Posts Tagged ‘Melisa Pearce’

Scaring Off Men

January 17, 2017

There was no question in my mind that I was scaring off men with my blog. I could only guess that was the case with some, such as the architect. And I knew that I had nearly scared off Ned, which I would not have understood if he hadn’t been so open about it.

Thanks to another open (if not fearless) man, I knew I was scaring off others. The first message from him suggested that we meet. We traded a few messages and set a day and time for a drink at a local restaurant. He gave me his cell phone number; I gave him mine. Then, a couple of days later, he sent me a message canceling the rendezvous.

In a moment of curiosity coupled with the belief that I had nothing to lose, I sent a message saying, “What happened? Are you willing to share?”

His reply invoked Greener’s Law. He was referring to a quote the origins of which have been attributed to many but called Greener’s Law because William Greener had once been quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel.”

I had to give him credit for being succinct, and there was something downright funny about his communication. I sent another message explaining what I reveal about my blog to men who actually get to the point of meeting me: I don’t write about every man I date and don’t write about any man who doesn’t want to be written about. When I do write about someone, I change their name and identifying information. And the blog is not in real time. I told him I appreciated his position and wished him the best.

I expected to hear nothing more from him, but he replied saying that my profile, coupled with my first message to him and ninety seconds (presumably of online research), told him everything he needed to know the day after is first message to me. He said that my “tells” were right out there. He had not only read some of my blog posts (including some written about my husband’s journey toward death), he had looked up my book online. In fact, he referred to a section in chapter four of my book and commented that he thought the concept I was presenting was an important one. He was touched by some of my writing. And in his final message to me, he referred to me as a good and talented woman.

Yet, he had been scared off.

The reference to Greener’s Law suggested that he feared if we dated and I became annoyed with him, I might lambast him in my blog. But I suspected it was more than that. The man might not have wanted to know about any of my dating experiences before him, let alone those that involved erotic activity, and he might have been put off by the fact that the blog was publically accessible on the internet.

I hadn’t been immediately drawn to him by virtue of his appearance, but I had been drawn by his profile, and after trading messages with him, it was evident that he was both intelligent and inquisitive. I was sorry he’d been scared off.

When I shared the story with my friend Melisa Pearce over lunch, she thought that he might be a man worth going out with and advocated sending him a message saying that I wanted the chance to be scrutinized by him as thoroughly in person as I’d been scrutinized online. His last message to me had sounded pretty final, and I doubted such an appeal would move him off his position, but I had to admit that Melisa’s approach was a brilliant one. Not only was I intrigued by the man, I wanted a chance to probe him a bit about the impact of my online profile and my blog on the men who saw them.

I sent the message; I heard nothing back.

Another man thoroughly scared off.

How many other men had I scared off? And what, if anything, should I do about it?

 

Note: The name Melisa Pearce is real. She is a valued friend and the founder/owner of Touched by a Horse and creator of the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method.

 

Copyright 2017 by Melanie Mulhall

The Carrie Bradshaw of Broomfield

January 10, 2017

More than once, my friend Melisa Pearce suggested that I had the Carrie Bradshaw problem: scaring off men with my writing. It prompted me to binge watch (over the course of a week or so) all six seasons of Sex and the City. I didn’t have cable when the show was airing, though I’d seen a number of episodes and later owned entire seasons on DVD. But I hadn’t seen all of the episodes, and it was time to do so.

I have referred to myself as a dating anthropologist, so when Carrie Bradshaw referred to herself using the same language in one of the earliest episodes, I knew the fictional character and I had at least something in common. That wasn’t the only thing. Carrie Bradshaw wrote a newspaper column about sex and dating, and some of those columns were compiled into a book. I’d never written a newspaper column, but I had written magazine columns over the years, though not about dating. Likewise, I’d written a book, but not one that had anything to do with dating, unless you used romancing the next company you want to work for as symbolic of romancing a man. I do, however, have a blog about dating. And I have been encouraged to turn it into a book.

