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Give When You Can, Receive When You Need To

Lissa Rankin's picture

Ask Receive

If you don’t already know Michelle Medina from the Pink Posse community, you should. Michelle (who we lovingly call “Chelle” in our community) is our most active member, our most loving supporter of every single person in this community, and one kick ass woman with a whole lot of spirit, love, and potential.

Unfortunately, she’s having a tough time realizing that potential. But today is her 25th birthday, and I’d like to invite all of you to help me help Chelle realize her big, beautiful dreams. Let this be our birthday gift to Chelle. Let’s help her so she can help many. If you’re ready to help, click this paypal button, but if you want to know more, here’s some back story.

A Bum Deal

Ask ReceiveIt’s not fair, but some of us just have a harder go at this whole life thing, and my heart goes out to Chelle what she has had to endure. She was born with a Tessier cleft, a type of facial cleft that goes all the way through her lip to her palate, through her nose, and between what would have been her eyes (which she was born without). In order to repair these defects, Michelle has endured 66 surgeries in her young 25 years.

To make matters worse, her home life has been tough. I won’t say more about it than that. But you can let your imagination fill in the rest. Thank goodness for her father and Holly, her best friend, who pretty much make up Chelle’s entire support network outside of the internet.

Because of the bum deal life has thrown her way, Chelle’s opportunities have been limited. It’s hard for her to get a job where she lives, because she’s blind and can’t drive, and there’s no public transportation where she lives at her parent’s house (which is less than ideal for her). She depends on her parents to drive her any place she needs to go -- like the hospital where she volunteered to help cuddle babies, which she had to stop visiting because she couldn’t get a ride.

Give Yourself the Gift of YOU

As Chelle’s 25th birthday present to herself, she made the radical choice to spend half of her monthly paycheck on a coaching session with me, to honor the first ¼ century of her life and get clear on how she wants to live the rest of it.

My 1 ½ hour session with her blew me away. This girl has big dreams, beautiful dreams, humanitarian dreams. She dreams of going to Africa to hold orphaned babies and help disabled children, so they can know they are loved, that they are precious, that their lives matter.

As part of our coaching session, I invited Chelle to share with me her big dreams, to picture her dream life like a movie in her head the way I did here. Here’s how Chelle described the movie of her life:

I’m blessed to have a loving partner and a child, and I’m not living at home anymore. I have a menagerie of cats and dogs and horses and hamsters and guinea pigs. I’m surrounded by animals everywhere. I have the energy to get up at 5am and just GO -- to the beach or on vacation (instead of looking to my surgeries as vacation). I’ll go diving and swim with the sharks. Another day, I’ll spend the day grooming and taking care of my horses and riding and feeling completely free and happy.

The whole real world thing of people arguing wouldn’t enter my life, even for a day. On another day, I’ll go and hold and rock and feed and take care of abandoned babies all day long and hug them and love them up and let them know how beautiful and important they are. On another day, I’ll laze in bed with my partner, talking about our hopes and dreams and desires. There will be another day surrounded by friends, immersed in love and music and dancing and feeling the beat and letting it all hang out. I’ll play a guitar even though I don’t know how to play it. I don’t care what color the curtains are because I can’t see. I don’t care what the house looks like as long as it’s clean. I don’t have some grand dream house. I care about experiences, not things. My dream is focused on the feelings -- what it would feel like to be my authentic self all the time, without bumping up against people who tell me I can’t have what I desire.

Chelle says, “If I had that, it would feel like a life. I realize that things aren’t gonna be perfect. I’m not requesting perfection. I just want a life.”

Ask The Universe For What You Need

I write often on Owning Pink about asking the Universe for what you need. So as part of our coaching session, I asked Chelle to flesh out exactly what she needs in order to start living this dream life NOW.

Ask and ReceiveChelle Needs:

  • A job (ideally a job where she gets to help people or work with animals)
  • A place to stay (ideally near San Antonio, Texas, where her father’s family lives, but she’s open to living anywhere that allows her to bring her 20 pound cocker spaniel and 10 pound cat, who are her children)
  • A loving community. She really doesn’t want to be isolated.
  • Access to the internet because writing blogs is a big part of her journey
  • Access to lots of music (instruments, singing, concerts, etc.) She loves to rock out.
  • The opportunity to meet her future life partner
  • Money
Ask Your Tribe For What You Need

When I ask the Universe for what I need, I also ask the Twitterverse, my Facebook friends, and my peeps in the Owning Pink posse. I figure God uses angels on earth to make things happen, lickety split.

