Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mailbox Inspiration

I am a word junkie. Some people collect ceramic figurines; I collect verbs.

(Or nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns. I don't descriminate. I get especially excited, when, if grouped together they form motivational sentences.)

So, thumbing through a catalog I came across the inspiration for this idea. Their words were made from misprinted cans and the only option was "eat & drink"..not words that particularly resonate over here.

Here's a task for you..think of one word that could appeal to multiple people that has not been overused. The overused words of; happy, celebrate, cherish, dream, inspire-so tired of seeing. "Live" is in this category but I was in a hurry when I was buying the letters. See, nothing good (and in good, I mean creative) ever comes from being rushed.

So, my version: Visit your nearest craft superstore. (Michaels is just down the road from me...) and purchase the letters required to make your non-generic, non-overused word. The "Live" letters are about 12" tall, Poise are about 6".

Grab all those magazines you have stuffed under your bed and start cutting out images and words.

Grab a bottle of Mod-Podge (this word conjures up images of go-go dancers and Carol Brady) and glue your tushie off. Make sure to smooth down any air bubbles, and let dry. You'll get a great little piece of urban art-and if you don't rush...a piece that resonates.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Church of Oprah

I came home yesterday, opened my mailbox, and found the latest edition of Oprah’s, O Magazine. Purely seeing the cover of this monthly compilation instantly releases dopamine into my system. I can hardly wait to pull up a deck chair and dive in….What would Oprah and her staff have this month to enlighten the women of this world?

I often quote things I’ve read and cut out articles of interest to paste in my “inspiration” book (you didn’t doubt I had one of these, did you???).

This month, the damn magazine cover might as well have read, “Rebekah Anne, flip immediately to page 300.” “ARE YOU ON THE RIGHT COURSE???”

I’ve referenced the fact before, that I was raised in a very Catholic household-church every Sunday (death itself being not an excuse to miss). My parents, no longer of the clergy, forgot when they traded in their habits and robes, that poverty was no longer a daily requirement.

The eight of us walked (or those of us that could—some were babies) single file down the long aisle of the local Catholic church. You could watch parishioners lips move as they counted just how many kids were in this family? (Apparently, the chastity portion of their vows was thrown out the window.) As the oldest, I always got stuck in the middle of two of my younger siblings expected to help in keeping everyone accounted for.

I went through the motions, recited the Our Father, knelt when I was supposed to, stood when I had to…here’s the thing.

I never got much out of it. (P.S. In the above mentioned church, the below commentary would be labeled as “Blasphemy”-please skip if you know what “Pre-Vatican II” means.)

The sermon, oh god, why? I’m convinced to this day that before someone can lead any group-they must take at least one class on dynamic public speaking. I can’t believe any god would allow someone to speak on his behalf without some enthusiasm.

For that hour, each and every Sunday, through my childhood years, my thoughts consisted of:

-Hope we get donuts after church, I’m starving. (For those of you not Catholic, you must fast one hour prior to receiving the body of Christ.)

-The observation that my father was the loudest singer in the joint. (His voice literally reached the heavens-and across the street if the church doors were open.)

-My sister would not sit still and twisted and contorted her body into all sorts of shapes.
-Great people watching here. Why is she wearing white shoes with black pantyhose?

-Please let Mr. Cute Boy, give me the sign of peace. (Again, a church ritual, halfway during the mass you greet those sitting around you with a handshake and a whispered, “Peace be with You.”

Ok, you get it- Church, in this way, did not get me any closer to anything divine.

In my own church, you do not find God. He is always with you whether or not you like it; he is that little voice somewhere between your head and stomach that guides your choices.

My parents believed that the “Lord, will provide.” I’m thinking its more like, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” He’s not a genie and won’t magically pay your bills. He won’t grow you back a lost arm. He’s that moment of clarity, the one where you feel all is content with the world. He’s the one that wants nothing more for you than you want for yourself.

My theological beliefs are currently based on; (To those literary soul mates of mine, self-help book junkies, shameless book references below)

-Taoism (to just be) The Tao of Pooh
-Conversations with God (God speaks to you in your own voice, he doesn’t judge, there is no hell, he only wants to experience himself through you….)

-My own parents teachings of love and inclusion---(“Do all things in love and you’ll never go wrong.” AND “Everyone should be welcomed at the table.”)

-Two word-Authenticity and Acceptance (my proverbial Holy Grail(s).)

-O, Magazine (which articles are often my version of a well-rehearsed, relevant sermon.)

So in my church this week, the summary of the sermon (ala Martha Beck-the voice of reason…)

-“A joyful life isn’t about others. It’s about the brightness that is associated with being alive. Your path to it is through anything that replaces thinking with pure flight, pure joy.”

-“Some days the work will go well, other days badly. You will find your mission eventually, if you Do.The.Work.

-“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. You playing small doesn’t serve the world.”* Susan Greenwood

So there you have it; believe what you wish. Be curious. And always, always, always put Love first.
P.S. The photo-yes..Me, first row second from the left. Please note two things... A.)Really did have two hands in 1982 and B.) Of all the girls, my dress was the longest. It has since been turned into our family's baptismal gown.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The F Word and Curly Girl


I've been swearing alot lately...the f word comes out of my mouth more than I'd like to admit. Sometimes, though, the word is so liberating. I tend to use it as a reply rather than a verb--does it then become a noun??

IE, "How's it going today?" My reply "F***". Must draw out the ahhh in the middle and roll your eyes for effect. Phonetically pronounced, "Faaaaaahck" in almost a whisper tone.

Yes,that's right, say it with me.

A rather unladylike word for a Doily.

So, as I read this little entry to my inbox this morning you can guess what my reply was.

"No matter what you're doing, try to work at that task like it's your dream job."Russell Simmons (1957 - )American entrepreneur.

(You, too, can have words of wisdom delivered to you daily..Sign up here.

Ok, so I know nothing is worth doing unless you do it well. I know, I know..but I like my thoughts to wander aimlessly sometimes and just not care. So, Russell, thanks for ruining my day with your guilt. I'll pay attention, I'll try harder to pay attention. "F**ck.

I've driven by this little shop a few towns over from me and always wanted to stop in and do a little recon. I was always with big mister and his tolerance for "cute" little shops is non-existent so I took a little road trip a few weeks ago.

The "Atelier" (pronounced at-tel-yay), a french word for artist's workshop, was cute. The store is in an old brick building on a street lined corner. The brick walls were painted white and 5 huge, vintage, gold chandeliers were hanging from the ceiling. A little too antiquey for me but I spent more than 3 minutes in there due to this artist and these cards:

I love her style and more, just her words.

I wonder if the Curly Girl one day sat at her undream job? I wonder if she ever substituted a swear word when asked what she thought?? Did she always know that she had something special?

Yeah, yeah Russell...I'm doing it. I'm appreciating what I'm learning, I'm working at it 100%, All the world is my dream job.