“Tomorrow I will be reborn,” I say to myself as I set my iPhone alarm for 6:04 a.m. — the exact time of my birth nearly 45 years ago. I am not in the habit of making such proclamations, nor can I remember ever having set my wakeup call for this time before.
Little did I know what was in store.
That was Monday night, and it’s just one more example of the psychic incidents I keep trying to squelch — such premonitions had no place in my previous legal life, and it’s hard to talk about them even now as an unemployed OC Housewife. Yet it’s getting more difficult to deny the odd coincidences that happen all the time now.
Is this just a 2012 thing?
In any case, practically the first thing we did on Tuesday morning the day after my intuitive declaration was an intense “re-birthing” exercise. Who would have expected to be born again at a business seminar?
Welcome to the world of Christina Morassi.
It’s true; despite my misgivings, I couldn’t quite manage to stay away from her
“Orgasmic Money” Ecstatic Wealth event in Hollywood this week after all. It was at The W, a kinda hip hotel at the not-so-hip intersection of Hollywood and Vine:
Christina is hardly a typical businesswoman. By her own account, she specializes in “loosey-goosey magic, celebrity, and ROARS” (as in lion sounds). She related these five words (loosey and goosey must count as separate words?) were the result of an exercise she conducted to distill her iconic essence. (Try it: quickly write a list of 100 words about you, cut it to 25, then just 5. These are your essential traits. Mine are: Wanderlust, Chiron, hummingbird, sunshine, and imagination.)
But back to my “rebirth.”
According to Christina, one of the many things that can hold us back from achieving our goals in life is we have never cleared our essential wounds. In many cases, these happen during or around the time of our physical birth. Since Christina is interested in helping women make money as quickly as possible, she wanted us to work on clearing our emotional obstacles. To this end, she led us in a visualization where we sent healing energy and love back in time to our own births. We were to give ourselves any and all good that was missing from the original experience.
Well and good, but based on the level of outright wailing in the room, some of my peers truly must have hated being born. I shed a couple of tears myself, mostly because I still hold some guilt over my immaculate conception and possibly (likely) holding my mother back in life. But Christina really wanted to stir things up. According to her, in addition to coping with my existential angst over being born in the first place, I might also have had a “vanishing twin” – that is, my conception originally resulted in twin embryos, but only one (ME) survived. Apparently, this is not at all uncommon: one in eight of us started out as potential twins.
I probably ate my twin.
I do share my 12/21 birthday with Josef Stalin, after all. Plus, Mom always tells the story of how I tried to suffocate my younger brother with a pillow when I was two. (He’s just 18 months younger, but apparently I LOVED being an only child.) Oy veh.
Can we please just move on to the making money part?
I don’t mean to sound glib. Or sarcastic. (Well, maybe just a little.) But I seem to have trouble processing some of these New Age exercises. I DO believe we can all benefit from introspection, healing old wounds, and from trying to transform limiting or negative beliefs. What I have a problem with is gurus manipulating people’s emotions simply to get at their money.
These three days were a pretty intense emotional rollercoaster.
Divas. Dancing. Dressing Up. Find Your Ecstatic Brand. Charge What You’re Worth. Laser Coaching. Become a Rock Star. See the Proof of Your Purpose in Your Own Palms. Become Wealthy So You Can Change the World. ROAR because it FEELS SO GREAT! YOU ARE THE NEW CELEBRITIES. Listen to Powerful Testimonials from Successful Business Divas Just Like You. Invest Large Sums So You Can Do It Too. YOU ARE WORTH IT. YOU NEED A MENTOR. You Cannot Do It Alone. We are your friends.
It’s captivating and persuasive content.
Most of it felt empowering. They even took glam photos of us to help us visualise our ecstatic futures:
During the “Wealth Consciousness” evening, one of the ostensible Seven-Figure Divas transmitted money manifesting energy to us all in a weird shamanic dance that quite resembled going into labor. And while no one was actually having epileptic fits on the floor, at times it was pretty darn close — almost like those writhing “saved” souls at charismatic churches. (Meanwhile, I felt like Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire, wanting to just shout: “Show Me Da Money!” already …)
The maddening thing is that it worked.
Or at least it appeared to. By now you know I love to poke holes in and make fun of things, but Hubby actually texted me in the middle of the above ritual to tell me he’d just received a very large bonus from his company … coincidence? Hubby would surely say so. Or maybe it was just good Feng Shui. I did cover our garden in moneywort several months ago:
More likely it was simply due to all of Hubby’s very hard work, but that’s an awfully boring explanation. (Hey, I’ll take the money however it comes; we need it to pay for all my frivolities of the past six months …)
As for me, I haven’t been able to do anything but sleep ever since Christina’s seminar. Seriously. I couldn’t even make it through the entire three days. I came home on Wednesday morning (because I couldn’t process any more guru stuff?) and took a nap at 4:00, fell asleep on the couch again at 8:00, then slept a full ten hours before our cat got impatient and pounced on my back.
I guess I’m just not destined to be a Business Diva.
Or am I just sad that I’ve decided not to continue on with this particular Goddess sect? (Excuse me — they’re called “Business Divas” this time, not the goddesses, queens, or sensual sisters of other programs.) I‘m not sure yet. Part of me really loved and admired all the ambitious women I met there; I can see my younger entrepreneurial self so clearly in them.
I understand loving and coveting money. I truly do. I live in Newport Beach, after all. I’m also probably one of the earliest students of “The Secret” — long before the movie came out, I was involved in a personal development program where I personally “manifested” six figures in six weeks. It seemed like I would never need to worry about money again.
Until everything collapsed.
The thing is, even if you’re a megawatt shining business diva like Christina, only a very small percentage of people have the star power to replicate your success when you’re not actually selling a product with high inherent value.
Eventually someone points out that the Empress is naked.
Please do not mistake this as criticism of Christina. I’m actually really drawn to her, and admire what she has built. But I also happen to know a fair number of wealthy people; several are family members. None of them would ever DREAM of handing over thousands of dollars to a “guru” like Christina. And I’m finally starting to listen to people who actually have some of the financial sense I lack.
But Christina is not targeting people who already know how to make money. She’s after the rest of us: those of us with a dream. And a desire to change the world that is so big it keeps us up at night.
I completely understand that.
And some of her students (YOU?) will no doubt succeed. Brava for that!
But others will fail.
And that’s what everyone who invests in these types of programs needs to fully understand. There are many ways to start a business. Some people need a cheerleader and supportive community; people who buy for this reason will likely be extremely happy with this program, even if their businesses fail. Others with a more practical bent prefer investing their money in building a great website or securing a solid inventory source.
Both methods can work. It’s not an either/or process. Personally, I loved Christina’s energy and enthusiasm; I would love to have her as a friend and mentor. And frankly, I came very VERY close to signing up for her “diamond” level program because let’s face it: I’m still searching.
But at the end of the day, Hubby’s voice was stronger. (“That money could be half of your kitchen remodel.” Or even more persuasively, “That’s enough to pay for our Easter Island trip.”)
So did I lose my courage in saying no to Ecstatic Wealth? Or am I finally learning that part of having a “wealth mindset” is learning to hang on to some of our money?
Now THAT would be a real re-birth!
I’m still not entirely sure that dropping out of this program was the right decision, and I do hope I’ll at least retain connections with some of the powerful women I met this week. I really do believe we can all “Rock Our Purpose” and “Change the World” … just perhaps not all on the same path or in the same way.
I would love to hear your thoughts about mentors and gurus in general. Have you ever paid more than you felt comfortable with for a coaching program? Were you satisfied with the results?