Despite living successfully on around $12k per year, exploring everything from jewelry to horseback archery, and living in two dozen countries by way of frequent flier miles and a fascination with minimalism, I had convinced myself and quieted that mystic with the notion of “a real income”.
I went through trainings by people that create far more than $12k in a single month, convincing myself that I needed $240k a year, not twelve, and generally ran with an intensity with an idea I didn’t fully grok: that my life was stuck behind a paywall and I needed to crack it wide open.
I chased the dream by way of copywriting certifications, expensive coaches, and reading everything, so long as it was in the personal development industry and pointed at that “real income”.
But wizards will be wizards.
I relaunched my jewelry with a revitalized interest in the craft and the confidence to ask for an investment (we still don’t call it price anymore, folks) that covered my costs and paid me at least a livable wage.
But this time I let the cat out of the bag.
At that time I’d been obsessively exploring the universe for 29 years.
At that time I’d been studying jewelry for some 14 of those years.
And it turns out, I’d been passionately obsessed with all
Flavors of metaphysics for about 16 years as well.
To deny that what I was doing with the crafting of metal was anything but Totemic and Metaphysical would have been an offense to the fabric of who I was, and am.
I am not sure I can do anything without it becoming Totemic in some way.
Words, objects, experiences. For me, everything is tied to something deeper and more meaningful than the molecular structure and the physical weight. Mythography is the study of symbolism in human-story and have always been obsessed with the expression of that thing which cannot be held in a way that it can.
So the mystic broke free with a vengeance, and I was a Totemic Jeweler and Metaphyst for the first time as far as the public was concerned.
But if I am one thing over others, it’s honest. Too honest; for business as they know it.
And traditional marketing doesn’t inherently reward honesty unless that honesty is rephrased to take advantage of the audience’s pain and fear.
Look, If you have a pain, or experience a fear, and you think I can help, I’d be happy to talk. But I can no longer pretend that willingly poking those wounds is ethical. I might point them out from time to time. If anything we humans are it is typically unable to see our own weaknesses. Reflections from other people are often the greatest gifts. Maybe this is why it’s so viciously taken advantage of in traditional modern advertising. But I can’t play along anymore.
So while I sold a number of Totems, it was a touch and go process.
I talked about the mysticism in these objects and a few were claimed.
I talked about the science behind how they work and a few were claimed.
I talked about what they could do for you with a bit of that PD wisdom,
And a few were claimed.
To this day I can’t say that I have fully figured out how to sell a Totem. If we’re being honest, you can’t really sell a thing that can be made with twigs, a sprig of cedar bark, and some wax.
But since I create them with precious materials, and pump one and a half decades of obsession into each one, along with my time, energy, and love, I’d like to believe that they’re worth something. So I set the prices (or investments if your one of THOSE people) based on everything that goes into them, in the hopes that I can cover costs and pay myself a reasonable wage.
You see, Totems are an act of mysticism.
And they are an element of story telling.
They are precious and in most ways useless. They are powerful in a magical way that can actually be explained by scientific studies of the mind. You get to choose which flavor excites you most, just as you do with anything. They are everything that it is to be human in an attractive little package, and are absolutely unnecessary in your path of obsession, passion, and a desire for excellence.
I create them because I can.
And because I am driven by something in the meta side of me to do so.
And because when an idea is worth holding, I’d like to be able to do so.
But what I realized some time ago is that I create totems constantly.
In the words I say and write, or the courses and PDFs I create… In the jewelry I produce, and the sketches in my journal… I do my own tattoos and they each hold something powerful that I want to connect to… So much of what I do, and probably you as well, is Totemic.
It is the ever present human desire to hold the Universe in our hands.
We are the explorers. We are, as Bucky Fuller says, local-universe information-gatherers and problem-solvers; the vehicle of intelligent expression in an infinitely expanding and constantly balanced Universe.
Alan Watts would say that we are the universe being right here, came here to play the game of experiencing ourselves.
I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together, say the Beatles. And you are the walrus as much as you are the wind and the trees and yourself.
You cannot be anything but what you are and you are the entire Universe. Just like me. Curious, obsessed, and passionate.
So here we are.
I’m a lot of things, and essentially I am no thing. The complexity that goes into the creation of a human being with all of our bells, whistles, farts, and failings is not easily defined. It’s ephemeral and highly physical. It’s conceptual and very practical. It is precisely what you make of it.
I don’t have any interest in being better than anyone
Except the version of myself that I was a moment before.
I don’t subscribe to the notion that I must prove anything.
I don’t play with the old ways of selling anymore.
I hope to never do that again.
I prefer to tell the story, share the obsession, and teach you what I’ve learned, so that the thing I’m selling, be it Totems or consulting or anything else, will actually do you good and make you smile. Help you feel better and achieve more in your own journey through obsession.
And maybe cover your costs and pay yourself a good wage.