Not only shedding the stories that no longer serve you, but also discovering aspects of yourself you never considered as options before.
You’ve heard people in the new age personal development world talk about the stories that no longer serve you. Getting rid of them. Putting them down. Letting go of what you keep choosing to be burdened by.
Who are you if you get to erase your past stories and start from scratch?
Edit your pledge on Patreon
You’ve heard people in the new age personal development world talk about the stories that no longer serve you. Getting rid of those. Letting go of what you keep choosing to be burdened by and moving forward unburdened.
Every decision that you make about who you are traps you, boxes you in, ties you to concepts and ideas and expectations.
Even the good ones — especially those things that we’re proud of, that people laud us for — it defines what others ask of us. It defines what they expect of us. We become beholden to it.
Because even the most authentic persona is an archetype. It can be true while only being a part of you. And it's rarely all of someone.
People on reality shows are always bitching about being edited to look like the villain.
Their behaviour is villainous, their language, their motivations.There's some part of it there that's true that they actually did, and then this template of the TV drama villain is laid over them and everything else is trimmed away. And that's how they're edited to look like the villain.
There's some truth to it. There's some core of it. They brought the material to be that. They brought it forward from themselves and then, you know, with perspective and context, that can be exaggerated intentionally.
My persona here is an archetype — it's the wounded healer. Most of the guests on this show share that archetype, amongst some others that we have in common. But it's the wounded healer story.
You’ve heard my wounded healer story many times — I had a horrible medical situation pull the rug out from under me. I turned to spirituality to recover my life, and while doing that, I discovered that people were interested in my stories about how I did it. And it became my career.
It’s based in pain.
I don’t mind holding space for other’s in pain. I know a lot of people talk about being an empath and how difficult that is and I understand it. I guess I've just evolved some ways of dealing with that or protecting myself from it. I also have a lot of Scorpio in my chart and I think Scorpio people just sort of come wrapped in an ability to absorb that kind of energy.
I often say that if you have someone in your life that has Scorpio energy, that's a great person to talk to about something really difficult. Scorpio people have a capacity to take that in and transmute it for others. And not be so affected by it.
But until I recently started engaging in some purposeful reinvention, in a completely different unexplored business area, I didn’t realize how much more room for JOY I still really have in my daily life. Because my work and my projects and my writing and my podcasts and a lot of the stuff that I do is tied to the expectations of the archetype that I put out there as my personal persona.
And you know the soul searching I’ve been going through recently — It's pretty much been shared all season long. I was thinking as I went into all that, that it was really just about my personal life, about my romantic self. I have discovered that that process is showing me parallels, other things that are opening up as well.
I didn't explain that well.
The process of unearthing some of my stories, some of the stories that no longer serve me, and trying to evolve those or see what comes after them and move forward. I've realized that, oh, there are all these other boxes that can be opened up and gone through as well. And there are some similar themes and some parallel story lines kind of running in different areas.
So I opened up one box thinking, I'm going to concentrate on this box right now. Instead of doing, I ended up dragging all kinds of stuff out into the light to go through. And it's been a really positive thing. This has not been as painful as it's been exciting. Because for me, as an anxious person, nothing feels better than to get rid of something that's causing me anxiety. I'm really excited for some kind of relief.
I also love a project. I also love to do something new and something practical. I love to dig in and investigate and figure out what's going on and that in itself is a source of energy for me. So I don't experience this process of kind of therapy as a negative thing at all.
But in parallel, not only these parallel areas I can discover, but also just in parallel to my actual real life in the real world, new opportunities have come along in ways that I wasn't really expecting.
And I'm sorry. I hate when people Vaguebook. You know when they post on Facebook and they're like, "I've got this thing that's happening tomorrow and I can't really say what it is, but send me prayers" or whatever, and then you're just wondering, well what the hell is it. If you want my prayer for it, then I demand that you tell me what the hell is going on.
I'm very nosy like that. So don't Vaguebook with me because I resent it.
But I'm going to Vaguebook you a little right now because I have a new business opportunity, some new projects, and it really does require me to use a different name and be in a totally different area and for it to be disconnected from this one. You have to trust me that I can't reveal that here, not now anyway.
In order to do this, I really do require to become someone else. At least over here, in this other section of my life or whatever. And wow, this has been so much fun creating this. It never occurred to me to do this. It's been a long time since I put myself out there online and adopted this kind of facet of my life as the focal point for what I do.
I've been attached to this for 15 years now. I've gotten very used to being who I chose to be, and the idea that there was still something else that I could choose to do sort of never occurred to me. So anyway...
Naming is the most powerful spell in the world. It's Adam's task (that's what I call it). Humanity was given, in Genesis, we're talking myths here, the myth of Adam, humanity was given the job of naming everything in the world. That was our part in collaborating with the creator. Our language is built on this, which is a huge part of what makes us exceptional as a race, as a species, as a type of entity. Our technology is built on top of the language.
Right now, our language and our data and our command of words has become a kind of real magic. Information technology has created a very real form of spell crafting that we can see and wrap our heads around. We don't think of it as supernatural. We just think of it as really cool.
