Signs From The Universe: Owning Faith

Lissa Rankin's picture

sansimeonlissa3Hiya Pinkies! I was just chatting with Pink Goddess Michele Campbell on the Pink Posse Forum this morning, when she mentioned that maybe Siena’s Pink Mommy comment was a sign from the Universe. It got me thinking…

Have you had those times in your life where the path is uncertain and then WHAM- the Universe throws a big red directional sign onto your path? I always call it “getting bricked,” as in “JABA (Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Athena, etc) just threw a brick at me to get my attention.” The past few years have been so full of bricks I don’t even know where to start, but I wanted to share with you a few signs the Universe has thrown my way.

A Shamanic Journey

On April 2, 2005, on the day I married Matt at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, I did a shamanic journey with Jon Rasmussen (who we’ll call Kiefer because he looks way more like Kiefer Sutherland than any long-bearded Incan healer). Someday I’ll post the whole experience of my shamanic journey, but for now, suffice it to say it was PROFOUND. This was long ago, before I even dabbled in that kind of “woo-woo” thing regularly. In fact, at the time, I kind of did it as a joke, so I could brag about doing something crazy on my wedding day. Boy, was I naïve! Let’s just call the shamanic journey Sign from the Universe #1.

The Gift

Toward the end of my shamanic journey, I was told that a “gift” awaited me in a room in the center of the earth. The gift that appeared in my mind’s eye was a stethoscope with a paintbrush painted on the diaphragm. I had no clue what to make of this gift at the time. I was still working my ass off in a full time managed-care-based OB/GYN practice, being forced to see 40 patients/day. I also had a swinging art career, but the two were completely unrelated. I wore two completely disparate hats- the doctor hat and the artist hat- so the painted stethoscope baffled me. Was I supposed to paint my patients? Teach them how to paint? Encourage them to seek a creative side? Listen to the hearts of artists? What’s the deal, Universe?

The Woman Inside Project

Within a month, Sign from the Universe #2 came to me in a dream in which I envisioned a piece of sculpture. Following the dream, I did my first piece for The Woman Inside Project, for which I’ve been casting the torsos of women with breast cancer. My first model was a patient of mine. I invited her to my house, cast her figure, listened to her story and then painted her cast. It wasn’t until I had done three of these casts that I remembered the stethoscope with a paintbrush on it. I was, in fact, painting my patients.

My Perfect Storm

Sign from the Universe #3 was a quadruple whammy with blaring sirens and flashing lights. You couldn’t miss this one. It wasn’t subtle. Within two weeks, I gave birth to my daughter, my 16-year-old dog died, my father died, and my healthy 33 year old brother ended up in liver failure from the antibiotic Zithromax. What did the sign mean? I wasn’t clear at the time, but it felt very obvious that something needed to change because my life as it existed had no room for something like that to happen. A giant shift began to occur, as if the tectonic plates of my entire existence were ready to change.

Big Sur Was Calling

San Diego had been my spiritual home for my entire life. I lived there as a child, and no place on earth had made me feel so at home. But that stopped being true when the tectonic plates began shifting. Big Sur started calling- very loudly. Sign from the Universe #4 came via a gallery in Carmel that had just started representing me. The owner of the gallery saw my art and wanted to have a show for me – in two weeks. I scrambled around, trying to gather enough art to make a whole show on such short notice. Because I didn’t have time to drive the art up to Carmel, I met the dealer in the parking lot of Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, where she “ooh”ed and “ahh”ed as we moved the art from truck to truck. Two days later and three days before the actual opening, the show had sold out. In the midst of a 36-hour call shift, I scurried around gathering up more inventory and drove eight hours to Carmel by myself to bring new art in time for the opening. The next day, I found myself sitting on a rock in Big Sur in the rain, exhausted, scared, and sobbing. It was here that I received Sign from the Universe #5. A voice that sounded as real as any human conversation said, “You need to come to Big Sur.”


I Listened

As I said, this was a time in my life when I didn’t believe in anything “woo-woo,” least of all signs. On one level I felt like I was going crazy and, frankly, was scared shitless. But some deeper faith continued to drive me forward. It took me eight more months, but by the following year, I had taken my pleap (Pink leap of faith). I quit my job with no safety net in place and moved my family 30 minutes from Big Sur, where I spent the next nine months writing, hiking, crying, sleeping, and recovering. Big Sur became my healer and my guide. Whenever I needed to better hear the voice of the Universe, I sat among the redwoods on the Big Sur cliffs, and listened.

Go To Esalen

There, on my favorite rock on my special Big Sur cliff, I heard Sign from the Universe #6. Another voice in my head said, “You’re supposed to go to Esalen. You’re supposed to meet someone there.” I had heard of the Esalen Institute, the home of hippies and woo-woo healers and artsy-fartsy types, but why would I want to go there? At the time, I was still more the type to patronize Post Ranch Inn or Ventana (two fancy schmancy hotels right down the road from very crunchy, Bohemian Esalen). But once again, I listened through the fear and doubt.

