Into the grey

Even in your inner circle, few will speak the truth. Facades, walls, fortifications, illusions, masks. They are your daily armor, second nature to you now. It’s hard to feel that life was once real, long before this. You were real, so full of passion and dreams and belief. The Calling coursed through your blood with every breath, you were willing to work harder, fight harder, sacrifice more, claim and sustain your own belief, over and over again, until…you made it. Though, as you well know, there is no “making it” – no permanent summit to reach. You win an Oscar or a Grammy and you go back to work. You keep climbing.

Or you don’t. And you live in denial of your fear that you’ll never attain such heights again, and everything you do from here on out will disappoint.

No one is ever prepared for the true cost of a highly visible creative career, of fame. It’s so seldom acknowledged even among your peers. Why? Because to attain high visibility, to play at the top of your game, to get to do your art for audiences of millions… it’s a gift. It still humbles you. It’s still surreal. You get to do what you love. It’s a damn good life, right? Right. Without a doubt. You are blessed.

So why does it fucking hurt so much? When did you become a commodity? When did you lose ownership of your own life? When did You disappear?

You slid into the grey the louder the applause got.


Hearts that are tremendously blessed, and broken inside, feel that they have to hide their pain. Or drown it, party it away, numb out. Creatives who have experienced deep wounds because of the creative gifts they’ve been entrusted with in this lifetime, often feel too ashamed to admit that they are deeply hurting. And let’s face it, where can you openly admit it, anyway?

You are simply and utterly disallowed and denied the right to feel anything but happy by the public. How many times have you been absolutely devastated by lies in the press, or a nasty review/critique/tweet, or from a broken relationship or your own depression and have had to swallow your tears and smile? How many times have you told yourself: “You got what you dreamed of, you’re living a life most people can’t imagine, you have no right to complain“?

And the loneliness got worse.

Oh, but this isn’t about complaining, love. This is about finding a sacred space where you stop being a brand name, stop being numbers to negotiate over, stop being a public commodity, and be You.

This is where you are allowed to open your Self to your inner truth. The hard truths. The ones you experience, but cannot reveal, let alone discuss. Like how vulnerable you feel. Or how your heart cracks when your kids read the lies that “everyone” claims are true. Or how no matter how loudly you scream your truth, no one believes you and now, you see doubt in the eyes of those you thought trusted you. Or how perpetually alone you are, because your life is big, fame is burdensome and heavy, and the idea of how your life would impact someone you date convinces you that you don’t have the right to do that to someone. So you don’t.

The more you are seen by the public, the more invisible you are. In this amazing journey you’ve been pummeled, stripped, fucked, killed, threatened, abandoned, crushed, decimated, shattered, pierced, broken. Praised, glorified, thanked, admired, adored. All the while people have you living their dream life, disallowing yours to ever be less than glamorous. The people who make your career possible are the same people who have consumed you like piranhas. Your bones and your craft are all you have left.

Or so it seems.

You put on a smile, crack a joke, appear lighthearted, do all the right things, show up in the right places, be seen with the right people, play the game the way it’s rigged, and wonder how You disappeared.

The echo of emptiness in you gets louder.

It’s true though. You are invisible. Recognized everywhere; never truly seen. Inside your circle, everyone thinks you are doing better than you are. You think everyone else is doing better than they are. No one breaks the illusion. You drink to feel something real, get high to defy the powerlessness, plunge yourself into the only place you feel you still have some control: work.

It’s time to break the illusion. Not with the public, they don’t know the illusion exists. No. It’s time to break the illusion in your own heart.


Not breaking the illusion and isolation of fame is why we lose amazing people to suicide. It’s why we lose amazing people to addiction. It’s why people with brilliant gifts of creative expression stop taking risks, play it safe, and climb the same mountain again and again. It’s why you’ve already thought yeah, right, what the fuck do you know and why should I believe you? Why you’re searching for the catch, waiting for me to tell you how much this is going to cost you (it’s free), why you are sure I want something from you because everyone wants something from you (I don’t) …and yet your heart and soul… keep reading.

You know in your soul these words resonate.

You may have never had anyone willing and capable of seeing the real you, beyond your fame and the illusions. You know as well as I do how rare it is to find anyone who can see what lies beneath and who has no interest in what your brand name has to offer. (You can read why I created this site here.)

Listen. This is real. This is about you. There is no catch. There is no cost. There is only you reading the words I offer here.

Not being able to make yourself heard or being seen for who you really are may feel like just something you have to live with for the rest of your life. I know firsthand the liberating blessing that comes when you bring truths to your own surface. When you start to get your sense of Self back. When you remember Who You Are. And while you cannot change the weight that fame places on your life, you can change how you live your truths and how you carry that weight.

