accomplished something today.

You did it! And it matters.