Carrie had a tendency to pose questions about dating and life. Sometimes she did so in question format; at other times in statement format, often beginning with, “I couldn’t help but wonder . . .” I too have a tendency to pose questions about dating and life, though mine are usually rattling around in my head or posed over a glass of wine with a friend instead of ending up in my blog. I tend to write my blog as if I know what I’m talking about, though regular readers can easily see that I am often clueless. So was Carrie.

Granted, Carrie Bradshaw was a whole lot younger than me in that series. But I found it strangely surprising that dating and sex were not all that different for women in their thirties during the Carrie Bradshaw era than women in their sixties in the current era.

Carrie and I also have shoes in common. While not rich enough to own an estimated forty thousand dollars in shoes, as she guessed hers to be worth, and while owning not a single pair of Manolo Blahniks, I do have somewhere over ninety pairs of footwear, which sometimes prompts me to refer to myself as the Imelda Marcos of Broomfield, Colorado.

Apparently, I am also the Carrie Bradshaw of Broomfield, Colorado.

But in watching six seasons of episodes, I could find only two occurrences in which Carrie had scared off men with her writing. Carrie did scare off the politician with whom she had a few dates. But as far as I’m concerned, she was well shed of any man whose career was in politics. Carrie also scared off fellow writer Jack Berger, but not because she wrote about dating and sex. She scared him off because she was a more commercially successful writer than him, which is another problem altogether.

After watching all six seasons, I couldn’t help but wonder (using the Carrieism) how Carrie Bradshaw would fare in the blogging world. The woman had her photo on the side of a bus, accompanied by the statement that she knew about good sex, for god’s sake. If anything could scare off all the right men and attract all the players and perverts, one would think that would do the job. But it hadn’t. Was she charmed? Was I doomed? Had the dating climate changed in the years since the series aired? Was the fact that men these days could find you online in a New York minute a part of the problem?

I wondered what Candace Bushnell would do in my predicament. And I also couldn’t help but wonder what her alter ego, Carrie Bradshaw, would do in my position.

 

Note: The name Melisa Pearce is real. She’s a friend I count myself lucky to have. Melisa is the founder and owner of Touched by a Horse and the creator of the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method. Carrie Bradshaw is, of course, the famous character created by author Candace Bushnell.

 

Copyright 2017 by Melanie Mulhall

Earth and Dance

December 5, 2010
Jorge Luis Delgad called Amantani Island the island of love and said that it worked with the pink (munay) ray. I had to agree that there was something about the place. I felt relaxed and energized at the same time, as if something were about to happen and I was poised for it without needing to think or do anything, really. I could feel my heart reaching out to my host family, even though we shared no common language. They were a bit shy and I felt soft and respectful around them.

After being served a meal, Sandy, Tim (my travel group companions also staying with my host family), and I made our way back down the hill and joined the rest of the group for more ceremony. We had taken part in fire, air, and water ceremony. Now it was time for earth ceremony and it would be led by don Mariano, Jorge Luis’s teacher.

I gravitated towards the Peruvian shamans. I was learning. The Peruvian shamans always managed to find the best place to sit at ceremony and they seemed to do so effortlessly. Perhaps they had some sense about the land that guided them. Or maybe it was just about comfort. I didn’t know, but I was learning to follow their lead.

Only a person or two separated me from don Mariano and I noted, with a bit of amusement, that he carried some of his shamanic supplies in a North Face pack. It was very much like the odd pairings one experiences in dreams. In the sleeping dream state, I might find myself making a dinner for long dead relatives in a mansion that seemed to belong to me. In this waking dream, the very alive–and very revered–don Mariano was pulling shamanic items out of a North Face pack on an island in the middle of Lake Titicaca. No sleeping dream could match that!

