Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Asking Mom For Help

Sometimes we just don't want to make it a Hallmark moment.

News flash: This time of year ain't always merriment and mistletoe for everybody. For a variety of reasons, the holidays can suck for many of us. For some, it's a battle to create a festive atmosphere or supply presents under the tree when there's precious little money and no gainful employment. For others, it's an empty nest or an empty bed that brings out one's Inner Scrooge. If you are like me, the holidays can be a painful reminder of a loved one's death.

The next few days will undoubtedly be rife with love, laughter, yummy food, and fun presents to give and receive. Yet, there will also be a part of me -- a part of a lot of us -- that will be yearning for that missing someone around the dinner table. For me, it's my mom. For others, it may be a grandmother, a husband, a son, a sister, or a friend. Even though my mother won't be here in physical form, her spirit has recently been making itself known in many ways. Just yesterday, I felt I was channeling Mom as my daughter and I undertook the task of making her famous 7-layer bars. I recalled so many Christmases past where Mom would prance around the house in her red sweater and acrylic high heels, making sure everyone had something to drink and a 7-layer bar to nibble on. She was the quintessential glammed up matriarch, white zinfandel in one hand and a glowing cig in the other. No matter how many presents I receive in my lifetime, few will give me the joy I felt upon witnessing the contagious belly laugh of that little firecracker.

Yesterday, I received a telephone call from a dear friend of mine who is currently going through the same thing I did three years ago. His father is about ready to depart this world, and the transition is understandably difficult for the entire family. On one day, it seems like his dad is ready to leave; on another day, he is up and around, basking in the love of his spouse, children and grandchildren. My friend believes that he is showing one final burst of energy before he says his final goodbyes. Who knows, maybe he's waiting until after Christmas so his loved ones won't be reminded of his death on the 25th of every December. I wish I could tell him that it doesn't really matter what day he decides to die. Even if he waits a few extra days, his family will still feel the crush of his absence every year around the holidays. There will be an air of melancholy when everyone sits down to the feast. Someone will make a reference that will remind everyone of a long-running family joke. His favorite holiday movie will play on television. In so many ways he will be there still, even when he's not.

Because of this phone call I received, I decided to ask my mother for a special gift this year. I am going to ask her to help in a way that only she can do.

"Ma, please go to Jim's bedside and help him find his way to Spirit. He needs help in dropping his body so he can move on, and you are just the gal to escort him. (He's cute too!) As you know, he's probably a little afraid and worried that his family won't be able to handle his death. Reassure him, Ma, that everyone will be all right and that he is going to an amazing place filled with beauty, joy, and Divine love. Once he feels and sees you there, he'll understand that he's not really dying - just changing locales. It will help him and his family so much. Bring all of your peeps too! Thanks, Mom, for this huge gift. I love you so much!"

And I miss you too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

F'ed Up Fairy Tales

Call me an arrogant douchebag, but I have a Google Alert set up on myself. As a self-pubbed writer who has pimped herself out for articles, interviews, quotes, reviews and anything else that will get my name out into the world, I like to keep track of where I am floating in cyberspace. This morning, I got an alert about an interview I did on fairy tales over a year ago for Online Dating Magazine. I must have been wearing my sassy-pants when I did it! Here is the interview. Enjoy...

Dating with Disabilities
by Melissa Blake
An Interview with Theresa Rose

I know I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately for this column, but I’ve been talking to so many great people with such great insight, and I can’t resist sharing their knowledge and expertise with you. Besides, you must get sick of hearing me prattle on week after week, right?

Did you grow up loving nothing more than a good fairytale? I did. I used to read about Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, and before I knew it, I started waiting for my own Prince Charming to come riding up on his white horse and sweep me away to our own, personal Happily Ever After. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a great story for a young girl to have in her mind, but that’s just what it is – a story. Somewhere along the way, I began thinking that this is how real life – and of course, real love – was: all romantic and pretty and filled with heroes who save the day. But as I got older, I realized that some of those classics can lead young women astray, especially in leading them to think that they need to rely on a man for happiness, or that they are doomed to be damsels in distress forever.

What happened to Girl Power? I wondered if I was alone in my thinking (which, as you know, happens to be the case sometimes), so I got the inside story (no pun intended) from Theresa Rose, the award-winning author of the book “Opening the Kimono: A Woman’s Intimate Journey Through Life’s Biggest Challenges” (Serious Mojo, 2009). Read on for her thoughts on the lessons we internalize from fairytales.

What do fairytales really teach us about love and life?
As a mother of a seven-year old girl who adores "All Things Princess," I can say from first-hand experience what these fairytales teach about life: they show us to value looks and superficiality above all else, that girls are totally clueless to their surroundings and how victim hood ultimately serves us. What a bunch of malarkey! Each female in these stories is a passive victim who is waiting for some man to rescue her from the terrible situation she herself got into. Of course, it goes without saying that the love found in the stories is totally based on physical attraction alone. How on earth could those perfect dudes fall in love with their princesses after only a few minutes? And they lived happily ever after? Please.

Why have these fairytales transcended time and remained relevant even in 2009?
Despite how totally unrealistic and even harmful these stories are, little girls (and big girls) everywhere are drawn to them like moths to a flame. There is something so appealing about imagining oneself as the prettiest, most sought-after girl in the room. We get to wear fancy clothes, have men fight dragons for us and essentially have no responsibility whatsoever for our own happiness. When shown through that prism, becoming Snow White sounds pretty good to me too. It's the same base desire that had women flocking to the theaters to see "Sex and the City."

How can women use these stories to benefit their own lives?
I believe the biggest benefit from these stories is to show women where they learned patterns of victim hood and unreasonable fixations on appearance. Women should look at challenges in their lives and ask, "What Wouldn't Snow White Do?" We can be our own heroes instead of waiting for a man to save us. Although, I must admit that Cinderella reminds us of the power of wearing a killer pair of heels.

Is there anything else you think I should know?
The best fairytale heroines are Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Fiona from the Shrek series. Belle taught us that reading is cool, and what is on the inside of someone is more important than what's on the outside. Fiona taught us that you can get the love of your dreams and still have terrible skin, a barrel for a belly, a bulbous nose, and freaky ears. She is responsible for her happiness, sticks up to her man when called for and chooses her own destiny over what other people think. Fiona ROCKS!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We Knew We Were Gonna See This

I am currently sitting at the Minneapolis International Airport, praying that the airplane on which I am about to board can outrun a raging blizzard. Yippy F#$king Skippy.

As a recent transplant from Florida to Minnesota, I am often asked why I would voluntarily choose to leave Paradise for life in the Frozen Tundra. (The word 'insane' is often used in the question.) When we packed up our worldly belongings in August and headed north, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Fast forward four months later, and I'm shivering my ass off. News Flash: This time of year, Minnesota gets cold. It gets BUTT-cold. It gets oh-shit-my-nipples-feel-like-they-are-going-to-friggin-fall-off cold. And it's not even Christmas. Jesus, what the hell was I thinking? I'm not swearing to the Lord; I'm literally asking Him.

Oh yeah, I remember. On the professional front, we moved for the career opportunities it afforded me. In only a short period of time, I have been able to generate significant new speaking gigs, and I believe it is directly attributable to being in a major metropolitan area like Minneapolis/St.Paul. I have also made some amazing connections, established growing friendships and had occasion to speak in front of large groups. These are all good things!

However, the more important reason for our reverse-migration has been the reconnection with my family and my roots. I was born in this Frozen Tundra forty years ago, and I have several family members that have been silly enough to remain living here (just kiddin', peeps!). What a joy is has been to have Thanksgiving with one of my brothers and his family, spend evenings playing cutthroat games of Rummikub with my niece who has suddenly grown into a woman when I wasn't looking, and chilling with my soul sis Susan while enjoying a glass of zin. Emma is on Cloud Nine-and-a-Half being so close the clan, and she proudly announces that her new BFF is her cousin Libby. To top it off, we get the pleasure of hosting Christmas Eve dinner at our home. Norman Rockwell we ain't, but it will be a great time nonetheless.

So, here I sit, fretting about the friggin' weather. I recall my husband quoting the James Cameron movie, The Abyss, whenever I start bitching about the cold or snow. He says, "We knew we were gonna see this". Yep, we knew that the weather was one of the drawbacks to our decision to move up north. But, you know what? No place is ideal. If you don't deal with blizzards every once in a while, you deal with hurricanes. If you don't deal with hurricanes, you deal with smog, fires, earthquakes, persistent traffic jams, outrageous real estate prices, or bad hairdos. Every place has a shitty part, no matter how you slice it. We made our decision to move to Minnesota based on intuition and heart, not number of inches of snow per year. We knew we were gonna see airport delays, snowplows, runny noses, and icy roads. But we also knew we were gonna see smiling faces on our children, friendly competitions of Apples to Apples around the fire, and houses full of laughter and love. My life is richer in every way for having come back home. When all is said and done, a blizzard every once in a while is a tiny price to pay.

But I won't be complaining when my plane lands in Sarasota.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Swing Dance Sexiness

Here is my latest "Sex and the Suburbs" column for Creative Loafing newspaper. While it isn't as steamy as some of my others, it still brings a smile to my face. I hope it does to yours too!

Blessings, and make it a great day.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Too Busy to Blog, but Not too Busy to Be Grateful

I have been woefully delinquent in my blogging duties -- again.

Luckily, it isn't because of some existential funk I've found myself in; rather, the reason for my absence has been the fact that I am busier than a one-armed paper hanger with my professional speaking biz! Something shifted when I went to Florida a few weeks ago, and now everything is totally jamming. Michael and I are happily working together, the phone is ringing, the emails are arriving, proposals are being signed, bank deposits are being made, and I am finding myself in my most desirable of situations: being in front of lots of peeps, sharing the Mojo.

