With thanks to Amy Ippoliti and Taro Smith for the over-lunch brainstorm. ~ ed.
Rocking Buzzword Spirituality is as easy as filling out Mad Libs!
How to sell out for the greater good that is You!
1. First, choose a number (any number, circle one): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 108
2. Now, choose a 1) happy word or two (or three or four, just throw ’em in there!)—or 2) an intense word that touches on suffering without actually going there—or 3) a trick word that makes people remember how fat/imperfect/sad they are while offering them hope of being like you pretend you are (circle one):
smoothie happiness forgiveness health benefits of green tea or green juice letting go ayurveda cleanse weight loss emotional recovering gratitude fat women heal embrace lemon sexy longevity gluten-free digestion stress sleep passion avocado beautiful diet rules spring / summer / winter / fall morning inspiration almond milk manifesto create protein freedom grace dreams empowerment love heart yoga depression anorexia sexist judgment or any big word like “optimum” or “counter-intuitive”
3. Now, include the word “Ways” or “Easy” or “Simple” or “Surprising” or “Help” or “Essential” or whatever.
4. Now, put that together in a simple title. Say, 7 Simple Ways Gratitude can Help You Lose Weight. See? Winner! Or, 3 Avocado Smoothies to help you Let Go into Optimum Health. Or, 10 Women who Embraced Love! Go for it.
5. Now, choose a non-offensive, bright, evocative, fun but general stock image, the more Pinteresty (ie, sparkles, instagrammy glow, arms extended into the air, summer dresses) the better. Note: smoothies must be in ball jars. When in doubt: photos of you or some gorgeous but not too-perfect 20 year old doing an easy (or show-offy, you can go either way) yoga pose on a beach with the sun shining behind them work for everything. Bonus: Laughing Fat Buddhas, parents laughing, children jumping in the air, hands holding one another …work every time.
6. Now for the actual blog: just write some sound bytey bullshit employing the separating, distancing, generalizing word “you.” Warning: don’t be personal or authentic—you will get negative comments if you actually put yourself out there and try and help other people. That said, using the word “authentic” is highly recommended. Remember: whatever you write doesn’t matter. This is about marketing, not the next Great American Novel. Just include a few happy quotes by Gandhi/Hafiz/Rumi/Ekhart/Emerson in a big font, get your thesaurus out and go nuts. If that’s too complicated, just type “gratitude quote” in google. Boom.
6a: Bonus: start a youtube channel and put your face up close to a camera. Talk.
7. Make sure to end the blog with a big well-lit headshot of yourself laughing or smiling, or looking super-smart and serious (you can go either way: key is that it’s flattering) from five years ago. Your bio should combine charming faux modesty written by yourself in the third person and professional credential braggadocio along with at least one quote (“featured on ABC / Women’s Health / People Magazine”) about yourself taken out of context (i.e.: Vanity Fair called her “most popular wellness expert in the world.” Most important: your bio should be selling something: after all, that’s the point of all this! Your Costa Rica trip, your (expensive) cultish-empowerment life coaching spiritual program, your natural product or bodycare affiliate network. Include links to your Facebook Page and all that.
PS: something not clicking? Include a photo of a belly and a heart. Folks have huge issues with their bellies, and love to love love.
hot on elephant
The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. My Marriage had to End—for my Life to Begin. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012.