This is your sacred space. And who you are beneath the illusions is a beautiful soul who only ever wanted to make art.

It’s time to leave the grey behind.

It’s time you reclaim your Self.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
― Mary Oliver

The spiritual impact of fame, part 1

Fame is an energy that wraps itself around you. It is inseparable from your life. When it first arrives, it shows you visions of belonging and ease. It caresses your ego, whispers “you’ve made it” over and over. The highest of heights await you.


The first threat. The first sense of being trapped. The first time you are misunderstood and find yourself powerless to make yourself heard. The first horrifying realization that you’ve past the point of no return. Suddenly, all you’ve worked for, the excellence of your talent, skill, dedication, effort…is cast into a dizzying array of doubt: Is this worth it? This isn’t what I wanted. 

Fame shifts everything. The power it markets itself with soon becomes a high-security prison. And no, I’m not being melodramatic here. And yes, I know that there are blessings of opportunity that come with fame. But those blessings are professional blessings. The wounds of fame are deeply personal.

They are, in fact, spiritual wounds that ripple out into your physical life. How does fame impact you spiritually?


  • Obliterates your ability to be truly known for who you are
  • Silences your authentic, personal voice
  • Disallows you from receiving empathy, since you are not allowed to struggle or have a less than “perfect” body/life
  • Robs you of your ability to trust
  • Isolates you

The paradox of fame is that the more visible you are to the world, the more invisible you become. The greater your circle of fans, the smaller your circle of trust. The louder you speak from your authentic voice, the less you are heard.

Fame generates its own version of you, molded by the illusions and perceptions of the public. It writes a story that casts you in the leading role, except that role is not who you really are. And this is your life and this story is supposed to be about you.

Spiritually, we all have a deep desire to be seen, known, and understood for who we really are. To be able to speak our authentic voice and be heard. To struggle, suffer, hurt, find empathy and support from others because they struggle, too. To trust people generally. To belong and partake and freely be part of the human family.

Fame takes you aside, and says: not you.


The deepest wounds of fame stem from not being able to make yourself understood while you are being gravely misunderstood. It hurts when people decide who you are and their perception does not reflect your spirit at all. It hurts when you attempt to express who you are and they refuse to accept it.

This disconnect between who people think you are and who you feel you are inside is excruciating to the spirit, as you know, love. You’ve been there, you are there. You know that spiritually you often feel as if you don’t exist.

You are so buried under the weight of fame that you don’t know how to be You or where to be You in your life. You feel so changed by all you have been through that you can hardly recognize who you were before all of this began.

The intrusive, threatening nature of fame (for it is ultimately a violent energy), erodes your natural sense of safety. Not only are you silenced and disallowed from being who you really are, your movements in this world are restricted and your freedom limited. Having to live life with security details, staff, paparazzi takes its toll on your spirit.

No doubt you’ve gone through phases where you try to be who they believe you are and rebel against it. Try to live within the world fame creates and try to retain some sense of normalcy. Keep up the facade, hide what you really feel, surrender mostly to the fact that you can’t change it, lash out in desperation or lash inwardly …usually, in the end, you find you are absolutely lost to yourself.

Being lost to yourself is the ultimate price of fame. It is the deepest wound of all. The entire purpose of this site is for you to reclaim your Self. And yes, it is possible to do that.

Before you can begin, though, there are additional wounds that need to be acknowledged. Because in order to heal and transform, you need to know what the wounds are and how you’ve been wounded.

Read The Spiritual Impact of Fame, Part 2

The spiritual impact of fame, part 2

Before you can heal, you need to be able to understand what needs to be healed. As I’ve mentioned before, fame is a pervasive energy. Losing your sense of Self is the core wound of fame.What are some of the other ways it impacts you spiritually?

Constraints, lack of safety and trust, denial of your right to be who you are,  the way people assume they have a right to you and that if they know you, you owe them a favor, constant interaction with the energy of strangers — all of this impacts your energy and mood.

Resentment, anger, fear, anxiety, shame, feelings of powerlessness — these are normal human reactions to having personal freedom severely limited and to being under constant surveillance.

Being swept into fame suddenly, as most creatives are when their work takes off, brings up a ton of conflicting feelings and social contexts to navigate and those complexities continue. But the greater issue at play is the toll this takes on your spirit, on your sense of personal radiance as a being who is here to create impact and make a difference.

