Mojo Monday ~ Fierce Women

Fierce Women

Some years ago at a work training about self defense for women, the instructor asked the group what they would do if they were attacked.  A couple of the women in the room, shook their heads and audibly said things like “I don’t think so” and “He’d get a face full of my fists,” but more comments were about screaming for help.  The instructor listened to these comments and then said “Now what if you had your children with you and this person was going to attack you and your children?”  My, oh my, the room erupted in a cacophony of women stating very firmly what they would do to protect their children. When they quieted down, the instructor then asked “Why would you scream for help and not take any actions to defend yourself if it was just you, and yet fight to the death to defend your children?”  


Now of course it is hard to really know how we will react in such an extreme, adrenaline rush of a situation where we actually believe our life is being threatened, but it was a fascinating question.  Why would some women turn into a big mean mama bear to protect their children, yet not do the same to protect themselves?


Personally, I am a peace loving person.  I don’t support war.  I cannot watch flagrantly gorey and violent movies.  Just watching pretend situations where people are cruel, hurtful or inflicting pain on other people disturbs me.  I also don’t think that revenge or retribution is productive, but rather only leads to more human misery.  When I read stories of people who rise above and forgive others I am deeply moved.  (You can find some amazing stories of forgiveness on the web site called The Forgiveness ProjectHowever, if you give me a scenario where someone is intending to inflict violence upon a loved one, I know without a doubt, that I would turn into a fierce fighting warrior.  I have had a few experiences in my life where I acted to protect others, without even considering the consequences.  My instinctual nature was that strong.  

Juana Galan, fighter in the Peninsular War in Spain 

There is something fierce about a painting of a woman holding a club.  The story about the woman featured in this painting is also quite dramatic.  Juana Galan is her name and here is a version of Juana’s story as reported by Wikipedia: “At twenty years old, she was considered the best informed woman of the village, because she worked in a strategic location, the first tavern in the village.  On June 6, 1808, in the battle in Valdepeñas against Napoleon‘s troops, there was a lack of sufficient men to defend the village, so she encouraged women to go out and fight. The other women poured hot water through the windows and boiling hot oil on the road, while Galán was armed with a baton. She took to the street to fight against the French cavalry. Through this battle, the French army abandoned the province of La Mancha and was delayed at the Battle of Bailén, which ended in victory for the Spaniards.”


My friend Susan Apolonio shared this painting and a brief introduction to Juana’s story.  Susan had gone on a little road trip with me and my sister Wendy and during our adventure she also met one of my sister Cosmic Cowgirls, Ti Klingler.  Ti regaled us with the amazing experiences she had been having in courses she is taking with Mama Gena and her School of Womanly Arts.  When Susan sent me this image she shared that there was something in the eyes that reminded her of Ti and that I could pass it along to her.  After forwarding it to Ti, who I might add, works as a church secretary, yet is also adorned with body art and has the sassy Cosmic Cowgirl handle “Sugar Bitch,” responded that she actually keeps a baseball bat behind her desk and calls it the security system.  


This story and the image led me to reflect on our identities and how we are more than what meets the eye.  It is both an exciting prospect and yet can also be disconcerting.  In the “disconcerting and disturbing” column you might find the example of the neighbor being interviewed by a camera crew because the house next door was discovered to have harbored a serial killer or a gangster.  The neighbor shakes his or her head in disbelief and stammers, “But he was such a quiet and pleasant man.”  In the “exciting and interesting to discover” column you perhaps learn that a mother that you befriended on your children’s kindergarten trip is also a novelist and that you share many fun interests in common.  


People who know me are shocked to hear my story of how at the age of ten years old I watched as a man walked up to my father at an outdoor wedding and proceeded to punch him in the face with a fistful of quarters.  A brawl broke out and in the midst of seeing my father covered in blood and fighting to defend himself, I then spotted an older brother of mine about to be attacked and have his broken leg kicked by someone.  I  blacked out and went on the attack myself and punched the adult male who was about to injure my brother.  I punched him so hard in the face with my hand that was encased in a very hard cast, (I happened to have a broken hand), that I not only knocked him down, but also broke his nose.  Who knows what might have happened to me if other adults hadn’t some to my defense when the guy got up back up holding his nose, but threatening to harm me.  Later on I had no recollection of my actions and only knew what happened from stories of my fierce defensive reaction.    


