When Venus Gives Career Advice

I’m sweating in a small room for 8 days straight. I have been calling C.E.O’s of tech companies on a telemarketing job, and the hours are making my brain melt.

Enter Venus.

Venus is a woman to whom I was assigned to check in with. Her very presence makes me nervous. Tall. Poised. Sterling Eyes. Wedding ring that would make Kim Kardashian jealous. Rumor has it she has worked in film. I’ve seen her drive a very expensive-looking BMW out of the parking lot. She is top-of-the-mountain engaging and doesn’t have to say a word.

As an artist, I have been taught to be vulnerable and real. That is where I live most of the time in my nervous universe – accepting the fact that I feel like a fraud and seeking truth within that falseness.

But then I meet Venus and I want to be just like her : UNCONQUERABLE.  A wall of fire and ice that says “Don’t Fuck With Me”. It is this that leads me to be timid and not try to fuck with her.

She’s walking down the hall. I don’t realize she is talking on the phone with a client, because she has been walking in the office. After I interrupt her, I go into my cubicle and continue my job.

She comes back in, and I apologize for interrupting her phone call…again.

She looks around and says…”Can I give you some really good career advice?”

She shuts the door.

My heart is in my mouth.

“Sure.”

“Never say you are sorry to anyone. Especially women! You have NOTHING to apologize for, so why are you apologizing? Do you think a MAN would apologize for what he did? Absolutely not. I was walking around, my phone in my ear- if HE didn’t know then HE doesn’t care. Don’t care so much, and never apologize.”

I know it sounds harsh, but she says this without sounding angry, resentful or like she is saying anything else but the truth.

I say thanks, appreciate the advice, here’s what I wanted to tell you. We go over the phone list and strategies for the afternoon call list. She leaves the room.

It takes 5 seconds, but I burst into tears. How many apologies have I made over several years for no reason at all? How many times have I been afraid to interrupt, offend or hurt?

I can pinpoint the exact point in my childhood when this hit me over the head : without any blame or resentment, I can seriously recall the moment when I was taught never to invite yourself over to anyone’s house. Make sure you ALWAYS have permission. ALWAYS.

But what happens to Venus inside us, the goddess of love who knows what she likes, what she wants and how she should get it. Who is unapologetic about the fact that she EXISTS, and CLAIMS her sacred space without attachment to the opinions of others?

The rest of the phone calls, I counted every apology said on the phone. 3. That means on average? At least 4-6 times a day I make myself feel like I shouldn’t take up space. What has that done to my subconscious desire and has that robbed me of any opportunities to grow?

This week, let Venus be your Goddess of the sacred space. I hope you own the space of your life, fill it with love and don’t apologize for what it looks like to others. I hope you take up so much space that you can be seen from heaven with your impact. I hope you use that space to change the world. I hope you never have to apologize ever again.

Sat Nam

time-management-woman

Ishtar and Jesus go out for Coffee

(Jesus is sitting in a cafe, waiting on his date to arrive. Enter Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of love, war, fertility and sex, and even though it is indoors a beautiful wind caresses her hair. Slow motion walk to 80’s power ballads as she sits down)

Jesus : Hey

Ishtar : Hello. 

Jesus: Thanks for – I mean, I’m glad we could meet. Finally.

Ishtar: I know, I hear you’ve resurrected. That’s so cool.

Jesus: Yeah, it was kind of rough for a few days. Three days. In a cave. Alone. And then POW – here I am.

Ishtar: Do they have strong coffee here?

Jesus: Um, yeah…I guess so. Pretty strong. 

Ishtar: That’s good. I was at a blessing of this cult of sacred prostitution, you know – workers united and all that stuff. I was up all night long performing sacred sexual blessings.

Jesus: Yeah?

Ishtar : It’s always so awkward when people expect you to have sex. I mean, I am aware that my rite and destiny is to fill the fruit with seed, the spring with blossom, blah blah blah but you know what? A girl likes to be asked. 

Jesus : Sure.

Ishtar : That’s why my friend said I might like you, she says you aren’t like any of her other clients.

Jesus: Oh, I’m not one of her clients. 

Ishtar : Honey, I’m the goddess of sexuality. You don’t have to play puritan to get me to like you.

Jesus : No really, I never have…you know, sex, with any of those women. Really?

Ishtar : Principled?

Jesus: No, I just like to talk to them. 

Ishtar : Really? About what? 

Jesus: I’m a motivational speaker of sorts. 

Ishtar: For…who?

Jesus: Everyone. I want to teach peace. 

Ishtar: Oh…(looks at her phone) Do you play sports?

