Prize draw!

Buy a monster session before midnight on Friday (I’m not going to quibble about whose midnight if you’re in a different time zone :) and I’ll enter you into a prize draw to win five (five!) free sessions. That’s a prize worth… £440?

Names for the prize draw will be placed in this hat. This is the CatHat :) You can’t really see in the photo, but I sewed a little cat face on it.

cathat

(Edit: You don’t have to HAVE the session today! Just pay today and have monsters whispered whenever you like.)

Monsters, and why I love them

This is something I wrote on a forum to explain what I do. I thought it wanted  reposting here. :)

I’m a monster whisperer – I talk to people’s negative inner voices, aka ‘monsters’. You know, the ones that scream at you that you’re DISGUSTING or USELESS or DOOMED TO FAIL or WHY CAN’T YOU JUST ACT NORMAL (I bet many of us have heard that one…) It’s a unique, playful and loving form of therapy and I’ve had people experience big life changes from just one session. Plus weird side-effects like getting cured of compulsive lateness when we hadn’t even discussed that!!

Our monsters are part of us, and however hateful they sound, they secretly love us and are trying to help us. They just don’t understand that screaming at us isn’t helpful. They often come from early childhood, and their picture of the world hasn’t evolved since. They still feel the pain that we felt then, constantly, and the one purpose of their lives is to protect us from it. They scream at us because they’reterrified for us. They desperately need to be heard, loved, and gently shown that there are other ways of seeing things and other ways to help.  And when this happens, they transform themselves. Their true love nature comes out and it’s absolutely tearjerkingly beautiful.

I love monsters. I really do. They’re so full of love and pain, and most of them have never had a kind word spoken to them, and every single one of them holds a beautiful secret inside them. When I do a session I send love energy not only to the person I’m working with, but also to their monster. It really works. I’ve seen the most ferocious monsters melt in tears and shyly ask their person for a hug. It’s a vivid demonstration (ha, deMONSTRation!) of the truth that when you get right down to it, it’s all love. Everything.

ANNOUNCEMENT! I am putting my prices up in one month!

My prices are going up on April 11th!

When I started this business, I chose the prices using Mark Silver’s resonant pricing technique, with the help of my friend Andy Dolph of Binaural Journeys. And then freaked out in hysterical tears because I was terrified of money and the prices we came up with seemed unbearably high to me. Andy suggested starting with a half-price introductory offer. I seized on this gratefully and made everything half-price for a month. And then another month. And then… ooh, most of the first year of my business.

Now I’m slightly (slightly!) less terrified of money, a lot more aware of what people are happily paying for similar stuff (well, similar-ish – there are no other professional monster whisperers yet!) and a million times more confident that what I do works. It finally feels like the right time to start charging the resonant price.

I’m doing this with a month’s warning so that if you think you might want to get it while it’s cheap, you’ll have plenty of time to decide whether that’s right for you and sort out money. I’ll be posting reminders (and probably talking to my own money monsters in public!) but I’m not going to do any OMG-buy-now-or-else pressure sales, because I don’t want anyone to buy monster sessions under pressure. For one thing, ugh, and for another, I suspect those sessions wouldn’t go so well. I want people to come to me for help because they’re ready, not because I rushed them into thinking they were with clever sales talk. And if you’re worried about taking the time to be ready because you’re not sure you can afford the new prices, remember I do offer the option of paying by instalments (and I will definitely not think less of you for taking that option, trust me. :) )

I shall be known as… OVER-PREPARED MAN!

I have a pattern of being underprepared for things and then panicking. I also have a pattern of having DREAMS about being underprepared for things and then panicking. One night, in the middle of one of these, I suddenly started thinking coherently about a way to destuckify this pattern…

‘I’m going to experiment with being OVER-PREPARED MAN!’ I thought. A secret superhero identity!

This is great for me because I have ludicrous fear popcorn about being prepared in case it makes me a boring grown-up. (Even in Brownies I always failed pocket check.) But clearly I can’t be a boring grown-up while playing at being a superhero!

I imagine Over-Prepared Man as very cartoonish (if I were going to do a voice for him I’d use the Tick as a starting-point) and covered from head to toe in a wildly clashing assortment of weaponry, armour and paraphernalia – including, in homage to Alice’s White Knight, a bunch of carrots and a beehive.

White Knight

All you can really see of Over-Prepared Man is his superheroic chin and cheesy KA-CHING! grin. He likes to leap in enthusiastically and shout, ‘This looks like a job for… OVER-PREPARED MAN!!!’

