The Free Value-Add Giveaway

This post is about offering something free to visitors who subscribe to your email marketing list.

If you’ve been hanging out on the web for a bit, chances are you’ve visited a website that offers something to download for free. But before you get your thing-y, you must provide your name & email address.

Open For Business

Many people believe that once their website is built, their customers will come. Like putting up a huge banner on a storefront that says, “OPEN FOR BUSINESS.”

Then we sit around, watching our phones, inboxes and wonder… where all my perfect customers?

It gets quiet and stays quiet.

And so we, really me (I’ll cut the crap, cough it up and admit that all the we’s are really me’s) begin re-reading and re-writing web copy, install Google Analytics so we I can see exactly what is not happening down at our my electronic storefront and since we’re I was busy being busy—doing business-related stuff—it felt like work.

Busy work. Not busy-getting-paid work. Sigh.

Now leaving Corporate America, welcome to Oz

This is when it dawned on me that I wasn’t in Experian Kansas any longer.

I wasn’t building huge e-commerce web sites where the audience was captive.

Meaning, most of the bill-paying population needed/wanted their credit report, at some point in their adult lives.

Back in Kansas, people were basically signing on, clicking buy and boom! Transaction. Conversion. Ding Ding! Dollar signs. Like millions of them. And the product itself (at the time) only cost something like $12.95.

How did they do that? Or rather, how do I do that?

Understanding your business

Here’s the thing… before I went running down the path of “how do I do that?,” I really needed to understand the kind of business I had.

Because I’m not selling credit reports here. Neither are you.

Most entrepreneurs are selling something else, but it’s not a widget or gadget that needs to be manufactured and shipped. And it’s often something whose results can’t easily be measured, with analytics and facts.

In terms of what an entrepreneur is selling, there is a before and after. There is something to measure. It’s just not going to easily fall out in black & white on your computer screen by doing a S.W.O.T. analysis.

Knowing what you’re selling as an entrepreneur is super important. What it is, who it’s for, how it helps.

Knowing what you’re selling helps you speak it clearly. And clarity is resonation.

Resonation (with words) is like goose bumps, without the actual goose bumps.

It grabs your attention.

And when you can write this way, you’ll have all the business your heart can hold. I think it’s important to mention the heart here because I believe everyone can learn to write and connect in this authentic way.

Since we all have hearts. 🙂

Understanding what exactly you sell

Sound bite Shaman Isabel Parlett was one of the first people I remember experiencing this level of resonation while reading her web content.

When I discovered her, I had recently slung together the first few words to describe myself & what I offered to the world. I could feel that my message needed polishing & refinement. There was a way to make things clearer, for my clients and for me too!

And Isabel promised to help me find the words to rock the world. And she also helped me understand that the kind of business I had was not like Experian at all.

Entrepreneurs online today sell the realization of a dream. If you are any kind of coach or consultant (or solopreneur), you sell transformation.

Which is not a credit report with a captive audience. Which is why figuring out how to apply what Experian was doing, so I could do it, wasn’t really the best approach.

In order to get your inbox/phone to blow up with requests to be transformed or realize a personal or professional dream, it really takes establishing a few critical things before someone is ready to do that kind of work with you.

Trust. Expertise. A clear definition of what they can expect to get working with you.

And the most frequently overlooked element in the beginning, and a biggie, is learning to clearly identify and write about the transformation-seekers problem(s). What’s stuck for them? And how can you freely give or demonstrate the type of value you can add to their life or business or that helps them realize a dream?

Transformation has a much longer sales cycle. Not visit, click, buy, ka-ching!

Learning this difference was huge for me and my business. And how I wrote everything, from that point forward, was affected.

Helping your customers understand your value offerings

How does an entrepreneur build trust & demonstrate her expertise? With a free value-add giveaway. It’s for helping transformation-seekers or your perfect customers, cross that “transformation services” chasm—that one between Visit and Buy.

It’s for helping your perfect customers get a feeling for the work that you do, in a very low-risk way.

It’s for building your brand and establishing your expertise.

It’s a place for putting their problems or challenges down in writing (so they can see themselves) and for you to help them solve them.

Part of the process when you create a web presence will involve building a marketing list. Your community of perfect customers.

The most common method we see online is to install a widget in your sidebar that captures a name and email address.

And to further the interest in becoming a member of your community, there’s the familiar offer of a free pdf download. A taste before you buy.

