A Double Shot of Monkey Knife Fights!

monkey-knife-fightThis synchronicity stuff is getting out of hand! After nearly two years of piling up my Writer’s Digest back issues, I finally opened up the most recent one. One of the articles I read featured well-written query letters to literary agents. In response to one of the actual letters, the agent it was sent to (whose name I paid no attention to) commented:

I then requested and read the full manuscript and proceeded to call up the author and tell her I would “get into a monkey knife fight” to represent her.

The agent’s “monkey knife fight” comment amused me; I didn’t recall hearing that phrase before.


The lovely and talented Lissa Rankin

Fast-forward thirty minutes. In using Google Images to search for an image to accompany yesterday’s blog post about surrendering to the universe, I clicked on the first image that caught my attention: a woman in a green dress raising her arms toward the sky in serene surrender. Wondering if it was copyrighted or in the public domain, I began reading the accompanying text on Owning Pink, the website it came from. The post I was reading by Lissa Rankin pulled me in and, a few paragraphs later, to my astonishment, I read:

After receiving a gazillion rejection letters from literary agents, Barbara Poelle called me and said, “I would get in a monkey knife fight to represent this book.”

Whoa! Deja vu. I picked up the Writer’s Digest I had just been reading, flipped the pages until I found that first “monkey knife fight” reference and sure enough, the agent was Barbara Poelle, although the author was someone other than Lissa.

Now, the odds of me picking up that specific issue and reading that specific article at that specific time were small enough. But for me to then decide to write a blog post about that specific topic, click on a random image, actually read the accompanying text (which I rarely do) and find the same phrase (which I’d never heard before) by the same agent (whom I had never heard of before), well, I’d say the odds were just a tad remote.

Surrender to the universe indeed!


Allow me to introduce you to Lissa Rankin, who keeps popping into my life although I never heard of her before!

SYNCHRONICITY SQUARED! At the beginning of this post, I wrote, “This synchronicity stuff is getting out of hand.” Turns out the universe was only getting started with yanking my chain!

I had intended the line above—Surrender to the universe indeed!—to be the end of this post. But a day and a half after writing it, I opened up my daily e-mail from InspireMeToday.com (click here to sign up for their free daily inspirational essays from people in all walks of life, brought to you by the inspirational Gail Lynne Goodwin) and found out that “Today’s Brilliance” was written by none other than . . . wait for it . . . Lissa Rankin, whose photo and website generated this whole post to begin with!

Somebody somewhere is trying to tell me something . . . or use me as an instrument to introduce you (or me) to Lissa Rankin and/or Barbara Poelle. I’m sure there are other possibilities that I’m not even aware of but I’m still too shocked about this crazy confluence of Writer’s Digest, Google Images and Inspire Me Today to write anything more coherently right now.

In the meantime, click here to watch my video interview with Lissa.

And here is Lissa’s bio and inspiring essay from Inspire Me Today (which contains nary a reference to monkey knife fights):

Lissa Rankin is an OB/GYN physician, an author, a nationally-represented professional artist, and the founder of Owning Pink, a website and series of workshops committed to building authentic community and empowering women to get their mojo back. She practices holistic women’s health at Clear Center of Health in Mill Valley, California. Her nationally-recognized abstract encaustic paintings and sculptures are represented by galleries in San Francisco, Santa Fe, Boston, Atlanta, Laguna Beach, Houston and Bethesda. She is the author of What’s Up Down There: Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist if She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art With Wax (Random House, 2010). She lives in Northern California with her husband and fellow artist, Matt Klein, and their daughter, Siena.

Strive to be all you, all the time. Be the Nancyest of Nancys or the Janest of Janes or the Billyest of Billys. Are you so busy wearing masks that you’ve lost touch with your authentic core? Don’t judge the real YOU. Just OWN it, love it, express it, BE it.

Change can be scary as hell, but it can also be transforming. Go with the flow of the Universe and be willing to allow change into your life, even when it feels uncomfortable.

How would you live if you took fear out of the equation? Are the fears you have meant to protect you or limit you? Surrender your fears to make room for possibility.

Give to others with no expectation of receiving anything in return. Not only will it bring you joy, but it gives you the power to change someone’s life.

Become a student of life. Keep your mind open, seek the truth, get out of your box, cross barriers, and keep your eyes peeled for growth opportunities.

What would you say if you didn’t care what anyone thought? Write it down. Now speak your truth to someone you trust. OWN your truth, and look for ways to express it in the world.

Give yourself permission to play. Put away your computer. Invite your inner child to express itself. Blow bubbles. Do cartwheels. Laugh loudly.

Take time during the day to take big, deep, cleansing breaths, clearing your mind of all the chatter. Try 15 minutes of daily meditation. Awaken your mind and watch your heart blossom.

Let your body know you love it by nurturing it. See your doctor regularly. Take your supplements and medications. Exercise regularly. Eat well. Get enough sleep. Get massages, pamper yourself, and let your body be your temple.