Writing From the Heart

I cracked open the Esalen catalogue and eeny-meenied my way through the workshop schedule. Should I take “Step Fully into Your Natural Gifts,” “The Ecstatic Edge Yoga Retreat,” Meditation: The Embodied Life,” or “Tantric Sexuality?” Because I was in the midst of writing my memoir, I finally settled on a workshop called “Writing From the Heart,” with Nancy Aronie. Though I didn’t think it would matter which workshop I chose, since the directive from the Universe was just to go to Esalen, apparently, it did matter.

The Signs Were Getting Really Obvious

Within 10 minutes of arriving at Esalen for my workshop, I was soaking in the natural hot springs, when a woman asked me why I had come. I said, “I think I’m supposed to meet someone.” After chatting for five minutes, she said, “Oh, I think you’re supposed to meet Dr. Rachel Carlton Abrams (who is now one of my dearest friends and a Mojo Mentor- Sign from the Universe #7). In my writing workshop, I finally found my writing voice (Sign from the Universe #8), while admiring a woman who sat across from me in our circle. She was dark-haired and quieter than the rest, but when she read her writing, she lit up like a flame. The more time I spent with her, the more I felt drawn to her. The Universe told me I was supposed to meet her too. Her name is Joy Mazzola, and she is Owning Pink’s Editor-in-Chief, a Mojo Mentor, my right hand, and one of my dearest friends (Sign from the Universe #9).

Another woman I met in my writing workshop was Dawn Starr, an acupuncturist. We chatted for hours about alternative medicine, and I found my mind opening to woo-woo stuff I would have laughed at a year earlier. I’d left medicine without ever looking back, but I started hearing another voice. This one said, “You can leave your job, but you don’t leave your calling” (Sign from the Universe #10). I met dozens of other healers at Esalen, most of who were working in fields of alternative medicine- Reiki, massage, acupuncture, shamanic work, intuitive healing, and such. I approached them with curious unknowing, asking questions and opening my mind, and they became willing teachers. They seemed excited to meet an MD who would listen to and validate them – they were likely used to being diminished by those in the Western medical world, and welcomed the opportunity to consider healing as something collaborative. The way I see it, we all have tools in our respective toolboxes – if we all combine the tools we have, can’t we be better healers?

Opening an Alternative Medicine Center

After my first experience, I found myself going back to Esalen to visit my new friends several times each month for a lovely period of time. They began to encourage me to open an integrative medicine center in Monterey (Sign from the Universe #11). If I became their medical director, I could give all these healers a home, and the MD behind my name would bring credibility to their healing work. I started to investigate.

The Path Was Blocked

I checked out spaces, looked into leases, and looked for a partner. All roads kept leading to a woman I didn’t know who had just completed Dr. Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine program at University of Arizona. This woman, Dr. Jo Perron (who is now a Mojo Mentor- Sign from the Universe #12), seemed like the perfect partner. Only she was recovering from breast cancer and didn’t feel she had the energy to partner in such an ambitious project. Others I spoke to said Monterey wasn’t the right place- doctors had tried it and failed. The open-minded doctors I spoke to discouraged me from going forward. Doors kept closing (Sign from the Universe #13).

I finally gave up and almost took a job with two other traditional OB/GYN doctors, but one clearly felt threatened by me and kept erecting loads of hurdles. With no other job offer on the horizon, I decided to back out, feeling like the other doctor’s resistance signaled something was wrong (Sign from the Universe #14). Had I allowed myself to fall into a place of fear, I would have gotten really freaked right about then. Confused about how to interpret the Universe’s signs, I got close to despair. But then another Sign appeared.

Owning Pink Began to Gestate

Just when I was ready to ditch listening to the Universe and fall back on my old standby, fear, Owning Pink appeared. Just like that, I knew it. I was supposed to start a website that allowed me to combine all parts of myself. This endeavor would call upon my skills as a doctor, artist, and writer. As founder of Owning Pink, I would be able to be ALL ME, ALL THE TIME. I would serve Pinkies in my own unique way, and I could call upon the amazing healers I met along the path to serve as my Mojo Mentors. If Owning Pink needed art, I could paint it. I would tell my story- the whole truth, the way I learned to write it with Nancy Aronie at Esalen. I just had to figure out how to manifest my dream.


Two friends of mine are techies from San Francisco who worked for Adobe. Right after I began to simmer on the idea of starting Owning Pink, they invited me to have lunch with them in Big Sur (of course!). I figured I’d pick their techie brains to figure out what I would need to do to start a website. As I’m telling them about my idea for Owning Pink, I’m getting more and more excited. My voice is getting louder, I’m standing up beside my seat, my arms are swinging wide. “Finally!” I’m saying. “A way to bring art and medicine and writing all together. A way to integrate it all. I’ve been training my whole life for this job. It’s just like the painted stethoscope from my shamanic journey.” I’m bubbling up inside as it’s all coming together. And then, THWACK- a gigantic honkin’ doozy of a brick.