I’ve had some great experience with creating lists and offering freebies in this way. At one point, there were up to three free pdf downloads I offered, and nearly everyday, someone downloaded one (or all three).

In essence, if you create your freebie… they will come.

A couple of questions to get you started thinking about creating your own freebie:

  • What is already right under your nose that you take for granted or think is silly or not good enough? I’m flashing a neon sign at it right now. It says “Look Here.”
  • Coaches & consultants are often teachers also. We present our ideas to others & help implement them. If it’s easier to talk/teach, consider offering a teleclass & record it. 60-minutes will do ya. Then transcribe the recording.
  • If you already have a blog, write a blog post series on something specific about your subject of expertise. This is also called a List Post and is one of the best strategies for getting your ebook written, one post at a time. And it’s how my own ebook Web Presence Essentials began.

Is this you?

“I have no idea where to begin with creating my freebie. None!”

“I have a few ideas, but haven’t really finalized them.”

“I’ve got my freebie written and ready to go, I just need help getting it integrated into my web presence & delivered to my community (via my email marketing list).

“I want to understand what tools you used, get help using my own tools so I can begin/finish writing my own ebook.”

Then it sounds like you may be ready for some WordPress & online business consulting with me »

“I want a web presence so I can have a place to put my stuff: freebies, ebooks & otherwise.”

I’d suggest checking out my new ebook & my custom web presencing package »

“My web presence is a mess Mynde. I need your expert help with evaluating everything I’ve been up to and/or how to do it better or shift into a new direction.”

You’re probably ready for a Strategic Website Review » (coming soon!)

What The Hell, Facebook!

And How To Take It Personally

If you follow me on Facebook, yesterday I unfriended at least half of you with the invitation that if you don’t know me personally, you can “like” my Fanpage instead. Even if most of my status updates yesterday said 99% got axed, it’s really not quite that bad.

Why did I axe everyone?

Loving axed! (Can you tell?) Playing and having fun is sometimes the best way to bounce. When I allow myself to feel into playfulness and fun, I am more naturally able to let go of the things that are no longer serving me. I take the hard out and put the fun in.

Back to grinding “Ye Ole Axe”… I read this post from Darren Rowse a few weeks ago. The entire time saying to myself, “Yes, yes, yes… this is me too!” Darren is @Problogger on Twitter. And one of the best blogging resources around.

In “Dear FaceBook Friends, I’m De-Friending Most of You [It’s Not You, It’s Me]” it all became crystal clear.  My personal account on Facebook needs to be personal and its not.

So yesterday morning on Facebook, I began trumpeting what was going down… my personal friend count! So far it’s shrunk by 50%. And it feels really good!

Many of you brought to my attention the subject of boundaries which I love. And it’s true… there has been a complete transformation of boundaries in my personal and professional life underway throughout all of 2011 (it feels like).

Boundaries, I’m learning are for me. They are not a stop sign for you, even though sometimes it feels to me, that’s what I’m saying to you. I’m looking at my boundary as something that reminds me to keep loving me. To make myself the highest priority. Because it’s from a full heart I create and give back joyfully. Which is something I want to be experiencing more of. Joyful creative service.

It’s loving me the way I want to be loved. Adoring me, the way I wish to be adored, by my clients. By any one. A practice form of The Golden Rule, internalized.

Here’s that usually-forgotten-until-you-do-it pleasant surprise that comes from loving and tending to your boundaries like you would a beautiful garden… it’s called fresh clean air. Or, spaciousness. Freedom. A place to take a deep breath into what is, relax & trust and see again, everything really is for you.

So what the hell?!

Several of you mentioned that you were thinking of getting personal with Facebook yourselves.

I got the hint. And when Avril Lavigne came on the radio, this divine lightening rod from the Universe whispered (well screamed sorta, it is Avril) into my ear…

“All I want is to mess around,
I don’t really care if you love me or hate me,
you can’t save me.
All my life I’ve been good but now…
WHOA! What the hell!?”

And that was it… I also want and need a place not to be good, to mess around, and not be so optimistically delicious. More likely, I’ll still be delicious, even more so. Just one more reason to love your boundaries.

So, if Darren’s post doesn’t further flame your desire, maybe I can help demystify enough of it, for you to take the leap, and bounce into your own “What the hell?!”