We are all creative geniuses. Humans are creative beings who need to continuously give birth – not to babies but to ideas, thoughts, creative expression. What is gestating within you?

The Dalai Lama says, “My religion is kindness.” Imagine such a world, and commit to creating it by consciously spreading kindness.

Accept your body just the way it is. Plastic surgery, expensive skin treatments, and fancy hair dyes will never fulfill you if you don’t love yourself. Instead, change the things you can change to better reflect your inner beauty. When you’ve got mojo, you’re beautiful, regardless of your weight, body shape, hair color, or wrinkles.

It’s impossible to express too much love. At Owning Pink, we call you “sweetie” or “sister” or “darling,” even if we don’t know you personally. Why? Because we love each and every one of you for the beautiful soul you are. What if we approach new people in our lives as if we already know and love them? What if we open our hearts and tell those we know how much we care? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Love as if you might die tomorrow. Fling the doors of your heart wide open. BE love.

Click here to read my bio and essay in Inspire Me Today.


Hello? Hello?

Wait For It . . .

Coincidence? I Think Not!

Living In Synchronicity City

Coincidence and Caroline Myss

A Double Shot of Monkey Knife Fights

Click here to see all my humorous posts.


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For an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.

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13 Responses to “A Double Shot of Monkey Knife Fights!”

  1. Kim Wencl Says:

    That’s cool, Phil. I’m sure the Universe will reveal the purpose of it all – after all, it succeeded in getting your attention, so it will all play out just as it is supposed to.

    Sometimes it does feel as if we are puppets and the Universe is pulling our strings. It’s amazing but sometimes a little frustrating when you realize you are being manipulated. However, when it’s all said and done, to be used by the Universe is a wonderful thing. And having the knowing that you are being used is even better.

    I very much enjoyed the writing of Lissa Rankin and it resonated very much with me because I have evolved a lot in the past few years and can honestly say I have shed the fear factor for good. It’s amazing how once you do that, huge opportunities present themselves and if you begin to take advantage of them, they continue. It’s a wonderful way of life.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks, Kim. I don’t mind if the Universe uses me for a puppet! I figure it knows what it’s doing better than I do!

  3. Lissa Rankin Says:

    Wow, Phil…I’m honored. And thank you Universe for bringing us together! My life has been a series of unbelievable synchronicities. At first I considered them magical coincidences, but I now realize that they are, indeed, signs from the Universe. Funny, the newsletter we sent out yesterday was in response to a question from one of my readers who said, “I want to listen to signs from the Universe, but how do I know when the Universe is talking!” I’ll email you what i wrote!

    The lovely follow up to the monkey knife fight story and that post you referenced is that- of course- right after that moment of surrender about my book not getting published- an editor who had read that book called my agent Barbara Poelle (who I now call Monkey Barbara and who is so in deep doo doo for using a pick up line on me- Just kidding. I adore her). The editor pitched a book idea she wanted me to write and, after bids from 4 other publishers, I got the book deal i had been awaiting for a year. Just goes to show you that all the efforting we do often only swims us upstream. When we just let go and go with the flow of the river of life, the Universe can step in.

    Surrendering still,

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Great to hear from you, Lissa! I’m very happy to hear about your book deal! When your books hit Amazon, be sure to let me know so I can link to them!

    Yes, I’m thinking you can send this post to the reader who sent you that question and just say, “Any other questions?” Ha!

    Sounds like Monkey Barbara is indeed a gem! My literary agent’s name is Barbara as well!

    I agree that the more we get in the flow, the more aware we become of all the synchronicities swirling around us!

    Again, great to hear from you, Lissa! Good luck with all that you do!

  5. teapots happen Says:

    I also find a lot of synchronicity when surfing online … interesting considering ithe internet’s potential as a backbone for a more integrated collective consciousness. If this is indeed a ‘magical’ universe we are living in, the internet sure has a lot of interesting potential.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Well said, teapots happen! I hadn’t thought of the Internet as a backbone for a more integrated collective consciousness. I like it!

  7. Gail Lynne Goodwin Says:

    Dear Phil and Lissa,

    How cool is it when two of our luminaries connect to one another!? One plus one does equal eleven (not two).

    I’m grateful to have both of you in my life and to have your amazing inspiration on http://InspireMeToday.com. Keep inspiring us! Thank you!!!

    Big hugs,


  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks for creating the platform that made it all possible, Gail!

  9. Lissa Rankin Says:

    Thank you Gail (and the Universe!) for bringing us together. Lovely to meet like-minded individuals. xoxo

  10. Beth Tickanen Says:

    All of this wonderful synchronicity in your life means that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what the universe intends for you to do. Kudos!

  11. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I like that, Beth! Yes, I feel the same way. The more we’re in the flow and following our guidance, the more we become aware of these fun little synchronicities!

  12. Mindie Kniss Says:

    love this!
    thank you, Phil.

  13. Phil Bolsta Says:

    You’re quite welcome, Mindie!

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