Katy Perry, My Unexpected Guru

I’m one of those woo-woo people who believes in what I like to call Universal Magic. I believe in synchronicity, the Law of Attraction, and especially in guidance from signs, symbols, and teachers. So-called “coincidences” happen to all of us, all of the time (hooray for miracles!), but it’s only when we have open minds and hearts that we can truly receive the messages that these occurrences bring.

One thing I’ve learned from personal experience is that the universe has a pretty awesome sense of humor. One time I was searching for The Perfect Shirt, something– as I put it so eloquently– “had my name written all over it”. Lo and behold, a minute or two after I said that to myself, I walked by a thrift store with the most God Awful Shirt I Had Ever Seen. It was a long-sleeved cotton get up in royal blue, and– get this!– it had the word “Dana” stamped all over it in too-large, mustard yellow, Comic Sans font. As I stared, aghast at this beast of an ugly shirt, I imagined the Universe cracking up all around me. “You said you wanted your name all over it!”, it probably gasped, barely able to contain its delight at my horrified expression. “I was being figurative!“, I fumed back, humiliated. “Obviously, I don’t actually want my name written all over a shirt! Geez!” But this taught me to be specific in my future requests, not to mention careful what I wished for. πŸ˜‰

I am in an Age of Mentors when it comes to my own development lately. I am reading more books than I’ve been able to in a long, long time, and I am gobbling up online courses, meditations, and Mastermind Group opportunities whenever they pop up. “Teach me what I most need to learn” has been my mantra as of late, and learning is what I’ve been doing indeed. Most of the teachers on my path have been expected, or at least not drastically surprising. There’s been Marie Forleo, she of the amazing (and highly recommended) B-School course; Danielle LaPorte of The Fire Starter Sessions and The Desire Map; and Marianne Williamson, whom I somehow never read until this summer. (I know! WTH?)

And then there was Katy Perry. Yu-huh.

For those of you who might not know who Katy Perry is (possibly because you are more than 11 years old), she is a pop star. A wildly famous pop star, at that. She appeals mostly to tween and adolescent girls, though there are a number of adolescent boys thrown into the mix as well. Her hits include “I Kissed A Girl” and “Firework“, but the only time I’ve ever actually listened to her music is when it was forced on me during workout classes at the YMCA.

The peppermint candies on this dress actually spun! (Image courtesy of www.therpf.com)

Katy Perry! The peppermint candies on this dress actually spun! (Image courtesy of http://www.therpf.com)

Anyway.

Marty has been at a training camp all week, so I’ve been doing random things like eating Indian takeout every night and flipping through documentaries on Netflix. (Marty eats Indian food and watches documentaries as well, but I think it’s safe to say he would NEVER have watched the documentary I did tonight, which wasΒ Katy Perry: Part of Me. Just a hunch.)

I'm sure Marty can appreciate a good carousel dress, but I doubt he would have lasted through 90+ minutes of a Katy Perry documentary. (Image courtesy of www.teen.com)

I’m sure Marty can appreciate a good carousel dress like the next forty-something year old man, but I doubt he would have lasted through 90+ minutes of a Katy Perry documentary. (Image courtesy of http://www.teen.com)

I’m surprised that I even hovered over the Katy Perry: Part of Me image long enough to read its blurb while browsing titles on Netflix. But I did read the blurb, and it said “suitable for 11-12 year old girls”. It also had a “best guess rating for Dana” of 2 stars out of 5. Excellent. I felt resistance chorus through my veins, and yet I strangely hit the Play button all the same. Like I said, the Universe has a pretty stellar sense of humor.

(Image courtesy of http://www.thestar.com)

The joke was on me for sure, though. I watched the whole movie… and cried like a tween girl the entire time. Maybe it was the Indian takeout, but I teared up watching Katy change from one elaborate, candy-themed costume to another, and I positively sobbed when her sister handed out backstage passes to a couple of kids dressed up like a gingerbread man and a banana. (I can’t even make this shit up!) I found myself rooting for her, and every time Katy overcame an obstacle in the documentary, my heart poured forth with love and gratitude, not to mention streams of tears and a substantial case of the sniffles, too. (I might as well live alone with a dozen cats now, right? That’s apparently how cool I am. Ha.)

What I learned from Katy Perry was this:

1. Be yourself. No matter what.

2. Be your crazy ass, wonderfully odd self, even if your parents are hardcore Christians and can’t believe you’re singing about kissing girls, and even if the major record labels can’t imagine giving a record contract to a young woman who wants to dress up in blue wigs and bedazzled onesies to fancy industry events.

(Image courtesy of www.idolator.com)

(Image courtesy of http://www.idolator.com)

3. Be true to your amazing, 100% unique self, and your tribe will find you in spades (possibly with wigs, sparkles, and cupcake hats on!)