Jesus: No. 

Ishtar : Do you watch sports?

Jesus: Not really. I was never really good at them. I like to write. 

Ishtar: That’s what Mary said. 

Jesus: Oh, how’s she doing?

Ishtar: She got pregnant again. Had to give it up, again. Hazard.

Jesus: It’s her right, hope she is healing. Tell her I say hello when you see her.

Ishtar: I will, and thank you. Damn straight it’s her right! Well, at least you’re a feminist. 

Jesus: At least?

Ishtar : I’ll be honest. I’m not really into the “let’s talk about our feelings” types. I’m more into the “fuck your friends, kill your enemies, and meet me at the orgy in the land of fertile plenty” types.

Jesus: Sounds fun.

Ishtar: But maybe you can help me with something. I just had this crazy breakup, right? Tammuz, this guy I was really into? Got taken into the underworld and totally hooked up with his Abysinian girl. Which I’m OK with most of the time, but it’s like, he told me that we were exclusive and I believed him, you know. So anyway, I banished the Abysinian into the eternal realm of darkness and Tammuz was like, you know what? I’m staying down here. So now since he’s gone I haven’t been really feeling…you know…into it? Sex with other people has been fine and whatnot, I love it, it’s what I do, but you know…I’m just not feeling it? So the rivers are drying up, and I’m feeling really depressed. Like, lifetime original movie depressed. 

Jesus: Tell me more, my child. 

Ishtar: Ok…weird….anyway, here’s my question: how do I get him to ressurect from the underworld? Maybe you could talk to him! You’ve done it, you could talk him through it. 

Jesus: Wait, so…you’re not interested in me at all?

Ishtar: You seem like a nice guy. Which is a problem. People forget I’m the goddess of war as well. I need conflict.

Jesus: So, you like assholes?

Ishtar: Pretty much. 

Jesus: Huh…well, thanks for being honest, I guess. 

Ishtar: Well, can you help me with my problem?

Jesus: What makes me think I’ll help you?

Ishtar: You’re the son of God. You help the needy. And I have needs.

Jesus: Clearly.

Ishtar: And what’s that supposed to mean?

Jesus: I didn’t…you don’t understand I’m not saying…

Ishtar: For a motivational speaker you sure pick an unusual tactic : slut shaming. 

Jesus: Resurrection. You want me to convince your boyfriend to resurrect? 

Ishtar: Yes. 

Jesus: Well I can’t do that. 

Ishtar: Why not?

Jesus: To everything, turn turn, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Purpose UNDER heaven. If he wants to rise up, truly rise up and become everything he has ever wanted, he needs to get under the banner of his heavenly self. 

Ishtar: Listen, Buddha dissapeared and came back. Guru Ram Dass dissapeared into the river and reappeared to sing the song of formlessness. Why can’t you get my boyfriend to like me again?

Jesus : Sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world to watch our loved ones dissapear into the seasons of themselves. We may be in eternal spring in our hearts, but they want to stay dark. We can choose to ressurect ourselves every day that we live in compassion, or we can choose to live in darkness. But that’s our choice. Ressurection wasn’t mine, nessacarily. I was supposed to be a symbol of something people do every day. I can’t rescue your boyfriend because he isn’t in a place where he wants to be reborn. 

Ishtar: What, into your Dad’s idea of who he should be?

Jesus: Here’s a secret. My Dad wants nothing else but for people to be happy. To live as they are : perfectly imperfect. But humans keep finding ways to mess that up. I don’t know what your boyfriend is going through…it must be terrible to lose someone like you in his life. Some people are reborn into my heart because they feel great when they are there. But it really doesn’t matter if they choose to go through me or someone else : they’ve got to save themselves from the terrible place inside that brings fear. However way they do it, they have to find a way to be reborn every day or the pain becomes insurmountable. 

Ishtar: Wow. 

Jesus: But that’s not my job. I write. I inspire. I embrace. And that’s what I do best. But I’m not captain save-a-ho. I can’t go rescue your boyfriend. He’s got to take the steps back towards you, if he wants to.

Ishtar: Well, thanks. I appreciate your honesty. 

Jesus: You’re welcome. 

Ishtar: I think we should be friends, though.

Jesus: That’s OK. I’m not really into, you know, man eater types? No offense. 

Ishtar: None taken. 

Jesus: I also really like black women. 

Ishtar: Me too. 

(Unable to resurrect the conversation, they sit in silence)

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Eavesdropping on Dad Wisdom

I’m sitting in a Starbucks and I’m watching a dad and his seven year old son engage in conversation. “You cannot wish for something, you have to drive for it. I’m wishing for something, but do I have an outcome? You have to focus on outcomes. In order to get there, you have to focus on the next answer, and the next and the next.”

