Stop Writing From Your Heart…It’s Dangerous!

Stop writing right now. Disregard everything I’ve ever told you about speaking from your heart and expressing your truth.

It’s dangerous!

You just never know how people are going to take things. You might end up causing trouble, making waves or…worse.

Be careful what you write. Edit yourself heavily. Do not communicate any radical or potentially thought-provoking ideas.

People cannot handle it.

I really didn’t know. I’m sorry I’ve misled you all this time. But last week’s post on Sophie Scholl finally opened my eyes to the problem…and I will from here-on-out only write about safe topics like kittens, s’mores and Lady Gaga.

Well, maybe not kittens. Some people are allergic and that might upset them.

And maybe not s’mores. That might make people with gluten intolerance feel left out.

Lady Gaga should be a safe topic. Everyone likes her, right?

Here’s what happened…in an epic feat of irresponsibility, I wrote the following:

“There is no madman for us to point our fingers and say ‘This! This is the problem.”

A well-meaning chap took my musings the wrong way and decided to fill the gap:

So please, take a lesson from me and be very VERY careful about what you write.

…pfft!!

Labor Fool’s! (Did I getcha?)

Of course I’m not serious. The more madmen the better! This was just my way of introducing you to the latest edition of today’s holiday: Labor Fools’ Day.

Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894 following the bloody and infamous Pullman Strike.

Railway workers for the Pullman Palace Car Company had been complaining about low wages and 16-hour work days. They were also at the mercy of the company to provide food and shelter and thought it fucked up to have their wages decreased while their rent and living expenses kept increasing…all at the hands of the same corporation.

They organized a strike and all hell broke lose.

President Cleveland invoked the Sherman Antitrust Act against the workers claiming their strikes interfered with the U.S. mail’s delivery and represented a threat to public safety.

So the military, in the interest of protecting public safety, gunned down the workers killing 13 and injuring dozens more.

The public outrage was overwhelming and, 6 days after the massacre, President Cleveland tried to make nice by instating a national holiday in their honor.

Today the holiday is little more than a time to barbeque, drink too much and the last chance to wear white for the year.

But in a country where…

  • We rank 75th on the world’s income equality scale, totally pwnd by Bosnia, Pakistan and Ethiopia among others
  • Every art and music teacher I know is laid off because schools can no longer afford art education
  • The median household income continues to fall along with the value of the dollar itself
  • Countless hard-working citizens have had their life savings, retirement funds, social security and even their homes stripped from them because of corruption and greed

…what have we to celebrate?

It’s time to start asking some tougher questions than “Do you want cheese on your burger?”

What can we do, as a community, to begin the path back to a (more) fair distribution of wealth in this country?

How can we make things better for those hard-working Americans who don’t have enough to feed their kids a proper meal?

What can you do to begin to free yourself from the confines our current economy has placed on you?

Or do we just say ‘screw it’ and make it a day for burgers, beer and senseless pranks?

Please, share your thoughts below in the comments section.

 

Living Your Truth

Painting by Marc Nelson (http://marcnelsonart.wordpress.com/)

There are some people who walk this earth for such a short time yet leave such a huge impact, their names are never forgotten. Always, it is their words that immortalize their truth.

Sophie Scholl was a German university student during Hitler’s terrible reign. Along with several others known as the White Rose, she and her brother Hans organized a movement of passive resistance against the Nazis.

On February 18, 1943 Sophie and Hans were arrested for distributing pamphlets throughout the campus of the University of Munich. These pamphlets, the sixth in a series produced by the White Rose, called for non-violent protests to end the war.

The White Rose accused Hitler of mass killings (still little more than a rumor to many German citizens) and declared the war already lost.

It was treason.

It was also truth.

Sophie was a promising young woman. Intelligent, responsible, compassionate. During her trial the presiding “judge” expressed bewilderment at how such a well-bred German girl could get into such trouble.

But she stood tall throughout her interrogation. She stood in her truth and never backed down.

The night before her trial, Sophie had a dream.

It was a sunny day, I was carrying a child in a white dress to be christened. The path to the church led up a steep slope, but I held the child in my arms firmly and without faltering. Then suddenly my footing gave way … I had enough time to put the child down before plunging into the abyss. The child is our idea. In spite of all obstacles it will prevail.”

On February 22, 1943 Sophie Scholl was tried, convicted and beheaded along with her brother and their friend Christoph Probst.