(Image courtesy of www.public.fr)

(Image courtesy of http://www.public.fr)

4. Did I mention “Be Yourself” yet? Because that’s what I learned to the core of my being from Katy Perry and her “suitable for 11-12 year old girls” documentary. I’m probably the only person who cried (a lot) during this movie… and I might even be the only person over 15 who has seen the movie, period.

What about you, dear readers?

Have you ever been caught off guard by happenstance, universal lessons, or movies made for 11-12 year old girls?

What’s your favorite manifestation or magical moment? (I totally love stories about this, so share away!)

27 responses

  1. I haven’t seen the movie… But I totally would watch it! Katy Perry’s songs ARE inspiring (in the main), they CAN be uplifting and expansive and reach WAY beyond the bubblegum pop. I adore her song “Roar”. In fact, it’s kind of my theme song right now. Actually, it’s part of a group of theme songs that also includes Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” and P!nk’s song “Perfect”.

    And my little dudes love singing along, so that’s a nice bonding thing, too. πŸ™‚

    • Aw, I confess I haven’t heard “Roar” (or the other two songs that you mentioned). I’ve been singing the only two lines I know of “Firework” since I watched that movie. It’s like I’m melding with Katy Perry now, but I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. (Better than melding with Ke$ha, I guess!)

  2. Ha! This is great. I love it when something you would never think you were remotely interested in somehow appears in your life at exactly the right time. It’s partly why I love thrift stores, it seems to be a good place for that to happen (I was really hoping for a picture of that “Dana” shirt!)
    I have many examples of this in my own life, but something similar that I often think of is the time I came across Ken Kesey’s “Sometimes A Great Notion”. When I first picked it up at the store, I thought, meh, it’s a story about loggers, I don’t want to read this. Then suddenly, one day, out of nowhere, I thought “I MUST GET THAT BOOK RIGHT NOW”. It ended up being my favourite book ever, and changed the way I thought about art forever. It’s too long to explain why now… but it was exactly what I needed.

    • Incredible, Dominique! I love it when such random things can change things forever. (That said, I’m a little hesitant to be ALTERED TO INFINITY by Katy Perry, but maybe I just need to get over my reservations and rock on with my bad self!)

      I wish I had a pic of the awful Dana shirt, too, but this was pre-smartphone days. (And by that, I mean that other people had smartphones, but I hadn’t yet jumped on the wagon in my usual laggard fashion. Maybe I’ll have to ask the universe to see that shirt again, simply for posterity’s sake?)

  3. My book, Manifest Divinity, is filled with all sorts of those “universe is telling you something” stories. The sense of humor ones though, those are priceless. They make me laugh and remind me not to take myself so seriously!

    • Shows how much I know, Lisa. (Here I am thinking, “YOU have an ENTIRE BOOK about things like this? INCREDIBLE!!”) I guess now was the time for me to be made aware of this lovely fact. Better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰

  4. Totally love this post, Dana. I have to admit being big on The Sound of Music and the Parent Trap (the original). I totally love them both.

    Maybe not so much Katy Perry,, but hell.

    LOVE the shirt story. THAT is hilarious!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Terrible confession time: I have never seen The Sound of Music! (I KNOW!!!!!!) Parent Trap, yes, but The Sound of Music… no??

      What kind of person has seen a Katy Perry documentary before she sees a hands down classic film like The Sound of Music? Look no further, my dear. I am that heathen. Must work to rectify the situation ASAP! πŸ˜‰

  5. Well, now you’ve done it. I’m going to have to watch the movie. Which might not be such a bad thing given that I have granddaughters who like Katy Perry.

    I’m currently reading a rather dry book about the history of walking (Wanderlust: A History of Walking), and having a lot surprising ah-ha! moments. Walking, it turns out, is so much more than walking. I knew that, given how much I walk every day, but… I didn’t know.

    Love the story about the shirt. Have you checked out Notes from the Universe? I subscribed for the fun of it, and the silly things have made me laugh, cry, and slap myself on the forehead and go “doh!” (The website is tut.com, if you’re interested.)

    • I actually signed up for Notes from the Universe after you did that blog post about the cat. I love getting these notes– the humor and sense of playfulness in them remind me not to take myself so seriously… at least not ALL the time!)

      I’m totally leery about you watching the Katy Perry documentary, but it’s probably because I’m embarrassed to have bawled the whole way through (and because I likely would have totally dry eyes if I saw the movie again.) I guess you can pass it off “for the sake of your granddaughters”. Still. There are about a hundred movies I’d rather have you say, “Oh, Dana recommended this!” over this particular film. Ha.