Sign from the Universe #15

Right beside me, eating a Caesar salad, was Kiefer (a.k.a. Jon Rasmussen, my shaman from Post Ranch Inn, whom I’d only ever seen that one fateful day three and a half years earlier). It couldn’t be, my doubting mind said. But it looked just like him. My heart was pounding out of my chest and tears welled up. Was the Universe really being this generous? Wiping my eyes, I stepped over and tapped Kiefer on the shoulder. “Do you ever lead shamanic journeys in Big Sur?” I asked tentatively. “Yes,” he replied. “On Saturdays at Post Ranch Inn.” Gulp.

CLEAR Center of Health

A few weeks later, with only the seed of an idea for Owning Pink, no job in sight and bills piling up, I was visiting my friend Cari Hernandez in Marin County, and we were talking about my journey. How is it that the Universe was telling me to practice medicine again, when all roads were blocked? I wondered. Why would JABA confuse me like that? Was I getting the Signs wrong? Six months had passed since the Universe said, “You can quit your job but you can’t quit your calling.” By this time, my calling was screaming bloody murder.

Cari and I were walking through the square in Mill Valley, where I’d never been before, and she picked up a brochure that said, “CLEAR Center of Health.” She opened it, read it, and passed it over. Someone else had created exactly the kind of integrative medicine center I dreamed of opening in Monterey. Only it was in Mill Valley. Cari said, “I think you better call these people.” (Sign from the Universe #16).

Listening to the Signs, Even When You Don’t Like What They’re Saying

I didn’t want to move to the Bay area. I was supposed to stay near Big Sur, my spiritual home, wasn’t I? Why would JABA call me all the way there only to push me out again? I must be hearing things wrong, right? But the CLEAR Center thing seemed like a pretty big brick, so I wrote a letter to the medical director. Weeks went by. Nothing. I felt relieved. If she had offered me a job, I would have felt obligated to listen. But I didn’t want to relocate again. My family was already starting to think I was a little crazy. What would they think if I said, “Pack up. The Universe is telling us to move. Again.”

The Letter

Right when I gave up completely, a letter arrived from Beth McDougall, the medical director at CLEAR. “We weren’t really looking for a gynecologist, but I have this gut feeling that you would be a perfect fit for us.” Damn. (Sign from the Universe #17). So what did I do? I said to my family, “Pack up. The Universe is telling us to move. Again.” And we did.

leaving my thirties

Finding My Tribe and Coming Home

I was unaware of this my whole life, but My People all live in the Bay area. Here I thought I was a SoCal girl, but no. I found my tribe in Marin County. When I was looking for a place to live, one of the doctors at CLEAR, Jacqueline Chan, said, “You have to come see where I live in West Marin. You’ll love it.” I dreaded moving back to the big city. I left SoCal to get away from traffic and into nature. So far, everything I had seen of Marin County looked like a big city. Jacqueline swore West Marin was different. So I followed windy Highway 1 to her house, and it took my breath away. If no one had told me, I would have sworn I was in Big Sur (Sign from the Universe #18).

Leaving Monterey and Finding My Big Sur

Three months later, after a stressful month of trying to find a house in Marin, I was ready to give up. Surely the Universe didn’t mean to make it this hard. We made offers on several houses but they kept slipping through our fingers. One house was in Mill Valley, one in Tiburon, one in San Anselmo, another in Mill Valley, but we couldn’t find a house. I was starting my job a week later and we still didn’t have a place to live. Then I got the call (Sign from the Universe #19). CLEAR’s medical director Beth McDougall was visiting the house where Jacqueline Chan had brought me months earlier in West Marin. Jacqueline and her boyfriend had since broken up, but Beth was visiting him and heard a rumor that the house next door was about to be available. She went and looked at it and said, “This is your house, Lissa.” She was right. Although others called the area West Marin, I knew better. The Universe had been a bit confusing, but I was moving back to Big Sur.

Enter Joy Mazzola

Months went by as I charged full steam ahead, building my new practice and getting ready to launch Owning Pink. My poor husband was doing his darnedest to keep up with me, cleaning up the messes I inevitably left strewn in my trail. Life was getting nuttier and nuttier, until one day, we had a blowout fight. I said, “I NEED HELP!” And he said, “ME TOO!” And we sat there, eyeing each other in this cranky detente, uncharacteristically wordless. Then a little voice said, “You need Joy” (Sign from the Universe #20).

