Hello Silence, Cupcake!
My name is Ellie Di, and I’m the Headologist, and Amelia has, very kindly, asked me to do a little video interview for you guys to talk about my job, about being a Headologist, about Headology and about some of the really cool things that are going on with the site right now, as well as some fun things like how I spread kindness, and cupcakes, y’know, that kind of thing.
So, I’m just gonna break it down into a few little pieces. I usually write out all of my interview answers beforehand, even if I’m doing a video just so I can have a good idea, but I decided not to do that this time in the interest of being really authentic and right of the cuff, so you can really get a feel of what’s it like to really talk to me.
So! Here’s our first question:
[SLIDE] You call yourself the Headologist, but what is Headology?
I get this a lot. It’s very difficult to explain if you’re not familiar with [can't hear this word!]. The term headology comes from Terry Pratchett’s novels involving the witches from [what?] and it is sort of a spin-off of psychology, but with a more practical edge, it’s more about how you think. It’s about patterns, it’s about…not manipulating…but shifting of the way you think, of the habits you have.
I have a little quote here from one of the witch books that talks about exactly what the difference is between a psychologist and a headologist, and maybe you can see why I chose to identify as a headologist.
This is from Masquerade:
And though there may be some superficial similarities between a psychiatrist and a headologist, there’s a huge practical difference. A psychiatrist dealing with a man who fears he’s being followed by a huge and terrible monster will endeavour to convince him that monsters don’t exist. Granny Weatherwax would simply give him a chair to stand on, and a very heavy stick.
As you can see from that, there’s a completely different approach in dealing with people and their issues. Granny Weatherwax is the premier witch and she is sort of looked on as the founder of Headology. She’s calculating, and very insightful and she understands people and rather than trying to convince them that everything they’re doing is wrong she works with what they’ve already got to help them have a better life – which is my goal in being a Headologist.
[SLIDE] When did you realise that you were the Headologist? What led you to this path?
I would say I really realised it sometime around March last year, so March 2011. I had a big flash of insight, that what I really wanted to do with my life was make a living off of what I’d been doing since I was in High School which was advising people when they don’t know where to turn. Friends, strangers, people on the internet, always seem to look to me to ask their big questions, to find out where they’re going in life. And, they listen to me! And I seem to have some sort of insight that they find valuable, and it’s some kind of combination between sympathy, empathy and ass-kicking that people seem to really appreciate. I don’t sugarcoat things. Um. I am very good at reading people, even through the phone it seems. Which was a surprise to me.
But it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, just not in an official capacity, and I felt like it was time to star sharing it with other people – that the people who understood what I was doing were out there, not necessarily in my real life circle, and that it was time to get out there and find the people who needed to hear my attitude adjustment message.
[SLIDE] You’ve created some kick-ass resources to help people access their most awesome selves, and you release them for free recently. What inspired you to give this gift to the universe?
Okay, so. [Visibly gears herself up for the answer]. Making everything free was, like, a huge deal for me. I was talking with my mentor, Kyeli Smith, of Connection Revolution, and I was freaking out because I was working on Anything But Ordinary, the journalling course, and I was just miserable, and I hated it, because I had to go through marketing and I had to deal with launches [curls lip up in despair-face], and expectations and it was awful! And it’s not what I want to do, I don’t want to make products, I want to do coaching! I want to work one-on-one with people [smiling now] and be integrated in their lives and be really involved and to see them grow, and change, and become even more awesome than they already were. I want to have that interaction.
Doing products is fun, but it’s not nurturing, for me. And Kyeli said – well why don’t you give it all away for free? And my immediate reaction was – No, no, no, no, no! I can’t do that! I won’t make any money. And then I’ll be broke, and I’ll never go anywhere.
But in the two hours that followed, I really thought about it and the more I thought about it, the more I realised she was right. I was immediately freed up from having to do marketing, I could just put things up in the Tribe Quarters, which is where all the Tribe Members go … It’s a little secret area on the website for newsletter subscribers. And everything that I ever make is going to be there, for the foreseeable future. And I wanted to enact that generosity because I want to share these things with people. I’m one of those people that wants to give presents as soon as they get them, and I think my primary love language is probably presents. So I wanna give these things away, and I want people to have them! And without that boundary of money, I’m able to do that.