And naming in the spiritual realm has been a tradition in tons of human cultures. It's usually attached to rites of passage, movement into adulthood, marriage. There's often religious ceremonies built around naming. Seth and I used to attend pagan gatherings where many people took a new name for their spiritual life, to represent that transformation and that entry into that part of their lives, often to exclude some part of their life that was painful. Stories that no longer serve them, getting rid of those. In radical faerie pagan culture these were just called faerie names.
So when I speak about them to my friends that know what I'm talking about, I refer to faerie names as being the name you choose for yourself to represent who you want to be and who you're evolving into and becoming.
Now some of my mentoring students, professional intuitives, emerging healers, psychics, people who are trying to build a business similar to mine and putting themselves out there, online, are often worried that using a pen name is inauthentic, or that it's hiding, or that it's somehow going to dim their power. Yet for a lot of reasons, people need to sometimes protect their identity that they're doing work as a psychic, because maybe they also have another job that supports their family and which would cause them problems.
And I'm not here to judge anybody outing themselves that way. I think you can do both. I think it's perfectly acceptable when you have, as I do, with my jobs, different names related to different jobs and different businesses. And there are some very real marketing reasons for doing this. It's effective business choice. So it's not inauthentic to do that. You're not hiding who you are. Maybe you are protecting yourself or separating your identity in some way.
But I think the concept of using a pen name can actually be more authentic because it allows you to tap into this idea of choosing who you want to be. Choosing a name that represents a part of yourself that you want represented. You didn't have a choice probably in the name that you were given at birth. You may have legally changed your name or you may have adopted a nickname. You may have taken on someone else's name through marriage.
There's a lot of different reasons why people change their names and it's a really hard process. I was talking to a transgender friend of mine about the process of, that transition to a completely different sex allows a whole other group of names to be possible. So how do you make that choice? Anybody who has named a baby or named a puppy or a kitten or a business or anything, knows what a huge creative rabbit hole it can be trying to come up with something that suits.
And you sort of know it when you hear it. You can try on a million things that aren't quite right. And then there's one that's just... Yes. That's it. You know?
So we've all been through this process many different times. People often choose stage names simply because it's more beautiful than their real name. It has a cool ring to it. It looks better on a poster. It fits on a book cover. People can pronounce it. There's tons of reasons why you would choose to have a different name.
You may have run across people in the new age realm, especially personalities, teachers, psychics, who have added extra letters to their name. I know a handful of people who've done this and it is for numerology reasons. There are practitioners who can help you analyze your name and how changing the number of characters in certain places within your name can change the numerology, the energy signature of that name, and therefore supposedly affect your ability to manifest or change your vibration, your energy signature.
I've always had an uncommon name. I jokingly refer to it as a soap opera name. I went through phases of disliking it when I was little because it was different. People would sometimes point that out. And then as I got older, I started to embrace it as I started thinking of myself as someone who would do something like be an author. I liked having a cool name because I felt like it would distinguish me and sound like a pen name anyway.
People often ask me if Slade is my real name or if it's a chosen name. I always feel a little defensive about that because... No. My mom went through a lot of trouble to choose this name for me and I've been called this since before I was born. And I feel like somehow that's like some kind of platinum credibility or something.
But considering new names for myself now recently, approaching 50 years old, it really opened something up within me. Who would I be if I wasn't ME anymore? That was a really interesting box to open.
It's not about shame or about hiding. It's about liberation. Being someone else, someone new, on purpose. Intentionally.
So who are you if you get to erase all your past stories? Who are you if you start from scratch? Our vernacular is littered with clichés about the desire to do this.
But we barely do those things. We talk a big game.
But what if you picked some small way to be someone new. Hide in plain site. Do something nobody expected you to do. They actually won’t see you because they don’t know to look for you there.
What we notice is often tied to our expectations. You can be invisible simply by being somewhere nobody expects you to be.
What if you just engage in this as a thought experiment? Write it down, like a secret character in your diary. How far can you take this experiment? What do you find is a possible story for you if you don’t use any old stories?
So here are the rules, if you want to engage in this:
You can use true things from your life, true things about yourself — just ones that maybe people don’t know about. Maybe there's a hobby or an activity or a secret obsession you're really into that nobody even knows about at all. You can use stories from your past. Maybe you just use ones that you haven't shared before.
I know I have some stories that aren't sort of part of the most obvious flow of all my other stories. They sort of don't go. They got edited out. They got cut. But in their own right, those are interesting parts of my persona to explore or develop.
Think about these two writing prompts:
"If I had another lifetime, I’d be...
"I want to come back in another lifetime as...
People say these things, right? In daily life, you sort of throw that out there. If I had another life, I'd be a shoe and bag designer. When I come back, I'd want to be one of my mom's cats.
Use those as journalling prompts and sort of fill in those blanks. Just keep going. Jump off from there. If I had another lifetime, I'd be...
Go. For 20 minutes.