As she walked to the guillotine, Sophie is quoted as saying

Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

…What does my death matter…

Sit with that a minute. The idea of inspiring thousands of people was more valuable to her than even her young life.

Fate would see to it that Sophie’s death was not in vain.

One of the infamous White Rose pamphlets was smuggled out of Germany and found its way into the hands of the allied forces.

Less than a year after her execution, millions of propaganda copies of Sophie’s pamphlet were dropped over Germany.

Her words poured from the skies like a cleansing rain. Her truth papered the war-torn streets, white-washing park benches and rooftops.

…The child is our idea. In spite of all obstacles it will prevail…

What obstacles stand in the way of your ideas? What prevents you from becoming a source of powerful inspiration for others?

Fear? Money? Depression? Lack of support?

The thing about this community we’re building here is, we all want to be a force of change in the world. I have yet to work with anyone who’s main motivation is not to leave the world a better place than when they arrived.

But our obstacles are often less corporeal than a sociopathic despot. There is no madman for us to point our fingers and say “This! This is the problem.”

No. We must face more elusive foes. Climate change. Corruption. Consumerism. And our own internal conflicts.

Still, we have much to learn from young Sophie’s faith and courage. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


[message type=”warning”]I was just reminded that Live Your Truth is the ever-awesome Elizabeth Potts Weinstein’s “tattoed-on catchphrase.” WHUPS! Goes to show that there are no original ideas. Especially here. I do only borrow from the greatest though. (Thanks for the poke, Chris and my apologies, Elizabeth.) [/message]

How to Piss Off Your List

 

 

I received an email last week that sent me off into a bit of a tizzy. I’m not proud of the way I reacted, but I do think there’s a lesson in it for us all.

While I was planning on writing a Susie Q. post to tell this tale, I decided that would be a tad disingenuous so I’ll just lay it all out to you.

It’s always a good idea to keep a handle on what everyone else is doing and I have dozens of subscriptions to other online marketers’ and copy writers’ sites. I open and at least scan them all (you’d be wise to do the same in your niche).

Last week I opened an email from a site I’d forgotten all about. It’s been months since I received anything from them. The letter began as follows (and I’m paraphrasing):

I haven’t used this list in forever, but my new project is so exciting I had to break my no-update rule and send this out…”

The email then quickly morphed into a sales letter for their latest product.

Now, you might be sitting there thinking “OK, Jenny, what’s the big deal?” But let me tell you, this letter bothered me more than any I can remember. I immediately unsubscribed and, when asked for feedback, I answered:

Couple things…you refer to “never using this list” which immediately sets a bad tone. Not a great way to speak to the individual subscriber (I’m not “a list” and I don’t like the thought of being “used”). Also, I signed up BECAUSE I wanted updates. The fact that you don’t like to send them out unless you have something to sell tells me bunches. I do wish you the best! It’s just not for me.”

I wish I had not unsubscribed and I also regret not sending a more personal and friendly email to this individual to express my feelings. The way I handled it was unprofessional and counterproductive. However, I think my knee-jerk response is indicative of how damaging this type of error can be.

The moment you refer to your readers/subscribers/list as such, you have alienated whomever you are speaking to.

Think about it…do you consider yourself to simply be one of “my readers?” Doesn’t the mere suggestion of that offend you on some level?

Your readers/subscribers/list are your friends. They are your fans. They are your supporters. Treat them accordingly and they may also become your customers.

 

Lost In Confusion – Part 2 of Why Your Customers Are Saying “No”

 

 

Little Susie Q. wanted to run a special offer to drum up sales at her purple panty website. It was the middle of summer, historically the slow period for purple panties. Susie always assumed it was because everyone skipped wearing their underwear during the hot season, just like she did.

Whatever the reason, she was determined to make this summer’s sales skyrocket. Susie set up a 3-for-1 sale on her site and waited for the orders to pour in.

And she waited.

But nothing happened. Not one visitor to her site took advantage of her special offer.

On the tenth day Susie threw her hands up in frustration, “What the hell is wrong with you people?!” she yelled into her monitor.

“Hey, now…” Adred mumbled from her pillow “Cat’s trying to get some beauty sleep here, Susie. Keep it down.”

Susie turned to Adred, “Why are people so dumb? I’m offering them THE purple panty deal-of-a-lifetime and they STILL won’t buy!”