Life is very, very good.

I have wanted to take the time to write or record a blog, but my deadlines have not allowed for them. I suppose I could have worked through the night, but my daughter and hubby would have probably frowned on it. Instead, I opted to release (most of) my guilt and happily move forward on the path that Spirit is paving for me, with balance and grace.

However, I felt it necessary to post my annual Gratitude Rant, in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Dear Spirit, thank you so very much for all of the gifts you provide to me today and every day. I know I don't take time every day to express my appreciation, and oftentimes it takes a holiday like Thanksgiving to remind me of how friggin' kick-booty my life really is. In that light, I offer my rant for All Things Righteous in the life of Theresa Ann Rose:

* Michael and his never-ending support and love; I could write a book on how much I dig that man. Hey! Maybe I will!
* Emma and her morning cuddles, perches, and belly touches; she is, quite simply, the shiz.
* My extended family in Minnesota who I am so happy to be reconnected to
* The new friends I have made in my new/old hometown
* My old friends who haven't forgotten about me just because I am gone
* The opportunities that are presenting themselves to me, allowing me to share my stories with lots of people
* The changing seasons, reminding me of the beauty of transformation
* Newly discovered Indian, Greek, and Ethiopian restaurants that bring food to a whole new level
* Freedom
* The many dreams I have that will someday become a reality
* Jason Mraz!! (I adore you, Jason.)
* My hoop, even if I don't use it as much as I would like
* Finding the perfect pair of shoes at Opitz and spending $10 on 'em
* Walking around Lake Calhoun on a glorious Autumn day
* Finding $20 stashed in a coat pocket
* My new, fire-engine red RAV4, lovingly named "Firecracker"
* Creative, beautiful, sassy, amazing, talented women on Team Mojo
* Sleeping in on Saturdays
* When plans come together effortlessly and easily
* Shedding the fear
* Fitting into the skinny jeans once again, even if I look like a stuffed sausage
* Swing dancing with hubby
* Facebook statuses that make me smile
* Everything, absolutely everything, that makes this journey so rich and juicy

Finally, I would like to show appreciation for you, dear reader, and the support you give. It is my fervent wish that you enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends. Remember how loved you are!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Healing Taylor Lautner

Taylor Lautner needs to receive some serious healing work, and I'm just the woman to give it to him.

For those of you who may not know who Taylor Lautner is, you are obviously not fourteen years-old, nor are you a Twilight fan. Taylor is the hunkalicious man-boy that plays sensitive werewolf Jacob Black in the wildly popular vampire movie series. For those of you who are familiar with Taylor, you undoubtedly know that he had to bulk up his physique, gaining almost thirty pounds of pure muscle, for the upcoming film, New Moon. The result is one smokin' hot werewolf.

Apparently, Mr. Lautner is getting overwhelmed by the throngs of females lavishing attention on his outstanding form. It seems that whenever this stud puppet is out in public, teenage girls everywhere hopped up on a cocktail of extra virgin estrogen oil, Diet Mountain Dew and Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers will scream, "Take your shirt off, Taylor!!!" I can only imagine that it would get pretty darn annoying to be the constant object of obsession for the Pubescent Girls Gone Wild crowd.

Recently, Taylor lamented to reporters that he is incredibly embarrassed by all of the attention his body is getting, and wishes he could never have to take his shirt off again for another movie. As a red-blooded woman who would be devastated if this wish came true, I am hereby offering to do whatever it takes to heal Mr. Lautner of his shirtless trauma.

As a Reiki Master, Intuitive Healer, and former Licensed Massage Therapist, I believe I am uniquely qualified to rid Mr. Lautner of his pathological discomfort with being disrobed. The first step in the process is to understand the problem. Clearly, the fanatical attention his luscious bod has garnered has made him feel unsafe, ungrounded, and uncomfortable in his own skin. My recommendation is for him to have an intensive, one-on-one session with me to move through his fear of being nearly naked and utterly enticing. The session would go something like this:

"Take your shirt off, Taylor." (Notice I didn't scream it, but rather ever-so-professionally instructed him to do so.)

When he begins to peel off his skin-tight white t-shirt, showing me his ripply abdomen, I encourage him to move as slowly as possible as to remain fully conscious and present with his feelings. As I walk around him, I ponder the possibility that we should also address some of his latent discomfort associated with women ogling his perfectly-round ass. After briefly considering instructing him to take off his pants as well, I decide that we could save his gluteal issue for another day.

"Slower, Taylor...that's it, nice and easy..."

I then inform him that one of the ways we need to break through his discomfort is to desensitize him to women admiring his physical beauty. I rattle off some of my classic meditation verbiage about loving himself unconditionally regardless of what others think of him, and invite him to embrace the Divine within. He sheepishly agrees to my advice and stands fully erect, allowing me to eyeball every last inch of him for as long as I feel it prudent.

Two-and-a-half hours later, I inform him that the visual portion of the treatment is nearly complete. Over the last 150 minutes, I observed in minute detail his washboard abs, strapping pecs, massive deltoids, sinewy neck, and mighty latissimus dorsi, nary skipping a single inch of his impressive personage. After mentally recording my observations, it becomes crystal clear that this young gentleman is truly a gift from the gods.

Taylor is now feeling a little woozy from all of the intense energy he has received from my piercing brown eyes, and he needs to lay down for a bit. This is perfect timing, as the next stage of the treatment is about to begin. I guide him to lay on my bed -- unfortunately, my treatment table is broken at the time -- and invite him to fully relax.

After a few deep breathing exercises ("Deeper, Taylor...bring more air into your chest..."), I gently bring up the subject of therapeutic touch and ask if he is ready to delve into it. As a former massage therapist, I have witnessed first-hand the tremendous positive effect that nurturing touch can have on someone who has experienced trauma, and I believe that Mr. Lautner is an ideal candidate to receive it from a highly-trained person such as myself.

After I put on some relaxing -- some would call it "sexy" -- music, I begin to stroke, er, caress, um, palpate Mr. Lautner. I start at the top of his head, rubbing my hands all over his scalp and ever-so-slightly pulling on his black spiky hair. I brush my fingertips against his masculine eyebrows, deliciously long eyelashes, and rosebud lips. For good measure, I even tug on his ears and plunge my pinky fingers into each ear canal.

Over the next several hours, I explore Mr. Lautner from head to toe, leaving only his sacred patch of manhood untouched. When slowly kneading his brawny upper thighs, I wonder if the air conditioning is broken because it is getting so damned hot in the room. By the time I pluck at each one of his adorable chestnut toes, I decide that I must be coming down with something, because I feel like I am ready to pass out from the heat that is curiously radiating from my pelvic area.

By the end of the session, Mr. Lautner has completely released his objectification fears and is comfortable once again in his Herculean frame. He is so very grateful to have received my outstanding healing services that he gives me a huge, teary-eyed bear hug for ten minutes. At the end of our hug, he innocently asks if he could give me a peck on my cheek as a thank-you. I say, "Of course! My pleasure, young man." Using all of the willpower contained within my being, I refuse to turn my lips towards him at the precise moment his lips touch my face. As we say goodbye, my final piece of advice to him is to receive weekly treatments from me, just to ensure that he sufficiently progresses. After all, his entire career is at stake.

After an exhaustive yet exhilarating day of healing, Mr. Lautner confidently leaves my office, fully satisfied with the treatment outcome.

And I go change my underwear.


For more inspiration and sass, visit me at!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Give Up!

I have two words of advice for those of you who want great things to happen in your life: GIVE UP.

Give up, you say? Never! We are taught that we should work work work work work for all of the things we want. If you want a better job, work for it. If you want a healthier body, work on it. If you want a better relationship, work to attract it. I don't know about you, but all of this damn work is making me tired.

For the last ninety days, I have been drowning in work. The more I tried to accomplish, the more unsuccessful I became. I had a list of action items that could choke a horse, none of which I was doing very well. My list of work priorities in no particular order included:

* Creating one-day seminars for social workers, nurses, and bodyworkers
* Proposing corporate training on time management, overcoming adversity, and change management
* Pitching keynote speaking events for health care organizations
* Developing in-service training modules for teachers
* Acquiring a literary agent in order to reissue Opening the Kimono
* Writing my blog, freelance articles, and "Sex and the Suburbs" column
* Trying to get "Sex and the Suburbs" syndicated
* Contacting radio and TV stations for interviews
* Scheduling book signings at booksellers
* Submitting Opening the Kimono to popular book bloggers for review
* Teaching creative writing classes
* Hosting meditation circles
* Conducting intuitive healing private sessions
* Facilitating Club Kimonos
* Growing my social media network on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
* Networking networking networking
* At least 25 other "mission-critical" tasks

UGH. After writing all of that crap down, I can understand how I was miserable. There was simply too much to do, and not enough time to do it. I was under the wave.

During last week's flight to the East Coast, I asked Spirit for some much-needed help. My To-Do List From Hell had to stop, and I needed a receive a clear message from the Universe as to what I should be working on. After my prayer, I went about my business and waited for the signs to appear.

After conducting a couple of righteous guided meditations, two super-charged speaking events, and a heartwarming Club Kimono, I realized (or remembered, to be precise) that I NEED to be on stage bringing the Mojo in order to be happy. I get energized when I am in front of a group of people doing my thing -- making them laugh, inspiring them, and helping them to see what they can do to bring more joy and peace in their lives. I got very little sleep last week, yet I had enormous amounts of energy. Simply put, motivating people and connecting them to Spirit is my passion, not my work. It is like oxygen for my soul.