Your spirit feels the continual drain and weariness that fame exacts, and in the busyness of life, what our spirit needs gets ignored, neglected, or abandoned. We lose touch with what truly nurtures us, what makes us feel lit up inside with light, we feel weighed down and heavy and slave to effort.

In my healing conversations with combat veterans, I remind them that as much as war takes, it gives. That there are blessings to be found, and sometimes the biggest blessing of excruciating experiences is that being lost gives you the opportunity to be found. As much as fame takes, it gives, and I don’t want to lose sight of that. Because your personal power and influence in this lifetime are magnified by the fact that fame chose you to mentor.

That said, if fame was easy to deal with there would be no reason for this site. And we all know that fame is one of the loneliest and most oppressive experiences that no one will acknowledge.

You know what you’ve suffered, love. But you may not have been able to put it into words. The following are some key areas where fame takes a steep toll.


Broken friendships

Fame makes you powerful because of your marketability, but powerless because you don’t usually control the budgets or executive decision-making that governs your work. You are viewed as influential, sometimes appropriately, oftentimes not. Fame plucked you out of your circle of creative friends, most of whom were still struggling to “make it.” Overnight, you became their ticket to success, because they assumed on the basis of your friendship that you could pull the right strings to make them successful, too.

When you didn’t or couldn’t (because really, you often just don’t have the power to do that), you’re the bad guy, they get hurt, the friendship ends. While your mind knows the rationale behind why it happened, your heart still feels a sense of shame and regret for having been seen as selfish or arrogant or unkind when, in reality, you are none of those things.

So much is riding on belief and hope and keeping the dream alive, that when someone “makes it”, those in your close circle feel an ecstatic relief that success is possible. Unfortunately, that momentary relief usually turns to self-criticism, discouragement, and despair. Your friends are happy for you, and then they start to wonder “why you and not me?” and since you are successful, they want to skip over their true fears of inadequacy and make you their golden ticket to achieve their dreams.

They’re not bad people, love, they’re just tired people. Tired of keeping the dream alive, tired of being rejected, tired of not being able to pay the rent, tired of having to listen to mom and dad tell them to get a “real job”, tired of having to talk themselves into one more audition. They look at you and assume that you can rescue them. And they don’t believe that you can’t.

There is a deeper truth here to uncover, though, and that is this: you don’t owe anyone anything because you are successful. Even if you can empower someone else, it doesn’t mean you necessarily want to and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to. You did the work yourself, you chose to sustain your faith and belief in your Self, you struggled, you defied the naysayers, you went without, you invested in your Self because everything in you knew that this is why you are on this earth. 

You had people who believed in you along the way or maybe you didn’t — but in the end, it was because of your refusal to give up on your Self when all outward appearances indicated you should that you are where you are today. Your success is Yours. If there is anyone you owe anything to now, it’s to YOU. Those friends you lost who thought you were a selfish prick because you didn’t (and couldn’t) bring them all along on your journey, they fell prey to the illusions of fame. Be gentle toward them in your heart, and try not to see their anger at you as intentional.


The assumption that you belong to the public

Because people can identify you, and they form emotional bonds to you through your work, they believe they know you and have a right to you. Granted, our paparazzi culture fuels this belief because they make you fodder for people’s escapism and fantasies. This assumption that people have a right to you is intrusive and makes it nearly impossible to find the objectivity to see the boundary of where the public ends and You begin.

It forces You inward and into enclosures, away from prying eyes and cameras, but also away from life being everyday life. Where many people would take a walk through a park, go shop at the mall, or nestle into a cafe for a few hours of contemplative alone time… you’re not able to do things like this without being a spectacle and causing a commotion.

The public believes the scope of your life is unlimited and that fortune must afford you any luxury experience you want. They fail to realize that the scope of your life shrinks dramatically (far more than they could ever tolerate) and the luxury you often most crave is normal, pedestrian life. Living in a shrunken life with severely limited freedom of movement makes it very hard to keep a sense of perspective. Everything is magnified in significance and feeling when you’re in a small room with locked doors.


Empathy does not openly exist for you

This is a tough one, because it’s not just the public that fuels this phenomena, but it’s perpetrated within the industry as well. Because fame is so rare and so glorified by the public, it creates a mental barrier in people that goes along these lines: a famous person’s life is so blessed and so great and affords such luxury and opportunity that they have no right to ever complain or claim they suffer. Any celebrity that whines is just being an ungrateful bitch. Celebrities have no idea what real life is like, and no idea what it is to suffer. Life is always easy for them.