Reclaiming your personal Facebook account as personal

  1. Is your Fanpage set up and ready to go? Get it going (if you haven’t). Fanpages are for anything. And most assuredly they are for you too. For me personally, I want to keep some of my “what-the-hell” moments out of sight from the whole freakin’ world.
  2. The day of “Ye Ole Axe” you’ll be tweeting (at least once and probably a couple of times throughout the week), and Facebook status-updating on both your personal page and your Fanpage. I made myself available a lot throughout the day, to interact and answer questions and just show up as the-Me-you-know-me-as, which seemed to soothe away any concerns. (Yo, who really wants to see me in my I ❤ vagina tee-shirt anyway?)
  3. You’ll want to look at un-tying any automatic status updating you may already have in place. I use Facebook’s NetworkedBlogs application to handle tweets and status updates to both my Facebook profile & Fanpage at the moment. Still unclear if I’m completely pulling the plug on my blog posts auto-updating to my personal page. We’ll see.
  4. On a go-forward: People requesting friendship with you at your personal Facebook page, simply reply “I’d really love it if we could connect here, at my Fanpage: [insert your fanpage URL here].”
  5. Speaking of Fanpage URLs, once 25 peeps like your page, you can visit http://facebook.com/username to set up your custom Fanpage URL. Remember the Facebook rules here, once you claim it, you can’t change it.

Ok, thaz it. Really. If you are lookin’ for some other good Facebook resources (like how to hell do I set up my Fanpage), check out my links on Delicious.

Have fun with this! It really helps. There were some more challenging moments throughout the process, as I cut deeper and deeper down into my original 458 followers on Facebook. And I’m not done! Facebook still shows me having 458 friends this morning so I’m thinking it may take Facebook a couple of days to come inline with my new slimmer Facebook personal account waistline. And then there’s the refreshing sense of feeling more open and available to what’s next. Yeah, that!

It’s amazing how being clear myself (boundaries are a healthy part of that support system) strengthens my own message.

Try it and let me know if the same is true for you! Avril will definitely help get you started from your fun & play place.

 

What’s Up With The “Jedi” Thing?

I think the modern day Jedi is an agent for love. For creating an impact in our world by being the change.

No, I’m not a total Star Wars geek. I was about 8 years old when the first movie came out. I fell in love with Luke and then Han Solo (because he was the “bad boy” and I’m really attracted to rule-breakers). Leah, though, I saw as a mystical warrior princess. LOVED her! Wanted to be like her.

On my own personal path, I’ve been drawn to figuring things out. Figuring myself out mostly. What made me happy? Why wasn’t I more happy more of the time? What is the source of happiness, contentedness?

And, ironically, I ended up contemplating the idea of fear itself. Mostly because I had read some stuff about fear and love and I knew for sure, I wanted more love. I mean, who doesn’t want more love? Not just romantic love. But a sorta magical love. The kind that creates an entire universe in order to show itself to you.

Focusing on fear (what it looks like and how it shows up in my life) helped me discover areas that could be transformed. Change a fear-based choice or thought into a more powerful one. The power came from using the appearance of fear to shift into a powerful line of questioning. The question themselves always anchored in the idea of love. And having access to more love meant feeling more powerful, intentional, and on purpose in my life.

Having more access to love impacted everything. The outer and then inner. It spilled over into the ideas I held about myself. I was able to accept more of myself, which created a self confidence to follow a dream of being my own boss and being in service to others. So I could do stuff everyday that made a difference.

Love is the Force. Somewhere, I made the jump. And it was natural to step into the context of being Jedi. Or at least, becoming Jedi.

Jedi is an idea that at least two generations in modern history can grab onto and get. It also appeals to both men & women.

Talking about getting my Jedi on is born out of fun & play. Essentials. In my life and coaching practices.

And everyone I work with gets it. And wants it. To be more Jedi in their own life. To be their own Source. More often. To make more of choices, direct more of their thoughts toward knowing and having what they want and taking action from that place.

I think the modern day Jedi is an agent for love. For creating an impact in our world by being the change.

I also like the idea of claiming a part of my self as my own hero. It just works for me.

Since life provides us the playground, we can exercise our free will to choose love or not. And when we practice showing up with more love, especially when it’s the most difficult time to show & be love, that is Jedi.

And it’s the best thing I can think of to do and be. So I can be the change, and help co-create and share a more meaningful life.

