Kelly Cutrone is one of the BOLDEST, successful women out there and after reading this book, I have added her to my list of role models. I decided to purchase this book for two reasons: 1) the cover sparked my curiousity and 2) I couldn’t agree more with the name of the title- “NORMAL GETS YOU NOWHERE.” This book is realistic, daring, amusing and addicting. Once I started it, I could not put it down. I just wanted to read more and more about what Kelly had to say. After reading the titles of the chapters in the table of contents, I knew this would easily become one of my favorite books. Kelly also included passages from the Kalama Sutta, written by The Buddha. One line that stuck with me was “Do not follow tradition blindly merely because it has been practiced in that way for many generations.”
Kelly opens each chapter with a quote or two from different people that would be relevant to each chapter. I decided to review this book by going through each chapter and giving bullet points of the statements and/or quotes I found most fascinating:
- “I was always fascinated by people who are considered completely normal, because I find them the weirdest of them all.”– Johnny Depp
- According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, this is what “normal” means: nor-mal: 2 a: according with, constituting, or not deviating from the norm, rule or principle; b: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern; 4 a: of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development.
- History is full of successful, world-changing people who did not fit in and were definitely not normal. Instead of changing themselves to accommodate the status quo or what others thought they should be, these people put a spotlight on their differences- and changed humanity in the process.
1. Comfortably Numb-
- “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”- Malcolm X
- We’ve been desensitized by the thousands of choices capitalism presents us on a daily basis: five hundred TV channels, seventy brands of cereal in the grocery store, sixteen different vitamin drinks, forty-seven brands of jeans. In the words of Pink Floyd, we’ve become “comfortably numb.”
- Whoever said less is more was right: the less bullshit and frivolity you have in your life, the more attention you have to focus on what is really going on.
- Even the best news stories should just be a starting point, not the final word.
- In the comfortably numb generation, we think that seeing something on the news makes it true and that seeing something in the pages of our favorite fashion magazine makes it glamorous.
- Don’t be afraid if your opinion isn’t the normal one– in fact, that probably just means you’re on the right track.
2. THE KELLA-SUTRA: If You’re Not Getting Fucked by Midnight, Go Home
- “One must shock the bourgeois.”- Baudelaire
- Our sexuality is one of the most intimate and expressive aspects of our lives.
- Normals gets you nowhere, not even in sex!
- If you don’t know yourself and what you want, then you have no business being in bed with someone else
- Do not pretend things are happening for you if they are not
- Making love with someone you love is a much more powerful thing than sitting in a church that doesn’t let women speak. You’re basically saying, This is our love, our song, our vibration of love and ecstasy that we send out into the universe. Making love, like making war, creates a powerful and totally unique vibration
3. HOLY DAZE (HOLLA, DAYS OFF)
- Why have we all been suckered into celebrating a holiday that very few of us believe in?
- Let’s celebrate the things we want to celebrate by creating our own personal holiday and traditions, making them restful, meaningful, and yes, even spiritual.
- And let’s stop shopping on days when the government and capitalism tells us to and instead shop when everything is on sale!
4. AWAKENING UNIVERSAL MOTHERHOOD: My Three-Way with Wonder Woman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Amma
- “I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role. Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Of course we are all born into this world from a mother, and of course we all have a right to every particle of this planet. We should all be free and demand equal treatment under the law! Even gender and race are limiting.”
- The feminine needs to represent itself accurately, integrally, and completely. Because the quicker we get into owning our innate powers of ruthlessness, fierceness, compassion, and sweetness, being truly honest and equal, speaking up for ourselves, and doing good for the world (and having great sex!), the faster the planet will heal and the faster we’ll be able to get the hell out of here!… As Amma has said, “The essence of motherhood is not inherent in women who have given birth. It is inherent in women who have given birth. It is inherent in both men and women. It is an attitude of the mind!”
5. Compassion is in fashion
- I now believe that in order to have a balanced life, you have to do something every week for other people or your community- that making a difference should be on par with making love or making money.
- In our twenties, our time is mostly taken up with getting a job, finding an apartment, paying the rent, dealing with four roommates, finding someone to have sex with, partying and then realizing, “oh my god, I have to get up and go to work again?” In this period of your life you may be very self-indulgent.
- Amma says that there are two kinds of poverty. One is caused by the lack of love, and the other is caused by the lack of money. She teaches that if we can cure the first, the second will not exist.
6. I FOUGHT THE LAW AND THE LAW WON
- “There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the side of the truth.”- Ola Tungi, from the Peter Tosh documentary Stepping Razor: Red X
- As you move up the ladder in your career- and especially if you decide to start your own business- you’ll learn that you really need friends who are lawyers, because they speak a language called law. For the record, the law has nothing to do with the truth.
- Doing business with people is no different than moving to a big city. You can’t just see every man as a potential boyfriend; you have to see him as someone who could be dangerous to you at night. And if you open your own company, you should be aware that all those who pass through your doors, whether visitors, clients, messengers or employees, are not just a potential boon to your business- they’re also a potential menace.
7. THE NO MATTER WHAT CLUB
- “A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”- Arnold H. Glasow
- The No Matter What Club is a group of people who are progressive, open, fearless, and courageous enough to agree to truly be there for one another, no matter what.
- It’s not easy to forgive and move on when you feel hurt or confused by a friend. But offering forgiveness with a heart full of understanding rather than a fist full of resentment is one of the most amazing things you can do for someone- and for yourself.
8. SEASONS IN THE SUN
- As soul passes into and out of the body, the charms and riddles of the universe are subtly illuminated, and the lessons are effortlessly integrated. Just being in the room when loved ones are born or die bestows upon us an understanding of things that words cannot explain- and it’s in these inexplicable things that the true and real magic of our lives live.
- I am suggesting that we treat our death and those our loved ones the way we’d treat a very special wedding or birthday, i.e., with very special planning and production. First, you need a venue. Where will it be? If you’re in a hospital, will you be in a private or shared room? What type of music will be played? What kind of drugs will you get? (It’s no different than an open bar at your wedding, except this time you won’t have to pay the bill!) Perhaps you also want a theme, great lighting and visuals.
- All of us are sparks, and the global universe is a fireworks show. How does your spark manifest in the world? Is it progressive or effective? And what will it leave on this earth when it has moved on?
- If normal gets you nowhere, consciousness will get you fuckin everywhere, from Bali to Paris to your very own bloque. I hope to see you there.