You’ve had thoughts like this yourself, haven’t you? I know you have. Because there is a thread of truth in the fact that you have been greatly blessed, and the disparity between your problems and that homeless person on the street is so great that you feel ashamed to call your problems “problems.” As if it’s a sign of ungratefulness.

Anyone who has what appears to be the life of most people’s dreams is never allowed to have “real” problems. Celebrities who suffer with addiction, run-ins with the law, mental illness, “scandals”, and other tabloid headlines are relegated to being entitled, whiny, elitist rich people to laugh at.

Don’t let this mindset invalidate what you’re experiencing. Every person’s pain is valid. You are a human being with a real heart, a real soul, real emotions, real fears, real dreams, real anxieties, real vulnerabilities. Your pain is not less significant because someone else’s pain appears worse. Your pain is your pain and it impacts your life.

What do you think happens to you when your heart really is broken, you really are struggling with the weight of fame, you’re worried about whether or not you did enough at work, you suffer from depression, your kids are missing you, you feel lonely — and you are denied the right to openly feel any of it?

That’s right: addiction, depression, suicidal thoughts, reckless partying, boundary-less relationships. Without the empathy of other human beings, and under the pressure to hide from prying eyes, you turn the pain in on yourself. Self-destructive behaviors are just that. They destroy the Self. Because the pain and emotions are not allowed to be safely expressed and held sacred by others.

The other thing that happens when pain is not allowed to be expressed is that it intensifies. When you keep it all inside, it grows stronger. Anytime you can express it, you diminish it’s power because you move the energy of it out of the confines of your mind.


Not having anyone you can trust

When everyone wants to use you for what you can do for them, finding real friends and intimate relationships built on trust and generosity feels impossible. You get burned enough times and your heart shuts down to protect itself (and your ego, too, since most likely your “mistakes” in trusting someone were flaunted in the public eye). That expectation that you belong to the public and that people have a right to you, means that everyone and her brother shows up to use your influence for their ego, career, or financial gain.

Even friends you thought you could trust sometimes fall into beliefs that basically go like this: she has so much, and it all comes easy to her; meanwhile, here I am still struggling, still nobody. She doesn’t deserve to have all that she has, no one deserves that much. She won’t miss it. She owes me. I have to look out for myself and I am going to use any advantage I can get.

Obviously, “friends” who fall prey to these kind of beliefs stop seeing the equality between you as human beings. Their own sense of self diminishes and they don’t take enough ownership of their own life. But when you think they are a real friend, and then you find out they used you, it cuts deep.

Not only is it disappointing to find this out about their character, but it hurts because it’s one less person you feel safe with. Your ability to trust shrinks. It can send you into a spiral of self-doubt where you blame yourself for being “naive” or used, or for failing to see the signs or realize your friend’s deception. This is why cynicism becomes your defense.


No one will tell you real shit

Most of the people around you depend on you for their welfare. Which means very few are willing to tell you real shit or give you honest perspective. Even your circle of trust may tend toward wanting to protect your friendship rather than risk being truthful. This makes it hard to get raw feedback that would help in your personal and professional development from people who have access to your life.

These are just some of the ways fame takes a toll. You know better than anyone else how it’s impacted your spirit.

So the question now is, how do you find your way back to You?

Who are you now?

Reclaiming your Self is not only critical to your soul’s journey in this lifetime, but to your professional life as well.

But while the focus here is on the hidden wounds and pain that fame creates, the bigger picture is the entirety of your Self. And to become more of who you really are requires that you honor the gifts of fame as deeply as you acknowledge the wounds.

Fame is an energy phenomena. It is cast upon you by others. It is not a reflection of the quality of your skill or your talent, or your worth as a creative. It is an effect of being highly visible and widely recognizable. Often it comes because of a broad acceptance of your work. But not always. Lives have been hit with fame for acts that were unintentional or deeply regretted. So, it has very little to do with your actual ability, talent, or Self.

By and large, fame is regarded by the public as an incredible gift that graces only a handful of people on this planet. It’s akin to winning the lottery. So amazing that it most certainly blesses with a life of carefree ease, fortune, unlimited opportunities, happiness, the best of the best. Utopia. This perception of fame is the initial illusion.

You know the experience of fame isn’t at all like that. The weight of it is burdensome, intrusive, paralyzing, inescapable, imprisoning. It’s true effect is severely limiting. It takes more than it gives.

But, in order to become more whole we have to acknowledge what it does give. Because it has shaped who you are now.