But I was also amused because I had long been toting some of my own shamanic items around in a pack my husband brought back from Kosovo. I had needed something practical to transport white sage, a Celtic cross, my Om tuning fork, special stones from special places, candles, scented herbs and flowers for scattering, a rattle, and other items I used when I cleared and blessed homes. My drum and beater, large feather fan, my altar cloth, and many other items didn’t go into the pack, but some of the smaller tools did and while the pack had served me well, I’d always been a bit amused about it. I was not the archetypal image of the female shaman (or shamanista, as my friend Melisa Pearce referred to me) and my pack was certainly not the archetypal image of what a shaman would carry tools in. But here was don Mariano pulling shamanic tools out of a North Face pack. I loved that we shared that bit of practicality in our work.

Jorge Luis spoke to us about earth energy and suggested that we practice looking at the distance between ourselves and a tree or mountain, then feeling the energy. I knew what he meant, or thought I did. I’d long practiced softening my eyes to see the auras of trees and I often allowed the tug of energy between me and a mountain or lake or tree or boulder to inform me and open me to communication with the spirit of it.

As with the other ceremonies, coca leaves were involved. A small fire pit (cold) was used in this ceremony. Four people at a time brought their k’intus (fan shaped arrangement of three coca leaves) to the pit, one person taking each of the cardinal directions. We then blew our intentions into the coca leaves, touched the earth, and put the coca leaves into the fire pit.

Earth Ceremony--Offerings at the Fire Pit

It seemed a simple enough ceremony, but it was a powerful one for me. When I made my way to the fire pit and kneeled, I blew my intentions into the k’intu and was drawn to bend down and kiss the earth three times before placing my coca leaves in the pit. And as I did, my crown chakra began to vibrate. I was immediately in an altered state of consciousness. I could not give words to it in the moment, but my later sense of it was that I was feeling myself as a bridge between heaven and earth, in love with both and at the service of both. My crown chakra continued to vibrate for some time and, later, it began to vibrate again.

Once the earth ceremony was complete, we all drifted towards a large square that seemed to serve as a local gathering place. There was a sense of waiting for something and I could guess what that might be: the dreaded dancing in costume. I was weary from the day’s activities and so were Sandy and Tim. We were also concerned about finding our way back to our host home. And the sun was sinking. I wanted to get the heck out of the Amantani Island version of Dodge before the festivities began. We made our way down the path, but didn’t get far before being hijacked by Paulo and Juan Carolos.

View from the Square

We attempted to communicate through motions and words we knew they would not understand that we wanted to head back to their home. But Paulo had come bearing a pile of clothes and was intent on dressing us in them. Let me be clear: The will of the Aymara on Amantani Island is a force similar to that of the tides or the wind or the sun, itself.

We surrenedered and Paulo pulled traditional clothes–all of which appeared to bleong to members of her family–over our heads. These were not castoff clothes, but beautifully made and embroidered. Over my head went an embroidered blouse and it was accompanied by a bright green skirt. These went over the hiking pants and knit top I’d been wearing. Then Paulo wrestled with my body until she had two cloth belts tightly cinched around my waist. Interesting. I had already wondered how I would dance at this altitude. Now I saw that I would be expected to dance pretty much dressed in the Peruvian version of what Scarlet O’Hara wore to balls. Over skirt and blouse, Paulo placed one of the most beautiful embroidered shawls I have ever seen.

Tim and Juan Carlos

We were led back to the square where we saw that we could relax because all of our peers looked, for the most part, as ridiculous as we did. The women in the group, no doubt, were as breathless in their cinched belts as Sandy and me. I was beginning to understand that breathlessness in women, while once highly praised, was actually produced by clothing that would not allow them to breathe. While I knew about corsets and the like, this had never really hit home . . . until now.

Melanie and Kay Mott in our Peruvian Costumes

Of course, I would soon discover just how breathless a woman can be. The sun had set, a bonfire had been built, and the dancing began. After avoiding it for a time, I was eventually pulled in by Paulo or Sebastiana (I cannot quite recall) and surrendered to it. (An explanation of that surrender will be found a few paragraphs above in my reference to the will of the Aymara people.)