So -- although everything anyone tells me in a coaching session is completely confidential -- I asked Chelle’s permission to tell her story here and to come to you, the Owning Pink community, to ask whether we can help meet Chelle’s needs.

Can you please help? Does anyone have a job they can offer her? A place to stay? A new friend they can introduce her to? Do you know resources that might be able to help a bright, motivated, loving blind woman get a fresh start in life? Are you a social worker with connections? A school for the blind looking for teachers? The head of an animal shelter who needs someone to love the animals?

If you can’t hook her up that way, can you help Chelle fund her big dreams by donating some money to her cause? Can you give $5 to help her pay for bus fare? Can you give $20 to help buy her a plane ticket? Can you give $50 that will help her move her things? Can you give $100 to help her clothes for her new job? Can you give $1000 that could go towards a downpayment on her own apartment? Every little dollar counts towards helping Chelle realize her dream.

My gift to Chelle is that I’m not going to charge her for the session we did yesterday. I didn’t tell her beforehand that I wanted to give her this one-on-one session as my gift because I wanted her to give herself the gift of deciding that her happiness is THAT important -- because it is. She won’t find out until she reads this that the session was my birthday gift to her.

What about you? Can you help, even if it’s just by donating $1?

Let’s help Chelle relocate, find her real live tribe, discover her purpose in life, and begin to live the life of her dreams.

Chelle knows I’m telling her story in today’s post, but she doesn’t know I’m asking you all for financial support, and I hope she knows that learning to receive is as vital as being generous in how you give. Money is, after all, just a form of energy. You give what you can. You take what you need. I believe in Chelle so much that I know the day will come when she will pay it forward -- with love and abundance.

Let’s show Chelle on her birthday the power of loving community. Let’s make all her birthday wishes come true.

I believe in miracles. Do you? Let's help Chelle celebrate her REbirth.

Wishing Chelle the happiest REbirthday ever,



Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Change Catalyst coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.



Lissa Rankin's picture

Bless you Marjorie

I told Chelle I think a retreat would be so healing and rejuvenating for her. Thank you so much for reaching out and offering to help.
Warm hugs

Pei Li's picture

Dear Michelle, Happy Belated

Dear Michelle,

Happy Belated Birthday! I'm very late here, but hope I'm not the last one who just discovered this blog post!
You are a strong positive lady and I wish you the very best!!

Pei Li

Michelle Medina's picture


Thank you all again!!!
My computer crashed the night of the 14th, but I'm finally back & again must say thank you!!!
Marjorie!!, You have no idea how much that means to me! Please mesage me on OP or I'll try to find you! Thank you!!
Thank yu!!! I'll definitely keep everyone updated!!!
Hope I didn't miss anyone, love to all of you! Big, huge boat loads of it! Oh, & Hershey Kisses, cuz their the best kind!

marjorie spadoni's picture

Michelle your welcome!

I just received your voice mail. I will try to call you tomorrow. I'm so excited you would like to come to the retreat. Lets see how far you are from us and how we can get you to us! Also I can have a guide for you if needed:) Blessings~ to you


Patty's picture

Happy Birthday Michelle

Keep dreaming. Best wishes to you.

Anonymous's picture

The Possibilities


Consider self-employment. You need to find out about grants that might be available. You appear to be very talented and I believe you could write a business plan that you could implement in your preferred area. I'm thinking you might be interested in something like a retail store, one that caters to pets. You could make your own treats and provide great products and possibly sell other services in the community, i.e. poop pick up, pet sitting/walking, grooming, etc. You might want to consider finding a few other people that would share your interest and join you in the investment, all the hard work and fun rewards. Anyways, you know what you like and maybe you can create your own business.

A place to call home. Network (maybe through the San Antonio Lighthouse) to locate a person or two to join you in renting a house. You need to have the independence you seek so - where there's a will, there's a way, find it! You should be able to apply for section 8 and get assistance with your security deposit. Call 211 for info on programs.