Fame affords two primary gifts:

  1. Fame forces you to turn inward. Now, depending on how you respond, it will either crush you or crack you open (or crush you until you crack open). It gives you a strong reason to find a way to become deeply grounded in your authentic self and live from your heart.
  2. Fame gives you the opportunity to use your personal influence and power for greater good. Your platform is wide and while you may have no interest in being a leader, the gift of fame sets you up so that you have the ability to do so. I recognize that as a creative, making art is at the core of what you do, but you are a whole person with a variety of interests, callings, passions, things that matter to you in this world. Fame gives you the ability to influence large numbers of people toward their highest good, if you choose to lead them.


I would argue strongly that the opportunity to lead others by becoming a soul that is deeply grounded in its authentic Self is your true calling in this lifetime.

We are each called to be a liberating blessing in this world. And while there is nothing wrong with living a life focused on your small circle of trust, you are meant for more. You are capable, by the blessing of fame’s attention on you, to become a life-giving force in this world. The nature of creativity is to bring forth that which does not exist. The purpose of a star is to radiate light and warmth. You are both.

One of the reasons it’s so important for you to heal your wounds and reclaim your Self, is so that you can show up in your authentic power and have an impact on people’s souls. You have this ability, love. You weren’t born just to act or sing or write or direct or leave a legacy of your work. You were born to create hope and light and faith and courage in souls.

Your work is a vehicle for that. But YOU are the one who has to step into the vehicle and radiate that.

And to radiate that, you have to be lit from within by hope and light and faith and courage.

Who you are now is someone with an incredible opportunity to change your relationship with fame, to waken, to dig yourself out from all that has buried You, to heal the hidden wounds, to learn how to manage your own power and show up in ways you’ve never shown up before.

Life becomes far more meaningful when living it brings light back into other’s souls.

And you start with You.


How do you become a soul that is deeply grounded in its authentic Self?

The short answer is you learn to love your Self.

The long answer is that you make a commitment to your Self to do the continual work of paying attention, digging yourself out from other’s definitions of you, returning again and again to ask your Self: what brings you most alive? And then you go and do what makes you most alive.

Loving your Self is one of those phrases that gets lost on us because we don’t really know what it looks like in practice. Most of us are indoctrinated to believe that “self Love” is the same as “not loving others enough.” It’s a false doctrine, but we’re still fooled. Most of us are more afraid of being labeled selfish than of being called a liar or a fool.

Self love is never selfish. True self love (like any authentic love) is generative, it’s giving. It affirms and broadens and expands Life and generosity. When you love your Self as deeply as you would love someone precious to you, you come alive. You take your place as a liberating blessing to others.

Self love is not entitlement, though it will give you the guts to say out loud what you do and don’t want to experience. It’s not acting like an asshole, nor does it make others feel less than. It fills you up, brings you alive, aligns you with ways of being that empower you to be a source of strength and guidance to this world, and to those in your life.

Most of us abandon our Selves, lose touch with who we really are and what makes us come alive. We conform to the expectations of others, to the identities others create for us. We take on roles – spouse, partner, parent, provider – and forget that we have a Self that deserves as much attention. If we’re lucky enough to wake up to how we’ve abandoned our Selves, we get the chance to meet our Selves anew.


Self love really is about creating a relationship with your Self, as if your Self were a being entitled and in need of your attention, time, kindness, generosity, and care.

Becoming a soul grounded in your authentic Self means you need to intimately know your Self – not in a psychoanalytical way, but with the familiar intimacy and understanding that you’d have with those closest to you.

Sometimes this means you become your own family. Sometimes this means you take on the role of being the parent you never had. Sometimes this means you become your own lover. Whatever it means to you, it means you show up, willing to address the ways in which you’ve abandoned, neglected, abused, been cruel to, said horrible things to, shut down, silenced, scared, and doubted your Self.

It means when fear takes over or when everything in you rebels against changing your ways of being, that you step back and recognize that there is an inner child in you who is just terrified and needs your reassurance that as an adult you can take care of You. It means you keep returning over and over to your Self.

You build that relationship with You.

What does this look like in practical terms?

  • You let what you want matter as much as what others want.
  • You stop saying mean, belittling, abusive things to your Self.
  • You start asking what makes You come alive, and you choose that.
  • You say no when your gut tells you something is not for you.
  • You respond to what moves you.

This whole process is a journey. You have to surrender to the process and trust that you will be led. You have to remember that grace exists for you, that you’re allowed to fuck up, that you are only ever meant to move at the pace of creation.

And what you are creating, love, is the gift of your presence in this lifetime.

Be brave, love. Give your life the gift of You.

How to get your Self back

How do you get your Self back?

Before we dive in, if you’re in an airplane right now, I want you to look up at the thin skin of metal that is keeping you from being obliterated into particles of the atmosphere. It’s thin, isn’t it?