  6. I’m a middle-aged Dude and I love Katy Perry! ……….. Loved her movie as well……… got pretty much all of her songs on my Ipod…….. She’s a lot better role model than many of the current artists out there. πŸ™‚

    • Mark!! So good to see you around these parts. a) I LOVE that you love Katy Perry and b) I LOVE that you can say that with pride for the whole internet to see. It’s true, though, there are many reasons why she’s awesome. I appreciate that she writes her own music and that she’s an inspiration to misfits and outcasts everywhere. I think it’s mind-blowing that she grew up in an environment where basically everything was shielded from her (even Michael Jackson!), but that didn’t stop her from writing about things that resonate with most people and touch a really deep chord inside. If I had kids, I would rather them listen to Katy Perry vs… almost every other pop star. But still. I cried during her movie. A whole lot. Feels sort of wrong, no? πŸ˜‰

      • Not at all……………. Unlike Miley Cyrus, Britney, Bieber, etc………. Katy can actually sing, and she does actually sing in concert. Plus, she is much more about appreciating her fans than she is about getting into the headlines with the scandal of the week. I really loved in the movie how she met with her fans before and after every show, no matter how exhausted she was. If I had a young daughter, I would definetly make sure she was exposed to a lot of Katy Perry πŸ™‚

        • Oh, Miley Cyrus. I had successfully blocked her from my mind… until now! (Thanks a lot, Mark!) True on all counts: Katy can sing amazingly and does so live and not just in the studio. I cried (ahem) when she pulled herself up to meet with her fans, even though she was an exhausted wreck. I empathized with her feeling totally worn down but ALSO empathized with how her fans must enjoy seeing her before and after her shows! Katy keeps it real, that’s for sure.

          • Yep…..you never know what is going on backstage as you are sitting out there in the audience waiting for the show to start. Those people had no idea she was practically having an emotional meltdown just seconds before she came onstage. I felt so sorry for her, but knew that most performers would have just cancelled the show, with no explanation, whereas she went on. Classy girl.

  7. Well, for sure it’s probably best that you watched this when Marty wasn’t around. I think he and Brad would be on the same page – which is NO.
    But yes, how cool that you walked away with something so powerful! I love these unexpected moments too. I had one this week, after moaning, bitching, complaining, ranting and stomping about going to Vancouver to do some ‘bullshit’ presentation, I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Who knew?!?!?
    (Can’t wait for tomorrow!!)

    • Haha, I’m just imagining Marty and Brad’s collective reaction to my Katy Perry experience. “Yeah…. NO.” Love it!

      So great seeing you the other day! Let’s make it a more regular occurence. πŸ™‚

  8. This came at such an opportune moment. I’ve been doing a lot of sulking because I recently didn’t get the fellowship I wanted, and in classic tradition of the people who generally are lucky enough to always get what they want, I’ve been throwing myself a pity party. But your blog post reminded me that at one time in my life, I really believed in the Universe knowing what’s best for me and directing my life, and perhaps this most recent turn of events isn’t a failure, as I’ve been viewing it, but merely the Universe letting me know that I’d be happier doing something else.

    And since I noticed a few other commenters making suggestions for movies….

    I am also putting in a vote for Sound of Music, and am adding Mary Poppins, Annie, and A Chorus Line (better as a broadway show).

    • I think you told me to see Sound of Music over a year ago… and I STILL haven’t gotten my act together. Do you think Marty would like it as well? It’s hard to find time to watch movies by myself– him being at a training camp was an ultra-rare experience.

      ANYWAY.

      I *still* believe that the Universe knows what’s best, and that we can all have magical lives if we can only stay out of our own ways. That’s the really hard part. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t get the fellowship, but like you mentioned in the comment, maybe something better (and better suited to you) is just around the corner. That’s what always trips me up– I tend to declare WHAT I want as well as HOW I expect to receive it in my life. We can only take control of the WHATs, though. The Universe delivers whatever form is most appropriate to our ultimate life path.

  9. The shirt story made me laugh and I can just imagine the universe holding it’s belly and laughing hard at that. You’re right, it does have a fun sense of humour. It’s good to remember that when things get tough and that what you ask for at the core of it, doesn’t always manifest the way YOU thought it might, but manifest it does in it’s own way.

    As for Miss Perry, I like some of her songs . The Roar one, whilst poignant, to me is rather generic in the sense that you don’t hear it and go, Ah Katy Perry. It could be any female eg Beyonce, Pink, Jessie J singing. I’ll look out for her documentary. Sounds like interesting messages.

    Hugs from sunny but chilly London xx

    • Don’t go out of your way to find the movie, believe me. I think it was one of those quirky life lessons that was gifted exclusively to me (and 11-12 year old girls) by the Universe. Not sure how great a flick it is without the context of needing to know how essential it is to be yourself.

      As far as interesting movies go, I just saw Side Effects and The Good Doctor, both of which were really well written and acted. I also indulged in the movie Hysteria, which was a fun, lighthearted flick. Maybe find those movies before you seek out the Katy Perry doc. Just a suggestion. πŸ™‚

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