Later in my teen years my dad confronted two teenagers trying to break into my sister’s car at about 4 am.  The two young men were mouthy but took off.  They returned though in about 10 minutes with a larger group from an all-night party.  My dad, not one to take lip from some teens, went back outside to talk to them.  What he didn’t realize at the time was that some of them were hiding bats and pipes behind their backs.  I looked out the window, took inventory of the situation, and yelled for my mom and sister to call 911 and grabbed our well-trained doberman pinscher and headed out the door to back my father up.  Our fierce dog immediately had an impact.  Most of the teens backed up and made comments about the dog who was snarling and barking at them.  I could also tell they were having second thoughts about their actions when I started commenting that I recognized some of them from my high school.  I really don’t know what would have happened if my dad had remained outside by himself.  He could have been beaten, or worse.  Fortunately, some of the teens were probably already nervous about the situation, and between the threat of the dog and being told the police were on the way they all departed.  About a month later though we learned that the ring leader of the group in front of our house had been arrested for murder. 

My last tale of fierceness occurred when the abusive ex-boyfriend of a roommate came to our house.  He had actually come into the house and was upstairs.  He became verbally abusive to another roommate and I thought he was going to hit her.  Without thinking I threw my arm in front of the roommate to protect her and closed the gap between the abusive boyfriend and myself, so that I was in his face and poking my finger into his chest.  I was livid and I backed him down the staircase, my finger continuing to hit him in the chest as I told him in a loud and threatening voice to get the fuck out of my house.  I think he was in shock at having a woman be so aggressive with him that he started blabbering about it being his ex-girlfriends house too and that he was there to see her.   I told him that she only rented a room, and that I and my parents owned the house and that he needed to get the fuck off my property right then and there.  As he backed out the front door and down the porch steps and tossed out a few more expletives and yelled that was  never, never return to my house again.  Later on after the adrenaline had worn off, and we had reported the incident to the police, I shivered and considered what could have happened.   In the heat of the moment though my fierce warrior self had risen to the occasion.  


There is both darkness and light in all of us humans.  We can be complex creatures and our emotions sometimes get the best of us.  I know from experience that when push comes to shove I too have the ability to be a bad ass.  I prefer the peaceful path and using reason and understanding to deal with situations.  I certainly hope that I am never again put in the position where I have to physically defend myself or a loved one.  Yet I must admit that I stand a little taller knowing I didn’t play the victim role and that when necessary I stood my ground and called upon my inner fierceness.


There are other times, much less dangerous, where I have also felt fierce.  I definitely felt fierce when I went skydiving.  There have been times when playing sports that I have felt tough and strong.  Sometimes I equate my resilience through difficult personal challenges with an inner fierceness too.  

I find stories of fierce women to be inspiring.  In college one of the papers I loved researching and writing was about Native American women warriors.  When I heard stories about Cosmic Cowgirl and artist Sue Hoya Sellars and how she rode a motorcycle through the streets of San Franciso decades ago I was incredibly impressed by her fierceness.  How about women like Amelia Earhart who dared to do things no other woman had ever done before?  


Consider ways to get in touch with your own inner fierceness.  What might you dare to do that scares you a little, or a lot?


What are some ways your fierceness has expressed itself?


Have you ever had to stand your ground in a difficult situation or confrontation?  How did you handle it?


Come on, tell the truth, are you a bad ass?


What is the most fierce thing you could think of doing right now?



Mojo Monday ~ Healing Wounded Hearts

Necklace made by Michelle Fairchild while healing her wounded heart.



Many people are familiar with the term “aha moment.”  We Cosmic Cowgirls refer to them as “awe ha!” moments.  I had my own shift recently after attending the latest Cosmic Cowgirl Hodown member conference.  My realization was that I don’t feel wounded by the old stories of my life anymore.  This was a truly beautiful realization for me, as in fairly recent years I went through some significant life changes and also experienced some difficult life challenges.  