What keeps all the pressure from the outside from collapsing this thin barrier? The integrity of the pressure inside the plane. That means what is inside the plane must be strong enough to push back against the outside pressure in order to maintain the plane’s shape.

The integrity of the inside must be capable of maintaining a positive pressure in order to not collapse in on itself. You are the plane. Fame is the atmosphere. Managing the pressure of fame comes down to maintaining your interior integrity – your sense of Self, your own energy, your innate wholeness, and your ability to be truly known, seen, and understood.

That’s the goal here. To restore and maintain your internal integrity so you can withstand the external forces. Healing wounds really comes down to changing the way you think, your perspective, your beliefs about your Self, your life, and your capacity to expand, grow, and become more of who you really are.


Let’s get clear on one thing. Once you’re famous, you can’t undo it. Obviously. You can’t control the fact that you are famous. (Well, you could hide out in Bali and wait until people forget about you.) But we’re going to assume here that you are still working, still want to work, and that your work will keep you in the center of fame’s spotlight.

So, nothing we do here is about changing the fact of fame. This is not about running away from it or escaping or hiding. It’s all about changing You in order to reclaim your Self and live a life that feels more spacious, authentic, and self-directed than you do right now. While you are famous. Under the same oppressive weight of fame.

Another definition of integrity is “wholeness.” As in, the sum of all parts. Healing is about accepting our wholeness again. We never stop being whole, we stop feeling whole. Being whole means holding within our sense of Self the light and dark aspects of ourselves. The pain and the joy. The beauty and the ugliness. The power and the vulnerability. Every aspect of who we are.

We are not trying to push out or stop being any aspect of who we are, but trying to find balance so that everything is allowed to exist, but not any one aspect is allowed to control us.


Where do you begin? Start by questioning everything.

The first goal is to dig you out of all the definitions that others have of you. To do that, you have to find out what it is you are thinking and believing about who you are. Because these voices from outside have influenced your perception of yourself, you are, no doubt, at least partially believing some things that are not true about you.

Open a blank document and write down two columns:

  • Who they say I am
  • Who I really am

Now, write down every response your mind comes up with when you answer them. Everything. From the roles in life you have, to the positive and negative things you call yourself.

Next, go through each response and question each one hard:

  • Where did I get this belief?
  • Is this true?
  • How do I know this is true?
  • What would it mean if it was not true about me?
  • What is true about me? 

Write down what comes up. The answers will quickly open your eyes to what you are believing about yourself and where those original beliefs came from. (We do this same practice when we are looking for limiting beliefs around any subject.)

Take a bit of time to think through each one, but don’t start wallowing in the ones that trigger you and make you sink into self-rejection. The goal is to see what you are believing.

Next, realize that you have the power and authority to decide which of these things you will choose to believe and you can stop believing the things that are NOT true about you.


You see, the only reason any of these beliefs have any power to make you feel bad is because you believe they are true or you feel powerless to make others stop believing what isn’t true about you.

The turning point in reclaiming your Self comes when you take back your innate power to define your Self, and let your Self matter as much as you allow other people to matter.

To reclaim your Self, you have to give your Self authority. To do that, you need to go back in time to around the age when you were eight or so. Who were you then? Looking back, how would you describe who you were then? What were your truths about your Self back then? If eight doesn’t resonate for you, think back to the last time you really felt free to be you, that you were in charge of your life.

Look for those same truths in you now. How would you describe your truths now? If you were transported to a country where no one knew you by fame, how would you describe who you are to someone there?

What have you hidden in the dark that is craving the light’s warmth? What did you stop believing about your Self because everyone else denied it to be true or disallowed you from being that? All of these lost, broken, missing pieces of you are all still You. They are not gone, love. They are in you. They need you to gently notice them and make them matter again.

I know this brings up a lot of emotion.

And it’s okay if this exercise moves you to tears. Let yourself cry it out. Don’t be afraid of what comes up. This is the beginning of reclaiming your Self and feeling compassion for the tender, sweet, open, kind, trusting, courageous, bold, daring, tenacious, sensitive self that you are is where you begin.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…

… will always harm you.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been carrying the weight of fame, cruel words hurt. While you learn to ignore a lot of it, every now and then a barb catches you. And some of the worst ones are still in you.

You read a headline that completely distorts your words, your life, your relationships… and it changes your energy for the day. It doesn’t matter how much your brain knows that you shouldn’t let it bother you, it’s not your brain that hurts. It’s your heart. What hurts more than misrepresented facts, are blatant lies about your character.