Interested in getting your Jedi on?

Contact me here or visit my coaching tab for more info.

After Sedona

Nature shows me the pattern of regeneration. Which strengthens my sense of Faith. I breathe it deeply & repeat.

Nature. Saying so much, often in complete silence.

Nature. Resilience that builds beauty and perfection slowly, over time. Patient.

Nature. Ever-changing transformation. With each torrential downpour or earthquake on the other side of the world.

Each and every thing that is in nature is alive with purpose. It has transformed itself, over and over in order to be there. The way a cactus thrives in a desert.

Life is always expanding. Over the top of itself. Transformation is what life is.

Nature. Consistent. Billions of years of growth and change.

Nature. An eternal reservoir of creativity and life. Filling up. Nourishing me with it’s message of faith. Faith in the creative power of what is. Life faithfully expanding. Choosing to be an aware and actively participanting in it.

Nature. I breathe it in. Faith. I breathe it in. What is. I breathe it in.

With eyes, ears, a heart and soul, all that I am, I breathe it in that I may continue to expand joyfully and with wonder into every possibility.

Rope Swings and Avalanches

“If we were REALLY being authentic, we’d admit it hurts like hell.”

In Naomi Dunford’s latest post, she talks about how we (try to) filter our authenticity through ‘only the feel good’ stuff (which isn’t real authenticity at all) and the high cost of being truly authentic when you’re ittybiz’in it.

That last line is what did it for me. I (have finally) found my permission. Not from Naomi but in her demonstration and willingness to take the risk of showing her pain.

And then buried down in the comments is another really profound comment from Mark Silver where he points out that being on the internet, doing the social media thing, there is a level of personal accountability that we are removed from. We cannot see the tears slowly build up in someone’s eyes. We cannot see their brow furrow in confusion. Or even the big huge smile that appears on their faces, let alone hear a beautiful giggling guffaw.

In some strange ways, social media is giving us a vehicle to be more authentic on some levels and then dangerously converse, to hide out, being completely detached, if we choose.

Not that detachment is bad. It can really serve us well when we’re having shoes thrown at us or on the receiving end of a nasty DM or passive-aggressive email.

But detachment when you’re hiding so you can show up in ways where you say stuff you wouldn’t normally say in person is not healthy detachment. It’s showing the world you have a real fear of retribution (maybe because you know exactly what you’re doing when you say it in the first place) and then hiding out behind your computer screen or email inbox. It’s turtling (my new favorite word I first heard used by Charlie Gilkey).

And then the pretending begins. Which makes me want to barf. Because pretending is not authentic at all.

So I’m going to stop pretending right here and now. I am going to get really authentic.

Surprisingly, just yesterday, a client said to and about me that she doesn’t think she’s met a more authentic person. Wow! How do I let that one in? How do I begin to contemplate the truth in that? My stuff. We all got some.

Yet mostly because of Naomi’s willingness to share her uncomfortable feelings in her latest post and partly because of my client’s comment, I’m willing to be a different kind of authentic today.

So here goes…

I’m grieving. And I have been for a while now.

I guess if there is such a thing as a beginning point, much of this began for me earlier this year, in March-ish. I had been working with my business partner Wendy Cholbi for just over a year. In the fall of 2007, I had approached her with this idea (post is no longer available in it’s original form but I’ve republished it on my blog) of teaching coaches how to build their own web presence using a blogging content management system.

I had already known Wendy for at least a year, maybe two. She had been attracted to the life coaching work I do, where I help people shift their awareness around fear so they can discover and accept more of themselves.

I trusted her and who she showed me she was. I trusted myself too, my evaluation of what she showed me, my intuition. Trust was and continues to be a big thing for me.

And oh it was so much fun! Working together and creating YourWebCoaches.com. The journey taught me so much. Lots of tears, lots of laughs, lots of hope. Even success as there were people saying yes to our workshop. Coming in, sitting down in front of their computers and allowing us to guide them on a technology journey that is really never about the technology, and all about the “I really can do this!”

Deep reward. Deep satisfaction. And especially hearing our participants express appreciation for what we were doing together, as a team.

And we were both always wanting more. To take it to the next level. At least, that’s what I thought because I didn’t hear anything otherwise.