Crank back a year to when I met Joy Mazzola at Esalen. Since then, we had kept in touch via e-mail. When some crazy sign from the Universe would appear, I would write to Joy and she would write back in rapt amazement. At one point, I told her I felt like I had jumped off a cliff (my pleap). When I first stood on the ledge of that cliff, I was scared shitless. I had no idea where I would land, but I just knew I had to jump and have faith. As I began to let go of the fear and terror began to subside, I started to enjoy the free fall. Then, a few months after I first met Joy at Esalen, I told her I had finally landed in what I was calling the “lavender-scented river.” If I got fearful and started paddling upstream in the river, everything went to hell. But if I just went with the lavender-scented flow, everything miraculously fell into place. Joy asked if she could jump on my raft and float on the river with me until she was brave enough to take the leap herself. I invited her to hop onboard.

Ask For What You Need

After Matt and I had our fight I realized I simply couldn’t go on with the candle lit at both ends, and I started fantasizing about hiring Joy to help me. I just knew she was the perfect person- the Universe sent Signs #21-30 confirming this). Problem was, Joy bought a big fancy house with her boyfriend based on her big fancy income from her nice stable job at UC Berkeley. I knew she hated her job, but I also knew I couldn’t possibly offer her the kind of money I knew she was making. I told myself the story that I couldn’t afford Joy. Then the Universe said, “Ask for what you need and let Joy decide” (Sign from the Universe #31). I raced home from the Farmer’s Market and wrote two detailed pages of exactly what I needed and why Joy was the perfect person to help me. When I showed it to Matt, I asked, “How much can we afford to pay her?” He pulled out the accounts book and said, “Nothing.” We were in that awkward phase of growth, where we couldn’t afford to hire someone until we grew, but we couldn’t grow until we hired someone.

You Will Know When the Time Is Right

I already knew Joy was unhappy at work. Inspired by my many pleaps, she had been asking me how you know when it’s time to take your pleap. I kept saying, “When it’s time, it will be entirely obvious. If it’s not obvious, it’s not time.” She tried to cut back her hours and pondered quitting altogether, but in a half-assed way that didn’t change her circumstance. She was trying to follow the bird and have it both ways.

Yet Another Pleap

Matt and I decided to take another pleap. We picked a number out of a hat- way less than Joy was worth- and sent her a business proposition. Attaching the two-page document I had written about exactly what I need, we proposed that Joy quit her job and come work for us as Owning Pink’s editor and my assistant. We assumed she would say no. She couldn’t afford to quit her job. She had a mortgage to pay. We had spent so much money on buying medical equipment for my new practice, moving, and creating Owning Pink, which we were about to launch, that we were flat out broke. But we took the pleap anyway. We trusted that the money would appear.

Joy Said Yes

She was only two sentences into my detailed proposal, when she emailed me “I haven’t finished reading yet, but can I just say “YES!” (Sign from the Universe #32). My mother then offered to be our first angel investor, investing money in Owning Pink so we could hire Joy (Sign from the Universe #33). Joy quit her job, and we launched Owning Pink less than a month later. We wrote on the wall of our Owning Pink office, “We want Owning Pink to invite people to go to that place of pain, knowing they are loved, safe, and nurtured.” We both signed it in PINK magic marker. We set a very clear intention.

If You Build It, They Will Come

Launching Owning Pink was the next big, risky pleap. You spend all this time and money creating something, but what if nobody shows up? How would we get Pinkies to find us? Once again, we asked for what we needed, and Sarah Browne, the Guru of New, appeared (Sign from the Universe #36). With the guidance of Sarah and her partner Janet Fouts, Joy, Matt and I learned to navigate Twitter and Facebook to give Pinkies the opportunity to find us. You did (Sign from the Universe #35).

Skip Ahead 100 Signs

What’s happened between then and now blows my mind. Maybe I’ll write about it in some future post, but mostly, you’ve been reading about it as I go. The most awesome sign came recently. I get requests every day from new Pinkies wishing to be Mojo Mentors, and I’ve started realizing they all share many qualities. Most are healers, as well as spiritual seekers. They are Reiki Masters, massage therapists, life coaches, and guided imagery healers. They are creativity coaches, therapists, sexuality workshop leaders, and spiritual gurus. Not long ago I had an “aha” moment – what have we done here at Owning Pink? We have started a virtual integrative medicine center, just like the Universe told me to do back at Esalen (Sign from the Universe #136).

It’s All About Faith

How did this happen, Pinkies? I have been crying through this post, as has Joy, who has been editing for me as I write. I’ve been aware of the numerous blessings in my life over the past few years, but not until Michele inspired me this morning have I put it all together. I sit in AWE. For so many years, I’ll bet the Universe was screaming bloody murder, but I was still sleeping. There’s no way a single word would have slipped through. Not until I began to make myself receptive, beginning with that fateful shamanic journey I took on a lark, did the Voice start to wake me up.

lissa peace sm

This Can Happen to You

What about you Pinkies? I’ll bet many of you are thinking, “That could never happen to me.” But I’m not any more special than each of you. Are you listening, Pinkies? Can you hear the Universe? Can you see the truth? Can you feel in your gut what you’re meant to do? If so, do you trust enough to act on what you hear and see and feel? Are you ready to make a pleap?