You’re so used to your old day dreams, it’s hard to pick a new one. It actually left me with a panicky feeling to set down some of my daydreams over here on the side while I engaged with entirely new ones. It left me feeling a little bit naked and exposed. But excited! About what I was discovering.
You know something that you could do is change your appearance. You can be photographed in your new persona. You can do a whole photoshoot. Like, here's me as this other person that I would be if I could be someone else.
I realized trying to come up with a new persona that it was really a kind of branding exercise. It’s the same thing you go through when you start a personal website, or blog, or YouTube channel.
But beyond that, it reminds me of creating a resume or a CV or writing one of those personal essays to get into school.
For decades, the hardest thing you ever write or create in your life is a RESUME. It's one of the worst days of your life, when you to write your resume. Now, that has evolved in this new century into the modern scourge known as …
… the ABOUT page.
Anybody who has attempted to create an About page knows the struggle.
Writing an About page that is funny and shows personality while still being professional and getting your archetype across and speaking to your avatar without sounding cheesy or like you’re trying too hard…
You’re always trying too hard when you make this kind of personal brochure version of yourself for the world.
I created an entire journalling exercise process as a training module for mentoring clients to help them write their About pages. It's part of a program I call Beyond Readings, which is an intuitive business development program. It's kind of like a graduate level marketing program for graduates of Automatic Intuition. But it's also open to people who haven't taken Automatic Intuition and maybe don't need that program.
Automatic Intuition Professional teaches you how to identify your professional practice as an intuitive, psychic, healer. Whereas some people come in that are interested in working with me on building their brand and building their business and getting more clients and creating income streams. And they already have a practice in place. They're already astrologers, they're already reiki masters, they're already doing readings and doing so professionally. So they've got that part down and they want to work on some of these marketing concepts and topics and flesh some of that out in their business.
So if that's you and you're interested in going through that process, you can definitely apply through Automatic Intuition on the website. Or you can just contact me and say, hey, I'm interested in doing some of that marketing work with you, and I'll get you there, explain what we do.
Within the Beyond Readings content, there is a module called Write Your Site and it's designed to trick you into creating all that above brilliant stuff that goes into the About page through a series of journalling prompts and little writing exercises. They're related to your values, your beliefs, your loves, your motivations, your dislikes, your disasters… They remind me of the kind of exercises you might find at the back of O magazine, or that you might find in a book of memoir writing prompts, if you like to take quizzes, this is much more in line with that kind of energy.
And it walks you through a formula — a recipe I call it — for creating the perfectly cool About page. So for example, you go through these writing exercises and then you take the recipes and it has instructions that say things like, go through the list of beliefs that you did in exercise #13A and choose your 3 favourites and write them down.
Okay. Now I want you to go to exercise #15 about the worst thing that ever happened to you in your life and I want you to pick your favourite paragraph. And it just sort of walks you through like that.
What it does is, it tricks you into writing and composing a complete document that has your own voice in it that's gone very deep into your sense of humour and your beliefs and your values, but then it's taken away all the frozen blank page sort of writer's block that accompanies something like trying to create an About page or resume. That's the idea of this concept.
There are also recipes for creating all the other kinds of pages on your site, like Service pages, Sales page, both short and long form. I was realizing as I was trying to come up with this new persona for myself, that I could do the Write Your Site exercises AS this other new persona and see what emerged from that.
So this won't be super evergreen. I try to keep these episodes and anything that I say within them as open to any time you might come along and listen to them. So depending on when you listen to this, as I'm speaking about this, I realize probably the easiest thing for me to do would be to make the Write Your Site module from that bigger program available as a Patreon Mastery level download.
So what I'm gonna do is put that into the Patreon Mastery Rotation of free downloads each month and if you're listening to this in May 2019, that will be the current free download, if you want to just try this process for yourself.
I can feel someone's out there going, "Ohmygod, yes, I'm trying to write an About page. Mine sucks. I need to do that."
If that's you, go to patreon.com/shiftyourspirits and get on the Mastery level of support there. It's always available as part of this other program that I mentioned to you. You can go to AutomaticIntuition.com. You can contact me there. You can also just email me or even Facebook message me. Tell me you're interested in it and we'll talk more.
The reason I wanted to share all this with you guys about the concept of re-inventing myself and re-inventing yourself is, I didn’t realize what could be uncovered spiritually by this exercise, this process.
I found parts of myself that I didn’t really know existed.
Fun parts. Joy that I haven’t been accessing.
What if you go just pretend to re-invent yourself?
Who could you be?
What you would choose to get rid of?
What you would choose to embrace?
I believe all creative, sensitive, intelligent people need a project. Outside of chores and responsibilities and jobs and commitments to others. A personal project.
Now, of course I’m doing this re-invention as a 3x3, so I'm doing it for 3 months. Maybe you make this your project for the month or so. Play with the idea just for the next week. You can do it entirely in your head. As I said, it's a thought experiment, but writing it down is good. That works for me.
You may find things that you want to manifest in your actual real life. Or your virtual one. And some of those things, I'm telling you, I'm surprised. I don't know why I'm surprised but I am.
Some of those things that I'm discovering are entirely new sources of joy and purpose.