There is a program called Kids as self advocates (KASA). I think you are too old (haha, you're too old! shh...I'm nearly twice your age) to join the group as one learning self advocacy, but, there may be volunteer opportunities (maybe even employment) to assist those in need of learning. My daughter goes to the Connecticut program and transportation is provided, and lunch too, and sometimes they stay a few nights at a hotel - all at no cost. Here's a link to the one in your state: http://www.partnerstx.org/TxTransition/index.htm

Anonymous's picture

Services for the blind

Stacey Curnow's picture

Best Friends

Hello dear Chelle!

I joined your party on Facebook but I'm getting to this one a little late! I'm so delighted to see you celebrated here, there and everywhere!!

I just read an article about Best Friends Sanctuary - have you heard of it? It's a refuge for abused and abandoned animals. They are always looking for volunteers - and paid positions seem to go to volunteers first. When I read the article I thought of you and how it might be a good fit. Here's their website: http://www.bestfriends.org/

And thank you again, dear Chelle, for shining your light in the world!

Stacey is a purpose and success coach who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. To find your purpose and passion, check out her FREE eBook, The Purpose and Passion Guidebook.

marjorie spadoni's picture


Happy Birthday Michelle!!!! You are a truly amazing and beautiful women! We are all here for a reason and you bring so much joy to everyone:) If I can find a way and if you are up for it, I own Circle of Trees retreats in Pennsylvania. I will gladly gift you a weekend away on me:) Just come relax renew your soul:) Blessings~


Molly Mahar's picture

Birthday Love and Wishes

Michelle: The power of miracles, of support, of having such a clear and gorgeous vision of what your amazing life looks like-- that power? It is with you always. It IS you.

Keep on believing in your worth, your love, your gorgeous contribution to the world through your strength and care.

Sending you nothing but the biggest, boldest wishes to you and your happiness. Love, and Love, and Hope.

And the rest of you? My heart grows warm knowing the love you are all sharing. The ability to change the world lies within each of us. I acknowledge your part in that change. And love being there beside you, linked arms full of wildflowers, singing at the top of our lungs, truly believing in the GOOD.




Kara Leonardo's picture


This is the first time I was on this site and this was the first thing I read and like so many of the others have said...I was blown away! Michelle, you seem like a very special woman and I wish you all the best in the years to come. May your days be filled with sunshine and beautiful colors. And may your nights be filled with comforting dreams and wishes to come.

The world was given a gift when you were born; a person who loves and cares, who sees a person's need and fills it, who encourages and lifts people up, who spends energy on others rather than herself, who touches each life she enters & makes a difference in the world. May the love you have shown to others return to you multiplied and may each and every passing year bring you wisdom, peace and love! Here's hoping your birthday is/was everything you want it to be and more and that this year brings with it all the success and fulfillment your heart desires!

I truly hope that you fulfill your dreams and wishes. I also wish that I could contribute more to your fund, but because I am disabled and fighting the "System" to prove it, I am living on very little but I am sending $5 because I know what kind of difference having someone believe in you means. As I said, I really wish it was more...but at this point, there is just no way!

I wish you the best of luck in your move, because I know that you will be moving and starting in on your new part of your life very soon!

I Hope You had/have a Fabulous BIRTHDAY, MICHELLE! (since I don't know the exact date and since you can celebrate all weekend anyway) *G

Take care and very big hugs,

Leslee Horner's picture

A few days late

Happy Birthday Chelle, I just made a contribution! You are such a light in this community! Thank you for the love and inspiration you bring to all of us!!

Love and Light,


Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Audrey's picture

Happy Birthday Michelle!

Michelle -

SO glad that Lissa shared this and thank you for allowing her to share YOU! Your vision is gorgeous! We celebrate and uphold your vision for peace, harmony, kindness, support, and expression of your Divine kick ass self!!

I've forwarded your story to friends in Texas and those associated with animals.

Love and Happy 25 Dear Heart!

Audrey Vitolins

Lynn / Power Chicks's picture


Speechless. Our desire for significance, purpose, love and community shines through Michelle, Lissa and everyone participating in these comments. Sending much support your way, Michelle - happy b-day!

Carz's picture

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Chelle. You truly are an amazing woman. With your determination and all the support you have gathered you will make your dreams come true.


littlephoenix's picture

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday, Michelle! Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. :)

If you are interested in spending time with animals and with assisting people with disabilities, might I suggest looking into connecting with an organization that trains assistance dogs? There are often opportunities available to raise puppies that will later be partnered with an adult or child with disabilities. These organizations also usually need help doing things such as fundraising and office duties. Lots of these things are volunteer, but there might also be some paid opportunities at some places. I don't know if any of that is useful at all, but I wanted to toss it out there anyway.