Please tell us your stories. What Signs from the Universe have you been blessed with? Let us share in your magic. Let us inspire each other. Let us be courageous. Let us BELIEVE.

Universe, I am listening. What’s next?

With loads of PINK faith,



Bernita's picture

Wow! my hair is blown back

Wow! my hair is blown back with your story, Lissa. So many emotions and tears are flowing from me.

I now ask myself am I so far removed from owning my Pink that I can't see, feel or hear the signs?

You truly are a great inspiration, Thank you!

Christa Avampato's picture

Lissa, I just re-read this

Lissa, I just re-read this post and it's even more beautiful and inspiring during a second read through. Your bravery and courage and willingness to jump from the cliff have given me new resolve to do the same. How can I ever thank you enough?

Love to you, Christa

My Video Interview with Physician/Artist/Author Lissa Rankin's picture

[...] of her website, Owning

[...] of her website, Owning Pink • getting your mojo back • the challenges of work/life balance • her wedding-day Shamanic journey • the quadruple crisis that redirected her path • the meaning and value of surrender • the [...]

Lissa Rankin's picture

Hey, you gotta follow the

Hey, you gotta follow the Signs, sister!

Christina Rankin Lemmey's picture

LOL...I haven't discovered

LOL...I haven't discovered too many Rankins either but I think that's what drew me to follow you on Twitter and to discover your site.

Maybe it's a sign...


Lissa Rankin's picture

There's another Rankin out

There's another Rankin out there? Wow! There aren't many of us, Christina!

Yes, I believe the Signs are everywhere. In retrospect, I see that they were all around me before I woke up, but I ignored them for way way too long. And it didn't serve me well. The more we start looking for guidance, the more we clear the glaze from our gaze, the more clearly we see the path.

Christina Rankin's picture

What an amazing story! I do

What an amazing story! I do believe we all have a path in life but I'm not sure I've found it yet. Or at least found what I'm called to do. I'm inspired by all of your signs to take a look for signs in my own life.

Lisa Truelove's picture

Thank you so much

Thank you so much Lissa;seeing that comment just made my day! I do forget that; believe it or not. I have more people coming to me now it seems. Just since I've started this new Healing here at Owning Pink. It is amazing how when we heal; others are attracted to us. How when we are ready the teachers appear. Thanks so much for starting this healing site just for me! I know its for everyone but I feel even more blessed than the average Joe.Cause I'm ready to heal those parts of me that are so damaged.I feel like I'm part of a growing family. Lisa

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank YOU, sweetheart. I'll

Thank YOU, sweetheart. I'll never forget how you massaged all the tightness out of my muscles every week when I was working too hard, pregnant, and losing my dead. I remember being held by you and just sobbing. Don't forget what a healer you are, Lisa.

Many BIG PINK blessings, Lissa

Lisa Truelove's picture

Thank you for being there for

Thank you for being there for me though all those hard times. Couldn't have made it without you. You have helped me so much over the years to see just how much love I had inside.That I deserved just as much love as I gave out. That I wasn't as crazy as I thought I was.That I could survive both of those difficult relationship I got out of. I wish I could have seen the abuse years before I did. You tried to help me see but I let it go on for years too close to see it.The rejection of my family of Labor and Delivery the at Mary Birch. I thought those people really cared for me then when all that went down with Regina. No one ever called me or came to see me.That was one of the most painful times of my life. I'm still scarred from that rejection/loss.You were there to support me when I first got my Holistic Health Practitioner/ Massage Business back in 2001. You have been one of the longest friendships in my life. Thank you for shining so bright in my life. i simply have so much PINK LOVE in my heart for you. Lisa

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you dear Lisa- yes, you

Thank you dear Lisa- yes, you and I have been through much together- we've seen each other through break ups, hook ups, career changes, and for me- a pregnancy. Death, loss, rejection- all of it. And yet, here we are. Isn't that was Pink sisters do? We stand side by side to bring out the healing we each have within.

Lisa Truelove's picture

Lissa, Thanks for sharing

Lissa, Thanks for sharing your story. All you've been through WOW! I've known you for years and I have never seen you shine so bright as you do NOW! You mean so much to me; It is so nice to see you living your dream. Thanks for this web site; it has brought me such joy and inspiration on a daily bases. I feel honored to be a Pinkie. Much PINK LOVE to you, Lisa

Lissa Rankin's picture



Dana Theus's picture

Syl How exciting! Remember to

Syl How exciting! Remember to breathe deep and honor each resistance that comes up before letting it go. Once honored, it's more likely to leave and actually stay away:) Good luck! Dana

syl's picture

i am overwhelmed by the

i am overwhelmed by the 'coincidence' of reading this today! i am in the midst of a WHAM in my live and have been trying not to resist following it.

Laila's picture

Thank you Lissa,your articles

Thank you Lissa,your articles are just beautiful and very helpful.Im glad to be a Pinkie.