And in December of 2008, Wendy got some really devastating news. A relationship very important to her was ending. One that, I imagine, defined her up until that time, in a lot of ways. Not totally. But significantly. And in the ending of any relationship is a death. A death of dreams. Of a future. Of a part of us and sometimes it feels like all of us, on some very deep levels.

It was painful to watch and yet I also knew complete liberation awaited on the other side of it. Because I had been there myself. Several times. Probably one of the reasons I sought out coaching and eventually became one. Learning how to deal with the difficult curve balls life throws us while not killing ourselves in the process.

And in the midst of the death and destruction Wendy was undergoing, she and I were also trying to create. Crazy, I know. But that’s just the timing of it all I guess. I mean, how much of it is really in our control?

We were working together with an incredible coach. Charlie Gilkey. I rant about him all the time so if you hang out with me here on my blog, seeing his name again won’t be a big surprise.

Charlie was giving us all sorts of system-y structure stuff to chew on in our business. Basecamp. Consolidating web presences into one so we could leverage our two-being presence. There’s a Wendy and a Mynde. “Leverage leverage leverage this!” he said.

So we did.

We incorporated in early February of 2009 and continued working on our plan to launch another workshop. This time it would be better. We’d have more participants. We had Charlie. We had Dave Navarro’s Launch The Shit ebook which was really about launching ebooks, but hey, I was determined to benefit by it to get asses into seats.

April 1 would be our first 2009 workshop launch date. We both agreed. We met bi-weekly with Charlie. And I Basecamped myself to near death. Wendy was…. well I really don’t know. I can guess, so I will. She was licking her wounds. She was reeling still, from her own dramatic news delivered to her just the day before Christmas. So terribly heartbreaking. But inside, a voice whispered to me and wanted to know, what don’t you see or are you not willing to see when news this terrible just “lands” in your lap?

And it’s difficult to watch someone you love be in pain. Wendy’s humor is incredibly sharp. When she shows it to you. SHE is incredibly sharp, when she decides to show up. I choose not blame her for any of the way she is because she showed this to me consistently, over and over. I knew. But I hoped. I hoped she’d find her self-approval and stand next to me and shine brightly. We’d rock it out and have a good time.

But that’s not how the story ends.

My game plan was to stay open. Keep my heart open. Always go bigger and stretch it… stay open. Be compassionate. You’ve been there yourself Mynde. And Wendy just kept disappearing. Until it was just me, in our treehouse. I was alone. And I was tired. Because I was holding up the treehouse fort. Setting up structures and affiliate programs and writing content and trying to be good biz partner and do my part.

Until that one day March I think it was. I had finally realized I wasn’t honoring myself by doing it all. And every time I thought about the fact that I was going to get 50% of the profits for 100% of the work, I got really angry inside. It was killing me. I had to say something. Maybe she would grab onto our business like a rope and use it re-center herself? I hoped.

I said, “This isn’t working for me. I need a partner. That’s why I asked you to come play with me to begin with, so I wouldn’t have to do it alone. But I’m alone. And I’m sorry you’re hurting and things can’t be timed better and everything else that is out of our control.”

“What do you think we can do here?”

Silence.

The killing kind. The kind that leads to sickness when you don’t speak up.

And we never came back from there.

And both of us confessed in mediated coaching sessions our worst fear was that the treehouse would burn down. Neither of us wanting that to happen and feeling completely helpless. Because it was burning. Burning up. Smoldering inferno.

My coachy conscious said, “Wait. Stay in it. Don’t run. Stay open. Keep your heart open here Mynde. Keep asking questions, gently. Don’t run away.”

Nothing.

And by mid summer, the only communication I have with her now is via a Mastermind group. I’m finding out about her life, her business decisions, about OUR business, via a Mastermind group. I’m finding out she no longer wants to accept one-on-one clients. (Me: “Wow, what else will I have to learn this way?”)

Emails go unanswered. Scheduled calls drop out of reality.

But when she shows up for Mastermindy stuff. She’s chipper and fine and making decisions and learning to take care of herself. And everyone in our group, including us, know we’re struggling with our business.

And within a few weeks, I find out I’m replaced. And oh, she wants me to host our free monthly recurring business call on my BlogTalkRadio channel and give her “new” workshop with her “new” partner visibility, using our lists, our platform, our web presence.

Oh god. I need to puke.

Is this really happening?

