The Story of My Life

cat and frog


This was a frequent phrase around my home growing up. “Holy Moly, story of my life”. If I got a collections letter in the mail, or I hear that a great guy has a secret wife, that my brand new shiny car needs a transmission or that in fact I really didn’t win the lottery…” story of my life”.   A handy phrase. But what’s in a phrase?

We each have one story that repeats itself over and over again throughout our lifetime. I promise you, one central ever present and every changing “story of our lives”. The casts of characters change but they fundamentally play the same roll in our lives year after year. Every new love, new boss or new dog is just like a mother, brother, father, betrayer, helper, teacher and the best of ourselves the worst of ourselves. The place, the reasons, the motives, the fears, and the outcomes seem to remain similar as well.

So, if you were to just pluck out of the sky a scenario that you recognize as so familiar that it is a “repeat story” in your life, what would it be? Would the themes be endless hope, deep despair, betrayal, running away, lost love and fighting for what is right, or would it be, men leave, women love you but die, or would it be, am I good enough, can I prove myself, or that there is never enough money or time or money or love or money or food, nourishment or support. Could you be in Groundhog Day like Bill Murray where over or over again you love the wrong person, you loose everything you have and need to start again, you never feel smart enough or have enough of, or ultimately are loved enough. Does the white knight turn into the villain or are you the one who rescues and heals the world? We all have one story.

If we take the time to identify this story, which repeats itself over and over again for our learning and growth, then we have abundant power to change the story, but not before we look it square in the eye and say “Yes” this is MY story. For most authors who are seized with a story line and write until the days are a blur and who forget to eat or take a shower, most likely the book or story being written is a mirror of the writer’s psyche.

Most writers have to cop to the fact that writing is therapy. Writing is sanity. Expiation. Transformation and atonement. Most writers on a good and honest day will say that the story they think is pure fantasy is really from their own life, own fear, own desire to be a hero or heroine and to rewrite what went so wrong, so long ago. It is a powerful moment when you can write a fictitious character that is not you in reality so that they can do all the things that you only wish to have done or said or experienced in your life. Why else do we write?

And when we can fess up that our own story is driving the bus, we can not only heal our lives but we can write a story that touches the collective nerve. That is what makes a bestseller. In the end….the story will write you.

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I was asked this morning, “Maya, what did you take away and learn about yourself when you went to the Louise Hay Birthday Party?”  Although I wrote a piece about the self help movement needing a little self help, I have been cooking on that question ever since, so I thought it would be a good question to look at. Let me start here.

Gypsy “travel” for me is not completely literal.  A gypsy moves when work is needed, when the clan requires better grazing land or when the spirit moves or the authorities require it.  And for me the Gypsy encompasses a life that is set up to offer maximum freedom, space and creative opportunity.  That can be accomplished on the physical level but can also be accomplished on the inner planes.

What I am learning from being “grounded” and not driving at this time, is about the latter:  The space I need to make inside of myself in order to discover what freedom is for me and to allow for the universe to provide ample creative opportunities.  My experience with the party of authors in San Diego has everything to do with making that space.

I had squeezed myself into a belief system before I went to the west coast, as well as into a pair of high heels and a black dress that screamed success…so I thought.  That belief system was based on my preconceived thoughts about self help authors, the self help publishing world and about what it might mean for me to be an author in and amongst these folks.  I felt privileged to be there and feel that the experience was totally invaluable.  But, my preconceived notions went something like this:  A self help author is fully healed, functional, whole, evolved, ego-less, does not play the games, does not care about fame or fortune.  I was wrong. On all counts.

My experience was similar to when I pitched a screenplay in Hollywood a number of years ago called The Necessary Betrayal and found myself swimming with sharks who really did not care about the “heart” of my screenplay only about the distribution rights and the residuals.  Back then, I came to a stark understanding that I was simply…naive.

And I was naive once again with the impressions I had created out of my own mind about the self-help movement.  And my qualifier here is just this:  There are many exceptions to my experience and many authors and self help advocates who are very much my picture of what I want to believe about the self help world.  But they are rare. And for the purpose of sharing what I learned, I want to strip away my own naivete and take a look at what might be true for me …after the fall from my illusion.

What I walked away with, once I had had five hours with my guru’s, was that maybe in fact this is not the tribe I will choose to be part of.  In fact I had to bump up against my own beliefs about fame, money, success and drop back to remembering what I am writing in my book Roadmap to Success:  That success is not the set of strategies, the five year plan, the bank account or the notoriety, but that success is an outcome or result of my life being truly aligned with the essence of my own spirit and who I am.  Then it just might be that the money, the fame and the rest of the bag get’s delivered to my front door.

I have realized that I am not terribly interested in who’s who and if I know them, or whether my book shatters the charts, even though I was so tickled when I figured out how to get Freeing Godiva up on Amazon.  And I am not centrally interested in fame that leads to money, even though I would love to have allot of money.  The essence of who I am is in love with serving the world and helping anyone love more fully, more honestly and more powerfully.  If I can do that then I know the rest will follow in whatever way is congruent with the truth of who I am.

So, I flew home knowing myself better, knowing that this might not be the path I “seek”, or the people I compete with or the folks that become my tribe.  I flew home knowing that I need to be true to what I believe about myself and write about that, talk about that, go where I am called to go and not necessarily know the outcome.  I think that is the essence of the Gypsy.

So, let me close on a humorous note that is in the end…Oh so true!  And I will let the king of self help, Bob Newhart, tell you.

Blessings from the road,  Maya


“Thrive”: The Movie       11-11-11

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