In fact, I am not being overly dramatic when I describe the period as the dark night of my soul.  My personal struggles led me to retreat from some long held relationships. Thankfully, instead of going down a completely self-destructive path, I chose to dig in deep and accomplish some incredibly cathartic soul work.  I underwent a period of the unburying of the old hurts with the guidance of two therapists, and my husband and I also went through counseling together.  During this time frame I had questioned my lovability and likability. Anger and rage that I had stuffed also needed to be addressed and processed in healthy ways.  There was a point where my natural sunshiny ways of spreading love were dampened and I questioned deeply what love meant to me. This proved to be a profound experience.  I now see that making it through the dark times has led me to a lighter place, one where the love is deeper, the grace so much more profound and the forgiveness so much more freely given. I have also seen my spiritual wings grow stronger and more sure of themselves as I look at the world with awe and wonder.


I agree whole-heartedly with the brilliant author and motivational speaker leader, Iyanla Vanzant, that in order to heal our pain three things to need to happen, we have to feel our pain, we have to deal with it (really deal with it) and then we can heal it.  Feel, Heal, Deal.


I also must add that one of the gifts of belonging to the tribe of Cosmic Cowgirls is the way we are encouraged and even challenged to open our minds and think about things in new ways.  In courses I have taken with Cosmic Cowgirl University I have continually been reminded of our ability to write our own Legendary story however we choose.   I have been going through the process of doing this work with Cosmic Cowgirls for the past four years and there were initially times where my story made me sad.  There were parts that brought up pain and old losses and I would get stuck and just stop.  There was a time frame when I realized that the rose-colored glasses I had been wearing for years had developed some serious cracks in them and I couldn’t go on.  


Now I see so much more clearly how everything that has occurred in my life has contributed to who I am, and I really truly love who I am.  My Legendary story is a big adventure with plot twists, exciting heart-stopping drama, exotic adventures and whole-hearted love because of the joys, the losses, the love, the lows and the highs.   

In the eight years I have worked for a private non-profit fost-adoption agency I have learned a great deal about special needs children, wounded hearts and souls, and the therapeutic process.  My knowledge and understanding of how wounds affect behavior and our choices expanded ten-fold during those years.  


Then with my most recent “awe ha” moment it became even that much more transparent how many people are living lives as the walking wounded.  While I will not allow others to intentionally hurt me and I have learned a great deal more about healthy boundaries in relationships, I also have compassion for others, knowing that how some people respond or act is due to their unhealed wounds, which in most cases I have nothing to do with at all.  For example in best case scenarios those who are wounded, but haven’t dealt with it, do things like living life reactively, being blind to why things push their buttons, acting defensively, when they would really prefer to act lovingly.  


In the worst case scenarios the walking wounded can cause others grievous harm and pain. These are the situations that lead to violence, cruelty, and committing crimes.  One way of viewing those who are wounded and then act out by hurting others can be through the lens of a quote by buddhist Thich Naht Hahn, “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over.  He does not need punishment, he needs help.”  Iyanla Vanzant goes more in depth about all the things stuffing and masking our pain can lead to, such as addictions (ie drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling), criminal behavior, as well as such things as low self-esteem, depression and lack of direction in life.  Iyanla also shared during her live show with Oprah about how people can also become addicted to their story of pain.  She tells one man who had been addicted to drugs and alcohol for twenty years, and after ten years of being sober and is still unhappy and has been thinking about using again, that he has become addicted to his story.  She challenges him on what he would be doing if he was to really choose to be happy and move forward with his life, instead of living in the past.


One of the events that helped push me over the hump and firmly into a new  awareness took place at the most recent Cosmic Cowgirl gathering.  During the closing ceremony, beautifully directed by a member, each woman went around the circle and one-by-one, linked arms with each woman and while looking into one another’s eyes said these words, “I see you.  You are my sister.”  It was a very moving, and at times emotional exchange, for those participating.  Days following that event, when I was asked by someone, who I had described the experience to, if saying those words was difficult, and my response was “Not at all.”  I shared that when those exchanged took place it was about really seeing a person and their inner soul.  In my spiritual practice it was also about seeing that God essence that exists in all of us and is that which connects us all.