And then Paypal. No email saying, “Hey I’d like to pay our LLC taxes.” Just a big fat huge fucking withdrawal. Nearly all of it. No reconciliation of anything.

Panic.

And then, no more author rights to our web presence that I designed. I am no longer an author. I cannot access WordPress. I can’t even take my fucking picture down or get my content. And she claims she owns the domain, it was never purchased by the business. What?

Are you fucking kidding me?

Let me tell you about betrayal and grief. I’ve been betrayed. My first husband cheated while his daughter was growing in my belling. I know about betrayal.

And the betrayal in an intimate relationship, where sex is involved, is nothing like the betrayal of a business partner. It makes sex feel meaningless in the whole scheme of things.

In a business, your heart, your soul, your money, time, energy… everything is on the line. And I think that’s why it hurts so much more than the pain and loss from a broken relationship. Those come and go. How we earn our living… that is essential to who we are.

And I’m hurting. So very deeply. Broken in tiny pieces.

Really? There was no other way to do this? Seriously Universe?

More mediation. She doesn’t want any kind of relationship with me. Not friends, not anything. Oh, and there’s no animosity. Yeah, fucking right, there’s not!

If that were true, then wouldn’t we have been able to work things out? Renegotiate? Or end things together, the same way we we started it?

So this is my grief. This is the loss that I’m moving through. This is the letting go and excavating and the checking in with my own responsibility in the matter.

And deciding on what my intention is for writing this all out and sharing it.

The big one… to step out of the killer of silence and pretending and say out loud to the world, “I’ve been shit on and it totally sucks and hurts like hell!”

Pretending that “Oh yeah, things just are moving in a new direction… that’s all. We don’t owe our clients/participants or members of shared tribes any explanation. We don’t owe anyone anything!”

Bullshit. Not authentic. At all.

So today, I am scouring my life and asking myself, where am I pretending? Because I don’t want to pretend and coast along as if everything is hunky dory. I want to heal. I want closure. And I want to be and feel clean within myself.

And I’m also asking myself, where am I playing small? Where am I settling for less? Because time has run out on settling and playing small.

And, how do I heal and take care of myself and really let go of all of this?

By allowing myself to feel hurt and sad. Very powerful.

By choosing again. This time, I choose not to refuse myself the hurt and sadness because I want to feel better. I realize the more I refuse my grief and sadness, the more I stay stuck in it. And I acknowledge myself for staying in it. And giving it time. And waiting patiently. And since a healthy sense of closure is something she cannot give, I will get it the best way I know how. I will give it to myself.

So today, I grieve. And let go. And say goodbye.

Goodbye Treehouse. Goodbye Wendy. Be well. I am so so sorry for whatever misunderstanding came between us. And wish you more success, love and cooperative healing relationships than you could possibly contain.

And I am healed and healing, in this transformative alchemy of death and destruction.

Catie Curtis – Ropes Swings and Avalanches

A Time For Letting Go

I’ve noticed recently in my life and the lives of several clients, a recurrence of the theme of resisting feeling the uncomfortable stuff. For myself, the yearly passage of the Sun through the sign of Scorpio (end of October and most of November) often stirs a great depth and intensity of emotions that usually lie very low throughout the year. I often forget they are there.

Yet one of Scorpio’s primary functions is to bring forward what lay at the depth of us. And because it is a water sign, emotions are linked into this transformative process of death and renewal, reflected by the falling leaves that were only a few short months ago, thriving and nourishing its life support system. Now they surrender themselves, falling away from that comfortable place of attachment, to be crumbled to bits or strewn and scattered like ash in the wind.

It Is A Time For Letting Go

It is a time for renewal, but not the vibrant “breathe of life” renewal of Aries that comes in spring. This renewal comes from a shedding or molting, which is why the snake is often a symbol for this sign’s transformative power.

Understanding the astrological archetypes has helped me tremendously with my own growth cycles. Like life, offering to me opportunities disguised as contrast, I can choose to embrace change or resist it.

For a very long time, I’ve resisted. With everything in me. Just like my recent clients, we box ourselves off from uncomfortable feelings, judging ourselves and the feelings from within a too-narrow focus and cut ourselves off from the awareness of a divine process at work in our lives.

In the exploration of resistance, what actually happens to that emotional stuff that gets compartmentalized as we shove it away? Does it really go anywhere?