Adred stretched her back, spread out her paws a bit and stood up. “Guess the cat’s not sleeping after all.” She harrumphed and sauntered over to the monitor that had apparently insulted Susie terribly. “What’s the problem exactly?”

“I set up this sale over a week ago and I haven’t received one stinking order. All they have to do is buy ONE pair and they get TWO MORE free! Can you imagine turning that down? Can you, Adred?”

Adred held up a paw. “Calm down, Susie, and just show me the page.”

Susie punched a few buttons and brought up the sales page. Adred read the copy aloud:

Greatest Purple Panty Sale Ever! Susie Q.’s first 3-for-1 Bonanza

Buy any one pair of our bikini bottoms, bikini brief bottoms or g-strings and receive two additional pairs of equal or lesser value.

Offer only good on sizes 3-6. Larger sizes receive a 2-for-1 offer but then have to buy one of our lacey purple panty bottoms to get a free bikini bottoms or g-string but NOT a bikini brief bottom…unless the larger size laced purple panty is from our Black Tie purple panty collection, in which case you can qualify to receive a bikini brief bottom for free.

Adred finished reading and just stared blankly at Susie for a few seconds.

“What?” Susie’s voice had gone from frustrated to sheepish. She knew that look. “What’s wrong with the page?”

“Did you ever hear the saying ‘A confused mind always says no?”

Susie shook her head ‘no.’

“It’s a fact. For some reason you humans are†wired to say ‘no’ to almost anything. But, when the human mind gets even the slightest bit confused, that ‘no’ becomes much more emphatic. You cannot make a sale if your pitch is at all unclear. Got it?” Adred didn’t wait for an answer but went back to her pillow and was instantly asleep again.

Susie looked at her sales page and thought about what Adred had said. She removed all the rules and “fine print” and just let the 3-for-1 offer stand. Almost immediately, orders began pouring in and Susie finally had her purple panty summer bonanza she’d been hoping for.

Keep your message clear and your offers clearer. Confusion kills sales. It’s clarity your people want. After all, isn’t it what we all want?

 

Why Your Customers Are Saying “No”

 

 

One thing that surprised me above all else when I began to study marketing theory is that the human mind is heavily wired to say ‘no.’

Ironically, I refused to believe this fact until maybe the fourth or fifth time I heard it. My mind continually said ‘no, that can’t be so.’ But it is quite true, indeed.

As human beings, we live in the space of No.

Think of those who pursue a spiritual path in life. They spend countless hours in prayer, meditation or other practice continually striving to embrace the Yes. Many have to work their entire lives to overcome our natural gravitation towards the No.

As you approach your copy writing, keep this fact close to your heart. It is your job to tackle all the no’s that stand in the way between you and your customers.
[custom_list style=”list-7″]

  • I can’t afford it.
  • I don’t have time.
  • It won’t work.
  • It’s not for me.
  • I can’t learn this.
  • You don’t understand me.

[/custom_list]
What other no’s are your potential customers likely to come up with? How can you show them the Yes?

Next time we’ll discuss the one state of being in which the human mind will ALWAYS say ‘no’ and how to avoid it in your marketing. Don’t miss it! Sign up in the big yellow box to stay updated (and get some great goodies to boot~!)


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Is Your Higher Purpose too Wooey?

 

 

Yes, the issue of woo has been broached here before. And you’ve heard me ask what’s so wrong with a little woo. But I have a confession to make…

I might have previously taken this question too light-heartedly.

See, I’m wooey…but I’m also a copy writer and an online marketing coach. These are not wooey services. I get to stay under the woo-radar while I ask all of you to let your woo-flags fly high.

Now, I’m not saying I was wrong and I’m not changing my advice either. I’m just exploring a deeper, and hopefully more insightful, way of understanding the challenges faced by the woo industry today.

[message type=”custom” width=”50%” align=”center” start_color=”#fffff7″ end_color=”#d7acd0″ border=”#d7acd0″ color=”#832674″]Yes, it is now officially an industry. Yes, simply because we say it’s so. Self-empowerment rawks.[/message]

Earlier today I had a conversation with the very talented Dianne from Spirit in Matters. Dianne has been struggling with a disconnect in her business. She is a seasoned astrologer, author and guide who feels called to a higher purpose: she wants her work to raise our collective consciousness.

This disconnect has been preventing Dianne from feeling fulfilled in her business. Wanting to continue to run a successful enterprise while feeling called to do something more was becoming a source of conflict. She’s also written a book that discusses her work on consciousness-raising but it hasn’t taken off yet. I suspected an unseen missing piece to the puzzle.

