Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Well hands down, I would say Liz Lemon. Mary would go out of her way to avoid conflict, where Liz Lemon has a little more feistiness.
The subject of this post isn't really "Who would win in a fight?" but I thought it was a funny thought, and if you stick around long enough, I'll bring it back around and you'll see how it works well as the opening thought of this post. Both of these fictional characters are strong, amazing women, portrayed by strong, amazing women and I think both of them were not just role models for a generation, but role models indeed, for life. I've been wracking my brain to come up with something to blog about, and in case you didn't know, that's the surest way to perpetuate writer's block. Because it wraps you up in a warm, cozy blanket of anxiety that if left unchecked, can spiral into something really neat – self-loathing! The part that makes this all ridiculous is that I've also been trying to force myself to meditate. My poor brain feels like it's being threatened by that Duo Owl.
And I'm doing this to *myself*! The fact is though, it's human nature to want to tear yourself up with guilt & shame when you miss your mark in some way. ...iIt's not productive, but we all do it occasionally, for fear that if we don't do it, we won't be self-aware enough to know what a$$holes we are, and we think somehow, this will motivate us. While I do not know how well this terrorist owl campaign is working for Duolingo (other than cornering the meme market – I mean, c'mon, it's funny!), fear is not really a good motivator. Think about it: If you needed to be threatened in order to do what you know you need to do, then every time you have to do what you have to do, you're going to attract a situation where you're going to be threatened...by an OWL! Well, maybe not an *owl*...but you know what I mean. Most likely it'll be by a fear you're on your way to manifesting into reality by creating enough negative thoughts towards it, that you literally have to struggle to think clearly. STOP. REWIND...take a breath.
When you find yourself in a situation that becomes emotionally charged, your brain releases neurochemicals, and you wire new neuropaths to create new habits...or to cement old ones in place. This is the roadmap to manifestation...good or bad, you choose consciously, or you choose by default. When this happens, our bodies produce chemicals that mirror our response, and they become addicitve, and so the longer we practice this by focusing on what we fear, or don't want in our lives, the more damage we do to our lives by throwing them into chaos, because chaos becomes familiar. When you look at stuff like this, don't you ever think to yourself, "Gee, it would've been so much easier if I'd have come here as a dog"? But we humans have something special going on, if we just learn to control our minds, rather than having them control us. Have you ever had a lucky day where everything turned out right? Can you think back on that time and remember the way your thoughts were going? You were probably an empty slate, just ready for the universe to unfold in your direction. It's blissful when it just works out that way...but what about those times when we have to force it?
Well, have you ever tried to force a square peg in a round hole? Yeah, it works kinda like that. You have to let go and regroup. Meditation fascilitates this letting go, by disconnecting you temporarily from the outer world. Your brain waves slow down and move into alpha state, where the inner world becomes more real than the outer world. This is where you are able to affect change, because you are able to become the observer of your thoughts, and choose a thought that you want to elevate, ie emotionally charge, in a conscious way, rather than having your buttons pushed by every Tom, Dick & Harry that travels down the pike. While it's simple, it is rarely easy. This is the task of being a human – it's a juggling act...or maybe more like one of those plate-spinning acts on The Ed Sullivan Show...way back before I was ever born, shut up.
So I guess what I'm saying here is, the goal is not to be perfect (that's a fun goal to drive yourself crazy with, if you're into masochism), it's to do better, and then a little better, and even better, until you reach your goal. We're not static creatures, and the world keep turning, and the universe keeps expanding, so we have to go somewhere...forwards or backwards. It's your choice. Remember that: It's your choice. Unless the Duo Owl is in your living room because you missed 3 lessons, nobody is holding a gun to your head.
The really cool part about all of this is, your brain is a kickass pharmacy! Seriously, when you get into the rhythym of riding that luck plane, you get to release the good chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. As a bonus, when you get really good at meditation, and you move into gamma brain waves (aka kundalini energy, or super consciousness) this energy moves up to your pineal gland, past the thalamic gate, releasing electromagnetic energy which transmutes melatonin into a powerful neurotransmitter which is essentially DMT (N-Dimethyltryptamine). When this happens, people are in a state where they have experienced spontaneous healing and an instantaneous release of the past. They are completely in the present moment, and feeling blissed out thanks to the complimentary chemical cocktail their brain just gave them.
So how does this all relate to Mary Richards vs Liz Lemon? Because they were very similar role models for a generation of women, who both defined female empowerment in a relateable way. They did what we aspire to do...they showed us the way with their heads held high, and despite mistakes along the way, they owned themselves wholeheartedly.