It doesn’t really. At some point in our growth process, we’ll get hit by something that triggers the repressed energy into front and center. A Pluto transit maybe. Or, if you’re a nature-loving sign like I am (Taurus) you might already be attuned, watching the skies turn, stepping into the cycle and giving yourself permission and room to grow.

But for some, this isn’t so automatic. And so we rely on the turning of the skies to help us evolve into all that we are becoming. More of our true self. The self behind the baggage.

So why do we have baggage at all? Well, from a very young age, usually before age three, we have experienced enough to teach us that uncomfortable feelings are something to avoid because we hunger so deeply for our parents love and approval.

Herein lies the road to believing our happiness is obtained from some external source. A long road, fraught with expectation; a deep yearning for things to be different than the way they are and certain conditions be met in order for our happiness to be realized.

For many of us, our need for love and approval has conditioned us into compartmentalizing uncomfortable feelings in the vein effort not to experience them. When all they really want, is our love and attention. Just like the children we once were.

When we refuse ourselves the room and spaciousness to actually feel our feelings, we create emotional baggage. Energy fields of incomplete emotional experiences. All nestled up neatly, often out of sight, but there nonetheless.

In every human interaction, we connect to one another at varying levels of intimacy. However, those connections are thwarted by the baggage of incomplete emotional experiences all tied up in our human energy field. We wonder why we can’t connect. Or how to get to deeper levels of intimacy in our most treasured relationships.

The Scorpio energy is probing and goes deep. It has a will and sense of determination unlike any other sign in the zodiac. Taurus, its opposite, is known for its stubbornness, however, you haven’t really encountered stubborn until you meet a Scorpio bent on realizing their goal.

And our emotional baggage is no match for the transformative power of Scorpio. Like a scalpel, cutting deeply, cracking us open and revealing to us that which no longer serves. And then with focused intensity, making available to us a cauterizing effect to reveal what needs to die so a transformed version of our self can be born again.

So our choice is to either turn into this cycle or resist it. And resistance is futile. Nothing can be hidden from the penetrating scope of Scorpio. It embodies the mysterious and like a universal detective, uncovers us for our healing.

Yes healing. Scorpio is an amazing healer. Even though it has a bad reputation for being obsessive and jealous, brooding and secretive and the best-ever revenge giver of the universe. It will lie in wait for the perfect time because in its darkest moments, it seeks death. Again, the transformative powers of Scorpio still at work.

Now is a perfect time to join with the transformative healing power of Scorpio to support you with the hidden parts of yourself, particularly the hidden emotional “pieces” of you.

A Process For Letting Go

One way to help resolve your old baggage is to sit quietly and think about one uncomfortable situation or feeling you’ve been avoiding. Really dare yourself to be fearless like Scorpio and provoke this feeling to the surface. Close your eyes and scan your body for the area where the emotional baggage is stored. Is it pressure in the back of your neck? Does your stomach do a topsy-turvy thing? Does your heart ache?

Once you locate the baggage, using Scorpio’s laser-like focus, feel into the center of the energy field. Like a teacher’s red laser pointer, focus on just the center of the energy field and allow yourself to feel whatever emotion is provoked. Feel it with your whole being. Stay in the center of it…

Two really important things will occur if you are fearless enough to create this experience for yourself. The first thing you’ll notice is that you don’t die. Sounds humorous, but true nonetheless. The second thing you’ll begin to notice is that the feeling begins to dissolve. Like a morning fog burning off to reveal a glistening coastal edge where earth meets sea. It might possibly feel more intense as you start, but if you stay with the center of the emotional baggage, and feel deeply into its center, an amazing miracle unfolds itself in the completion of the feeling. What is revealed… in the absence of the uncomfortable feeling itself, is the overwhelming presence of You.

And now, open your eyes and contemplate the very thing that just previously spun you out. Poke some sharp sticks at it. See if it’s alive, in there. I promise, you’ll giggle and laugh in the amazing realization of just how much larger in scope and nature the presence of your being is and how absent the previous uncomfortableness is.

And one less energetic vibrational bag’o uncomfortableness is now NOT between you and everything life is offering you, whether you are relating with a loved one or client or just being in the world.

If this technique has piqued your curiosity, or you’d like some personal one-on-one support to go deeper with it… please contact me or check out my BlogTalkRadio interview in March 2008 with the technique’s creator Tom Stone.

To fearlessly feeling your way into letting go!