Words are energy. Highly focused energy. And they impact you at an emotional, physical, and energetic level.


But why do they hate me so much?

One of the great enigmas of fame is that people love to hate you.

The energy of fame creates a division of “us vs them” — this energy keeps you from seeming like a real person to the public. People believe that you are immune to the hurtful things said about you. You will never be just another fellow human being to the public. And because you are not one of them, you are fair game for words that they’d never have the balls to say to someone they know.

Among the public and within the industry, people who do not know how to own their own lives and manage their own innate power, view anyone who has what they don’t have with envy, jealousy, and a belittling attitude.

The majority of people live from an energy of fear and scarcity beliefs. People tear down those they envy, because it’s easier to do that than to face the fact that they have not and may not achieve their own potential. That, and well, some people are just assholes.

But why do they hate? Why don’t they just leave you alone? And why does the hate sometimes seem obsessive?


Do you remember in grade school, how when someone was picked out by the cool kids as a victim to bully, pretty soon most of the kids hated on that kid? Even though no one really had a reason why, and most of the kids, if you talked to them individually, would say they didn’t really agree it was right to hate that kid.

It’s a mob mentality, and again, an energy phenomena. Predominant energy, that is continually fed, attracts more of the same energy. It’s hard to stop it once it starts. No amount of pleading, begging, defending oneself, or screaming one’s truth will overcome it.

Bullying is rooted in a lack of self-worth and a predator style of getting high off of power. It takes a potent, heart-felt jolt of compassion and eye-opening kindness to topple these people from their ways, but unfortunately, that rarely happens.

Everyone in the public eye has haters, yet some creatives end up being chosen as the kid to bully. And yes, it is bullying, en masse, by adults. Inexcusable. But it’s real, and if you are the kid being bullied, it is damaging. I don’t care if you’re 19 or 59, bullying can destroy you and your career unlike anything else. One of the reasons why is because those who are bullied have no way to stop their aggressors. That mob energy is fed anytime you react.

And what happens? You retreat further and further into yourself, cutting yourself off from your own voice, and end up being so isolated that you are, for all purposes, silenced. If you lash out, it fuels them. If you speak quietly, it fuels them. Your very existence fuels them. If you’re the target of bullying, read this.


It’s true that it’s not the real You they are hating. It’s your persona — a you that does not exist at all and yet, it is who the public believes you are. You learn early on that this persona is created and owned by your fans and marketing, and if you even attempt to redefine who you are, you risk your career.

They buy into their illusion hook, line, and sinker and they will turn on you if you attempt to dissuade them from their fantasy. They don’t really care who you are, they just want you to be who they believe you are. Even though it hurts the same, there is some comfort in knowing that it’s your persona they hate on.

But, guess who carries the persona? You do.

If you are a Law of Attraction believer, you know it teaches that you are attracting this hateful energy to yourself and if you change your predominant energy, it will change. I disagree. You are not the one attracting and fueling this energy. The haters are doing that and promulgating it. You can’t control their energy. Their mindset. Their decision to bully and hate. The persona they have invented. Their existence. Their reactions. Their beliefs about you.


So what can you do?

Control your own energy. Your mindset. Your spiritual beliefs. Your sense of purpose in this world. Your reactions. But most of all, what you believe about your Self. And what you choose to believe about others.

Remind yourself that the choice to react is always yours. It’s hard to know where and when to draw the line between ignoring negativity and standing up for your dignity. Usually, starving negativity drains it of energy. Engaging with a hateful person will not make them less hateful, but it will fuel their ego when a “star” gives them attention.

There may be times when you can simply shock them and perhaps influence their spiritual life by responding from an energy of higher compassion. They won’t expect that. The old adage, kill them with kindness sometimes works. But only as long as you are standing in your own power and not getting baited into futile battles. And if you aren’t in a place where you can offer higher compassion, you need to be careful not to get baited.

Plan ahead when and how you will respond. Have a playbook and know ahead of time what your conscious response will be. What subject matter will you respond to? What will you avoid? Don’t leave this to how you feel each day. Be mindful about it. Make sure your social media team is clear on this, too.

Don’t fight fire with fire. I know, it hurts, and it sucks that for the most part, you have to just take it. But at the end of the day, knowing you stayed true to who you are as a caring individual and didn’t get baited is worth it.

Don’t let those who don’t “get you” distract you from those who do. We give negative energy more importance than positive when it comes to what people say about us. Negative words are threatening and can easily cast us into self-doubt. Usually because we don’t love our Self as much as we would a partner or child — even though we must learn to do so in order to protect our Selves.