Later in the week, I received additional guidance that I should let go of any other tasks that don't have to do with my inspirational speaking. That meant that I was to drop corporate consulting, educational training, and bookstore events --- at least for right now. Instead, I should funnel all of my energies towards getting on the stage. As I have written before, it is my natural habitat. If I were to be honest with myself, I am not that juiced up about the other stuff. My motivation to accomplish all of those goals was simply fear in disguise. I was afraid that I wouldn't make enough money if I didn't get it all done. Never mind that, since my heart wasn't in most of it, I wasn't able to close any business.

On Saturday afternoon, I came to another conclusion: I no longer needed to kill myself to find an agent. This discovery was made ONE DAY before I was going to fly to New York City to attend a swanky "Meet the Agents" forum. How ironic! I opted to go to New York anyway, since I already had the plane ticket and prepaid for my stay in a trendy Brooklyn apartment. I decided that my new goal wasn't to acquire an agent; rather it was to have fun in The City and meet some cool people along the way. I packed my suitcase, put a few copies of Opening the Kimono in my big purse, and was on my way...

When I got to the event, I immediately noticed that the room was full of angst-ridden wannabe authors. While waiting for the presentation to start, many of my neighbors were kvetching about how unsuccessful they have been in acquiring an agent, how rude some of the agents are, and how unlikely they were to get a "Yes". Nice attitude, ladies.

After the agents introduced themselves, all of us fledgling writers waited in very long lines to get our three minutes of face-time with two or three of our preferred agents. The anxiety, depression, and anger levels were reaching a fever pitch. I recall a woman behind me who was nervously reciting her pitch in her head. She reminded me of the late great Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live doing The Chris Farley Show; she looked liked she was going to start pulling out her hair and scream, "I'm so stupid! Argh! I can't believe I said that!" One could almost smell the fear. I, on the other hand, was totally relaxed. I decided to tune out the crazies by goofing around on the Facebook app of my iPhone.

When it was my time to be in front of Agent #1, I joyfully sat down, plopped down my book, and said, "Hi, my name is Theresa Rose. I am the author of this book, Opening the Kimono: A Woman's Intimate Journey Through Life's Biggest Challenges. It has won two awards so far: the Royal Palm Literary Award and the Living Now Book Award. I am also a motivational speaker and workshop facilitator, and I sell my book to about 80% of the attendees at each function. I also write a column called "Sex and the Suburbs" for Creative Loafing newspaper, and I am looking to get it syndicated. I think the time is right for me to start looking for an agent to take Opening the Kimono to a larger audience. Is this something you might be interested in?" My pitch took me no less than one minute, and frankly, I could have cared less what her response was.

What did she say?

"I'd like to learn more. Send me the book and your proposal when you get home. Next!"

I waited in two more lines over the next two hours, and I had one more agent tell me to send her my materials.

Just like that. Easy peasy.

It was an interesting lesson for me. When I let go of the need to work so hard at it, the results come easily and effortlessly. Even today, as I finish up the book proposal, I am relaxed, confident, and totally trusting that whatever happens will happen. Either Ms. R or Ms. B will want to take me on as a client, or they won't. Whatev. It doesn't negate the power of the book or my absolute certainty that I should be on stage bringing the juice.

Two nights ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Deepak Chopra speak in front of 2,000 people at the University of Minnesota. Naturally, he was brilliant and inspiring. But, I got more out of watching Deepak than hearing him. I imagined myself speaking in front of a large, enthusiastic group someday and thought how friggin' kick@ss that will be! I heard the laughs, saw the smiles, and felt the warmth. Right now, I mostly speak in front of groups of 50. Someday, it will be in front of groups of 500. If I'm lucky, eventually it will be in front of 5,000. For now, though, I am content to let go of the need to "work" at it and just BE.

Sometimes we need to give up so we can receive.

Monday, October 12, 2009

In-flight Ruminations

It’s amazing what comes to mind when one is forced to endure a jam-packed, turbulence-ridden Delta flight from Minneapolis to Sarasota.

Having recently moved to Minnesota, I am not used to taking off during a snowstorm. Frankly, it freaked me out a wee bit. I know how hard it is to navigate my Toyota on a slippery, snow-covered highway, so how could I not question how the pilot would keep control of this massive chunk of steel on a slick runway? The answer, of course, is the mystery process called ‘de-icing’: that magical solution that makes everything A-OK. It's so reassuring to know that my life is safe now that the plane received a five-minute, high-powered car wash. As we careen down the runway, I focus on my tried-and-true “I'm scared shitless” mantra: All is well, all of the time. In conjunction, I try to calm my stomach that is doing somersaults and breathe into my legs that have turned into jelly. Despite my best efforts, I have visions of that terrifying movie Alive – the story about the jet crash in the Andes – dancing through my head. This is all happening a few hours before one of my public appearances in which I am supposed to become Big Theresa, the Bringer of the Mojo. As I type this, I am looking down at my black plastic and brushed metal bracelet that has the word "Fearless" emblazoned on it and wondering how the hell I have the cajones to wear it.

I am comforted by the fact that I’m not the biggest Fraidy Cat on the plane. There is a chick sitting in the row ahead of me who looks like she is going to jump out of her skin, barf in the white paper bag, and pee in her stonewashed jeans all at the same time. Prior to takeoff, my Nervous Nellie cabin-mate sporting the Taylor Swift tee shirt incessantly grilled the flight attendant on the safety of the plane, e.g. “What is that strange noise?! Is that sound normal?! What about all of the snow on the wings?!” (I was grateful to my squirrelly travel compadre for asking those questions, as I wondered the same things myself.) The jaded flight attendant whose behavior clearly indicated that she has logged waaaaaaaay too much flight time, condescendingly responded by saying, “Then maybe you should have taken a Greyhound bus to Florida”. Hey, Blondie? Two words: Blow me. Delta’s new tagline should read: Fly the Bitchy Skies.

In order to deal with the stratospheric roller coaster in which I am currently being forced to ride, I am focusing instead on my upcoming itinerary. I will be spending the next six blissful days in sunny Florida conducting Club Kimono discussion groups, facilitating two group meditations, having private intuitive healing sessions, and doing a speaking engagement. All of that that is fine and dandy, but to be honest, I am more pumped about seeing my peeps!! I get to spend quality time with Jax and V, go out to dinner with Abby, hoop with Shellie, lunch with Linda and Donna, gab with Lourdes, and laugh with Shaun and Di. I’m gonna walk the beach in my flipflops, get up whenever I want, and eat whenever I want. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and daughter more than the Biggest Big Thing; but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it is gonna be pretty friggin’ nice to be a single gal for the next week. I am sure my jaws will ache at the end of the trip from laughing and talking ad infinitum. Sometimes I just need a break from the roles of Mom and Wife.

Not only am I spending quality time in the Sunshine State, but I will also be taking a quick jaunt to New York City for a “Meet the Agents” forum. During three nerve-wracking hours next Sunday afternoon, I hope to dazzle the to-be-determined Dream Agent with the awesome potential of one Ms. Theresa Rose and her literary baby, Opening the Kimono. This trip is huge for me, and I want to make a great impression. As any woman knows, the clothes we wear can dictate our confidence level. As I scoured my closet yesterday to pick out my travel wardrobe, I discovered several bold, trendy, oh-so-New Yorky outfits that would be perfect to wear for this event. The only problem is that none of them fit. Ever since our move, my girth has steadily expanded, thanks to too many trips to Caribou Coffee, too many take-home pizzas from Papa Murphy’s, and too few trips on the elliptical. It’s a depressing thing indeed when all one can find to wear on the eve of a major business trip are stretchy skirts and baggy shirts.

Blessedly, I found a cute Michael Kors skirt in the back recesses of the closet that I bought on sale at Macy’s several months ago. I have never worn it, because it was too big when I bought it (it was incorrectly sized and misfiled on the sale racks). Not anymore, dammit. Thanks to Caribou and the Papa, it fits perfectly now. Through a few tears, I cobbled together a decent Manhattan-worthy outfit that doesn’t make me look like a hausfrau or an aging hippie at Burning Man.

So begins my trip. I am trying to stay as positive as possible, recognizing that wonderful things are just around the corner. My goal right now is to be in the groove, go with the flow, and embrace every moment, regardless of how unpleasant it may seem. I pray this damn turbulence will end soon, the cranky old coot next to me will eventually arrest his restless leg syndrome, and the faceless-yet-powerful expeller of noxious intestinal gas will stop his (or her) pungent tooting. Just a few moments ago, my jittery neighbor actually had the stones to ask me if I’d switch seats with him, giving him my coveted aisle seat in exchange for his middle seat. Yeah. That’ll happen. I’m all for loving my neighbor, but he’s gonna have to keep his shaky ass right where it is for the duration of the flight.

PS: Despite how it seems, I love writing while traveling. There is something about being surrounded by strangers being put in uncomfortable surroundings that make my creative juices flow like the Colorado River (or at least how the Colorado River ran ten years ago). The only drawback is the presence of nosy neighbors who think they are being surreptitious when they sneak a peek at the contents of my screen. Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, buddy. Keep your damn eyeballs on your USA Today or Golf Digest where they belong.

I love traveling. ☺

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Morning of "Me Too!"s

As part of my job as Author, Speaker, and Bringer of the Mojo, I write a monthly newsletter called The Rose Report. In it, I include a message of inspiration typically about self-acceptance, gratitude, consciousness, and other warm, fuzzy things that make life so juicy. However, I have not felt like a Bringer of the Mojo over the last few months due to my recent, hellacious cross-country move.