I asked her where the disconnect was originating. Was she unable to connect her astrology work with her higher calling? Or were others unable to make (or accept) the connections she was presenting?

After a few minutes of discussion it became clear that Dianne felt obligated to keep those two elements separated, lest people begin to think of her as too wooey. She didn’t feel comfortable making these connections for them. She has had an uphill climb to get the acceptance she has so far. To risk this can be some pretty scary shit, no doubt.

Entrepreneurs working in the woo industry have a lot of baggage to deal with. They have taken a great deal of abuse in past decades. They’ve been ridiculed by mainstream media, ostracized by churches and laughed at by their neighbors. These things hurt and leave behind collective pain bodies that are not easily overcome.

Now we have loud mouths like me coming around and insisting you go all “balls (or ovaries) out” with your woo in your marketing. I get it. It’s not always that easy.

But here’s why it’s so freakin’ important:

In today’s world, what I see developing from the magic of social networking is, in essence, a higher form of consciousness. Behind all the chatter can be heard the faint whisper of a collective song. A song of awakenings and new beginnings.

It’s what I have been referring to as The Quiet Revolution.

And this is why, my dearest, wooiest & most-kick-ass people of mine, it’s finally okay to truly and unapologetically be who you be.

People want what you have. They accept you for who you are and honestly respect the gifts you possess. There will still be people who scoff, doubt or mistrust. And at long last you get to say “Fuck ’em.” Because they will drain you and your business. As I advised my friend, the cost of accepting their money is too high.

Not to mention there are hoards of other people who WILL get you.

So it’s not only okay to let your woo shine through, you are absolutely obligated to do so. The world needs what you have and is crying out for it. Don’t let the pain bodies from our past or the fears of our future prevent you from following those “higher callings” right now, in this moment.

Once you do, I promise you will begin to feel more energized. Your creativity will flow more freely. Your intuition and trust will strengthen. And you’ll start to *really* love your business again which almost always equals mo’moneh.

PS: I’m not going to stop saying these things. Ever. Until they no longer need to be said. That is all. Oh! And I love you. Now that is all for real.

 

The Words We Use on Ourselves

 

 

Recently I talked about my past struggles which included a mental breakdown, and since then people have come to me asking how I got from there to where I am now. It’s a valid question.

After all, going from a psychiatric inpatient who likes to cut herself with broken glass to a stable and thriving entrepreneur sounds like no simple task. But it actually was simple. Not always easy, but simple.

Words have forever been a passion of mine. I wrote my first poem when I was 7. The nuns in grade school would routinely punish me for bringing in books that were “too big” and “too grown-up.” One nun’s criticism of me during a parent-teacher conference was “She reads too much and daydreams.” My mother asked why these were bad things and the meeting went predictably downhill fast after that.

I grew up assuming I had an intimate understanding of words…that I respected their power and appreciated the freedom they offered. Truth was I had NO idea what the fuck I was talking about. Not the first time this has been the case and probably won’t be the last.

Only after I had the emotional breakdown and began to step onto that long and winding road to recovery did I really grasp the true impact words can have on our life.

I’d never paid attention to the words I was using on myself.

I would study Emily Dickinson’s words for hours. I poured over Virginia Woolf at night before bed. I dissected sentence structures and plot outlines of all the greats including Bradbury, Tolkien and Rand. I wrote for the school paper, entered creative writing contests and feverishly jotted down notes for my first next great American novel.

All the while, in my almost-subconscious mind, there played an infinite loop of words broken into statements intending to tell the story of who I was. These words were ignored by me, assumed to be Truth and never examined or questioned. I could not remember a time when these word weren’t there. I certainly didn’t believe I’d put them there. They simply were.

But when so many years of internal verbal abuse finally took its toll, I was forced to take an honest and deep look at those words and their meanings.

Here were some, taken directly out of my workbook during my hospitalization in 2005:

You are worthless.”

“You do not deserve to feel better.”

“You do not deserve success.”

“You are fat and ugly.”

“You can’t handle difficult problems.”

“You should be afraid all the time.”

“You should not fight back.”

“You are a failure in life.”

I was more intimately familiar with these words than any other in my life. So familiar, in fact, that they just seemed to be stating the obvious. These words could not be argued with, there was no defense. They had beaten me down and proved their truth time and time again. I had no fight left in me.