I’m exaggerating a bit about the tightness of the belts and the quality of breathlessness I experienced, but I will say that I was happy that I work out on a regular basis–both cardio and weight resistance training–because it supported me in dancing wildly at an elevation that was challenging even for me, a Coloradan.

As it happened, it was good training for the hike up the mountain the next day. But that, as they say, is another story.

Copyright 2010 by Melanie Mulhall

Faith

April 25, 2009

No doubt about it: the internal guidance system is a major tool for navigating life. But using the internal guidance system requires something else, too: faith. I have been reminded of that, again and again, over the past few weeks.

When I listened to my internal guidance system and kept driving forward through that snow storm, as reported in the last post, faith was required of me. The road behind me was quckly becoming impassible. The road ahead was uncertain, except insofar as I was willing to have faith in what I heard through my internal guidance system. I’m happy I had faith that day. Otherwise, I would have missed my own talk.

Last weekend, I again found myself in circumstances that required faith. Actually, those circumstances really began in February, when Melisa Pearce (Touched by a Horse) and I decided to offer a workshop together in April. We both knew that April is a fickle month in Colorado. It can be clear and in the sixties one day and snowing enough to make the Easter Bunny think he’s covering for Santa the next. We each trusted our intuition and set the workshop in the geographic center of April (about as close as the Four Corners Marker is to the geographic meeting place of four states–which means just a bit off center). This was the first time I would be offering my Shamanic Writing Workshop and to do it with Melisa and her talented healing horses was a gift of grace. We did our marketing and had faith that those perfect for the workshop would sign up.

They did. We had a very good response. People were coming from out of state as well as within the state of Colorado. It seemed we were on to something.

The weather was wonderful a scant week before our workshop and all looked good, apart from that pesky storm that was working its way towards Colorado. Our workshop was to start at 6 p.m. on Friday the 17th. The day before, it rained. The forecasters believed that rain would turn to snow sometime after midnight and predicted either slushy roads or a major snow storm. We were right on that liminal edge between the two.

I needed to have faith that all would be well for the workshop, but I must admit that my faith slid sideways on Thursday. I was opening my house up to an old friend who had a four-day commitment  nearby and wanted my home to be her port in a storm. It was a very reasonable request and one with which I happily complied, though I pointed out that I might need my own port in a storm if the weather turned ugly. I would be out in the wilds of Colorado, between Boulder and Lyons. I knew I could stay at Melisa’s ranch if necessary, but what about our workshop attendees?

Friday morning brought rain turning to snow in much of the Denver metro area. I left for the ranch in the morning, set myself up for the workshop, and waited. A couple of people cancelled. A couple of others called to be sure the workshop would go as scheduled (Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday). Two women had driven in from Utah on Thursday, the storm tracking them.

What was it doing at the ranch? Raining. Just raining. We seemed to be in the metro bananna belt, in a manner of speaking. There was a bit of magic to it. When I went inside and slid beyond that part of me that feared a workshop at risk, I kept hearing a voice that said it was all much ado about nothing. I needed to have faith that all would go as planned and I chose faith over fear.

The workshop did go as planned. Apart from two or three cancellations, everyone was there. One woman had even come from what would turn out to be “snow central” in the mountains. Some brought clothes so they could bunk at the ranch that night (the equivalent of praising God, but tying down your cammel).  No lives had been at risk and no one whined. There was an undercurrent of faith in the group, faith that we were all exactly were we were meant to be and with the people we were meant to share that time.

The workshop was a huge success. There were moments of breakthrough for some participants, moments of profound self-realization for others, and many moments of pure joy for everyone.

We’re planning another Shamanic Writing Workshop together and I have faith that it, too, will unfold beautifully and perfectly.

 

Copyright 2009 by Melanie Mulhall