The negative words get our focus, our mind latches on to them, we ruminate. The positive words are accepted with gratitude or dismissed if we do not truly believe the praise, but they don’t eat at us.

Often it isn’t the words that trigger you, but the attitude behind them. And even more so, the way it makes you feel misunderstood and incapable of making yourself understood. That’s where the real triggers are. Because a few cruel words take you right to that place where it all swirls inside.

I ended a marriage to someone whom I could not make myself understood. This was particularly frustrating after I separated, because I wanted so badly for him to understand my reasons for why things had ended. I finally had to accept that it was not going to happen.

That sense of not being able to make yourself understood is infuriating and makes you feel invisible. In the end, you’re left to pick up your sense of Self and realize that the Other doesn’t get to decide who you are.

Their version of you is their version, but it’s not Who You Are.


You get to a point where you choose where to focus your attention and energy. If you do the work of inner-reflection to own everything that is yours to own in the situation, you can get to a point where you can train your mind to not focus energy on the situation.

When I start to mentally argue the same old issues with my ex, I tell my brain, “thank you, but no thank you,” and remind myself that I am not going to give him any more of my energy. Then I focus on something else. It sounds elementary, but you can do it. When you starve a situation of energy, it eventually deflates and dies a quiet death.

We all know we can’t stop haters (well, you can block them on Twitter, lol) but overall, they are going to show up. Elizabeth Gilbert has a great analogy that we can tweak here. It’s about fear and how fear is part of creativity. She says fear always gets a seat in the car, but it never gets to drive. The same can be said for haters. They’re part of your life, but they don’t get to define who you are, or drive your reactions.


This makes sense, but… it still fucking hurts.

All said, we still come back to the fact that cruel words hurt. Damage has been done. It’s normal to ruminate. It’s normal to be affected by it. It’s normal for the energy of those hateful words (especially if the sentiment is widespread or comes from someone you assign authority to) to seep into your sense of Self and wreak havoc. What are you supposed to do with the pain?

Take their power away by giving it back to your Self.

Anytime someone is mean to you, or directs mean energy at you, it knocks you down a bit. But here’s the thing. Do you know how when you don’t give a shit about someone, nothing they say can bother you? You just don’t care because their opinion has no authority over you. They can say whatever they want and it won’t rile you, because you don’t care what they think. They don’t matter to you. You don’t hold them in esteem.

You can take this same indifference and apply it to your haters. No doubt, you already do. So, try doing it with those few that still really get to you. Change the dynamics of your relationship with them.

But more importantly, change the dynamics of your relationship with You.

Haters can hate all they want and it won’t influence you, unless you believe what they’re insinuating. That’s when it gets to you. When there is something in the sentiment that, on some level, you fear is true or believe is true, that’s when it festers. Same goes for when your relationship with the hater is one where you expect that person to like you or support you (when you have esteem for them).

The biggest critic and hater you will ever deal with is your inner critic. When the inner critic believes something the hater has said, it will chime in and start harassing you, and run intensely hurtful thoughts through your mind.

Managing haters often comes down to really looking at what negative beliefs and fears you hold about your Self, and deciding to change them. Sometimes the only way to set yourself free from haters, is to set yourself free from the hateful self-talk.


See yourself through softer eyes

You won’t ever forget the words that stung the most, love. They are part of your journey. But you can rethink what you believe about who said it, why it was said, and most importantly, who you were when it was said. Those words changed you. They either made you hide a part of your self or they propelled you to dare to become what you weren’t.

If they made you hide or retreat, don’t berate yourself now for how you responded then. We grow into our Selves and the important thing is that you are here now, with the insight to see how hurtful words shaped you. It is not too late to reclaim those parts of you that retreated. They remain in you, waiting for you to be gentle with them.

Self-compassion is something we rarely feel. We are, all of us, by upbringing, self-haters. But compassion is what You need most from You. Compassion, not pity. Anytime you are dealing with painful words, I want you to take a step back, and imagine the situation as if someone had said that to a partner you love or to your child.

Don’t go to anger and righteous indignation. No. Look at their innocence. Look at their soft vulnerability. Look at how strong and beautiful and capable they are. Feel in your heart how much you would want them to NOT believe the painful words about them. Because you know those words are not true about them. You see the bigger picture.

Now, gently take these feelings back to your Self. You deserve just as much kindness, compassion, and to NOT believe the painful things said about you.

Always keep this in mind: painful words can’t fuck you up unless you believe those words are true about you. You hold the power to choose if they are true about you.

You are beautiful and you are loved… not for your brand name, but because you are a precious soul upon this earth.