Do you feel wounded?


Are there things in your past that still feel left unresolved?


What are your thoughts about healing?  


What are the stories you tell yourself about events that were hurtful?


How do things from the past affect you now in the present?  


What if you decided to start telling a different story?


What would happen if you were to heal and move on?  What would you be doing?  Who would you be?  




More to explore about healing the wounded heart:

There is a documentary called The Dhamma Brothers.  It is about an Alabama prison, known as “the house of pain,” that allowed a Buddhist meditation practice to be brought within its walls and taught to some of the prisoners, most of whom will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.  It is eye-opening and moving to hear some of the prisoners share their experiences with the meditation course and the changes it brought to their lives.  One of the prisoners in the documentary shared how he was more a prisoner when he was out on the streets, acting out all his pain in hurtful ways.  He will be in prison for the rest of his life, but the meditation practice led him to finally feel his pain and then deal with it, which finally allowed him to heal.  He actually stated that he feels more free now then he did prior to being in prison.  The reality is that he was in a prison of his own making, as are others out living lives in which they are hurting, unhappy, addicted to alcohol or drugs, which they use to dull the pain.  


Here is a brief video with the director presenting at a TED talk about the making of The Dhamma Brothers.


One other great show to watch is the first episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass the Tour.  In the first episode Oprah meets with Iyanla Vanzant who talks about “Stopping the Pain.”  You can watch the full episode by going clicking on this link: 


Mojo Monday ~ Wonder



won·der/ˈwəndər/


Noun:  A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
Verb:  Desire or be curious to know something.
Synonyms:  noun.  marvel – miracle – prodigy – astonishment – amazement  verb.  marvel

Recently I had the extreme pleasure of gathering with some of the Cosmic Cowgirl tribe in person.  It was a whole-hearted weekend full of such things as inspiration, fun, aha moments, emotional connection and creativity. 

One part of our weekend’s explorations together was to discuss our developing Cosmic language.  After various sessions of heart-storming, prior to the weekend long gathering, a list of words has developed.  They are as follows: wonder, identity, creativity, perspective, heart, courage (awareness), embodiment (manifestation), play, transformation, mystery, legend (legacy), revolution, community and last but not least the overarching concept of sparkle.

Here is a photo of the beautiful rendition of the exploration that Shiloh McCloud diagramed for us.


Our time together included some journaling on various words and seeing what came up for us.  We were also asked to ponder and remain aware if there were any words with which we currently identified with more strongly.  I knew that my attention was drawn to the center of the diagram where the word “wonder” was written.  When we were asked to write down some thoughts regarding wonder this is what came to me:

The beginning of a heart beat.
The birth of a child.
A smile.
The universe.
Holding a hand.
A flower.
The stars.
The smell of a rose.
Water.
A favorite flavor.
The emotional life of animals.

My fascination with wonder seem to fit in with how I have been viewing the world through a lens I can only describe as “Wow” or as Shiloh wrote on the diagram next to the word wonder “the awe ha!”

When I began my list with “the beginning of a heart beat” I was actually recalling a documentary called In the Womb by National Geographic.  During the show they show and tell the audience just how and when a heart begins.  I was left in wonder about the amazing nature of our bodies and how we humans begin.  If you want to see for yourself a brief part of the video I have included it below and you can watch the particular portion I mention if you fast forward to 5:20 and watch until 5:57.  Here also is written form of the narration that describes what might be considered a miracle of nature: 
“One of the first organs to form is the heart.  Until now the tiny clump of heart cells, about the size of a poppy seed, have been still, but after 22 days a single cell stirs, as if jolted to life.  This tiny movement sparks a chain reaction and other cells in the cluster pick up the rhythm.  Incredibly, they all begin to beat in perfect unison.  The new cells divide, dance to the same beat and will grow to form the embryo’s heart.”




