Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt

In case it isn’t obvious, I haven’t posted here in months. And months. (And months!) It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say– I did. It’s not that I couldn’t find the time to post– I could.

The thing is… I was being bullied into keeping my mouth shut. Yes, bullied! SHE told me that my ideas weren’t original, profound, or immaculate enough to merit a push of the publish button. SHE said that I could either be humorous or helpful, sarcastic or spiritual, but that I could never, ever, EVER be an offbeat mixture of the two. (After all, that would be blasphemous!)

Don't even try to pose for a romantic photo with your beloved husband, only to be photobombed by a hairless Sphynx cat. That just isn't done!

Don’t even think about posing for a romantic photo with your beloved husband in poor lighting, only to be photo-bombed by a hairless Sphynx cat. Things like that just aren’t done!

SHE is Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, and for a while– up until this very moment, in fact– I believed everything she said. And so the writing stopped. My voice dried up like a California raisin, dusty and uncertain, and Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt stood watch, ensuring that nothing suspect (i.e. helpful and entertaining) got posted here “accidentally” in the meantime.


Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, retro glasses and bindi intact (gauzy head scarf optional.)

Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, retro glasses and bindi intact (gauzy head scarf optional.)

Spoiler alert: Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt is technically still me, only she’s the version of me who insists that everything self help-related be delivered in syrupy packets, swirling cursive, and/or sanitized affirmations.

“Reach for the stars!”, she will sing, her voice vanilla-scented and tinkling like the most delicate of bells. “Dream big and stay in school!”

Regular Me resists this flowery, woo-woo voodoo– fiercely. Pointedly. Aggressively. Still, though– Regular Me is drawn inexplicably towards things like crystals, tarot cards, and universal magic, and yet equally, viciously terrified of being sucked into a vortex of patchouli and tie-dye, never to return.

I say affirmations to myself in the mirror and worry that Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt is peering over my shoulder, secretly setting a honey-kissed trap and plotting to steal my sense of humor forever. I complete a morning energy medicine routine and fear that she will swallow me whole! “Do you like the Law of Attraction?”, I imagine her coaxing me, her inquiry deceptively innocuous. “If so, pay the toll: NOTHING FUNNY CAN BE WRITTEN FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, FOREVER AND EVER, SO HELP YOU GODDESS.” Yeesh!

Only serious and serene starfish photos allowed!

Only serious and serene starfish photos allowed from now on! (PS: Those aren’t my hands.)

want to talk about how awesome my abundance altar is, but not if I have to weave daisy chains through my peasant-inspired pleats to do so. (Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt would love that.)

I’m practically itching to tell you everything I’ve learned about tapping and energy medicine lately, but certainly not if I have to deliver my words in a solemn, earnest tone, delicately touching my heart chakra (you know, to keep the channels open.)

There’s so, so much to show and so, so much to tell, but honestly? I can’t bear to share any of it if I have to do it, Magick Faery Goddess Wind Chimes-style. That’s just not my style… most of the time, anyway. Heh.

So here’s what I propose:

I’m going to learn, and I’m going to share what I’ve learned here.

Sometimes, you might have to refrain from guffawing at your computer screen while you are at the office, reading my posts while you are supposed to be working. (That’s how outrageous and hilarious they might be!)

At other times, Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt might have her way with me, and I’ll serenely impart some nuggets of universal wisdom to you, perhaps causing you to touch your heart chakra involuntarily (you know, to keep the channels open).

Word to the wise: green is the color of the heart chakra. In case you were wondering...

Word to the wise: green is the color of the heart chakra. In case you were wondering…

Either way, I’m tired of not writing and tired of not saying all of the things that need to be said. Sound cool? Excellent.

I’ve missed you!

How you been since February?



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. 😉

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

Katy Perry! The peppermint candies on this dress actually spun! (Image courtesy of


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 was 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

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

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

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

(Image courtesy of

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

(Image courtesy of

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!)

Are You There, Margaret? It’s Me: God

This is an intensely personal post for me– not in the awkward Overshare kind of way, but in the I Don’t Usually Reveal This Softer, Sensitive Side Of Me in Public kind of way. Religion and spirituality are hot button and often controversial topics already– better left untouched and/or unspoken– but when you add in layers of guilt and shame from years of being taught certain things but feeling differently in your own heart, you’ve got a regular recipe for electrocution. Shazam!! I’ll be talking about spirituality today! I don’t mind if you tune out for this particular post if spirituality isn’t your thing. Maybe check out some pictures of baby animals instead? Otherwise, I appreciate you reading this with an open mind and heart. xo!


Many of you know that I grew up in a Very Catholic Family. My grandfather was actually one of the first laypeople in our city to be permitted to read aloud from the Bible during mass, and his vocabulary is still a virtual stream of direct quotes from the Best-Selling Book Of All Time. (Well, it’s more like verses from the Gospels intermingled with frustrated strings of profanity, “And Jesus said… What in hell’s name do you think you’re doing??! Jesus Christ!!! I’m trying to quote from the Bible, for god’s sake!!” Quite a character, my grandpa is). 🙂

I attended Catholic schools from Kindergarten all the way to Grade 12. We were given crosses to hang on our walls and religious pendants to wear around our necks, and we underwent most of the church’s sacraments as a class, en masse: First Communion in Grade 2, First Reconciliation in Grade 4, Confirmation in Grade 6, and regular doses of mass during junior high and high school. Passing grades in Religious Studies courses were a prerequisite for matriculation in high school, and of course it was assumed (if not outwardly required) that we all went to church every Sunday with our families.