It sounds harsh, but it’s rather sweet. The boy is chewing on his straw and pretending not to be engaged. But he really is listening with his full attention. I can see the pieces of himself that is growing through guidance, and whatever that means for him in the future he has someone who cares that he succeeds.

I remember some similar conversations with my father as a kid – “We don’t QUIT because it’s HARD, we are KELLEY’S! I don’t want to hear WHINING I just want DO-ING!!”. I’m very proud of this wisdom – as a result I am someone who, no matter what her emotional state (and there are many) she can still show up to work and do the job she came to do. It’s why even in a tent with holes in it I still feel warm under the sky…because regardless of my foundation I love building my house and keeping it, flawed as it is. 

The wisdom of the father can be that like Jupiter – the Roman God of the Sky and thunder. Just like when our fathers shoot into the wind with their children, thy can come out of the sky like lighting. Father energy is very powerful because it is honest. It doesn’t lie to us or sugar coat the truth for the sake of our feelings. It tells us what we need to know. It makes mistakes, surely for no one taught the God of the sky how to rule the universe and his family at the same time. But even as Jupiter was a flawed and human god, he ruled the sky regardless of what was going on. He was the king. 

The flip side to that father energy is the rigid sense of right and wrong we can sometimes get into on principle. How many times during election years, fiscal crises, or general times of discontent do we fight over things that don’t matter? Does our sense of security fall because we are constantly challenging our security blanket? We are supposed to – that’s the job of the children to challenge their parents with a new vision of the future. 

But we also have a duty to them that we can grow resentful of sometimes. To respect their opinion when we disagree. To grow away from them because we must seek community of our own. To be patient with them as they have been with us. To recognize that we put them through some shit when we were young and they resisted the urge to drown us or sell us off to the circus. 

May your week be filled with the wisdom of the father – truthful, guiding and consistent. May you have someone in your life to absorb the wise energy of the father from. May you be resolute in your path with a father’s mind inside you, and a father’s light to guide you. May you forgive your father for things he hasn’t done and may you draw gratitude for the things he did. May you do your best, never quit, and be strong and graceful as the father energy serves you and your community. 

Sat Nam

Burn the Effigy of False Stories – Winter, Fire, and Marzanna

At 4:30 PM the sun starts to go down. It is cold outside. I light a candle for my evening meditation, a real karma-burner that allows me to open the lotus blossom of my heart. Feel its fragrance, be inside the chambers of where the oldest stories I tell myself are hidden. I look at that flame every night and I focus on the process: it is a pleasure to burn the old life inside me because it is too painful to carry anymore.

Most people spend their entire lives crawling. This is a fact. The mind is a series of patterns on which we are sent messages from our subconscious. These stories are older than our childhoods, and our karma is to figure out why we came to this planet to suffer the same story over and over again. Why we seem to be the victim of our life instead of the hero is patterned in our subconscious tales of lack, fear, hurt and pain that we were brought to from the human condition. From the suffering that we seem to be doomed to follow.

Its a fucking pleasure to burn that story. I want to throw the entire chapter of my false identity into a pit of flames and never hear words from that place again. I want a working heart and a loving soul.

Fortunately for me, I have Kundalini Yoga, and the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Tonight my teacher explained to me that all of those stories are from fear. That the way of the heart-centered warrior is not to fight and suffer and lose and be an animal. But to be gracious, regal and gentle with my soul. It is easy to be numb, to be harsh, to be critical and to hate. It is the hardest thing in the world to face fear with the open lotus of the heart.

Yogi Bhajan

“Repeat after me : I love myself, I trust myself, I am myself. LOUDER, Until I believe you…” – Yogi Bhajan

Tonight, I read about the goddess Marzanna. She is a goddess from Poland who represents the seasonal rites of Winter. She is the death that needs to happen in order for Spring to bloom. The Slavic root of her name, mor, or mors, means death. Some German studies have likened her to mare, or nightmare. She visits and brings death, nightmare, phantoms, visions, hallucinations. In other words, she is the bringer of the dark days without sun or sky so that the soil of the Earth is clear for a rebirth.

marzanna

Marzanna. Ugly doll of death, harbinger of Winter. 