Lissa Rankin's picture

Oh, wow, Jane, What a

Oh, wow, Jane, What a beautiful experience. And yes- you are loved beyond measure....

jane's picture

the universe tells me i am

the universe tells me i am loved beyond measure... i was held by an angel this morning during an accupuncture session... hands cupping my head, wings around my body as i lay there in healing...

Lissa Rankin's picture

Shannon, I echo your words

Shannon, I echo your words back at you. Without ever having met you, I intuitively feel that we are sisters on a path, as we all are. I can't wait to read your journey. I hope you will post it on the Posse Blog. I have to say, I got chills and spine tinglies myself, as I wrote. Of course, I have lived this life. But some of these thing were months apart, and the times in between were often rift with setbacks. My aim in writing this was to stitch together the fabric of who I have become- who we all are becoming, really.

Isn't it a rich mesh of colors and textures, this mosaic of threads we weave?

Thank you, dearest, for adding your golden weave. Appreciation back atcha, sister!

Shannon Elsom's picture

Lissa, I cannot express what


I cannot express what I am feeling right now. My spine is tingling... my senses heightened. I have been having a mirrored experience to you. In fact, I even went through a shamanic journey and soul retrieval myself. I could go on for hours about all the parallels, but I think I will save that for a blog of my own for the community to share. I never cease to be amazed by the synchronicity. I was meant to find my way here,(sign #ka-zillion),and I am honored to share the path with you.

I loved reading this piece. It is beautifully written and I find great comfort in knowing that there are others out there hearing the call of the Universe whispering sweet nothings in their ear. Thank you for sharing yourself so boldly and authentically. I deeply appreciate the gift that is you!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Hah- just found a typo in my

Hah- just found a typo in my last post. I said "Not that it didn't require paint to get there." Which I was tempted to go back and edit. But then I realized it was true. While I meant to say "pain," it did require paint. So to those of you struggling with your path, explore your creative side. It has been my deepest source of healing. Just had to draw attention to that Freudian slip!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Dear ones, I have cried often

Dear ones, I have cried often out of fear, but lately, I'm crying out of gratitude. I can't get over the beauty in my life. Not that it didn't require paint to get there. Did I have to lose Dad to awaken? I guess I did. And yet I miss him every day. So I suppose the tears mix in with the loss as well. And these days, your tears get confused with mine, as well. I feel your pain, your joy, and even more so, the beauty of what we create here in our Pink community. Look at this conversation. It brings me to my knees.

This is my daily affirmation: "I know I am on the right path, even though I don't know where I'm going."

It came to me at a workshop I took with Rachel Naomi Remen, MD and it sticks with me still. It's all about living the question, and it brings me peace, as I hope it will you.

What i love though, Pinkies, is we are here asking the question, sharing it with each other, pushing our boundaries, exploring our limits, and growing.


Pattie's picture

Oh Lissa, you were crying as

Oh Lissa, you were crying as you wrote this and I was crying while reading it. I don't think I've yet seen my path, but I have seen some signs from the Universe in the past two years. The signs were more reassurance that things are OK and I'm moving in the right direction, telling me not to be afraid. This post is reminding me of all of that, and helping me to calm my fears and start to listen and watch for the signs that I know are sure to come. And now I'm crying again. ugh... LOL

Marisa Herrera's picture

Revealing and inspiring, your

Revealing and inspiring, your journey to owning faith is defintiley a call of the Universe! Yes, one must follow the signs from the Universe to find the courage and determination to follow one's path and purpose. Your pleaps are an example of what each of us can do and must do!

I'm finally going through pleaps myself. Yes, it's scary and stressful, but I must do this to serve my purpose. I'm not yet very good at releasing myself to the Universe, need to work on that, decondition myself, I guess.

For giving us Owning Pink and being YOU, than you!

Dana Theus's picture

Sarah: I love that prayer.


I love that prayer. My favorite line is "And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it." The older I get the more delighted I become in the 40/40 hindsight "duhs" when you look back (like Lissa has above) and put all the WTF moments together into a story that clearly made sense to God/JABA while you thought you were just bumping into walls the whole time.


LOL. Wonderful post and much wisdom in your response. This whole conversation is encouraging me to go dig up a personal journal piece I wrote for myself a few years ago (which I called "analysis of magic") and see if I can turn it into a meaningful blog post on the role of affirmations in cocreating our lives and the life of the world. Big subject. Good thing it's the weekend:)

Since we're into quotes, here's another one I found (and feminized) a while back. It guided me for several years on my own pleap plunge as i struggled with bringing some harmony to my personal and professional lives. I put it away when I achieved it, but I still love to read it sometimes because of the flowing, yin-yang picture it paints of the blending of ourselves.