It also acts as another bridge, because people come and read the blog, or they interact with me on facebook and twitter and they get to know me there, but by interacting with my products, I’ve had several people already tell me that the Workbooks, particularly the Activity Book, have been extremely enlightening for them about how I work and how I think about things. So it gives everybody another layer of understanding, and that’s really what I’m after. I want to form these intimate connections with people so giving everything away for free just totally made that possible without the boundary of money. And then if they decide that they are comfortable enough to come and work with me one-on-one, then that’s really going to be the most nurturing for both of us.
[SLIDE] How do you spread kindness, daily?
You don’t ever really think about spreading kindness daily, until somebody asks you about it. The one thing that I do that has, it’s been really good, not just for me, but for other people, has been working on these Ta-Da! Lists. It’s instead of a to-do list; at the end of the day you celebrate what you actually did, instead of what you still have to do. And by sharing my Ta-Da! list with the world, it inspires other people to do the same for themselves, which is just a huge kindness to your psyche, because you’re celebrating and acknowledging all your hard-work. Even if all you did was lay around in your pajamas, that’s still self-care, and that’s a big deal. And people don’t really remember that, until they start doing Ta-Da! lists.
I also do Graturday practice, on the Facebook page, which, again, inspires people to remember positive things in their lives, which is a huge, huge bonus. And it inspires them to have kindness for themselves – which is really what I’m here for, is to help other people learn to be kind to themselves, so they can be more awesome.
[SLIDE] Where do you want to be at the end of 2012?
Oh man, end of twenty-twelve just feels so far away! Um, just celebrated The Headologists half-birthday, so, it’s six-month’s old! And by the end of 2012 it will be just over a year old. And I just can’t even imagine what amazing things are going to happen by then. This first six months have just been so mind-blowing. I really want to have a solid Tribe, I want to have that community of right people who get Headology, who understand Granny Weatherwax, who understand me! And what it means to have an awesome attitude adjustment.
And just the idea that I would be working with five to ten amazing individuals, turning their lives into something even more fantastic than they already are, just blows my mind. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it! [Does a shiver with a big grin on].
And I want to fill up the Tribe Quarters with amazing, useful and fun products, because I can, not because I have to.
And the secret dream [holds finger to lips] is that after a year, there will be a forum where the tribe can come and talk to each other and interact with me on a more personal level, in a private and safe space. That’s really just a pipe dream right now. [Looks wistful].
[SLIDE] What’s your favourite flavour cupcake?
My favourite flavour of cupcakes are usually citrus flavoured – and I know that’s weird. I’m not a chocolate person, I like key lime and I like lemon, and that’s about it. Anything fruity though, y’know, like, mango or salted car – I love caramel – salted caramel’s awesome. Anything that’s a little bit unusual and weird. There’s a really great cupcake place here in Hamilton called Westdale, and they make these delicious, delicious cupcakes with real buttercream icing, and they have like, stuff inside so when you get the lemon cupcake, it’s got a big squirt of lemon custard inside. It’s so good.
Aaaaand, that’s it, for my interview! Thank you so much, for spending this time with me, and I would really love it if you would come and visit me over at The Headologist dot com and you can come and check out all of the free products, read through the blog, and y’know, if you’re really interested, you can come and see what it’s gonna take to work one-on-one with me – I’ve written you a little love letter over at the You + Me section. You can also come and hang out with me on Facebook – The Headologist has it’s own facebook page – you can hang out with me on Twitter – I’m on Twitter all the freaking time, @ellie_di and generally I just wanna connect with you, I wanna hear about what’s going on in your life and I want to hear how I could help you, how can I change your world, how can I help you adjust your attitude?
So, thank you so much to Amelia for having me, and I can’t wait to see where Silence, Cupcake goes – I hope to write here some day. And it’s gonna be amazing, I just know it. Thanks! See you guys around the ‘verse!