Regardless of what you choose to do with your life, you have so much to offer and your talents and dreams will take you far.

Birthday hugs,

Jewels's picture

Happy Birthday!!!

I am so grateful for you and all the pinkies. I didn't write in and report but part of the request I asked the universe on this site was to find work that I loved. My dream was to go to this Feng Shui cert. program. I found the courage to do it with the help of the unconditional love and support I have found here. You are such a great support! I believe the power of so many wonderful angels will bring all your dreams to reality Chelle! Because of following my dream I can't help right now but when you get your place I would definitely give you a Feng Shui consultation! I will be in Texas in October so I will follow your journey closely. Namaste.

Michelle Medina's picture

Trying again

Thank you all!!! I absolutely adore & love all of you!! You are the most rockin' community I've ever been a part of, & I can say that easily!!!!!

Tricia Dycka's picture

Happy Birthday Michele. May

Happy Birthday Michele. May your dream become your reality is this beautiful 2011

Jill Chivers's picture

The Power of Connection

This story (and the comments) made the hairs on my arms stand up. I have been a bit MIA of late, too, and have skipped quite a few Pink missives. This one I read, and I'm so glad I did.

This story proves the power of connection. The power that one person has in a community to reach into hearts and make a difference.

Lissa, thank you for making this story happen and for all your fabulous Pink work.

Chelle, thank you for showing to us what you live with everyday - courage.

The world is a better place because of you. Thank you

Jennifer Shelton's picture

Happy Birthday

Your day is bringing joy to so many others! May your joy continue to multiply.


Astrologer, Educator &
Founder of FemCentral, the Virtual Institute for Women 

Monica Wilcox's picture

Great Power in Asking

I've seen amazing things happen when someone is brave enough to ask for help, because it's not always an easy thing to do. Not only are you throwing open the doors for change in your own life Michelle, but you're allowing the positive energy of others to come crashing in. Not a bad way to spend your birthday! Who knows where love and determination are going to take you. Thank you for all you've given this community and a big thank you for allowing us to give a small portion back!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Love is enough

For those who are saying you don't have money to give, don't worry! Honestly, love is enough. And others are donating generously. Give what you can, receive when you need to, and do it all in love...

Caren's picture

Sad I couldn't donate, all day

Thank you for saying that. I have been so upset thinking I was unable to give financially. I left for work feeling sad that I was unable to contribute to something I really wanted to. Something that meant alot to me. Coming home and seeing this message has helped me turn around what was a sad day for me. Blessings to you Lissa. And to Michelle for all the love and understanding.

Janettee McCrary's picture

Happy Birthday!!!

Michelle has been my greatest contact on the site (although I admit I have been MIA for a bit) and she strikes me as being a beautiful, loving person with a positive outlook on life. I wish I could help, but I don't have anything to offer:( However, I wanted to share this verse with you, which was read at my best friend's funeral. She was a lot like you in her outlook on the world, and spent her life caring for foster children and animals. I believe it describes you, too.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.
James 1:27

Happy Birthday, Michelle! I hope all your dreams come true!!!

Rachel A's picture

Happy Birthday, Chelle!!! Wonderful life lies ahead...

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday, Chelle!!!

I just know that wonderful things lie ahead, in both the immediate and the long-term future. More than the "average" person, I feel & know that you are here for A Big Purpose and that your current dreams and dreams you don't even know yet... Are destined to become a beautiful reality.

Sending big love out to you.. And I'll go back to read Lissa's entire post now so I can see how I can personally help make some of your current dreams come true asap!!!


Theresa's picture

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Chelle! All the best to you! Here's to 2011 as the Year Of Chelle!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Oh. My. God.

Do you people know you have already donated $860? And it's only 10:40am.

I am blown away by the generosity of this community. And Chelle, get ready to get the hell outta dodge!

I've also gotten emails connecting me to people who might be able to help you in bigger ways, so stay tuned.

Magic is in the air...

Weeping tears of joy (literally),

Maya Hanley's picture


WOW WOW WOW. That's just bloody marvelous. Well done. I feel lightened up with joy by this news. XX Maya

Sharon Dudka's picture

Happy Birthday!!