Mary Richards was a trailblazer as a female producer of a news show back in the early 70's. Gloria Steinem may have objected to her way of doing things, but she resonated with the women of her generation, because she was not pushy, and she wasn't afraid to be vulnerable. These are good qualities, and it was a time when many women were a little timid about taking their place in the world. Coming out of the 50's, not every woman was cut out to be a Gloria Steinem. Mary showed us that you didn't have to be rigid or masculine. She was feminine, beautiful, funny and capable, and while she may not have enjoyed conflict, she never shrank from standing up for herself in a dignified and assertive way. In the end, she always worked things out, and even occasionally, she let us laugh at her...like that time she went to the Teddy Awards and everything went wrong. But mostly, and I think it was because of the times, they had Rhoda be more of the one who shows her flaws and insecurities. Mary showed her flaws, but we held her up as an ideal. We all could relate to Rhoda, and we all idolized Mary. In fact, people related so well to Rhoda that the producers of her eponymous spinoff show decided to divorce her character because she was too happy and they didn't think viewers liked that. Stop and think about that for a minute...it's deep. I am personally of the opinion that Rhoda deserved to be happy with a hot guy, no matter what, which is why I love Liz Lemon. She got to have it all, and in the last season, she even got to marry the hot guy.
What I love about Liz Lemon is that the amazing woman who created the show, and portrayed her, Tina Fey, has such an incredible sense of humor, and she really made that character look human. She was smart, funny, capable, and even occasionally, sexy, but she seemed to take a particular glee in allowing her character to be more Lucy like, while still embracing the role-model nature of Mary Richards...so she got into some shenanigans. Like the time it was discovered at her high school reunion, that she was unpopular in high school not because she was a nerd, but actually, because she was a bully, and then the entire class embraced Jack as the popular kid (a character he made up - he didn't even go to that school), but they wanted to chase Liz out of town with pitchforks.
I remember once scene where Julianne Moore was doing a guest appearance as Jack's girlfriend. She accompanied Liz to a single's meet & greet to help Liz meet some new men...because men weren't Liz's strong suit. After listening to her complian about everything, Julianne's character says to Liz, "Instead of complaining about what you *don't* want, why don't you start talking about what you *do* want." And she told her she sounded like a cranky cow...which is pretty funny, and on point. So I love the fact that Tina Fey was willing to allow her character to be less than perfect, and still wonderful, because she was relateable.
Now we're gonna bring it home...My point here is, the reason these women were my role models, was not just because they were sucessful in their work, but because they embraced who they were, loving and accepting themselves flaws and all, and even allowing us to laugh at their shortcomings, and truth be told, in the real world, that's how success comes – By not taking yourself so seriously, and enjoying the ride. Stirring up that pharmacy of good chemicals in your brain! Liz Lemon, Mary Richards, and Rhoda had something great in common: They were never afraid to let us laugh at them...and that can be healing for us...because a lot of times, we hold ourselves to impossible standards and refuse to even look at our own faults because we're afraid we'll see ourselves for the horrible people we secretly believe we are. Instead, many times we end up judging other people in order to take the focus off ourselves. It's healthy to acknowledge your shortcomings and not take them too seriously. You don't need to beat up on yourself every time you eat a donut or give the finger to someone who cut you off...or even other awkward things that we all do in this struggle to figure out how to have relationships with people. Give yourself a break. When you allow yourself to be human, you diffuse the bomb that is set to go off every time you get close to your goal.
If you've got a self-destruct button, it has something to do with how you feel about yourself. Self-love is the key. It's the game changer, but sometimes we can't figure out how to get there from where we're at. Rather than revert back to dysfunctional coping mechanisms like judging other people, to make yourself feel better about your own sh*t, try meditating for 15 minutes a day. It'll clear out the junk and allow you to see those negative, limiting beliefs that are hiding in the corners of your mind. Then, take a few minutes to visualize the life you want, with as much detail as possible. Get yourself worked up about it. GET EMOTIONAL! A place called The Heart Math Institute did the research on this. When you combine an elevated emotion with a focused thought, it will literally change your brain and cause new neurons to fire and wire, and that's how you re-program your subconscious mind. Do it every day, and before you know it, you'll be turning the world on with your smile!
Incidentally, Pebbles had a couple names before I adopted her. When she was in the rescue for 30 days, they called her "Tina Fey". While I adore Tina Fey, I felt weird calling my dog Tina Fey, so I named her after my favorite childhood cartoon character.