Luckily, there was no need to fight.

What I learned during that time changed my life forever. There lies a simple solution to reversing the damage these words can inflict. Its beauty is its simplicity:

I had the ability, and the right!, to change those words. I had the option, and the power!, to rewrite my story. The problem and its solution where the same. These words have immense power and can be used for healing as much as hurting.

So simple. But not always easy. As I began to work on my internal story rewrite, I discovered that I was very, VERY attached to these old hurtful words. They covered me like a warm security blanket. As long as they were true, I didn’t have to do shit.

Until the misery of not doing shit outweighed the fear of change.

Once I succumbed to this simple truth: that the words we use on ourselves are the most important words in the world, my life began to transform.

Today, I am totally free from those old stories and have written bright, shiny new ones. You can see them manifest here, on the blog and when we speak together one-on-one. There is a lightness and joy in my life that could only have come from taking the time to rewrite my story. And having the patience to quietly soothe the angry egoic fear that had been riddling my consciousness for so long.

Are there any old stories you’re holding onto like a warm blanky?

Do you have any unpleasant messages playing in your mind that you hesitate to let go of? In my experience, these tend to be the words…the ones we know are damaging but for some weird reason FEEL SO GOOD…that have the biggest impact on your life. Because these are the words you’ve really become attached to as Truth.

My dearest love, if there’s one thing my soul aches for you to know it’s that not only are those words untrue, they are complete and utter bullshit. Now, let’s get to that rewrite, shall we?

 

Why Cunnilingus and Crafts Don’t Mix…

 

…In A Blog’s About Page, Anyway

Little Susie Q.’s big sister, Janet, wants to run a successful blog instructing men (and women, too…Janet’s no prude) on how to perform the ultimate, most epic act of cunnilingus.

She does everything right. She sets up a beautiful blog with tons of funny and informative content. Her posts speak directly to the type of people she’s wanting to attract to her business.

In addition to the tons of content and self promotion, Janet spends hours each week writing great guest posts for other blogs in her niche. She’s read somewhere that it’s a good idea to link to your About page sometimes so she crafts a nice bio for the posts explaining what her site’s about and adds the link.

Soon, Janet is getting TONS of traffic to her site. But her bounce rate is in the upper 80%, her list has seen no growth and sales of her ebook have not taken off.

Let’s see if you can figure out why…

Janet’s About Page:

[message type=”custom”]Welcome! I’m Janet and I like to craft in my free time. Scrapbooking is my number one passion, knitting my second. I spend a lot of time alone now because I recently broke up with my boyfriend, Jimmy. Well, broke up with him again. There was Timmy in between but that didn’t work out either. Anyway, I figured maybe if those guys could go down better, things might have worked out. So I started this site. Oh, I also LOVE reading romance novels and hosting tea parties.[/message]

Not quite The Queen of Cunnilingus we had hoped for. But her failure to present herself as a respectable authority here isn’t her most fatal error. She has also completely disregarded her audience and what they would want to know about her. I’m guessing it ain’t which crafts she likes best.

Today when a potential customer comes to your blog and checks out the About page, they don’t care as much about your hobbies, when your cat died or why you hate your ex…unless your niche is around hobbies, dead cats or wankers.

They want to know what YOU can do for THEM.

It’s a bit of a slippery slope here because they still do want to know about you. It’s just that the context is shifted. They only want to know about you as far as it helps them see why they may want to buy from you.

3 questions to give you some fodder for your About page:

1. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Best not to approach this question like Janet. Think about your perfect people as you ponder the answers.

2. What is your innovation? Don’t tell people how you can “help them,” explain why your innovation is so powerful.

3. Which of my problems can your innovation solve? Be careful here, this needs to be specific. Stuff like, “I can show you the way to your dream life.” or “I can help you find happiness.” notsomuch.

A few personal biographical details woven through the answers to these questions is a very nice touch. I added an Aboot Me section to my page where I offer some trivial knowledge about my likes, hobbies, etc. This lets people get to know me a little better, but only if they want to. The juice of the page is in the beginning.

Be sure to list your strongest selling points and a few testimonials never hurt either. Reach out and speak in your own voice, but keep your perfect people close to your heart as you do.

PS: You may be asking, but what about my “Is This You Page?” Doesn’t this cover it? I have some thoughts on that, um, marketing strategy too.