When I had to write this month's newsletter, I was faced with a choice. Do I pretend that everything is hunky-dory, or do I share my inner ick? As with writing my book, Opening the Kimono: A Woman's Intimate Journey Through Life's Biggest Challenges, I decided to have some cajones and go for the latter. I know from personal experience that it is where the healing takes place. Here is what I wrote:


Just as I wrote in last month's Rose Report, I continue to struggle to find my footing in my new home of Minnesota. While I have been blessed to spend more time with family and meet new, wonderful friends, I am still filled with a fair amount of fear. And panic. And anger. And annoyance. And depression. And every other negative emotion one can feel.

As a self-proclaimed "Bringer of the Mojo", it pains me to show you this small, disconnected part of me. I am feverishly trying to grow my professional speaking business, but I am feeling like a phony right at the moment. (How does one promote a speaking program called "Maximizing Your Mojo" when the speaker's Mojo is missing in action?) I dreaded having to write this month's newsletter, knowing that if I wrote a bunch of "life's-wonderful-be-grateful-you're-beautiful-everything's-a-gift" stuff, it would merely come across as empty platitudes from a woman who resembles a sad, powerless mutation of her true self. If you haven't noticed, I need someone to bring some Mojo my way.

The thing that's even more obnoxious about my descent into the dark side is that I know the cause of it! In a nutshell, I have not yet been successful in re-establishing my spiritual practice in my new house. I can count on one hand the number of times I meditated over the last thirty days, and I have done precious little movement. While I have somehow been able to sever the vice-grip sugar addiction I acquired during the move itself, I am still pounding my head against the wall, both personally and professionally. The price I have paid for ignoring Spirit has been a big one. I have been short with Emma more often than I care to admit, felt sluggish and icky physically, and obsessed over the fact that my book sales are lagging despite the overwhelming enthusiasm from readers and critics. Long story short, I am still teensy, tiny Theresa.

My mother used to have a saying that she would use during a particularly difficult situation. She used to say, "There is a four-letter word that will fix any problem: W-O-R-K." While I appreciated her teaching me about the value of a strong work ethic, a part of me believes that it was damaging in the long run. For the last sixty days, I have been consumed with that four-letter word. I have started working as soon as Emma goes to school, go non-stop for several hours without a break, and plug away until well into the evening. My neurotic behavior hasn't netted me any great successes; rather, it has fueled my sour attitude that has, unfortunately, permeated our home. In hindsight, I should have focused on the other four-letter words that would have helped me so much more: L-O-V-E and P-R-A-Y. Ironically, in order to kick myself out of this nasty funk I've put myself in, I need to do a lot less working and a lot more loving and praying.

Why on earth would I want to publicly share this bit of ugliness in a newsletter designed to pump people up? If I learned anything from writing Opening the Kimono, its that the act of sharing one's gunk allows it to be released, opening one up to new possibilities of power and joy. Hopefully, you will recognize some of your own self-inflicted smallness in my telling, and realize that we ALL have these moments once in a while. I know from first-hand experience that getting out of the spiral of depression is a challenging exercise. However, no amount of chocolate, movies, or complaining will make it any better. You have to carve out time to sit in silence every day, even if it is for only a few minutes. You have to move your body in more ways that just from bed to the table to the chair and back to bed. You have to honor the fact that if you want to heal yourself, you need to ask for help, not only from friends and family, but also from your Spiritual Posse. I guess Mom was right after all; you gotta WORK at it.

I no longer want to feel this badly. I no longer want to feel the fear of failure. I no longer want to go to bed angry. It is up to me to step back into my power, and I start working it. My first task is to ask for your help. Take one moment after reading this email to visualize both you and me as powerful "Bringers of the Mojo". See the two of us letting go of the vices and addictions that keep us tiny. Imagine that everything we desire is flowing to us easily and effortlessly. As I am writing this, I am imagining this for us both. Now, we need only to make those choices that will fulfill this vision.

This month, I will try to find my way back to the meditation room, back to the hoop, back to the yoga mat, and back to me. I hope you, too, have a wonderful, colorful, blissful, healthful October...just like I envisioned it to be!

Take care, and let's BOTH make it a great day!

Brightest blessings,


The response has been nothing short of phenomenal. I have received dozens of positive email responses from people over the last few hours. Their words were tender, vulnerable, honest, and courageous. Some wrote several paragraphs, and some merely a few sentences. While every person has a different story, every email contained the same theme: Thank you for sharing your heartfelt words, and I FEEL EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. It's good to know that I am not the only one out there.

I needed to hear this today. I needed to remember that my work is important and helps people. I can get lost in the depression of publisher rejections, stalled proposals, and meager book sales. The gifts I have received this morning are like precious jewels for my psyche. As such, they are going to be filed in my "Smiles" email folder. When things are especially difficult on the financial front, I am going to look back at these notes to remember why I've chosen to be an Author, Speaker, and Bringer of the Mojo in the first place.

I am so grateful for being reminded that we all go through the same struggles. It makes me feel like I'm not alone in this journey, and sharing our stories with each other will help us find our way back to joy. Together.

(If you want to receive the Rose Report for yourself, please visit my web site!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Medicine In All Its Forms

When the going gets tough, the tough go to Dairy Queen.

That is exactly what happened yesterday when I learned that a major NY publisher, after three months of reviewing Opening the Kimono, decided to reject my book for publication. While they loved my book, they could not support it at this time. Specifically, the publisher said:

"We have done our best to analyze whether we can publish your book successfully. After doing that analysis, we have come to the conclusion that based on the market as it is, it would be difficult to successfully publish it at this time. I know that this could be disappointing news and I want you to know that this is not a reflection of your work, but more of what's happening in the market and what has been selling successfully in this challenging market. "

That was little comfort. I felt like I had been repeatedly punched in the stomach by the World Boxing Association heavyweight champ. I had put so much of myself into the notion that this top publisher would accept my book and take it to the masses. Visions of Oprah danced in my head. How could they reject it? Everyone who reads it loves it! I know that celebrity memoirs, works from known bestsellers and diet books are practically the only things being published right now, but c'mon! Isn't there just a little bit of room for something new?

My husband/business partner was with me when I read the email. My tear-covered face clearly showed my disappointment more than any words could convey. He immediately swept me up into one of his classic bear hugs. He decided that the first-level of response needed to be some quality Michael Medicine. He took me into the bedroom and made delicious love to me, telling me how proud of me he was and that I was powerful, beautiful, and an amazingly talented woman. He nurtured me through the tears and brought me through the worst of the storm.

That was Step One.

The next step in my grieving process was to bury myself in the comfortable confines of our bed. I wanted to pull the covers over my head until the sting of the rejection ebbed to a manageable level. However, hubby broke into my existential malaise and declared that he wasn't going to allow me to wallow in bed all day long. It was time to re-enter the world. At my urging, we hopped into the car and proceeded to administer the second dose of medication: a Dairy Queen hot dog, fries, and Reese's Blizzard. I gotta admit, the tasty treats did start to make me feel a wee bit better. There is something therapeutic about chocolate and peanut butter...

That was Step Two.

Once we got home, I didn't want to do anything productive, and I certainly didn't want to get on that damn computer to do any more work. Every time I looked at MacDaddy, he taunted me with the firebomb contained within my Inbox. Instead, I pleaded with my beloved to join me in the basement for some sustained mind-numbing TV. We popped in the Blu-Ray disc of season one of "True Blood" and watched vampire shenanigans for several hours. Somehow watching hot vamps all day long made the pain of my disappointment further recede into the mist of my saddened heart.

That was Step Three.

Throughout the day, I received numerous calls and emails from family, friends, and fans who reminded me that I am, in fact, worthy of success, despite what the fancy-pants publisher may think. With each supportive comment, my confidence grew and ate away at my pathetic, "I suck" attitude. One comment in particular stood out in my mind. A woman who has read my book several times and listens to the audiobook in her car sent me a note: "I just want you to know, your words continue to transform my life on a daily basis." Her thoughtful comment prodded me to remember other things. I recalled that one woman who is currently going through rehab was allowed to bring only a very few items with her, and she chose her well-worn copy of Opening the Kimono to be one of them. I recalled one woman chasing me down at the International New Age Trade Show saying that she had to meet the woman who wrote the best book she ever read. I recalled the awards my book has won. In short, I remembered that I am still, regardless of the painful rejection I just received, The Shizit.

That was Step Four.

Collectively, all of these steps brought me back from the brink. After a reasonably good night's sleep (how much sleep can one get after snarfing down DQ and seven episodes of "True Blood"?), I woke up with a new attitude. I firmly believe that everything happens exactly as it should, and there are gifts contained in every seemingly horrible situation. I am grateful that I don't have to wait on pins and needles anymore, waiting to hear from the people for whom I (incorrectly) placed all of my hopes and dreams. I am grateful that I have so many wonderful people in my life who support and love me. I am grateful that I have written a book that makes people feel better about themselves. I am grateful for another day.

After our post-coital cuddle yesterday, Michael reminded me of the most important thing of all: "Let's allow the Powers That Be who create worlds to take your book where it needs to go. We don't have to do all of the work. It's up to us to just live joyfully and act upon the signs that Spirit gives us. It is in charge, not us."

Damn straight. I will NOT hold on to my self-judgment and disappointment anymore. I will embrace this latest development as a gift, knowing that Spirit is driving me towards something phenomenal. Starting today, I am going to get back on the horse, share my words with as many people as possible, and sell the shit out of my little book of inspirational stories. The right publisher for the second edition WILL present themselves at the perfect moment, because Spirit is in the driver's seat.

And if/when I waver, Dairy Queen is just down the street.


Please visit to take a peek inside Opening the Kimono!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Confessions of a Closet Cougar

I am back in the groove of my writing, and boy, oh boy, does it feel GOOOOOD! I just finished my latest "Sex and the Suburbs" column for Creative Loafing newspaper titled "Confessions of a Closet Cougar". I hope you enjoy reading it, and please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or any other way you stay connected to your peeps in this crazy, 21st Century world of ours.

As an aside, I must tell you how awkward it was to have my husband edit this month's "SaTS" column. I kept thinking, I wonder if he'll blow a gasket when he reads the line, "I almost splurted after peeking at his perfectly round tushie." (The aforementioned tushie not belonging to my beloved.) Being the confident and supportive hubby that he is, he merely smiled and told me how funny the piece was. Honestly, the man is a freak of nature. I think he is missing the jealousy gene.

To all you cougars out there, keep prowlin' and growlin'. There is so much delectable prey on which to feast!

Friday, September 11, 2009


So much has been written about the traumatic, devastating, and shocking events of September 11, 2001. As such, I am not going to bother writing yet another blog about what we already know: September 11th sucked. It sucked BIG TIME. It sucked as big as a thing can suck. We all watched in horror as those colossal buildings came crashing down, and we continue to feel the grief in our hearts when we think of tremendous loss of American life it exacted, both on that day and in the years that followed.

As expected, I was met with a barrage of 9-11 themed statuses while logging on to Facebook this morning. Several of my online friends took the opportunity to pay homage to the event, to our country and to the brave men and women who fight for it. All of that is really, really good. I was heartened to see that people were taking time to authentically reflect on the impact of that unforgettable day.

However, I did get my knickers in a twist about one particular comment. One of my Facebook "friends"* (NOT!) wrote in his status this morning, "Never forget that the demons are still out there waiting to destroy our civilization." Seriously, dude? You want me to start my day off making sure that I remember that there are imaginary devils lurking somewhere in the distance -- the Middle East, perhaps? -- that are biding their time, waiting for that perfect moment to "destroy our civilization"? Really?! Hey man, I have some advice for you: Never forget that listening to too much fanatical, reactionary talk radio and not getting enough hugs can destroy what's left of the mind and soul of a bumbling goober.

* (Needless to say, I de-friended this bozo after receiving one-too-many of his crazyman, racist updates.)

I don't think it's right to use this day of collective introspection as an opportunity to bathe in the shallow end of the victim pool. Only Spirit knows our ultimate fate. We may meet Our Maker by slipping in the shower, being splattered on the interstate, getting struck by lightning or having the treatment of an infected toenail go terribly, terribly awry. Or, like my paranoid former FB friend believes, maybe we will meet our end at the hands of a bomb-toting terrorist (which, unfortunately, happens with a tragic degree of regularity in other parts of the world). There's no escaping it; every one of us is going to exit the earthly plane one of these days. The key isn't about obsessing over the method of departure, it's about reveling in the experience while we have it. I personally think being a fearmonger isn't the ideal way of doing it. Fear only brings with it anger, bitterness, resentment, and smallness. Nobody wins when the venom of fear runs through our veins.

Let's truly honor the heroes of this day by becoming LOVEMONGERS instead. Share vast amounts of joy with extreme prejudice! Tell people to never forget that they are adored! Give warnings that today will be better than the last! Remind all of your friends that all is well, all of the time!! Send links to uplifting, funny web content instead of angry, fear-based crap! Be a beacon of hope instead of an obnoxious strobe light of imaginary doom!

If we have learned anything from that day eight years ago, it is to ENJOY life. To enjoy it, we must not fear it. Instead, let's try to be grateful for our juicy, amazing, fabulous, love-filled, perfect lives! They are so very precious, after all. Let's never forget that.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

In God I Trust

TRUST. It is such a simple word, yet it is sometimes so damn difficult to put into practice.

Several months ago, I was fortunate enough to have my book, Opening the Kimono: A Woman's Intimate Journey Through Life's Biggest Challenges, considered by a major New York publisher. If they decide to carry the second edition, it would most certainly be the easiest way I can get my work out to the largest possible audience. From a writer's perspective, having the support of one of the largest publishers behind my words is like reaching literary Nirvana. I have visions of Oprah, Ellen and Rachael dance in my head. (Oprah would most certainly LOVE Opening the Kimono! Can we say "Oprah's Book Club"?) Yet, I sit here in limbo waiting to receive the coveted email of acceptance. Maybe if I hit 'Refresh' one more time, it will magically arrive in my Inbox. I endlessly check my account, but the object of my desire keeps eluding me. states that trust is defined as a "confident expectation of something". To be honest, after one month of unrequited refreshing, I am starting to lose my confidence. I try to keep telling myself that no news is good news; maybe their lack of response to my status inquiries is the fact that they are busy figuring out the details of the lucrative contract they are going to present to me. However, as each day passes, my resolve is wavering. My insecure, inner nancy-girl fears that the answer will be "NO! We don't want your tacky little book of inspirational stories! NO! There is no market for your kind around here! NO! You are not a big enough name for us to gamble on! NO! NO! A thousand times NO!!!"

I guess I need a refresher course on trust.

My favorite tool I use when conducting intuitive healing sessions with people is the Osho Zen Tarot card deck. It has beautiful pics, none of which makes me feel like the Grim Reaper is waiting with his scary-ass sword to cut me to shreds. The insights I receive from them are always powerful and dead-on accurate. It just so happens that the Trust card, has always been my personal favorite.

Whenever I do a reading on myself, I invariably choose the Trust card. I have selected it so many times that I actually installed the image as my laptop wallpaper so as to remind me of its teachings. The card shows a woman enthusiastically diving into a beautiful pink void with outstretched arms, knowing she will safely land wherever she needs to. The commentary on the card states, "Now is the moment to be a bungee jumper without the cord! And it is this quality of absolute trust, with no reservations or secret safety nets, that the Knight of Water demands from us. There is a tremendous sense of exhilaration if we can take the jump and move into the unknown, even if the idea scares us to death. And when we take trust to the level of the quantum leap, we don't make any elaborate plans or preparations. We don't say, "Okay, I trust that I know what to do now, and I'll settle my things and pack my suitcase and take it with me." No, we just jump, with hardly a thought for what happens next. The leap is the thing, and the thrill of it as we free-fall through the empty sky. The card gives a hint here, though, about what waits for us at the other end - a soft, welcoming, yummy pink, rose petals, juicy...c'mon!"

This card reads like it was meant for me. After recently packing up all of our worldly belongings and moving across country to our new home in Minnesota, I feel like a bungee jumper without the cord. After having my husband quit his safe corporate job to manage my fledgling book and public speaking business, I feel like I am free-falling through the empty sky. As the card states, the idea scares me to death. Yet, Michael and I made the leap anyway, trusting that what awaits us on the other end of these incredibly terrifying choices is a soft, welcoming, yummy pink, juicy reward.

Maybe that yummy pink reward is a contract with the Mystery NY Publisher. Maybe it's not. As the card states, the act of trust isn't about knowing the exact details of the outcome. It's about taking that first step toward the unknown, knowing that whatever the outcome, it is always in the best interests of all involved. In Jason Mraz's song, "Make It Mine", Jason sings, "Leap and the net will appear". Well, God? I have taken the leap, and I'm waiting not-so-patiently for the net to appear. Can it appear please? Pretty please? Soon? Before I go totally insane?

The biggest piece of advice I give people when moving through a transformational phase in their lives is to do two things: 1) Watch for the signs from Spirit, and 2) Act joyfully upon them. I have most of that routine down, but I must admit that I sometimes omit the 'joyful' part. When a carrot so juicy, so delectable, so career-making is dangling in front of me, I have found myself forgetting that the object of the game isn't to reach the carrot, it's to have fun while doing so. Because once I actually grab onto the elusive carrot, another one will appear. It's just the rules of the game; nothing more, nothing less.

In order to insert the word 'joyfully' back into my world, I need to embody the trust that comes with playing the game of life. I must remind myself (yet again) that Spirit is supremely benevolent and wants only the best for me. I must remind myself that I have written an award-winning book worthy of international exposure. I must remind myself that whatever happens -- whether I get this particular contract or not -- is exactly what is supposed to happen. I simply need to trust that God knows what He (or She) is doing.

It turns out the hardest part of becoming an author wasn't writing the book, editing it, designing it, or self-publishing it. It's diving into the void that I am in RIGHT NOW and trusting that, no matter the outcome, that all is well, all of the time.

During my meditation today, I will ask Spirit to release me from my self-imposed burden of worry. I will ask for It to resume the project management role. I will fill my body, mind and spirit with that simple word until it pushes all of the fear and doubt out of me. Just to be sure, maybe I'll be like Bart Simpson and write it on the chalkboard over and over until it actually sinks in:

I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.
I trust.

And so on and so on...


For your consideration and/or comment:

In what areas of your life do you surrender to trust? In what areas do you hold on too tightly?


Visit to receive the Rose Report or your Daily Dose of Mojo!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again...Almost

Forgive me, reader, for I have sinned. It's been four weeks since my last blog confession.

I haven't written for over a month, yet my life has been busier and crazier than ever before. Since my last blog on July 27th, my husband (our household's primary breadwinner) quit his fancy-schmancy corporate job to work full-time at our publishing and public speaking business, Serious Mojo Publications. Within a week of him quitting, we decided to make another huge change and move across country from Florida to Minnesota. Subsequently, after four weeks of hell, we arrived in the 26-foot U-Haul outside our rented home in Minneapolis. Each day, I thought to myself, "I need to blog! I need to blog! I need to blog!". But I never did.

I kept telling myself that my inability to write was because the story was too big, there were too many details to share, and that blogging about major life changing events as they occur was too time-consuming.

Yeah, right. That wasn't it at all! That was just some bullshit excuse I created in my own head to avoid the obvious: I was afraid.

Any entry I would have made would have undoubtedly been peppered with words of fear, panic, doubt, agitation, exhaustion, and anxiety. As an inspirational writer and speaker, I felt like I would have jilted my readers (and been seen as a whimpering ninny) by showing my unattractive, unconscious self that has emerged center stage. I couldn't bring myself to describe my tumultuous journey, even though that is precisely what I do for a living. There were always other, "more important" things to do -- packing, finding a house, cleaning, moving, and settling in. I had a million things to do, but writing had not become one of them. I abandoned who I was, all for the sake of the next completed task.

Now, when everything is nearly complete, I am stuck in the muck of writer's block, or to be more precise, writer's fear. I am petrified that my career won't be able to support my family, nervous that our house in Florida won't rent, upset that I have allowed my body to go to pot, anxious about the status of a major publisher reviewing the second edition of my book, and overwhelmed by the work I have waiting for me. Even more importantly, I have been deathly afraid that, after a month-long hiatus from writing, the words will no longer come. Will the literary gods strip away my snazzy wordsmithing chops from lack of usage?? I am supposed to be the Bringer of the Mojo, yet I feel like I have morphed into the handmaiden of victimhood. Ugh. I am so very small right now.

My mantra over the last several weeks has been, "This too shall pass". I keep telling myself that everything will work out exactly as it should because Michael and I are following the signs that Spirit has sent our way. In my quiet moments (of which there have been precious few), I KNOW that Michael quitting his job and our move to Minnesota are exactly what needs to happen for my speaking career to flourish and my book to gain national acclaim. Yet, I sit here twiddling my thumbs, moving knickknacks, shopping at Target, endlessly surfing Facebook for the next distraction, and waiting, wishing, hoping that I can turn the corner towards balance and joy.

Where, or where, have my balance and joy gone? Did I leave them in a box in our garage in Florida? Are they permanent fixtures in my meditation room in the Sunshine State?

I am constantly trying to cocoon myself in trust before the tsunami of fear threatens to overtake me. Visions of food stamps and blank screens dance in my head. Will I be ever be able to resume my writing? Will my calendar remain empty? Will I continue to spiral down the darkness where inspiration is lost forever?? Needless to say, I am in the midst of a full-blown freakout.

Sometimes we forget that everything is temporary. When we are in difficult periods in our lives, it often seems like the challenges will never end. I recall the agony of losing my mother and fearing that I'd never be able to get back to a place of happiness. Of course, my grief, like all pain, lessened over time. But, as we all know, pain makes us feel like we are stuck in molasses on a cold, wintry night. It is so damn hard to see the light that is flickering in the distance, calling us forward. We often resort to self-medication to get us through the dark hours. Personally, I have chosen unhealthy food as my propofol of choice. I have consumed massive amounts of Dairy Queen, pizza, Wendy's, Waffle House, Starbucks, and all manner of artery-clogging, pimple-creating culinary creations. Somehow the sweet and salty goodness found in no-no foods has given me the artificial fuel I needed to slog through the emotional molasses. The result, of course, is the reappearance of my fat pants, an explosion of zits on my face, and the hint of a second chin. Oh joy.

Ironically, if I were to conduct a counseling session with a client in a similar situation, I would encourage her to do two simple things: joyfully move her body and meditate more frequently. I know from personal history as well as professional experience that getting into one's body and getting right with Spirit are the two biggest methods towards healing and empowerment. I KNOW this. In my head. Yet, the hoop remains on the floor and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard continues to regularly enter my pie hole.

It isn't about knowing what's best for us; it's about DOING what's best for us. Those are two very different things. I know I should have kept up with my yoga practice and found time to regularly meditate, but I didn't. Instead, I ate crappy food and neglected my spiritual practice. Oops. Shit happens.

Unfortunately, getting back on the horse is never fun. Our tastebuds cry out for the sugary deliciousness of our edible anesthetics. Our bodies grown and wheeze when they are asked to perform in any other way other than to schlep boxes. Our self-esteem gets perpetually stuck in low gear. But, if we don't get right back on the horse, we'll stay firmly planted on the ground, bitching and complaining about how friggin' hard everything is.

Thankfully, I am just about ready to let go of my self-generated victimhood. Just about, but not quite.

I have decided to take baby steps back to the land of the Mojo. I've made a salad for lunch today instead of shoveling in Chipotle. I am planning on doing some gentle yoga later in our new meditation room. Maybe I'll even sign up for a local hooping class! I know my fat pants will not immediately go away, nor will my complexion magically clear up. But, I do know that writing to you today, dear reader, has helped me a great deal. It was the perfect boost I needed to get my rapidly-expanding tushie back in the saddle of life.

Thanks for your patience. Thanks for your understanding. Thanks for being there. I missed you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Snakes, Snakes, Go Away

A disturbing story in today's news has prompted me to write another RoseRant. According to Ron Magill of the Miami MetroZoo, the state of Florida is now known as the "Club Med" for pythons. Apparently, there are up to 175,000 of the highly-lethal serpents roaming around the Everglades, reproducing like mad and eating everything in their path, including alligators. None of these critters live naturally in this part of the world, so the infestation can be blamed entirely on careless pet owners who got in over their heads and eventually released them into the wild. Since the snakes have no natural predators in Florida, researchers are predicting that they will further multiply and eventually slither northward into Georgia, the Carolinas, and Louisiana. Sadly, just the other day, a "pet" python escaped his seemingly inescapable glass box and killed a toddler in her own bed.

The problem of python infestation could have been avoided if just one critical element was used: COMMON F@#KING SENSE. Why the hell are people buying pythons for pets? That is just about the dumbest friggin' thing I've ever heard. What kind of numbnut buys a deadly creature that should never, ever, ever be kept in a box? Is it a penis thing? Does keeping a python under glass somehow add a few extra inches to one less endowed? Note to Zeke, the owner of the now 15-foot python being kept in the back of his double-wide: Dude, your dick is just fine. You don't need to prove anything to anybody. I can only imagine that fateful moment when Zeke realizes he can't handle his reptilian roommate anymore. He puts his snake in the back of his pickup truck, hauls ass down Alligator Alley while listening to some testosterone-laced country & western song, stops by the side of the road, and opens the door of the cage. Real manly, Zeke. You are such a total stud. Yee-ha!

Please forgive my sarcasm, but I just can't help it! I am a Florida resident (at least for the next two weeks) and more importantly, I am a mother of a third-grader who weighs fifty pounds soaking wet. The thought of some gargantuan yellow python wrapping itself around my little girl (or any other child for that matter) and literally squeezing the life out of her, terrifies me. And for what? All because some idiot has unresolved penis issues.

The state government has now gotten involved, officially approving snake hunting in order to hopefully reduce the number of predatory pythons basking in sunny Florida. We'll have to see how that goes. Maybe we should also crack down on those businesses who are selling these creatures and put a modicum of ethics and responsibility on their shoulders as well. If you need to have a permit to own a gun, then you should have to get a permit to own a deadly creature. In order to acquire one, you should be able to prove you can appropriately care for the animal, even when it grows past the cute little cuddly stage. You should be able to show that no one will be in danger of putting the animal in captivity. In short, you should be able to prove that you aren't a total moron.

How many more dead children will it take before we start doing something about it?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

MC 'n Me

I will be at Sarasota News & Books tonight at 7pm doing a joint reading with fellow Sarasota author, MC Coolidge. Our event is called "Seriously Saucy", and believe me, we both live up to the moniker. Since I am wicked busy today, I have decided to be lazy and have MC do all of the heavy promotional lifting. Here is a link to her blog which describes the event. Even if you aren't in Sarasota, I encourage you to check out MC's blog. She's smart, funny, insightful, and a helluva great writer. I'm blessed to have crossed her path. (Although, by the way she has built up my reading as supersexy, people may expect some sort of pole dancing routine to accompany it!)

I hope to see you at SN&B tonight!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What'chu Talkin' 'Bout, Willis?

I am a Chicago gal. I lived in Chicago for half of my life, and I know two things for sure: 1) Chicago has the best friggin' hot dogs on the planet, and 2) it is the proud home of the Sears Tower, the world's (once) tallest and most majestic skyscraper.

Imagine my horror when I read the news today indicating that the Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower, named after some frou-frou insurance company based out of London. The Willis Tower? THE WILLIS TOWER? WTF????? I can't even begin to tell you how many different shades of wrong this is.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Swear, It's True!

A recent study conducted at Britain's Keele University has proven what we all have known for ages to be true: Swearing is good for us. No shit, Sherlock.

The study showed that the use of profanity when experiencing pain can make one feel better and increase pain tolerance. The brainy Brits who conducted the research had 64 blokes stick their hands in tubs of ice water for as long as possible while repeating the swear word of their choice (my option would probably have been "motherf@#ker!"). The control group was then asked to do the same exercise, except to repeat a benign word that would describe a table ("planar!"). Lo and behold, the vulgarians were able to keep their hands submerged in the icy waters longer than their G-rated counterparts.

The act of swearing, while often inappropriate, impolite, and downright fucking unladylike, simply makes us feel better when bad stuff happens. I don't know how it happens, but there is something magical that takes place when the word "fuck!" is uttered. It makes everything just a little bit easier to deal with. While it's occasional use might make me sound like a trucker, I certainly prefer it to downing a couple of Percocets or Vicodins. Everybody has his or her own way of getting through the pain; mine is using a well-placed F-bomb every once in a while.

At the risk of being labeled a Bad Mommy, I know my potty-mouth is potentially setting a poor example for my eight-year old daughter. However, in my defense, my off-color declarations rarely take place in the presence of Emma. Yet, when I slam my finger in the car door or stub my toe on the bed post, there is nothing that's gonna stop a naughty from escaping my lips, no matter who is in the vicinity. If the wee one is within earshot, I do my best to mutter the dirty word so as to be as camouflaged and unintelligible as possible. But, to be honest, I know I'd feel a helluva lot better if I could just blurt it out at the top of my lungs. I suggest to the Brits that they do a second study that measures the direct proportion of volume to profanity in relation to pain threshold. No doubt they would find that the louder you scream it, the better it feels.

Fuckin' A!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Response from YouPorn

A few days ago, my most recent "Sex and the Suburbs" column in Creative Loafing was published. In it, I describe in embarrassing detail my recent foray into the land of YouPorn. Within one day, I received a very pleasant email from James, a YouPorn customer service representative. Here is his note to me:

"Hi Theresa. That was a great article and your observations are much appreciated. You'll be happy to know that we'll soon be releasing a female version of the site and hope to better meet the needs of our female audience. Feel free to keep in touch. Take care - James"

How interesting it is to find that the level of customer service offered by YouPorn is head-and-shoulders-and-genitalia above that which is provided (or NOT provided) by our local phone providers, credit card companies, airlines, and any other reputable business we frequent. It must be the outstanding customer service that makes the porn industry so wildly popular!! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Porn Free

I have been sick for over a week ever since returning from my trip to Denver for the International New Age Trade Show. (I never seem to learn the lesson that I need to rest just a teensy bit before diving back into life's craziness.) Today is the first day that I am starting to feel a little better, but I am still not quite ready to create brand new blog mats. However, I thought I'd share with you the latest installment of my monthly column called "Sex and the Suburbs" in Creative Loafing newspaper. If I think too much about what I write, I find myself blushing beet red from the embarrassment. Suffice it to say, this is one of those blush-worthy items. Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hay There!

Last weekend, I attended the International New Age Trade Show (INATS) in Denver. As predicted, it was equal parts exhausting and exhilarating.

My goal of the trip was to promote the bejeezus out of Opening the Kimono through book signings, event schmoozing and hard-core floor show networking. In a few days, I dispensed over 120 signed copies of my little book of stories to bookstore and retail owners, wholesalers, fellow authors, publishers, musicians, and a few cheeseballs who sneaked into the event to snag loads of free shit to resell on Amazon.

My time spent in Denver was fantastic! The people were warm, and the reception they gave Opening the Kimono was phenomenal. I had people seek me out to tell me how much the book touched them. One woman squealed when she saw me, hugged me, and said that Opening the Kimono was her favorite book...EVER. Even a hard-as-nails, gruff retailer who has been around the labyrinth more than a few times said that Opening the Kimono was the first book she ever personally recommended to her staff and customers. Tons of New Age bookstore owners told me that they are either already carrying it or will be as soon as they get home. I made several huge connections, one of which was with a major publisher who is considering picking up the book for its second edition. However, the ultimate moment of the weekend was when I got to meet Louise Hay in person! Louise is the Grandmother of the Self-help movement, founder of Hay House Publishing and author of the wildly popular book, You Can Heal Your Life. I waited in line like a giddy schoolgirl to get a signed copy of her seminal book. When it came my turn, I told this incredible 82-year old dynamo how much her work inspired me, and she warmly responded by giving me a big hug. Thankfully, her cutie-pie assistant Aaron was there to take a snapshot of the magical moment with my iPhone. I will treasure this picture forever.

However, the moment was a tinge bittersweet in that I was thisclose to the Grand Dame of Inspirational Publishing and did not give her a copy of my book! A signed copy of Opening the Kimono was burning a hole in my purple trade show bag with Louise's name on it, but I never got up the nerve to reach for it. I thought to myself, "Just give her the gift as a token of your appreciation! You'll never know what may happen. Louise will undoubtedly fall in love with it, make one phone call to the acquisitions director, and you'll be getting an email by the end of the week from Hay House with an offer!!!!" Believe me, I was sorely tempted.

But, then I saw the fragility of this 82-year old woman and remembered how friggin' draining book signings are. You have to interact with huge crowds of people all telling you their stories, and you want to make each and every one of them feel special, even if it is for just thirty seconds. My book signing kicked my ass up one side and down the other, and I'm over forty years younger than Louise! So, I imagined myself in Louise's place. If some overzealous chick with a big lion mane slipped me her recently self-published book during my signing, I would be a skosh put off to say the least. To be honest, I would probably "accidentally" leave the book at the signing table and mutter under my breath about how I didn't have time to read someone else's self-described literary masterpiece when I'm busy doing my own gig. Even though I was pressed against the glass looking at the future I so achingly desired, I didn't feel it was right to add another burden to this woman who has done so much for so many for so long.

It was then that I decided the best approach was to simply enjoy the juicy hug I got from one of my biggest she-roes. Love you, Louise!

Someday soon you'll get to read Opening the Kimono, I promise!


Visit to take a peek inside the award-winning Opening the Kimono!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Two Mournings for Michael

Like every other human, I was shocked to hear about Michael Jackson's sudden death. Since I live in a TV-free house, I learned of the news through my information provider of choice: the running statuses from my Facebook Friends.

Within the last twenty-four hours, the world has been swept up in Michael Mania. At last check, there were over 20,000 articles posted about the death of the King of Pop on Google News, more than ever was reported about the presidential election, the war, or any other relevant news item. When I was sitting in the Atlanta airport, every television was broadcasting about it, and every conversation I overheard mentioned it. There are tributes, public gatherings of grief, celebrity interviews, and video montages of his groundbreaking work. People are obviously affected by this event, and I am not about to minimize the collective grief.


It also strikes me as a bit disingenuous for the media to inundate the airwaves with All Hail Michael. Let's not forget that this is the same man that was accused of child molestation. While he was never convicted of a crime, in one instance he paid off the accuser's family an unspecified sum to drop the case. His lifestyle was peculiar at best and highly disturbing at worst. He put masks and hoods on his children. He dangled his infant child from a hotel balcony. He married but never lived with his womb provider. By his own admission, he slept in the same bed with children not his own. He went from ebony to ivory in the span of fifteen years. He mangled his once-beautiful face. The guy was the butt of jokes on late night television, talk radio and over water coolers across the country. Wanna make reference to the most twisted, maladjusted celebrity? Michael Jackson was always the first one that came to mind.

And now the media is only giving us the good times: ABC, Rock with You, Thriller, Beat It, Billy Jean, the moonwalk, the white glove - in other words, the sanitized, pre-meltdown version of Michael. What about the rest of the story? Should we ignore the entire picture? Yes, he was a music video revolutionary twenty years ago. But, what about the last two decades? Shouldn't we hear about that too?

Don't get me wrong, I loved the early Michael just as much as the next person. I played my Thriller album literally thousands of times, memorizing every word and squeal. I danced along with the video hour after hour. I had a poster of him in my room. I cried when he won his Grammys. I simply ADORED him.

Yet, if I am to be honest, my love of him was decimated when he morphed into something unrecognizable. I understand that he was a product of an abusive father and childhood fame; I'm sure he lived with horror along with ardor. But that didn't excuse some of the other questionable choices he made over and over again. Even though he was never convicted, I couldn't help but think what he did with those boys just wasn't right. It felt really...icky. The Michael I knew and loved from my childhood had already died for me.

When I learned of his physical death on Thursday, I found myself stunned and saddened. But my emotions didn't stem from an adoration of Michael Jackson. Instead, I was reacting to the fact that a physically fit, fifty-year old man dropped dead. (My husband will be celebrating his 50th in a matter of months, and that brought me right into my own fears of losing the love of my life too soon.) Similar to my reaction when Princess Diana and Heath Ledger died, I was responding to the fact that someone who I felt I grew up with was gone. Events like those bring into sharp relief our own mortality and that, yes, someday we will all die. We may not die from a crashed limo or too many pills, but we'll all leave this rock nonetheless. The recent events reminded me of that sobering truth.

But have I really been grieving the loss of Michael? Truthfully, not really. I'm afraid I did that a long time ago.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's the Little Things

My hubby recently discovered this little gem from last Christmas, hidden in the abyss of our digital photo albums. Based on Emma's enthusiastic response, you'd think she had just won a private sleepover with Miley. Wanna know what precious package earned this coveted hug from The Bean? A pair of black, sparkly high heels. The young lass has already learned the value of a perfect pair of shoes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Loosening the Apron Ties

I just finished putting my seven-year old daughter on a bus to Bemidji, Minnesota for a week-long stay at Spanish Immersion camp. I can't stop crying.

When I woke up this morning at 3:00am, I knew the departure was going to be rough. I kept mindf#@king the supply list, mentally going over it one last time (ha!) to make sure that Em has everything she needs. I thought it ironic that the parent handbook stressed the importance of the children packing lightly, yet they put 75 things on the friggin' list, including sleeping bag, pillow, a set of sheets, three towels, backpack, laundry bag, clothes appropriate for any weather, rain gear, four kinds of shoes, water bottle, sunscreen, industrial-strength mosquito spray, stationery, Spanish books, toiletries, and other assorted camp fare. When all was said and done, my kid looked like a mini-version of a Tibetan sherpa.

Beaner and I had breakfast at Caribou Coffee, and we discussed some of the new experiences she would be having over mochas and scones. We talked about cabins, bunk beds, group showers (Eeeeek!), counselors, campfires and deer ticks. Whereas Emma was totally calm, I was rapidly becoming a screaming mimi. I was reassuring her left and right, telling her how much fun she was going to have in North Country. I stressed the added benny of having a whole week without parental supervision. Needless to say, she was thrilled.

After breakfast, we headed to the Brookdale Mall, the location of the bus pickup. Given my anal-retentive personality, we naturally arrived forty-five minutes early. There were already dozens of older kids loitering with their luggage, waiting to get on their assigned bus. I didn't see any parents accompanying the kids, so I figured they've all done the dealio before. In a moment of parenting inspiration, I opted to refrain from dragging my child over to the congregation, thus sparing her the nauseating humility of having her mother doting after her, fixing her hair, quadruple checking her backpack, and giving her a spit bath. Instead, we spent the next thirty minutes talking, laughing, and cuddling in the front seat. As I looked into her beautiful green eyes, I started to get choked up at the thought of my little girl leaving. The only words she kept repeating were "Just don't cry. Just don't cry. Just don't cry." The more she said it, the closer the tears came.

Once the other kids started to board the buses, I felt it was safe to exit the vehicle. A Minnesota Nice camp counselor approached the car ("Hey there! How ya doin' today? Where'ya headed to, young lady?") and checked her in. He pointed us to Bus #2 and instructed her on how to stow her luggage. We walked to the bus together and another Nice welcomed her and took her bag ("Spanish Bemidji, eh? Sounds good!"). Before we knew it, it was time for THE MOMENT: the final hug goodbye. Emma was self-conscious about the other kids witnessing her mother have a potential emotional meltdown, so she made the hug and kiss brief but meaningful. Right before she stepped onto the bus, she turned around, gave me one of her priceless toothless grins, and gave me the "I love you" sign. Lower lip quivering, I returned the gesture and watched my only child disappear into the darkness of the luxury coach.

For the next ten minutes, I sat in my car and cried. It just didn't seem possible that EmmaBean was already old enough to be parent-free! Even though she has been away from us several times before, there wasn't the comfort of Mim, Nana Jean, Auntie Suz, Jackie or Shellie to soothe my nervous tendencies. I am now being forced to trust strangers with my precious angel. As any parent can attest, it's harder than it sounds.

After realizing that I actually needed to drive my car, I wiped my face and tried to exit the mall to go to my next destination. It literally took me another fifteen minutes to decipher Google maps, my iPhone GPS system, the labyrinthine side streets, the parking medians, and the Sears Tire Shop. I finally finally finally got out of the damn mall parking lot with tears still streaming down my face.

My rational side knows that Emma will be fine. Actually, she'll be more than fine. She'll be fantastic. She is a naturally adventurous, open person who welcomes new people and activities in her world. I know she'll be talking non-stop on Saturday about how totally cool camp was and how excited she is to return. But my rational side isn't in charge right now. The crazy, nervous-nellie, emotional, sentimental, basket-case mommy side is in control and she doesn't like it one little bit that her little girl is on a bus to Bemidji right now.

Wow. I can't even fathom what I'm gonna be like when she goes on her first date.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flying Into the Fear

In two days, I am getting on an airplane with my seven-year old daughter, and I'm scared shitless.

Every time I step onto one of those marvels of modern technology, I have frightening visions of dropped oxygen masks, emergency lighting, twisted metal, burning flesh, and phone calls to loved ones dancing in my head. For years I wouldn't wear stockings on an airplane because I heard they can melt to your skin in the event of a crash. I admit it; I am a certifiable ninny when it comes to air travel. It certainly doesn't help that nearly every time I take a flight, there is a recent plane crash somewhere that grabs the headlines. (I don't know what kind of karmic nightmare I am destined to relive, but I feel I've paid it many times over.) Today while news surfing, I found not one, not two, not three, but FOUR stories of unfortunate flying "incidents": The tragic Air France 447 crash, an emergency landing of a Spanish jet, a missing helicopter in New Mexico, and the congressional hearings on the Miracle on the Hudson crash landing. OK, God. Enough already. I'm officially pissing in my drawers.

My plane paranoia started back in Chicago when I was a little older than Emma. Back in 1979, there was an American Airlines crash just outside of O'Hare that was captured by several amateur photographers. Unfortunately, the seedling of morbid media was planted; the pics were shown on the front page of the Chicago Tribune and replayed on our local TV news broadcasts ad infinitum. As an impressionable ten-year old, the recurring image of that plane going down in my hometown seared into my permanent memory bank. Over the next thirty years, my aviation fears intensified with each new disaster. The disturbing videos from one fateful day in September of 2001 were the final blow.

While I am fortunate enough not to have actually been in a crash, I have experienced a handful of white-knuckle flights where I was totally convinced that the plane was going to plunge into the ground like a well-thrown bar dart. I recall one particularly harrowing flight to Colorado Springs about fifteen years ago where we circled the airport for over an hour while bouncing around like a friggin' cork on the ocean, wishing, waiting, hoping for the wind shears to die down so we could land. Finally, the exasperated pilot announced, "We're gonna go for it. Tighten your seat belts and say a prayer." Oh joy. That was comforting. Passengers were embracing each other, crying, praying, clutching crosses and rosaries, throwing up, strangling armrests, and generally having total, full-on emotional meltdowns. I was basically an amalgamation of my flying compadres, vacillating from crying, praying, puking, and pleading. I shit you negative, the descent was more intense than any hardcore thrill ride at a Six Flags amusement park. After finally finally FINALLY landing safely on the runway of the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, I didn't know which activity I wanted to do first: have a cocktail, go to church, or sleep with the businessman who sat next to me on the plane. All three sounded very inviting after enduring that God-awful Plane Ride From Hell. (I ended up doing only one.)

Flash forward fifteen years and a hubby and child later. In forty-eight hours, I am going to get on another silver bullet, but this time I'll be toting an impressionable third-grader with me. A good mommy would realize that the chances of dying in a plane crash are infinitesimal, regardless of what the newspapers portray. A good mommy would gracefully accept that if it is our time to go, then it is our time to go. A good mommy would rise to the occasion, making sure her daughter feels safe, comfy, and happy. A good mommy wouldn't drink three screwdrivers at the airport bar before stepping on the jetway.

Hmmm...I wonder if Good Mommy will show up on Friday.


For your consideration and/or comment:

How do you feeling about flying?


Visit to take a peek inside the award-winning Opening the Kimono!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My wee urchin has decided to follow in her mother's footsteps by writing her own blog. It's called EmmaBean's Blog, and it will contain random musings and photos from The Bean. Check it out!

I'm so friggin' proud of her and look forward to seeing what other little inspirational nuggets she will provide the world! (Hopefully, she won't tell too many embarrassing stories about Mom and Dad. That's my department.) :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Last weekend, my husband and I took our seven-year old to her first musical concert. Based on her behavior, it's likely she will become a professional groupie someday.

Instead of breaking Emma's concert cherry on the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus, hubby and I opted for something a little more palatable to the adult ear. We chose Snatam Kaur (pronounced 'sah-nah-tum car'), a singer of the Sikh tradition who sings about God, peace, love, beauty, and everything else that is righteous in the world. Emma has grown up with Snatam's music, often choosing to listen to her angelic voice before she nods off at the end of the night. When we told Emma that we were taking her to see Snatam live in concert, she practically peed her Curious George undies.

Like all dedicated concertgoers, we went early so as to get good seats. Emma used her significant persuasive abilities to get us into the hall early, and we were able to grab seats in the first seated row. Since I had attended a Snatam Kaur concert previously, I knew that there would be several people that would sit on the floor in front of us. Regardless, I thought that snagging front-row seats was not too shabby.

Apparently, Emma disagreed.

Right before Snatam and her band took the stage, Emma noticed that a handful of kids had sat down at the bottom of the steps in front of the stage. The little peanut worked through her social fear of interacting with strange kids and plopped herself next to an older girl at the end of the stairs. I could easily recognize the discomfort in my daughter's face as she so desperately wanted to talk to the girl but was afraid of possible rejection. (Oops...I wonder where she learned that little trick?)

No matter; when Snatam appeared onstage, Emma instantly lost interest in all others. She was captivated by the sight and sound of this beautiful creature performing in front of her. Like a moth to the flame, Emma ever-so-subtly inched her way around all of the kids and got closer, closer, closer to Snatam over the next several songs. Before I knew it, my daughter was thisclose to jumping right on top of Snatam's harmonium and giving her a big, fat hug.

This is where my parental dilemma kicked in. It was obvious -- at least to me -- that my daughter was committing a major social faux-pas with her stage squirming. My ego was fearing that the entire audience was tsk-tsk-tsking the unruly little urchin in white (and her rotten parents) for so blatantly breaking through the fourth wall. I kept thinking that I "should" go get Emma and bring her back to the fold where all of the other semi-well-behaved children sat. Yet, there was another voice inside me yelling, "You rock on, girl! Get your booty as close as possible! You've only got one chance!" (I was reminded of myself at the ripe young age of 21 performing superhuman efforts to get thisclose to Bono at a U2 concert. To have no other human being between my musical god and me was one of the most intoxicating, delicious moments of my youth. Those leather pants...his glistening body...the serpentine way he moves...what was I talking about again? Oh yeah. My daughter.)

In the end, I opted to support my daughter's groupie tendency. I let her sit within feet of her musical heroine, reigning her in only once with a stern look and my pointer finger when she threatened to literally lay on the stage. Who knows? Maybe there were a few tsk-tsk-tskers in the audience that night. I can't say for sure. But what I can say for sure is that there is an ecstatic little seven-year old who has an amazing memory of her first concert ever.

Yep. I made the right decision.


For your consideration and/or comment:

What was your first concert experience? What was your most memorable one?


Visit to take a peek inside Opening the Kimono!