Jun 27 • 6M

Let's Get It Started

Being an a**hole isn't going to change our world, but this might. Read on.

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If we can just ignore what the hell I’m wearing and doing with my face for a moment, I can tell you that my hope with our show, MTV’s Miss Seventeen, was to create a gaggle of smart like-minded girls kind of like what I write about this week. Some of these incredible women are still in my own personal Coven.

Hey,

I just got home from the Pride parade in Manhattan. 🏳️‍🌈 I have to say, it’s hard not to feel joyful and connected after a gathering like that. To me, it felt like soul medicine…good timing after the Supreme Court decision this week. As I read, like you, various responses on social media, one posting stopped me dead in my tracks.

To me, this felt over the line. Not because I don’t think the intel is legitimate. Let’s pretend it’s true. I mean…I’ve had three abortions and I just kind of assume many other people have had one, too. It’s not something I consider scandalous. But I do consider it private health information. Not political click-bait…no matter who the person is. She is not in office. Yes, her father was and is a lightning rod whose choices have put us here. And yes, she was involved in a lot of his bullshit maneuverings. But where is our humanity? We are quick to point out the other side’s depravity but this, to me, felt like an impulsive angry response that doesn’t in any way further the pro-choice movement but merely stoops to a very low EQ level. How will the revelation of Ivanka’s private information in any way move the needle forward for women? To me, it moved it back.

Rather than this type of hand to mouth response when we are under threat, how can we regularly feed what we actually want in life? We’re so busy responding to what we don’t like in the world. Are we, everyday, nurturing what we do want to see? Have very many of us thought and acted to protect a women’s right to choose with regularity day in and day out over the years? The same way we brush our teeth? The way many people pamper their dogs? Some people go to Soul Cycle every day. My teacher, Frances Weller, says devotion has the capacity to the stop the world. But it has to be a practice. We can’t just vomit angry words in fits and starts when we feel threatened. That is not useful. It’s like people who meditate once a month or when they feel stressed. Very nice. Totally useless. Meditation “works” when you do it every single day. Devotion means Every. Single. Day.

The question is: What are we devoted to?

I’ll never forget a hilarious line from the first season of Real Housewives of NJ delivered flawlessly by Caroline Manzo: “You hang out with trash, you start to smell like garbage.” Sorry – I just love that quote. But I’m sure you’ve said or experienced some version of this in your life, right?  What we’re devoted to, who we spend time with impacts our frequency. Some small examples: My husband and I fueled each other’s ambition. The boyfriend before was the kind of guy who would quit his job by not showing up one day. I, during that time, also would call in sick from work when we were fighting. We know this about human nature, it’s why our parents didn’t want us hanging out with certain people. This is not new information.

But this is the piece I want to sit with today: The frequency we’re all tuning into most today…the thing that has our devotion? Electronics: Our phones, laptops, computers. I don’t know all of what that’s doing to us. But when I think of that Tweet about Ivanka, I feel the author was synched to…Twitter…to technology…certainly not her heart because our hearts are big enough to hold complexity like how our friend may have had an abortion AND her father could be responsible for so many others not being able to have one. On a personal level, I know for sure I’m synched up with the apps I use more than the people that motivate me. And I don’t mean motivational speakers. I mean motivational people.

Yes, we have people we work with. Yes, we have other moms at school. Yes, we have our neighbors. But we need to get together in person with other people who match our vibe to talk real talk. To create real community. Not just likes, emojis, or follows. Not just being shouted at or talked to when we visit their social media. Real two-way conversation.

That’s why I’m excited about our Coven gathering this coming Thursday at my apartment. We have an interesting mosaic of women coming. I can open up next Thursday, July 7th 6-8pm as well. Respond to this email if you want to join on the 7th.

I have no idea or expectation for what may come out of these meetings. But I know for sure we need to start doing it. And even outside of me: Please start meeting together. Set up a salon at your home once a week, once a month, whatever works. The world is not changing in our favor but rather than getting stirred up on social media, let’s be more devotional about our community. It’s got to start somewhere. In the words of my fellow Barnard College graduate Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Or…as Fergie said, Let’s Get It Started. Meeting at Atoosa’s place, RSVP at atoosa@atoosa.com.

xo, atoosa

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