PPS: I also think About pages are a great thing to revisit regularly. Truth be told, it’s time to spruce mine up. So if there’s anything you’d like to know aboot my business, or aboot me, leave it in the comments section and I may include it in the new revision.

 

How Childhood Sexual Abuse Made Me a Better Coach

 

 

 

I have lived through the unfortunate experience of childhood sexual trauma. I am not a victim nor a survivor. I am merely a person who experienced the same terrible thing as so many other children in our world.

Believe it or not, this has made me a much better coach than I could ever be having not gone through these experiences. I realize this might not make much sense to you yet, but bear with me and youíll see why.

Borderline Personality Disorder

“Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others. These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001931/

As I grew into a young woman struggling with anxiety and depression, the root causes never being addressed, this was my diagnosis for years.

The “treatment” for the disorder involves massive amounts of sedatives, second generation Thorazine drugs and huge doses of anti-depressant cocktails. It is impossible to function as a normal human on these medications.

I would argue with the doctors and therapists, insisting this diagnosis not only made no sense for me, it didn’t seem to make any sense at all as far as I could tell.

They’d say, “But you are a poker player. You like risky behavior.”

Yes, but roulette is risky. Not poker. Unless you’re a sucky poker player. I was not.

“And you have a history of impulsive and dangerous sexual behavior.”

Yep, got me again. I like sex. A lot. But his using the word “dangerous” was an implication that my sexual behavior had been a contributing factor in the two rapes I experienced a few years prior. Bollocks. Complete and utter bollocks.

“And you cut yourself.”

Ouch. This one I could never argue with. Because if that wasn’t crazy behavior, I don’t know what is. The scars don’t lie.

“It makes my brain quiet down. Sometimes you just need quiet, you know?” I’d try to explain and fail.

And slowly I unraveled. Like a roll of paper towels, the more I unraveled the faster it went. One day I was a successful corporate executive and the next just another blank stare at a partial-care (a.k.a. suicide-watch-baby-sitting) facility’s group therapy meeting.

In my mid 30s I had a complete and total mental breakdown. It is not something I would wish on anyone. Not. Anyone. It is to stare into the face of hell and come back again.

To live through it is to be born for a second time (no, not in the Christian way. I’m a witch, they don’t want me). It is truly a second chance at life.

Once I finally made the commitment to get better, even though I had no idea what “better” looked like, things started happening.

Magic started happening.

I was working on some niche sites back then hoping to ride the Google welfare wave and had purchased an automated link building program…cos link building really was that easy back then.

One day as I was going through the log I found a site for the Women’s Institute for Incorporation Therapy (WIIT) in Hollywood, Florida. Weird, because this had absolutely nothing to do with the search queue I’d entered the night before. I checked out the site.

It was the answer. Their site described my symptoms and struggles with spooky accuracy. They explained how these were normal reactions to abnormal childhood events. They said that neither medication nor traditional therapy was likely to help but they had developed techniques which would. They did not mention “borderline personality” anywhere.

This was the place I needed to be. I read every word on that site and contacted them first thing the next morning.

“No meds. You have to be completely med-free while you’re here.”

What?! OK, calm down. They know what they’re doing. No meds. I can do this. OK.

“And we’ll need a deposit. 50%.”

Well that settles it. 50% of a four-week hospital stay plus airfare to southern Florida was just not in the cards for me. I thanked her remorsefully and hung up.

Mind you, according to all official documents I was still technically Borderline Personality Disorder incarnate. So of course I was still playing poker. Mostly online because I looked like death warmed over and was not in a rush to drive to a crowded casino full of men. But I still played like a mother-luvin’ demon.

And I won!

That night I won five figures. And the next night, I won again. Another five figures. And would you believe on the third night I placed second in a tournament of 5,000 players? It’s true. Even though I still have a hard time believing it myself.

Apparently I had been mistaken and this trip was indeed in the cards for me. Quite literally.

Later that week I called WIIT a second time, gave them my credit card information and booked a flight to Florida. My return ticket was open ended and I had a posh hotel in South Beach picked out for my eventual release.

Not only would I get the care I needed, I would indulge in some old fashioned recuperating by the sea after my ordeal was over.

I never felt more alone.

One of the hardest and most terrifying things I ever did was to check myself into that hospital. The weeks I spent at WIIT were the longest weeks of my life. But I worked hard and learned their techniques and for the first time in my life experienced an almost total reversal of my symptoms.