I usually don’t interview Over-Prepared Man so much as take on his mindset when I want to over-prepare for something. Like last weekend, I went on a coaching skills course (which I’ll probably rave about in more detail later) and it was entirely thanks to Over-Prepared Man that I was able to get ‘socially acceptable business-person’ outfits for both days laid out by Friday night AND arrive on time both days, suitably groomed and carrying a packed lunch and a stash of business cards. Let’s just say punctuality does not come naturally to me.

Punctuality is really on my mind at the moment, because I want to start volunteering with Carefree Kids, a local charity that does play therapy with troubled children. Not surprisingly, they’re sticklers for punctuality (just imagine the emotional impact of letting down a vulnerable child.) This is a real challenge for me. I have ISSUES around being on time, because I was savaged by a timetable when I was four (I’m only half joking!) This looks like a job for… OVER-PREPARED MAN!!

I’ve realised that part of the magic of being over-prepared is not having to be exactly the right amount prepared. Not having to do x at exactly y o’clock. Not having to follow anyone’s schedule. Not being timetabled! I can get around my fear of being timetabled if I let myself do each step any time within a big fuzzy timezone. Getting ready to leave any time before I need to, so then leaving is just leaving, not a daunting agglomeration of washing-dressing-eating-journeyplanning-packing-leaving that all has to be done right now or else. And then leaving the house any time before I need to, so it’s not having to leave right now or else.

This also works really well with going to bed. I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who sometimes stays up late because they’re too exhausted to contemplate brushing teeth and finding pyjamas :D (a problem that only gets worse the later it gets!!) Getting ready for bed any time before I need to solves that.

However, today I ran into an extra layer of trouble. I’m an introvert. This doesn’t mean I’m shy or don’t like people – far from it!! It means I recharge by being alone and expend a lot of energy when I’m with people (brilliant explanation here, which wins points both by using a hamster ball metaphor and by saying that ‘introverts give energy on social contact’. I’m giving people energy!) It also means I’m scared of the cleaner. Yes, really. She’s perfectly lovely, I’m just not so good with the COMPLETE STRANGER IN MY HOUSE thing. So today, I was late for a meetup with a friend because it involved these four steps:

1) Leave room.

2) Walk past THE COMPLETE STRANGER IN MY HOUSE AND MAYBE HAVE TO INTERACT WITH HER. Exposure!!

3) Leave house (more exposure!)

4) Commence social interaction.

ALL of these were setting off my introvert buttons. It was only after the cleaner left and I felt able to creep out of my hole that the Over-Prepared Man solution came to me. If I need to leave the house on a Tuesday, I can leave before the cleaner gets here. I can hang out in, say, the library, a cafe, or a pub until it’s time to go to where I’m going!

AND THEN I realised I could apply this to any house-leaving situation. So step 3 (leave house) and step 4 (commence social interaction) would be separated by a nice restful sit down with a book or laptop. Leaving the house would be easier because it wouldn’t be leave-house-commence-social-interaction. And leaving the library/pub/cafe would be easier than leaving the house because I’d already be in public and most of the way to my destination.

It’s all about SEPARATING THE STEPS! And pausing! (Paws!) Get ready (paws!) leave house (paws!) commence social interaction! AND it’s all about doing each step in my own time, because doing it early counts as doing it in my own time!

Wow, I can apply this to so many other things now… How would OVER-PREPARED MAN approach the transcribing work I’ve been not-doing while writing this blog post? I wonder…

I got heraldrybunnied

This happens to me sometimes. It’s like getting ‘plotbunnied’, where you have an intense urge to write a story, except I get an intense urge to make up a coat of arms. This particular bout of knight-in-shining-armoury was brought on by joining Challenge Accepted, which is the ULTIMATE in dorky, mock-heroic, playful, celebratory, self-loving productivity-geeking, and quite literally makes any job a game. I would highly recommend this, especially if you’re at all into fantasy or gaming, but even if you’re not.

So today I made a coat of arms for Monster Talk.

By Zigeuner     English: Picture made for the Blazon Project of French-speaking Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Starting from the middle, we have our monster. This dragon (or strictly speaking, wyvern, since it’s got two legs) is depicted tails nowed. It’s got its tail in a knot! THIS IS SUCH A PERFECT DEPICTION OF TANGLED STUCK EMOTIONS I CAN’T EVEN.

In heraldry, green is the colour of love and hope. So the wyvern is green to show that our monsters love us and can change.

The heart symbolises the loving, safe and judgement-free space in which monster-whispering takes place. This fierce-looking monster is completely surrounded by the white light of pure love. And he needs it too, they always do.