My mind, and heart, is also in awe of our universe.  This image to the right is from the Hubble Telescope and has been nicknamed The Galactic Rose.  If you have never really explored the images from the Hubble telescope I encourage you to do so.  The images are amazing.  Here is where you can locate the Hubble web site: http://hubblesite.org/the_telescope/

When I gaze at such photos taken in deep space I am in awe.  I experience feelings and thoughts that encompass and contemplate being humble, miniscule, and yet also expansive and connected.  In the scheme of how grand the universe is we are a speck in the dark night sky.  We are these tiny bunches of cells and molecules that are alive and running around on the surface of planet Earth.  Dr. Seuss even contemplated such a state of being in his classic Horton Hears a Who.  

Star Woman painting by Michelle Fairchild
The fascination with the stars also connects with the amazing fact that we humans are really made of cosmic stardust and this really isn’t just some California “woo woo” idea.   The late astronomer Carl Sagan once stated “The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”  What he knew when he made that remark is that the same elements that make up the stars in our universe are the very same elements that came together to create our planet and our very bodies. 

According to Chris Impey, professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, “Carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies, as well as atoms of all other heavy elements, were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5 billion years ago. Because humans and every other animal — as well as most of the matter on Earth — contain these elements, we are literally made of star stuff.” 

Here again is a beautiful video I shared just last week.  Listen to Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse, and understand why he feels big, not small, as part of the universe. Something we should all remember when we feel alone, insignificant, or disconnected. This video is a result of when he was asked by TIME magazine, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” This is his answer.

The Most Astounding Fact from Max Schlickenmeyer on Vimeo.

Then there is water. When I read the book Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls I was intrigued to read the following section about water.  I loved how she so poetically explores the amazing, and almost magical qualities and history of water.


Photo by Michelle Fairchild
“Sometimes over supper, when Jim got home after a storm, the kids would describe their escapades in the water and mud, and Jim would recount his vast store of water lore and water history.  Once the world was nothing but water, he explained, and you wouldn’t think to look at us, but human beings were mostly water.  The miraculous thing about water, he said, was that it never came to an end.  All the water on the earth had been here since the beginning of time, it has just moved around from rivers and lakes and oceans to clouds and rain and puddles and then sunk through the soil to underground streams, to springs and wells, where it got drunk by people and animals and went back to rivers and lakes and ocean.

The water you kids were playing in, he said, had probably been to Africa and the North Pole.  Genghis Khan or Saint Peter or even Jesus himself might have drunk it.  Cleopatra might have bathed in it.  Crazy Horse might have watered his pony with it.  Sometimes water was liquid.  Sometimes it was rock hard—ice.  Sometimes it was soft—snow.  Sometimes it was visible, but weightless—clouds.  And sometimes it was completely invisible—vapor—floating up into the sky like the souls of dead people.  There was nothing like water in the world, Jim said.  It made the desert bloom but also turned rich bottomland into swamp.  Without it we’d die, but it could also kill us, and that was why we loved it, even craved it, but also feared it.  Never take water for granted, Jim said.  Always cherish it.  Always beware of it.”

What comes to you when you contemplate the word “Wonder?”

What makes you think or say WOW?

What leaves you in awe?


One more thing that also leaves me in awe is the emotional lives of animals that share our planet.  There are actually many books written on the subject.
I am frequently so touched and moved by photographs of animals that portray their obvious connections to one another.  I have always been drawn to animals, but it wasn’t until recent years that I really, really began to see them.  Have you ever really stopped and considered that animals bodies have organs and bodies that in many regards are much like our own. The have hearts, lungs, brains and blood.  They are born and they die, just like we humans.  
It was partly my awe and wonder in regards to my four-legged, feathered and finned friends that led me to adopt a vegan diet about four years ago.






Lastly, for your enjoyment, a beautiful song by Miten and Deva Premal called Inarticulate Heart.  The lyrics include the words “I am a soul in wonder.”


Mojo Monday ~ Breaking Patterns



Many who find themselves drawn to the Cosmic Cowgirl tribe of women would probably shake their heads knowingly if I was to say that becoming a Cosmic Cowgirl tends to shift things in one’s life.   I have heard stories from various Cowgirls about the changes that occurred after becoming a member and taking courses, some of them huge, such as moving to a different state or country, leaving a dead end relationship, quitting jobs or retiring in order to pursue an artist life. 