"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between her work and her play; her labor and her leisure; her mind and her body; her education and her recreation. She hardly knows which is which. She simply pursues her vision of excellence through whatever she is doing, and leaves others to determine whether she is working or playing. To herself, she always appears to be doing both." Francoise Rene Auguste Chateaubraind


Lissa Rankin's picture

Okay, you're freakin' me out

Okay, you're freakin' me out now, Dana! Check out this post from a while back:

Sarah's picture

Ok, here is my guiding

Ok, here is my guiding prayer. I found it sort of at the start of my journey. It's by Thomas Merton. If you know that he lived a wild riotous life then studied Eastern Philosophy, was a hermit, a worker for social change...and a Catholic monk, it probably explains why it touched a chord in my life.

My Lord, God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But, I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart for that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost in the shadow of death I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.



Dana Theus's picture

Wonderful! What a fantastic

Wonderful! What a fantastic analogy and poetic delivery. Ok. One more... which I return to day after day after day....

"I would like to beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing, live your way into the answer."

--Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Lissa Rankin's picture

Beautiful. Thank you, Dana! I

Beautiful. Thank you, Dana! I love this one:

What if, on the first sunny day, On your way to work, a colorful bird Sweeps in front of you down a Street you’ve never heard of.

You might pause and smile. A sweet beginning to your day.

Or you might step into that street And realize there are many ways to work.

You might sense the bird knows Something you do not and wander after.

You might hesitate when the bird Turns down an alley. For now There is a tension: Is what the Bird knows worth being late?

You might go another block or two, Thinking you can have it both ways. But soon you arrive at the edge Of all your plans.

The bird circles back for you And you must decide Which appointment you were born to keep.

Dana Theus's picture

Found this, which helped

Found this, which helped support me through my last big pleap. It seems fitting on this post.

It is this way with me: I belong to the universe: I am part of the struggle for a final equilibrium. Therefore I ask all things that I want. Therefore I receive – I lie not to myself – I receive what I want. What I do not receive Has met with obstructions somewhere in me; I will destroy those obstructions with a smile – And of course I shall go on receiving forever.

--Frank Haddock, 1920

Lissa Rankin's picture

Amen, sister! It's the state

Amen, sister! It's the state of consciousness that makes the difference. I agree. May we all stay awake and conscious as we seek to live the life we're meant to live, if only we listen.

Dana Theus's picture

Lissa Good insight. Tho I

Lissa Good insight. Tho I believe everyone is on their path, what differs is how conscious and intentional they are about walking it. When you "pleap" it is not only conscious, but a definitive statement to the Universe and yourself that you are committed to walk intentionally. Paths are funny things, of course, and sometimes pretty tough to walk even when you think you know the way. But that's all the more reason to be intentional.

And I agree with your message to Jane, once you pleap you really have no excuse not to recognize on some level that you DO have intentional choices, whether you make/follow them or not.

Nice discussion.


Lissa Rankin's picture

And thank you Jane! You know

And thank you Jane! You know what I just realized? To pleap means we have found our path. To unpleap might seem like a setback, but if you've found your path, you're SO much further ahead than those who haven't even begun to sort through the brush. I would say that anyone who has had the courage to pleap once just needs time- and faith. Unpleaping means you've started your spiritual journey already. Which is the biggest blessing of all. It's all about living the question, isn't it? You don't have to know where the path leads...

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you dear Lindi! I'm

Thank you dear Lindi! I'm thankful you're here with us, as we all walk this path together (and float on the lavender scented river). Today has been a day of gratitude for me. Sometimes we forget to give thanks for all the blessings. The Universe has probably been up there saying, "A little thanks would be nice..." Yet the Universe keeps providing. I just needed to slow down and be reminded of my priorities. You Pinkies always help ground me. Thank you all.

jane's picture

well Lissa the universe says

well Lissa the universe says that a bunch of women who say Pleeping and unpleeping and depleeping are worth hanging around!

Lindi's picture

Dr Lissa, You truly give us

Dr Lissa,

You truly give us Pinkie's food for thought on a daily basis. I love your journey so far and can't wait to see what the Universe has in store for you go forward. I think you've only just begun a magical, beautiful journey. Your story is a reminder to flow in harmony with the Universe, listening to her signs, as the answers are always there for us.

I'm thankful the Universe placed you in my path...

Pink Hug

Lissa Rankin's picture

Wowser, Pinkies! I got a bit

Wowser, Pinkies!

I got a bit overwhelmed today. Spent all morning writing this VERY LONG POST (thank you all for sticking it out!) And my first edits from my encaustic book editor at Random House came in yesterday. Then my first edits from the What's Up Down There? book from St. Martins came in. The whole thing threw me through a bit of a loop. So I went for a hike. Great way to get my mojo back.

While I was out, hiking above the clouds, I saw this beautiful bird soaring down beneath my hiking trail. The power animal that appeared to me in my shamanic journey with Kiefer was a California condor. While I'm pretty sure this big black bird was just a turkey vulture and not a condor, it took me right back to that place, where the condors in Big Sur make me feel home. (Sign #137) They're everywhere when you start paying attention.