Because nothing says "I love you, Jesus" more than puffy sleeves, crimped hair, and a total of 2 front teeth

For the most part, things in my Catholic life were fine. I enjoyed hearing about the parables (when they were paraphrased by a teacher who was a particularly great storyteller, mind you), and I threw myself wholeheartedly into the task of making macaroni crafts at Sunday School while the adults in the congregation listened to reading upon reading from the Bible upstairs. Look, ma! It’s a spaghetti rendition of the Prodigal Son! It wasn’t until I started asking my teachers in school certain questions that everything became a little… disjointed.

What do you mean, there were no women disciples? How do you know that for sure? [asked in Grade 6 when our Waste-Some-Time assignment was to draw a picture of our favourite disciple.]

What do you mean, “love the sinner, hate the sin”? Didn’t Jesus say something about doing unto ‘the least of his brethren…’ and thereby doing unto Him?” [asked in Grade 10 when a close– and gay– friend was being discriminated against via Silver Bullet verses from the Bible]

What do you mean, we can’t ask questions about premarital sex during this supposed “Family Life” unit? Don’t Catholic schoolgirls have a very high rate of teenage pregnancies? Didn’t my own, Catholic-school mother give birth to me when she was only 16 years old?? Shouldn’t we be doing something about this or talking about something else besides the epididymis? [asked every time the boring old anatomy diagrams were whipped out and flashed to our perturbed class for all of 10 seconds in “Sex Ed” before the teacher would faint from discomfort and embarrassment.]


In my young heart and soul, I felt that the overall message of Catholicism was Love: Love your neighbours, love yourself, love this earth, love each other, love everything about this wonderful life. Love your enemies! Love people regardless of their gender, race, age, sexual orientation, ability, or even their (non-Catholic) religion! Love love love love love!!

The overall theme of what was taught to me in school, however, seemed to be more like Jesus or Go To Church. Period. Like Nike says, Just Do It. Somehow, the simplicity of the word Love got lost in translation: verses of the Bible were used as ammunition against people who were “different”, being a good Catholic was reduced to having perfect attendance at church, and I received a stern talking to from the nun who taught me Grade 11 Religious Studies when I somehow scored higher on the “Buddhism” test than I did on the “Catholicism” quiz during the World Religions unit. Don’t go on becoming no godforsaken Buddhist now, y’hear? Those quizzes on other religions were just thrown into the curriculum to add a semblance of diversity to our program. The only true way is through Jesus. And Church. (But especially through Jesus Church.)

Sadly, over time I developed a skeptical crust over my otherwise open heart to protect myself from The Catholics (and The Christians, and anybody who was going to throw Bible verses at me as part of their persuasive artillery). I wasn’t buying it anymore. Alas. What started out as an honest yearning on my part to just stick to the lesson of Love became a hardened resistance to the people in my life who, unlike myself, had managed to find this Love through organized religion. I felt like my parents had been duped by the Church, and I was wholly embarrassed by the over-zealousness of my Bible-thumping grandpa. I stopped going to church altogether and started secretly judging the people who did go. I was enlightened. I knew better. I didn’t need no stinking Bible, I didn’t need no corrupted church, and I certainly didn’t need no virgin priest telling me what to do or how many Hail Marys to recite.

I’m ashamed to admit that I felt this way for a very long time. I had been brought up a certain way– Catholic– with the best of intentions, but the mere mention of the word “Bible” got me all defensive, and anybody who wanted to push my buttons for whatever sadistic reason needed only to utter the name “Jesus”. (Naturally, this all caused me to feel extremely guilty and ashamed of myself– the one lesson that definitely had stuck with me throughout Sunday School was that Guilt Was The Go-To Feeling for everything. Guilt was like the Robin Hood brand of emotions: All-Purpose.)

But something was missing.

When I met Marty, I was surprised to discover that he was an intensely spiritual person. (Wasn’t spirituality for the uneducated masses?) Having grown up in the Czech Republic during the Communist period, however, Marty knew practically nothing about Jesus, or the Bible, or even the parables I reluctantly admitted to liking. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of Catholic churches in Prague, but nobody had been allowed to practice their religion openly when Marty grew up… so Marty, bless his commie heart, grew up naturally being drawn to the loosely spiritual practice of Love.

From (Old, Communist) Statue Park in Budapest

Marty’s respect and genuine love for other people– even The Catholics and The Christians and The People Who Quoted The Bible– opened my eyes again. Through him, I realized that my resistance to my religious upbringing had completely missed the point and defeated the purpose: I had become exactly like the people I had judgednarrow-minded and dogmatic– just in a different way.

So I opened myself up to spirituality again. I embraced God wherever I found Him– in other people, in animals, in nature, in delicious meals, in synchronicity, and in life’s tougher lessons. Today, I call myself spiritual but still shy away from the term religious. For better or for worse, I use the word Universe interchangeably with the word God. I do not read (or, I’ll admit it– respond very well to) the Bible, but I accept that millions of other people do. That’s okay. To me, being a spiritual being does not have to involve attending church or studying any particular sacred text, line by line. Instead, spirituality requires a commitment to Love and an openness of the heart and soul. That’s it– all you need is Love.

Whenever I feel like I am out of balance or losing my way, inevitably it is because I have closed myself off from the channel of Love. I have judged others or have felt judged myself. I have suffered from a lack of self-love. I have prioritized only one aspect of my health without loving my whole self: diet and nutrition plus exercise plus mental health plus sexuality plus being social plus my spiritual health. All in all, spirituality has found me again, but it looks nothing like the spirituality of my childhood and youth. That’s okay, though– it’s all good.