The common thread I have pulled from their many stories is the courage and the bravery each of these women finally found deep in their souls to find their voice, pursue their dreams, to claim who they are and what they really want in life.  Sometimes the journey is not smooth or easy.  Change may challenge not only those taking action, but also those close to them as well.  Sometimes family and friends look on bewildered.  Sometimes they are fearful of the change.  Sometimes those who love us the best are not the most supportive traveling partners. 

If all goes well everyone adjusts.  If all goes well, when the chaos settles down, all those ties that bind will be strong and intact.

Here are some thoughtful words of wisdom about this very subject from author Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakening.

Breaking Patterns
 
If I contradict myself, I contradict myself.  I contain multitudes. ~ Walt Whitman

“We create patterns that others depend on, and then the last thing we ever imagined happens; we grow and then to stay vital we must break the patterns we created.
There is no blame or fault in this.  It is commonplace in nature.  Watch the ocean and shore do their dance of buildup and crumble and you’ll see this happen daily.
We know we are close to this threshold when we hear someone say, ‘You’re not yourself,’ or ‘That was out of character for you.’  What is difficult at this juncture is to resist either complying with how others see us or withholding who we really are.

The challenge, which I don’t do well but stay committed to, is to say to those we love, ‘I am more than I have shown you and more than you are willing to see.  Let’s work our love and know each other more fully.”

  • This is an awareness meditation.  As you move through your interactions today, notice whether you arecomplying with how others see you or withholding who you are.
  •  After each interaction, simply breathe slowly once or twice and return to the fullness of who you are.

The reality is that things don’t always turn out as we think or hope they will.  Sometimes relationships do not survive change and growth.  Life continues on though.  Hopefully one finds peace in one’s heart for those things that may feel unresolved.  Forgiveness for one’s self is paramount and ideally forgiveness for others follows.  There is also a jewel of advice again from Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakeningregarding the role of compassion.

Feeling Beyond the Hurt

Withstanding the tension between opposites until we know it is ‘enough’ releases us from the swing between one extreme and the other. ~ Helen Luke

“Sometimes, when I think of my parents, who have hurt me, I am lulled by a wintering sky to feel for them, to try on their view, but in my empathy an old pattern kicks in and I start to lose the truth of my hurt, as if there’s only room of one set of feelings – theirs.
The struggle is a common one.  So often we feel for others and lose ourselves, or cut others off to preserve ourselves.  Like a radio that can only tune to one station at a time, it seems like only one side of things can be received, though all sides are broadcast.
But compassion is a deeper thing that waits beyond the tension of choosing sides.  Compassion, in practice, does not require us to give up the truth of what we feel or the truth of our reality.  Nor does it allow us to minimize the humanity of those who hurt us.  Rather, we are asked to know ourselves enough that we can stay open to the truth of others, even when their truth or their inability to live up to their truth has hurt us.
This does now remove the emotional facts of our lives, nor does it ask us to remain in a hurtful situation.  Rather, compassion asks that we open like mountains to the sky, like mountains that can withstand every kind of weather.”

  • Sit quietly and bring to mind someone you are at odds with.
  • Breathe deeply and allow the truth of your feelings, not just the truth of your position, to rise.
  • Breathe evenly and allow the other person’s feelings, not just their position to rise.
  • Let your breathing ease and tension in you that either undermines yourself or undermines this other.

What are your experiences with change and growth?

Has it had any impact on your relationships?

Have you ever complied or withheld your true self from others?


How have you held true to yourself?

The Self-Worth Project: Shedding Light On Shame

Yesterday my article called
The Self-Worth Project: Shedding the Light on Shame
was published in my column in the Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.
Come on over to the magazine to learn more about
photographer Tommy Corey’s vision and his
inspirational photographic project that is
changing lives and bringing awareness
to how we are all connected.