Wishing you the Happiest Birthday EVER! So glad you are here to inspire us all to Own our Pink! Lots of hugs and love!!!

Many Blessings

Lauren Nagel's picture

Happy Birthday, Chelle!

You are truly LOVED - for all that you truly are - from Texas to California to the stars! Here's to a beautiful new year! xxoxoxo

Maya Hanley's picture

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Chelle. You are an inspiration and, if the Pink Posse have anything to do with it, your star will shine brightly forever. This is such a supportive community and creates so much well-being. It's wonderful to be part of it and that there are people like you in it who inspire the rest of us every day.

Happy Birthday!
Love, Maya

M's picture

A beautiful woman with beautiful dreams

Chelle, you are a beautiful woman with very beautiful dreams. From where I am I cannot do much right now, but I'm sure the moment will present itself!

For now, let me give you a huge hug filled with confidence that you will find all the things you describe: a partner who is loving and loved, lots of fluffy animals, a house full of love, light and beauty, a constellation of wonderful people around you, and an opportunity to share your warmth and caring with many, many others.

Happy birthday, Chelle, from half a world away! :)

Thank you for touching my heart today!

Andrea's picture

Happy Birthday!!!!

I hope you have a beautiful birthday and that you are able to achieve each and every single one of your dreams. Much love.

Emme's picture


Everything about this post has me teary, from the story to the comments. Happy REbirthday, Chelle! Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

Much PINK love and light and hope,

Rachel Kudrich's picture


OMG, this is so beautiful! Chelle, you are so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing so kindly of yourself in the Owning Pink community!! Have the best birthday, Love!!!

Karen's picture

Happy Awesome Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Michelle!! Hope you have a wonderful day. You have touched me many times with your kind words. My wish for you is that you get all the joy that you put out into this world 1000 percent!! Have an awesome day!!

Caren's picture

Happy Birthday Michelle


I am wishing you a very happy birthday filled with so much love. I pray for you that all of your dreams and desires are fulfilled. I know they will be.

Have a wonderful day. Keep rockin' sister.

Love, Light, and Birthday Blessings,

Lissa Rankin's picture

oh, Chelle, darling

You are such an inspiration, and I can already see you skyrocketing to the stratosphere.

I believe in you. And I love you. And I want nothing more than to see your dreams all come true.
Birthday hugs,

Erin's picture


What an important and amazing lesson this is - we ask for miracles, but sometimes miracles are asked of us. I want to help create miracles for people!

I donated, and the only reason I'm mentioning that here is because I forgot to write Michelle's name in the Special Instructions section. (Sorry!) I was too caught up in my thinking about miracles that happen right here on Earth through people.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of a miracle in Chelle's life. Xoxoxo, Chelle, and happy birthday!!!

Amy's picture

Take it away, girl!

Happy happy birthday to you, Michelle.

Or, as you said, RE-birth day.

You are on your way up up up. It's awe inspiring, watching you take on the world...your style of bravery blows me away. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us.

I wish you all the best as you journey forth. And I'm here supporting you along the way.

Super huge hug to you, my dear.

Big love,

Christa's picture

Happy Birthday Chelle and ROCK ON! sista!

I absolutely believe in miracles and I think Chelle's choice of living in and around San Antonio is brilliant. I know many friendly and loving people from the great state of Texas.

I cannot comprehend what it would be like to be faced with her challenges....I'm so vain that my upper lip melasma often stops me from being seen in public.

There is a San Antonio chapter of the National Federation of the Blind - her's the link:


I also found an organization called the The San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind and from the look of the site, it appears there are employment opportunities.

Michelle already knows I'm a big mouth (as does Lissa) so I'm going to put it right out there to say, girl, get your ass down to Texas. Stay with your father for a while or ask for his help to find you a place to stay.

You are VERY smart and I have no doubt the perfect opportunity is waiting for you.

Ask for help and help will be provided. Capiche?

Much love to you on your 25th Birthday....and before I leave, let me sing:

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Dear Queen of Your Own Fabulously Perfect Universe!
Happy Birthday to you!

Hugs (and puppy kisses),
Christa & Miss Rosie

Melanie Bates's picture


Happiest of birthdays to you darling. May this personal New Year bring to fruition all of your dreams! We love you.

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.