Last night, while contemplating the merits of microdermibrasion versus the photo facial with my Polish friend Justyna, I began to think about how her culture probably isn’t seduced by the quick fix as easily as we are in the United States. The conversation called to mind for me a time when I was attending a parenting class when I was pregnant. During each class, I asked a myriad questions of my instructor about the efficacy of all the baby accoutrement from the portable bottle warmer (“Why would you need that if you’re breastfeeding?” she asked), to which diaper bag was the most streamlined and spacious and which high tech crib was the most comprehensive and effective. She told the class in response to my crib questions that she and her boyfriend had used a plastic five dollar laundry basket as a bassinet and this suited her baby perfectly. Then she looked at me directly and sliced and diced me like a hundred television knives that hold that promise of revolutionizing your world and said, “You like gimmicks, don’t you?”
While I adamantly denied this accusation, I knew she was right. I was raised in THE O.C. after all. The impetus to improve myself utilizing the latest and greatest “technology” on a regular basis was part of my Orange County, California heritage. Was it wrong to sink my hopes on the “next best thing”? While I knew it wasn’t inherently wrong, I also knew I had wasted a tremendous amount of time and energy on a myriad things that I had hoped would transform my life in an instant. One of the most humorous had to have been “Secret Hair,” the primitive precursor to human hair extensions. I never actually wore the Secret Hair. In fact, I am not even sure why I didn’t think to just grow my own hair. I guess that had been done before, that was before the advent of Secret Hair. Every time I opened the drawer that contained my precious new locks, I automatically recoiled, forgetting that they were hair pieces and not vermin.
However, as far as my southern California friends went, I thought that compared to them I was free from the trappings of gimmicks and consumerism. I had been a vegetarian since age seven and as a teenager wore only vintage (and ill-fitting) clothing from Hollywood in an effort to separate myself from any markings of conspicuous consumption. In fact, when I told my friends back home that I was having my baby on the Navesink River in New Jersey, some of my friends actually thought I was having my baby on the river. (In fact, I was in a very cushy hospital birthing room on the river. If I squinted my eyes just right, I could make myself believe that Jon Bon Jovi was just outside the window!) Looking back on my formative years, I realized I bought into gimmicks and things just like everyone else, just with my own earthy (and smug) twist.
Since starting my own coaching business, I am often given advice by marketing experts about how to attract clients. One of the suggestions was actually “How to Find your Soul Mate in Five Days.” While this may seem hilariously outrageous to most of us, while cheesy, it is a pretty seductive idea. Certainly, it has much more sex appeal than the title of my last blog: “Compassion 101.” Perhaps paradoxically, in my humble opinion, if you want to have a shot in the world in finding your soul mate in five days, you’d better get clear on and be ready to employ compassion. Many people have said to me that I should have my own television show and offered that I might want to come up with an attractive and sensational gimmick. In order to fortify myself against this seduction, I have invited my closest friends to come and drag me off the television set, by my hair if necessary, if I begin to embrace exploiting some cheese-ball coaching concept. I actually have developed a new model to assist my clients in their personal development named “The Alma Answers! Twenty-One Sacred Soul Steps to Divine Solutions.” I’ve been excitedly telling people the word “alma” means soul in Spanish. “My Grandma’s name was Alma. It has beautiful Latin origins. Get it … The soul answers,” I say. “It is a play on words.” I know … not sexy.
As your coach, and someone who relates to the seduction of the odd quick fix idea, I actually do hold for you the promise of finding your soul mate in not only five days but five seconds! Sadly for all of us, our twin flame is probably not Denzel Washington (although my mother is still holding the hope!). Here is one of the few gimmicks which actually is as quick and wonderful as it sounds (like laser hair removal). Find a mirror and look into it. There is one of your most significant soul mates staring back at you.