Mojo Monday ~ Let Your "Freak" Out by Alara K. Castell


Welcome Cosmic Cowgirl Alara K. Castell
Guest Writer for Mojo Monday

Let Your “Freak” Out

As I grow as a woman and as an entrepreneur the more I learn about myself. Just in the past couple of weeks I realized I’ve been resisting to some of my past mentors guidance because I didn’t feel it was in line with me, but who was “I?” What makes me unique? That is one of most common questions that you get asked when you are creating tools to market your business.
Of course I ponder and I think what makes me unique? I can think of some things but there is no way that I would admit that because I might have people running the other way.

But more and more I am accepting of my “uniqueness.” I promise I will share a bit at the end, but stay with me, while I share how I got to the point of letting my “freak” out.
It first started when I attended Brandy Mychals 6 Character Code Workshop. I learned more about myself and about me growing up then I did elsewhere. It all makes sense to why I am the way I am today. I was always a creative, talkative, silly child (characteristics of a cheerleader), but growing up with old fashioned parents (characteristics of a scholar) those fun characteristics faded as I got older because I thought they were not right because they were not recognized.

I was never told as a child that I was beautiful from my parents and I never got the acknowledgment, but that isn’t the fault of my parents as that is the way they were. I didn’t match my parent’s character code. Now understanding this I can let go of that pain and embrace those fun things about me again. I don’t have to be that proper person that I thought I had to be. That’s just not me!

After experiencing Brandy’s gifts, I listened in on a call hosted by Suzanne Falter-Barns and Jeffrey Van Dyk. They titled it “It’s Really OK to Be Different! Let Your Freak Flag Fly in the Marketplace.”

The key nuggets I got from listening to their call is that the “very thing that we tend to hide from the world is the very thing that is our greatest mojo.”

They asked 2 key questions… “What piece of you needs to be expressed? What piece of you needs to step into the light in order to be a whole person?”

I pondered on that answer and things came to me and I’ll share more at the end, but now my next inspiration.

Lady Gaga was my next encounter. Not in person, but that would have been amazing. I watched her interview on 60-minutes with Anderson Cooper. I have gained more respect for her and her individuality by watching this interview.

First her message is beautiful. Her message is that “You have the freedom to pull that superstar out of yourself that you were born to be. We are all born superstars.”

Second at the end of each of her concerts she says, “Tonight I want you to let go of all your insecurities, I want you to reject anyone or anything that made you feel like you don’t belong…FREE YOURSELF.”

Powerful words for a 25-year old! The way that she presents herself in this world is letting her “freak” out.

So you’re probably wondering right now what is my “freak.” I often hide that I like to dance sensually, that I’m silly and act like a dork because it’s not how I was raised. At home in the privacy of my own home… my silly self comes out most definitely, but the public doesn’t often see that person. I have been on stage before and led a sensual dance break. That was so much fun! It’s funny because I always got approached to how powerful I was when I let this “person” out…this “freak.”

Because of all the inspirations that I have encountered recently I’m ready to let my “freak” out. I’m not going to hide and run the other way. I’m going to share it with the world… my “freak.” I have to say it takes a lot of energy to be someone you are not and to hold back that inner “freak.” It feels FREE to be that superstar and to share my “uniqueness” with world and I feel empowered to be true to who I am.

So I ask you…“What piece of you needs to be expressed?

What piece of you needs to step into the light in order to be a whole person?”

Would love for you to share.

Special thank you to Brandy Mychals, Suzanne Falter-Barns, Jeffrey Van Dyk and Lady Gaga.


To read and see more about what I experienced with them see below.


• Learn more about Brandy Mychals and her 6 Character Code system by clicking here.


• Listen to the recording from Suzanne Falter-Barns and Jeffrey Van Dyk by clicking here.


• Watch Lady Gaga on 60-minutes by clicking here.

Mojo Monday ~ Big Dreams

We wish all the Cosmic Cowgirls could have been present for the Big Dreamin’ that was happening in San Francisco this weekend. The fantabulous Cosmic Cowgirl Big Dream Cafe took place on Saturday in the elegant setting of Yoshi’s Jazz club. For those who could not attend I wanted to share an overview of the days inspirational happenings.

The event featured the inspiring and visionary presentations of Shiloh McCloud, Mary MacDonald, Christine Arylo, Shakti Gawain, SARK, and Elizabeth Gibbons.

