There's not a human alive who would be surprised that I love a good catch phrase, so much so that I literally have Triple H's tattooed on my finger.
Even people who aren't fans of wrestling recognize iconic catchphrases like, "If you ain't down with that, I've got two words for ya," or "Do you smell what the rock is cooking," and although that last one was never one of my favorites, I always aspired to have that type of real life character development like The Rock or The Rattlesnake, and connect with people in that way. To have millions of people resonating with the words that you say is the achievement of a lifetime to a writer, and I would be lying if I said I hadn't put thought into it.
A catchphrase is a mantra, and is so powerful and carries the same power as music. Get 100,000 people singing or saying the same words at once and you physically feel those vibrations. It connects you beyond all thought and form. The words have the power to change your thinking and your perspective, especially through the amplification of strangers and friends.
When I started going through my Beatles phase, I took a transcendental meditation class and they told me, you don't choose the mantra, the mantra chooses you. I didn't choose "Shake Your Ass & Save Your Soul," it chose me.
Everyone has the best grandma, and I definitely had the best grandma. Nonnie Marge was the most important person in my entire life. Still is.
Nonnie taught me how to type, how to keep a journal, she taught me how to write and always speak my truth. She expressed the importance of forgiveness and family, (usually after a lot of F words, but the sentiment was always there.) She taught me how to make meatballs, how to never meet a stranger, and gave me my love for the beach. Nonnie Marge was the quintessential loud, stereotypical Italian Catholic grandmother, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Nonnie Marge had the best catchphrases: "spend it on medicine," "all for a piece of ass," "play with yourself," but my favorite was, "Shake Your Ass and Save Your Soul."
Her language was... colorful... and we were always laughing at what came out, but it's when you're staring at the most amazing person you've ever met in a hospice bed minutes away from closing her eyes for the last time, that they start to sink in.
Nonnie Marge said "Shake Your Ass & Save Your Soul, Alyssa," and it resonated for the firs time that that's all I had to do to live my life.
Nonnie Marge couldn't care less about jobs or college, money or degrees. She would pull over on the side of the turnpike and slam on the brakes to take a picture of a wildflower. She would make 24 pies on Easter Sunday just to make sure everyone had desert at church. She never had a dinner party without inviting someone she met just five minutes prior, and would cry full blown tears in the grocery store if anyone asked who I was because I was special and she loved me that much.
I struggled growing up. A lot. With perfectionism, OCD, sexual abuse, failed relationships, domestic violence... I did therapy, learned meditation, drank ayahuasca, did inner child work- you name it. Of all the "programs," "techniques," and "spiritual lessons," it all comes down to that one phrase, shaking my ass and saving my soul.
To shake my ass meant to have fun! To follow my bliss- to enjoy everything around me and always look for opportunities to make even the darkest situation light. To save my soul meant to be kind, to understand that everyone is doing their best at all times no matter what it looks like, and that if I'm doing my best too, I can forgive them and myself.
Shake Your Ass & Save Your Soul became my mantra, and just like a mantra in meditation or a catchphrase on WWE, I said it enough times over and over again until it became part of who I am. I knew it was working when other people started repeating it.
Just like the lyrics to a song can connect 100,000 people for 100,000 different reasons, or the words of a catchphrase like John Cena's can inspire a cancer patient to "never give up," words have power, and when you use that power in service to you and all those you share it with, you start to strike a chord.
You don't choose your catchphrase, your catchphrase chooses you. I didn't choose my birthday either, but I'm thankful it's 3/16.
When Stone Cold Steve Austin was at King Of The Ring and fighting Jake Roberts who frequently quoted John: 3:16 from the Bible, during a promo he iconically yet accidentally said, "Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!" I see that, Austin and I raise you, because "Alyssa 3:16 says, I just shook my ass..."
In loving memory of Marge Volpe