There is a tradition in the Czech Republic to burn an effigy of Marzanna during the vernal equinox of Spring, on March 21. A likeness of Marzanna is brought through the town on that day and burned on a pyre of herbs, flowers, and stones. This is a community passing of Winter and the welcoming of Spring. When she is burned, it is considered bad luck to touch any of her ashes after she has been put on the fire. You don’t want that old story carried around with you any more than you want six more weeks of cold. The time for death and mourning is passing and we don’t have time for the baggage that follows that season. Don’t look at Marzanna once you are done with your ritual. Don’t carry any more of her stories with you. You don’t need them anymore.

In the next few months, I’ve got a lot of burning to do. The old habits, the old stories, the old triggers. They need to die quick deaths so that life may regenerate in my soul. May the following weeks bring you a burning process that clears the cosmos for your destiny. May the false piece of yourself that you keep identifying with die out. May you feel the lotus blossom of your heart open and may that burn bright in the harsh conditions. May your baggage fall into flames. May you regenerate with love and understanding so you may be strong and carry your community through the Aquarian Age.

Sat Nam.

Burn the death goddess

May your Goddess serve you to burn the stories.

Baubo and the “Nasty Girl” in Cinema

I am at a party and all the men are staring at me. Not for reasons of looks, apparel or poorly applied makeup, to be sure. I have just had a loud and frank discussion with my lady friend about if tampons were bacon scented. My argument is that if these existed men would have no problem with a woman’s time of the month. You must have bacon to go with eggs, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My best friend to whom I have presented this theory starts laughing, but obviously I have made an error in judgement: this is not the culturally relevant time to discuss this.

You’ve seen it make a tremendous return to the movies. Melissa McCarthy declares a delicious lack of awareness as to the direction of her bodily function. Rebel Wilson declares “lez-be-honest” and makes a pitch perfect argument. You mostly find these nasty gals in romantic comedies, fringe characters who show up with a memorable inappropriate remark. Ellen Dow, the elderly lady in The Wedding Singer who takes lessons from Adam Sandler, lays down some Sugar Hill gang and steals the spotlight from other minor characters in the film.

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“ You can’t expect him to live forever with his sister and the nipple-twisting that goes on there.” – Rose, the Wedding Singer

Usually these characters are who we remember when we leave the movie because their impulsive language tests our boundaries of propriety. Typically voluptuous, aged, or overly sexualized – these characters say what they mean and don’t care if it’s massively erotic or awkward. They make us feel danger because of what they are saying, but their actions of impropriety make us feel like we want to be around them – these improper women who take us out of ourselves and our expected cultural dimensions.

So what do these women all share? What is the divine story inside them that makes us feel their laughter as our own?

In Greek mythology, there is a character named Baubo that is never truly mentioned in most reciting of the Demeter myth. She is known as the old vulva woman, one who would explore vaginal exposure for a laugh. In short, your nasty gal best friend. She is the goddess of transformative belly laughter, the kind that leaves you in tears. She brings forth the joy that leaves you sore from delight. She is the nasty gal of the spiritual realm.

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Roman Statue of Baubo flashing her erogenous zone. Anything for comedy.

The story goes that Demeter was wandering through the forest, searching for her daughter Persephone. Persephone had been taken by Hades into the underworld, and as a result Demeter, barley goddess of the seasons, created an endless winter with her sadness. Along comes Baubo, seeing the Goddess in trouble. As a way to make her smile, Baubo flashes her vagina to Demeter and makes her laugh. She wipes the tears from her face. Demeter finds the strength to keep searching for her daughter, and carry on through tragedy.

What makes this Baubo figure impactful in cinema? Usually when the lead character is in her darkest hour, ready to give up the fight, the Baubo of the movie shows up and makes us all laugh with her. Before the lead character’s comeback, Baubo appears and breaks wind before us. She breaks dramatic tension with a Betty White frankness, and it is refreshing to the viewer.

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“If I showed you my vagina, would you hold it against me? I didn’t think so…”

Truth is, Baubo represents the locker room discussions that all women have. We are not delicate when it comes to discussion of our lady parts or any other capability that they have. Even the most proper woman on the exterior has felt a tug in her panty hose and wanted to share the story with her friends. Every grotesque part of us is beautiful, and Baubo helps us celebrate that. And with feature films like Bridesmaids raking in 280 Million worldwide? Baubo is needed more than ever.

In that success story of female vulgarity, we get a beautiful pep talk from Megan, the movie’s Baubo. Saving the Demeter figure of Annie from her spiral downward, she lays some truth down. And its something we all need to hear through the ass biting, vagina flashing and tit punches:

“You can stop feeling sorry for yourself, okay? Cause I do not associate with people that blame the world for their problems. Cause you’re your problem, Annie. And you’re also your solution. “

So says the truthful Belly Goddess.

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“Could you lean in a little bit closer? I have a secret…”