Shiloh led the group through an exploration of the What, Who, Where, When, Why and the WOW of their dreams and goals. 
Christine Arylo explored the Silent Epidemics of Women, the Antidotes and the Dares in order to create more Self Love. Christine’s book called Choosing ME before WE : Every Woman’s Guide to Life and Love explores more on this topic. 
Shakti Gawain spoke of Creative Visualization, of which she has written a book by the same title, and led the group through a self discovery exercise regarding Main Characteristics and the Disowned Selves which led to exploring the various aspects of ourselves and how to work towards accepting and integrating our polarities. 
SARK, always funny and inspirational, shared about her new book called Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change Into Gift and Opportunity
Mary MacDonald (aka Stella Mac), the Big Dream Cafe Host, punctuated each presentation with her wise and thoughtful sharing, as well as encouragement to journal and share in small groups the many personal discoveries that were taking place. 
Elizabeth Gibbons brought the event to a glittery finale with her sharing about the importance of bringing glitter and light into our lives and asked us all to support spreading “glitteracy” throughout the world.
The Big Dream Cafe was followed by an inspiring evening performance by Alice Walker as she read from her newest book called Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, as well as dancing in the aisles that was inspired by the music of the band Hedzoleh Soundz. You can experience Alice reading some of her poetry on her very own youtube channel by clicking here. If you would also like to experience some of Hedzoleh Soundz music click here. We must also note that the foreward and illustrations for Alice Walker’s new book were written and created by our very own Chief Laughing Cloud, Shiloh McCloud.

Alice Walker on stage at Yoshi’s presenting her inspiring poetry.

Hedzoleh Soundz jamming away.

Some other highlights from the days events:
Upon entering Yoshi’s the attendees had the supreme pleasure of seeing in person Elizabeth Gibbons’ artistic masterpiece called The Door of Possibilities which you can read more about here.

We also all had the joy of experiencing the Glitter Bar which is another incredible creation of Elizabeth Gibbons.

If you attended the Big Dream Cafe please share a little (or a lot) about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts about the event, as well as a little bit about a Big Dream you hold dear to your heart.
If you were not able to attend please share with us one of your Big Dreams. (I have personally found that sharing and speaking aloud about Dreams is one of the first BIG steps in moving forward to making it a reality!)
Lastly for a little extra inspiration. Click on the link below to watch a touching video of the song Dream Big by the very fun band Ryan Shupe and The Rubberband. I’ve include some of the lyrics in writing for you too.

Lyrics:
When you cry, be sure to dry your eyes,
‘Cause better days are sure to come.
And when you smile, be sure to smile wide,
And don’t let them know that they have won.
And when you walk, walk with pride,
And don’t show the hurt inside,
Because the pain will soon be gone.
(Chorus)
And when you dream, dream big,
As big as the ocean, blue.
‘Cause when you dream it might come true.
But when you dream, dream big.
And when you laugh, be sure to laugh out loud,
‘Cause it will carry all your cares away.
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself,
And it will help you feel okay.
And when you pray, pray for strength to help to carry on,
But when the troubles come your way.
Dream big….

Mojo Monday: Manifesto

Manifesto ~ a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.

At the Cosmic Cowgirl Bountiful Conference in October 2008 Sark presented a writing workshop on the second day. One of the activities she facilitated was to create our own Writer’s Manifesto. Sark shared with us one she had created and that appeared in her book Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper: Gifting the World with Your Words and Stories, and Creating the Time and Energy to Actually Do It.

Here is the Writer’s Manifesto I created that day at the conference.

Several months later I created a second manifesto for myself called my Artist Manifesto while I was facilitating a playshop for some women friends and family. I suggested that each woman create a manifesto that spoke to her specific vision or dream which might be a Therapist manifesto, an Entrepreneur Manifesto or a Mama Manifesto.

The possibilities are endless as to what you want to declare and what intention you wish to focus on at this time in your life. What type of Manifesto would you create? Share with me the topic and if you feel inspired please write it all out and share it in a comment. If you decide to get colorful and add paint and perhaps even some glitter, take a photo and post it on your blog or web site and then share a link in the comment section.