blog (aka wisdom bombs)
here's where i drop 'em like it's hot, from my Feminine Genius to yours.

When the ship is sinking, do you bail — or sing?

You know the story, right?

When the ocean liner the Titanic hit an iceberg and started going under, obvious panic broke out.

Some passengers shoved into lifeboats, some tried to swim for it. Some of the crew went to work trying to fix the hole in the ship, some simply passed out. But the orchestra that was playing in the ship’s ballroom decided, even in the face of inevitable doom, to keep playing.

I imagine the orchestra members and their lovely wave of music being swallowed — in one achingly slow, languid gulp — by the frigid ocean.

And it makes me think about the work so many of us are called to do, the change so many of us are called to make.

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The weirdest superpower ever

I lived for 12 years, while I was dancing and then coaching, in New York City.

At first I didn’t understand why anyone would want to wear all-black clothing, shoes with platforms, and never look anyone in the eye — which were de rigueur in Manhattan.

But finally I got it and loved it.

Badass boots with three inch soles lifted me off the dirty pavement that I was pounding, and gave height and heft to my meek little frame. All-black clothing told people to stay the F out of my personal space as I went full-force after my dreams. An averted gaze toughened my skin like weathered leather that neither slings nor arrows could pierce.

I felt street smart, savvy, and safe. Like I had superpowers.

Good, right? Yes. Mostly. Sort of.

I had developed some important (Masculine Genius) superpowers, but I was still missing one — perhaps the weirdest superpower ever.

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What keeps your intuition sharp

Intuition.

Everyone has it. And yet it can be one of the hardest things to locate in a busy, modern existence.

Everyone needs it. Without it, we are compass-less, adrift in a sea of everyone else’s opinions.

I had to start with a bad breakup so that I could end up with intuition. Want to know why?

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Why I love my quirky body. Period.

What does the Ugly Duckling, Elsa from “Frozen,” or any ol’ underdog have to do with what’s in your underwear?

Read on, my friend, read on. I have so much to tell you about underdogs, underwear, and why I love my quirky body. Period.

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The Tao of Figs and Flowers

In my twenties when I was dancing professionally I was cast in a piece about monastic life.

I know, I know, not your usual topic to explore via the artistic medium of dance. Regardless, the ten or so of us dancers went for a long weekend at a Buddhist monastery a few hours from New York City where I was living at the time, as experiential research.

I took off all my jewelry, wore a monk’s robe, got up at 4am to chant and sit in meditation for many hours each day. At the end of each simple meal of brown rice and vegetables, we were to pour a little of our drinking water into the bowl, swish it around and then drink, so that no food was wasted.

It was simple, and austere, a deliberate stripping down of bodily thirsts and cravings.

A few years later I went to a weekend workshop about pleasure and sensuality, also a short train ride from Manhattan. The first night we had homework to decorate the room we were staying in with something for every sense, as though royalty was coming — and the royalty was us.

We were then supposed to slow down, enjoy, and savor each of the things we had chosen to decorate with, as well as touch our own faces and bodies in ways we found pleasurable.

Even though it was a workshop about pleasure and sensuality (so what did I expect?), I found the homework assignment wildly confronting.

I didn’t much consider myself royalty. As a busy New Yorker and hustling dancer, I wasn’t in the habit of slowing down and savoring. I wasn’t convinced I had worked hard enough yet to “deserve” enjoying things. I was pretty sure that touching my face and my body pleasurably was for OTHER people to do (as a way of validating my attractiveness and worth) but not for ME to do.

I almost left the workshop and got on a train back to the City. But instead I bucked up and did it.

Around the room I placed incense to smell, a silk scarf to touch, music from my iPod to hear, flowers to see, figs to taste.

Toward the end of the exercise, I cried for a few minutes, realizing I had never deliberately experienced pleasure — the pleasure of my senses, of my body, of my face — for myself. It had always been for someone else. Or something I’d avoided because it thought it was bad for me. Or something I was convinced I would get around to some day.

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