“The serpent was the best thing that ever happened to Eve.” — Danielle LaPorte
What kind of novel could Eve have written before she had the good sense to bite into the apple and get out into the world?
A young woman described the memoir she wanted to write.
The story gripped me: a bright and talented child struggling to assert herself against narcissistic parents and become the master of her own identity. Except every few minutes this writer would backtrack and say how her parents weren’t actually that bad, they had a lot of good qualities, she was grateful for the life they had given her…
When she talked like this, her body language became stiff and awkward, her voice a bit robotic.
It was like she was flipping between two personalities: the good daughter she had been trained to be, and the deeper, authentic self that was trying to break through. click here
Your voice is the connecting force between your inner and outer world. Your voice takes your inner life and makes it manifest: gives it shape and substance and meaning for others.
Says: Here it is.
Says: Here I am.
It tells a story.
Online, your voice is who you are. Readers take that voice and construct their sense of your identity around it. If you show your inner life and it connects with their inner lives, it creates emotional resonance (what we’re all hungry for), and they will follow you wherever you lead them.
On some level you have to feel entitled to speak: to stake your claim and take up space in the world with your opinions, the contents of your psyche. This is why voice can be a sign of privilege. Often it’s the person in the group with the most status and power who talks the most. click here
At the Vancouver Peace Summit a few Septembers ago, the Dalai Lama shocked some and delighted others when he said: “The world will be saved by the Western woman.”*
He might have been agreeing with Bishop Desmond Tutu, who wrote:
“Our earth home and all forms of life in it are at grave risk. We men have had our turn and made a proper mess of things. We need women to save us.”
(I like to interpret his use of “women” as “women and the friends of women.”)
I don’t believe that either man is suggesting a move to matriarchy, which is just patriarchy turned upside down: one gender declared as superior to the other, hence naturally “entitled” to rule.
But imagine a world where all the people had the ability and opportunity to be who they are without harm, to express themselves, to fully use their gifts and talents to contribute to the world, to be educated without fear of harassment or worse, to participate in the global economy, to engage deeply in a warm diverse web of meaningful relationships. To change the world. And maybe, just maybe, to save it. click here
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.” – Walt Whitman
A friend posted a picture on her Facebook page that grabbed my attention and made me laugh out loud.
A sleek male yoga instructor strikes a warrior pose in his studio….while lighting a cigarette. The copy reads: KALE AND CIGARETTES. BE A CONTRADICTION.
(I immediately found and Liked Kirk Hensler’s Facebook page, where he encourages you to “meditate on that shit.”)
Something happens when you mash opposites together – not to shock (or just to shock) but to express something authentic about who you think you are.
It gets our attention. It fascinates us.
We are hardwired to respond to novelty. Part of us is always scanning for the unsafe. When something new and different wanders into the landscape, that primitive part of our brain elbows the rest of us to attention. Different poses the possibility of disruption, of challenge, of threat (or possible mating potential, which can be more or less the same thing). Until we can label and categorize it, it will remain, on some level, a little dangerous. So we keep watching. click here
You were born into a story of culture, time and place. You were born with another story inside you; the question is if you will tell it.
(Or if it will tell you.)
What is it that drives you? What is the spine that your life will flesh itself around? Maybe you need to create beauty. Maybe you need to seek truth. Maybe you need to find the beloved. Maybe you need to please your father, even after you’ve scattered his ashes from a California pier.
You begin in your ordinary world. Life is routine. But then something happens. There’s a stirring inside you, like a hand at the small of your soul nudging you onward. You resist it for as long as you can, until you realize that to stay is to die.
You come into intention. You say: I want. You embody a goal. The shape of the story forms around you as you step into your protagonist role.
(Unless you give it up — and give it over to someone else’s want — even if that want is you. click here
“Persephone leads us into the dark. And we are wiser for it.” — Karri Ann Allrich
The heroine’s journey is a journey of descent.
It’s a journey into the underground.
I first came to it through the story of Persephone. When I was at a dark low point a few years ago, my friend J. and I went to a workshop on goddess archetypes. I was very wary of anything I considered to be new age woo-woo bullshit, and this seemed dangerously close. I was going only because the woman leading the workshop, Agapi, is a friend (and a deeply charming person).
Then J. and I sat down and leafed through the handout. There was a description of each of the seven goddess archetypes. Right away, J. and I recognized which archetype — which innately patterned groove of human behavior — was currently dominant in each of us:
“You’re Artemis,” I said.
“You’re Persephone,” she said.
I wrote the following for self-proclaimed ‘corporate misfit’ Srinivas Rao’s new book The Art of Being Unmistakable: A Collection of Essays About Making a Dent in the Universe, released today. Check it out.
The future belongs to the misfits.
Perhaps it always has.
It seems fitting that I’m writing this at Burning Man, a strange and alternative pop-up city that had to venture into the middle of nowhere – an ancient lakebed in the Nevada desert, known as the playa – to bring itself into being near the end of every August.
Each time I come here, to this world of portapotties, alkaline dust storms, sweltering days, freezing nights, and no Starbucks – I swear to myself, this is the last freaking time. And yet there’s a point when something in me shifts over and I know I will return. How could I not?
This is where your inner misfit can come out to play.
This morning, walking to Center Camp, I watched a guy ride around in an art car built to resemble a giant roast chicken. I like to imagine him waking up one morning (in his ordinary life, in the ordinary world) brushing his teeth, checking the weather and the traffic report, bracing himself for another day at his San Francisco startup, and realizing: I must build an art car that resembles a giant roast chicken.
It wouldn’t have been his carefully polished, expensively educated, khaki-pants-and-buttondown persona that decided this. He probably didn’t see it as a way to get women into bed (“Hi. I’m building a giant chicken. Want to have sex?”) His colleagues at work, his drinking buddies, his best friend, the cute but shy waitress at his favorite diner who has been crushing on him for six months, probably never looked at him and thought, Within that man there lurks a giant-roast-chicken-rider, bursting to be unleashed upon the world. click here
“To move toward perfection is to move out of life.” — Marion Woodman
I was in the middle of a yoga session and I was in a bad mood. It was one of those moments when you just want to tell off the poses as if they were offensive party guests: Get away from me, downward dog. You, triangle, go screw yourself. And you, headstand, have we learned nothing from our problematic encounter three days ago?
Finally I confessed to the teacher, “I’m annoyed with myself because my weight crept up, and I’m having trouble letting it go.”
She asked quite reasonably, “How much did it creep up?”
“About a pound.” Saying it out loud enabled me to hear how ridiculous it was to be trapped in this loop of thinking. “It triggered this wave of self-loathing, like I’m a total personal failure and will never achieve my goals.”
My instructor, who is also a therapist, said, “Control.” click here
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