Being there also helped me gain perspective. Some women shared stories of being tortured by their abusers, some in unimaginably cruel and ritualistic manners, for their entire childhoods.

While we all bore the physical scars of self-abuse, one woman’s forearms were riddled with repeated third degree burns from her iron, tea kettle or anything hot enough to melt flesh. She was a beautiful young mother, and in such agony it broke my heart.

In addition to the scars and their root causes, we all had one other thing in common: we had all been previously diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Today I am a happy, healthy and (relatively) well-adjusted middle aged woman who no longer carries the burdens of her past on her back. I am successful at whatever I set out to accomplish and I no longer take pleasure in self abuse or sabotage. The voices in my head, once so ceaselessly loud and hateful, are now peaceful and supportive.

According to the prognosis, Borderline Personality Disorder MAY show mild improvement ONLY after long-term treatment. This prognosis is obviously bullshit, as is the diagnosis.

So here’s what I’d like to say:

To Women – If you or someone you know has been labeled with this bullshit diagnosis, know that you are not crazy. You are perfectly healthy. Your mind is still reacting to memories which it cannot yet distinguish from reality. You will heal. But you have to take the first two steps: commit to the healing and reach out for the help that will heal you.

To Doctors & Therapists – If you diagnose one more woman as Borderline Personality and recommend she medicate her symptoms “away,” I will come to your office and publicly humiliate you, you lazy sod. That is all.

To Everyone – YOU get to write your own story. No one else. Never accept the labels, limitations or liabilities others may try to pin on you. They do not have that right.

What This Means For You

Whatever your past, whatever your pain…it is your choice right here in this moment what to carry with you and what to leave behind. The power is yours. The freedom is yours. And…here’s the really scary part…the responsibility is yours.

Iíve been through the front gates of hell and back out the other side. The clarity I gained from that trip transformed my pain into a treasured gift. A gift I can offer to others.

This is why I call them Conjuring Clarity Sessions. It is something that I want to give, that I enjoy giving. While itís true you get to write your own story, a little help finding your voice and the right (magic) words can make all the difference.

Thatís why Iím here, now, doing what I do. And it’s also why my schedule is filling up so quickly I’m either going to have to raise the rates (again) or make people wait awhile…or both. But unlike the struggles from my past, these are GOOD problems to have!

 

Are You a Transpersonal Undoing Agent, Too?

Aha is a spiritual guru who classifies himself as a “transpersonal undoing agent” which doesn’t make much sense until you listen to his message.

[message type=”custom” width=”50%” align=”center” start_color=”#fffff7″ end_color=”#d7acd0″ border=”#d7acd0″ color=”#832674″]I was turned onto him while watching a documentary, The Nature of Existence.

I’m a whore for documentaries of every kind on any subject. So if you know any great ones feel free to suggest!

Back to Aha…[/message]

He is a massive man, literally. He has such huge man boobs and such a soft voice, I thought at first he was a bearded lady. He’s also quite beautiful. He says, with arms spread wide, the meaning of life is “to be radiant as fuck.” I ask you…what’s not to love about this guy??

When asked about destiny this was his reply:

“In all cases, whatever direction you go, whether you end up swept away by fate or recognized as some great hero of destiny…you’re gonna be fuckin’ forgotten. And to know you’re going to be forgotten…and to do it anyway…is the definition of courage.”

Courage

 

Courage, from the Old French word corage meaning “heart, innermost feelings” and replaced the Old English word ellen meaning “zeal, strength.” It is one of those gummilicious words with an allegorical meaning, inner strength, born from its evolution. The word itself becomes poetic.

Time and trade have transformed this word into so much more than its meager beginnings. In Middle English (c.1100 – c.1500) courage was used more broadly for “what is in one’s mind or thoughts.” These thoughts could be of bravery, but also pride, confidence, envy and lust.

A quick glance at modern quotes on the word courage shows the vast differences in interpretation from one person to the next.

For many of us, courage is what we seek. It’s why we meditate and/or communicate with our internal selves. It’s why we seek out coaches and therapists and mentors.

Courage gets all bound up in the depths of our egoic minds, twisted and ensnared by all our insecurities. And yet it’s the only thing that can really free us.

Aha’s assertion implies that courage requires action rather than search. That courage is not going to magically arise and dispel all our fears and roadblocks. These things will always be there.

That courage is in doing it anyway.

 

What small but courageous step towards your destiny can you take today?

More Aha: