Just Sayin'

Why I Have Great Parking Karma...and what I'm learning about manifesting

By Robin Colucci When I worked in Washington, D.C., I rode the Metro from my apartment in Northern Virginia and walked the few blocks along Connecticut Avenue on my way to and from work. Every day, I checked the parking meters at occupied spaces and added pocket change to the ones that were expired or nearly expired. I didn't own a car at the time, but I had compassion for the person who gets delayed at a meeting or on an errand just long enough to end up with a ticket. I enjoyed playing "Parking Meter Fairy" and giving them a little extra time.

Ever since I got a car, I've had astounding "luck" finding the perfect parking spot. Most times, when I pull up to the curb on a street that appears to be bumper to bumper full of cars, a space opens up right in front of my destination just as I arrive.

This went on for awhile before I thought to ask myself why I have such good luck finding a great parking space. When I remembered my good deeds toward probably hundreds of strangers at the D.C. parking meters, I thought perhaps that was the cause. My "parking karma" was good, thus limited frustration with parking was assured.

Over the years, I've asked myself, "Well, if my parking karma is so great, I wonder how I can have great relationship karma, or great money karma! What do I need to do to add that?"

Recently, I've come to see a possible "in." What if my "parking karma" isn't so good because I did all those good deeds? What if it's good because I have a positive expectation that it will be good?

When I'm in a situation that requires parking, I never question IF I will find a great space. I'm just on the lookout to see WHEN a great space will present itself. It never occurs to me that I might not find a great parking space. I picture myself finding one, and I already feel the joy of it and the gratitude for it even before I've found it.

When I think about looking for a parking space, I don't pay attention to all the spaces that are full, or ask why they are full, or why there can't be more spaces, or how long until one finally opens up. I just keep looking for the opportunity. I keep looking for the space that will open up right where I want it, when I want it, and it always does.

Now the experiment--if I look at manifesting a loving romantic partnership and wealth the same way, might I experience similar results?

Requirements are simple. Positive imagination. Positive expectation. And, of course, I've got to be in the metaphorical car. 

I notice that in the past it's been harder to imagine having a great love or great wealth than a great parking spot. But are they so different, really? If I spent as much energy telling myself all the reasons I can't have a great parking spot, I bet I wouldn't find those very often either.

Positive imagination. Positive expectation. Eyes open. Stay in the car. Check. Wish me "luck."

 

"Pull My Ass Out of My Head!"

By Robin Colucci Yesterday, I woke up in a dark and foul mood. Just one of those days when all I could see was what I didn't want, and I struggled to find a positive focus. On days like that, I know the best cure for me is to take a walk around the park. So I hitched up my pug to his harness and we stepped out for an hour-long stroll.

On the walk, I made a point to thank myself for all of my efforts. I offered up gratitude for my life and everyone in it and by the time I got home, I'd once again found that motivating spark that keeps me going each day, whether I'm experiencing the results I want or not.

I had a call with my coach, and I told her about how the day had started, and then added, "I had to pull my ass out of my head." Of course, I had meant to say, "Pull my head out of my ass," but then I thought about it again.

Pull my ass out of my head was exactly what I had done. I mean, what part of me focuses on what's not happening, what I don't have, what I am upset at or annoyed about? The jack-ass!

I had allowed my inner jack-ass into my head, and it had to go. I pulled the jack-ass out when I shifted my focus to what I am grateful for.

So, next time you're in a funk, "Pull your ass out of your head!"

And make room for what you want.

 

What book changed your life?

  Have you ever read a book that changed your life? I want to hear from you. What book made a difference for you and how did it make a difference? Tell me about it in a video and post it here. It may make you famous. :)

I got inspired today thinking about how powerful it is to write a book. The role books have played (and still play) in changing the world. How all of our lives have been made better because someone had the guts to step up and write a book.

In this video, I share about the book that had the most impact on me.

I invite you to make your own video and post the link here,  in the comments, or just leave me a note, so I can hear about the book that changed your life.

Thanks for playing.

In this video, I share about the first book I remember that changed my life, All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Nora Ephron: thoughts on one of my heroes

One of my favorite writers, Nora Ephron is dead at age 71. Best known for her screenplays, (Silkwood, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, etc.) I loved her for her essays--her funny, vulnerable, honest, intimate essays. Ephron had the ability to share with us her insecurities and struggles while maintaining just enough objectivity to put it all in perspective, usually a humorous one. When I work with clients, I often refer to Ephron's essays as an example of what to do if you want to write about your own life.

When I got the news last night, I was pissed. Seventy one is too young. I want more Nora Ephron. I'm not done yet, so how can she be gone? I thought about her recent book, I Feel Bad About My Neck and how I've read excerpts. I've been meaning to read it all, but I haven't yet. I was waiting for, I don't know what, the perfect time, maybe the annual trip to the beach where I could read it without guilt or interruption. I just wanted to savor it, like a decadent dessert.

It struck me that now, when I do read it (and I will), it will be bittersweet. I won't wonder what she is doing at that moment and picture her having lunch with her friends. I will be pointedly aware that she is no longer with us. That this voice that makes me chuckle even at the hint of her rye cadence is forever forward silenced.

God, we think we have time, we think we can afford to wait, we can put it off, whatever 'it' is. Put of the dream, put off the relationship, put off spending time with the kids, put off reading a book, put off writing one.

What if Nora Ephron put off writing? What we all would have missed!

We think we have time, but we don't. Not that put-it-off-for-later kind of time.

The gift Nora Ephron leaves behind is her work. Even though she is gone from her body, her body of work lives on and remains accessible to us now and for generations to come.

It's the one reward writers get for the hours of isolation, self-doubt, and wrestling with words--immortality.

So, thank you Nora Ephron for the gifts you gave and left behind. And wherever you are, I hope there's pie.

 

Humor and the Shadow

Last week, I did my first stand up comedy performance at the D-Note in Arvada, CO. Both nervous and excited, I stepped up to the mic and entered a world previously unknown where I got to be exposed, vulnerable, confident, uncertain, and most of all, present. What I love about comedy is its healing aspect. The way comedians help us see disowned parts of ourselves and, through laughter, come to own and accept who we are and how we feel.

Great comedians each have their own unique style, yet they all have one thing in common―they never fear their own shadow. In fact, the best comedians put their shadow side into the spotlight, holding it out for all to see.

"You know the hardest thing about having cerebral palsy and being a woman― it's plucking your eyebrows. That's how I originally got pierced ears."

Short and funny quote by Geri Jewell.

We all have aspects of ourselves that we feel the need to hide, things that have us feel ashamed, embarrassed, victimized, “less than”: a failed relationship, a physical handicap, an addiction, or a host of “mean” thoughts that, if known, would make us a “bad” person.

When we reject these aspects, we feel more safe but less alive. With parts of ourselves relegated to the shadow realm, we feel like imposters in our own life―half our true selves cast aside, unexpressed, and numb.

Comedians have made friends with their shadow, and the best comedians are in a full-blown love affair with the devil on their shoulder. They see their “dark side” and lovingly show it to us, laughing all the while, and then we see our own shadow and laugh too.

"Never play peekaboo with a child on a long plane trip. There's no end to the game. Finally I grabbed him by the bib and said, "Look, it's always gonna be me!" ~ Short Funny Quote by Rita Rudner.

This is the gift of humor. Laughter is a release, and not just a physical one. It is a release for the psyche. We are, at least temporarily, “off the hook.”

The comedian invites us to join him in a level of vulnerability and acceptance we rarely afford ourselves. Inside the vulnerability of showing off her “ugly” side, the comedian reminds us that we are not alone. And the saying, “one day, you’ll laugh at this” reminds us that nothing is funny without acceptance.

 

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When we are caught up in the drama, the tragedy, the “wrongness” of the world, we take everything seriously. Sometimes, humor actually moves us into acceptance.

Humor allows us to let go of all our “shoulds” about the way the world should be, the way WE should be, and for that moment, we get to just BE. We can be in our messiness, our imperfection, our humanness, and not only enjoy it― we get to revel in it!

Exposing the shadow requires courage, exposing it with humor requires courage and love, which, perhaps, is why it is so healing and so valuable.

 

Like a What?!

Last night, I was exhausted in that way that only single working mothers can understand. Thursday night, the tail end of a week of getting my teen-aged kids off to school, after-school activities and attending my own business meetings and events, cooking (most nights), cleaning (just enough that if I did get a visit from social services they wouldn't take my children), and I was driving home from my daughter's creative writing class's performance. She was talking to me, trying to tell me something, and I said, "I'm sorry honey; I'm so tired, I'm not processing...I'm not...I just can't think..." "It's okay, Mom." she said with that 'rolling-my-eyes-at-you' tone of voice only teenage girls can master.

Feeling I've let her down, and wanting to be fully present, as all good mom's are, I continued to drive using my automatic brain while coaxing my cognitive brain, "Come on, damnit! Work! Work!"

And then it hit me, "Oh God, when I'm old, it's going to be like this all the time!"

It's interesting when in our forties, we begin to get glimpses of what is to come. It's hard to imagine the feeling of knowing your brain used to work, and noticing it no longer is cooperating, until you've been there.

Earlier this week, we went out for frozen yogurt at one of those yogurt bars with rows and rows of decadent toppings. While we were there, some carolers from the local high school came in and began to sing us a regalia of Christmas songs.

For one of their last numbers, they sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and I happily listened as they wrapped it up with, "You'll go down in history!" and one member of the chorale shouted, "Like a walnut!"

"Like a walnut?" I mused aloud, yet to myself. "What an interesting choice, walnut. I wonder why they'd say walnut..."

I looked up to see my children's faces twisted in confusion and horror.

"What are you talking about?" my daughter demanded.

"They said like a walnut." I replied, incredulous that they would think it normal to include a walnut, as fine a nut as it is, in the annuls of history.

"They said 'like OBAMA'!" my children chimed in unison.

"Ahh...yes, well that makes sense..." I conceded, and back to muttering, "My God, I'm turning into my grandmother."

Terror? Not quite. No, the terror came when my daughter later informed me as we left the yogurt bar and got in the car, "You know, when you're old and senile, you're not going to come and live with me. I'm going to have my own life!"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I mean, I'm not going to be having arguments with my husband about you and how much longer you are going to stay and when you're leaving."

"Yeah, Mom, we're just going to put you in a home." My 16-year-old son concurred.

"You are?" I saw the resolve on their faces, "Well then, go ahead and kill me."

"Mom, how could you ask me to do that? To kill my own mother?" my son protested.

"Well, you'd put me in a home, so apparently you'd subject me to torture. I'd prefer you just kill me." And next thought to myself, "when did I have a Jewish grandma?"

The future suddenly looks bleak. When is that moment? When does the shift happen when you go from eagerly anticipating the next milestone, first kiss, driver's license, college diploma, to terror and dread?

Sure, I could look forward to grandchildren, and...ah...great grandchildren who, it appears, will be visiting me at the nursing home. But who are we kidding? There's no beauty product for hearing loss and brain malfunction.

No, the days of looking eagerly ahead are gone.  I'm just now sitting in the theater watching the previews. The full-length feature version is a few years out, "Night of the Living Senile Mother! Coming soon to a theater near you!"

Ooh, goody!