White in heraldry symbolises truth, sincerity and peace, which works perfectly even though the actual reason I picked it is that the only other colour allowed next to green and purple would be yellow. Frankly, this coat of arms looks enough like it fell in a vat of toxic chemicals as it is. :}

And then we have purple. Why purple? Because in heraldry, purple is the colour of sovereignty! Get it?

The blazon of this coat of arms would be, ‘Purpure on a heart argent a wyvern tails nowed vert flammant gules.’ I think.

OFFER!/Squee/Inspiration for bloggers

First off: I have a first-come-first-served OFFER! I am offering two bargains to just one person each! Three monster sessions for £120 (was £160) or six sessions for £200 (was £300.) Contact me to get ‘em while they’re hot!

And secondly: it seems that people are actually talking about my blog on the internets! In a positive way!

The other day, a new client approached me because she’d found me via comments on Captain Awkward, who is this hilarious right-on, emotional-genius agony aunt who I LOVE. So obviously I was thrilled. And then today somebody pointed me at this, which has appeared SINCE then. Apparently my demographic overlaps with Captain Awkward’s quite a lot :D

(NB that there’s a picture of Atreyu at the top of the post, which is so meaningful to me it’s almost up there with Luke Skywalker, Mary Poppins and dogs.)

So that would be one complete stranger posting about how my blog helped them start talking to their own monsters and not going into guilt spirals, followed by two other complete strangers saying that they are all like, breaking huge long-held assumptions down and changing things around in their way of thinking because of my blog! And somebody also linked to Havi, which I’m so happy about because Havi is literally the entire reason this website exists, and if you like my blog your mind will be BLOWN by hers, trust me.

I was also thrilled to find that this very interesting complete stranger had been inspired by, and adopted, the word gendersilly from my blog!

So obviously I’m all squeeing and feeling good about myself, and there is a serious point here as well. (Wait, no. I think squeeing and feeling good about oneself is a profoundly magical and mystical thing that literally makes the world a better place, so it’s VERY serious in the most light and joyful way!! Anyway.) The other point is that, dude. People’s lives. Changing. Because of things I said.

I’m sure everyone assumed this was obvious to me and I knew it was happening, and I did on some level, but I’ve just realised it more profoundly and in a new way because epiphanies are stoopid.

The takeaway (nom!) for anyone who has a blog that they’re trying to use to, I don’t know, say important things or shine light into the world or help others, and who maybe doesn’t get all that many comments on that blog, is…

You are doing much more good than you know.

It’s worth keeping going. (Not ‘you have to keep going otherwise it will be your fault that all that good isn’t getting done.’ That’s just depressing and icky.) It is worth keeping going because, oh, I’m going to quote Superman. You are much stronger than you think you are. All these ripples that you can’t see are spreading out from what you do. Complete strangers, invisibly to you, are happier, or more aware, or seeing new perspectives, or doing things differently right now because of what you do. And those complete strangers are interacting with other complete strangers, who are catching the goodness from them. Maybe walking away just a mite happier than they otherwise would have, maybe changing their whole worldview. Who knows? It’s happening… The world is changing because of you. Sparks of light are rippling out and out beyond what you can see, lighting little stars all over the world… It is SO worth doing what you do. Okay? Believe me. :D

I would like to note that the tags for this post are ‘love and monsters’, which is the title of a really good Doctor Who episode, but then I’d have to add a ‘geek’ tag and that would spoil it. Oh, wait.

Join me in a thing?

I’m doing a thing that’s really important to me, and I’ve just posted about it on my Godblog.

I normally avoid getting my religion all up in your monster talk, because the last thing I want is for this to come off as the Holy Site for Holy Monster Talking and No Atheists. ACK!

I just wanted to mention this one thing because it’s about destuckification, and some of you might want to join in, and I just can’t not.

Multifaith destuckificational prayerfest (or goodthoughtfest if that’s how you roll!)

http://bit.ly/OmUksC

Geekout

No, this is not about the VERY exciting news coming in from Comic-Con today…

I just received an email from my friend Casby and had to share (with his permission, of course):

How are the monsters? I keep thinking of you as being like the Ghostbusters i.e. you must have a high voltage laser containment system in your room at Abi’s place, where you are storing all the monsters you’ve caught. Then you’ll get more and more requests for sessions until you realise that an Elder God is actually entering this dimension and you’ll need to fight them off by spelling words with E before I until the internets explode and the God is banished back to there own universe :)
 
Peter Mayhew will be the Keymaster and Carrie Fisher the Gatekeeper.
 
I’ll switch references and request that you don’t try to kidnap the Enterprise to take it to the centre of the Galaxy and meet a fake God :D