And yes, I love the word unpleaping! I considered unpleaping. When the right job didn't open up, I got a call from the Kaiser recruiter. They wanted to hire me and pay me the big bucks to work a job I knew I would despise. But we were so broke and I was getting fearful. I just couldn't do it. It didn't feel right. It would have felt like all the signs were wrong, and how can the Universe be wrong?

Pleap on, Pinkies. Not ready? Don't rush it. As I told Joy, don't pleap until you know you MUST. And if you've unpleaped, don't beat yourself up. Maybe it just wasn't time yet....What does the Universe say? xoxo

Sarah's picture

Pleaps of faith based on

Pleaps of faith based on coincidence, happenstance, accidental & incidental occurances or so you thought at the time.

You see, the Universe/God/JABA does answer our hearts, we simply don't recognize the signals in our logical, anti-intuitive, 'gotta fit in the right mold' world.

Just you wait, Lissa...It's only going to get better. I can feel it in my bones.


Dana Theus's picture

Jane absolutely this is a

Jane absolutely this is a sign. just remember that the universe can leave a sign but you can't read it until you're ready (or looking). sounds to me like you're ready. the universe can be surprisingly gentle. and then alternately NOT. i often find myself wishing it would be a bit more direct, but then i'm impatient that way:) happy pleaping ~Dana

jane's picture

thankyou Stone

thankyou Stone tosser...(tossed stones always make ripples!) my pleap and depleap were about 12 years ago (well the pleap about 13) and the universe is pretty gentle really - giving me all kinds of signs when i am on the right track but not badgering me meanly when i am stultified.... i will await the sign of pleaping... i think maybe this conversation is a sign in itself!

Joy's picture

Okay, "Unpleap" is officially

Okay, "Unpleap" is officially my favorite new word ... EVER. Thank you, dearest Lissa, for the continued inspiration and for letting me onto your raft. It's been a (wait for it) joy. Love you.

Dana Theus's picture

Jane I pleaped three times in

Jane I pleaped three times in my career, following the signs like Lissa outlines. The first two times i succumbed to fear (and temptation) and unpleaped again. The last time it stuck and I fell head first down the rabbit hole, $40K into debt. I ran into so much fear it almost paralyzed me, but the reason I didn't unpleap was - well - there just wasn't another choice. I was disgusted with myself for unpleaping twice and determined to make it work (and amazed that so many idiots managed to attain what I sought that i figured there just HAD to be a way).

It finally clicked. Not quite as elegantly as Lissa's amazing journey, but what I learned from those "successful/failed pleaps" is that sometimes you just have to unpleap a few times to fully appreciate the power of the signs and the pleap enough to have faith in it.

btw-i am pretty determined now to stay pleaped, and have managed for 8 years to do so, but i periodically encounter fears that can be as harrowing as that first true rabbit hole. i'm becoming more skilled in handling them, but i don't think the fear ever really goes away. it's like pain is to the body... a necessary psychological system that helps us work our way towards health.

no one said it would be easy, but then again, pleaped or unpleaped, life isn't about being easy.

congratulations on your first pleap and here's hoping your next one moves you closer to the center of your path.


jane's picture

well you made me cry ok? i

well you made me cry ok?

i have had pleaps and then depleaped... i let fear and the needs of others get in my way...

i am half alive still

maybe i need to pleap again (Lissa - i am a recovering nurse who has a huge creative drive - i am building my skills and finding you and the pinkies has been such a gift)

bowing deeply to you and your pinkies and your journey and to the possiblities for me

Dana Theus's picture

LOL. Wonderful. And I see

LOL. Wonderful. And I see some of my signs in your journey - including Sarah Browne - who I met last year online through my day job. Thanks for the timeline. A beautiful illustration of the mystery at work in our lives and how if we play with it our lives become all the richer.

Jean Kowalski's picture

Yes you are on an amazing,

Yes you are on an amazing, joy-filled, exciting adventure!!! You are this incredible inspiration for so many women and men...thank you.

Thank day soon I will write my story! If you wish to read it....let me know!!!!

Big hugs to you on this life-changing journey.


Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you

Thank you oh-gorgeous-inspiring Lovemuffin Extraordinaire! I'm exhausted after writing this this morning! I know it's a whole novel (and if any of you other Pinkies slog through it, thankyou! I realize I needed to write it, but I don't really need you all to read it. But if you do, many thanks...

Megan Monique Harner's picture

LISSA! What an inspiration


What an inspiration of surrender and faith you are. I know you write about it all the time, but to put it all to a time-line, wow. What an incredible journey. I can only imagine where else this will all take us. I am so happy to be a part of your PLEAP.

THANK YOU for sharing this. Megan

When you comment on an Owning Pink blog post, we invite you to be authentic and loving, to say what you feel, to hold sacred space so others feel heard, and to refrain from using hurtful or offensive language. Differing opinions are welcomed, but if you cannot express yourself in a respectful, caring manner, your comments will be deleted by the Owning Pink staff.