Ever since my mentor Dr. Christiane Northrup challenged me to “be less sperm, more egg” two and a half years ago, I’ve committed to less of the pushing, striving, and making it happen “spermy”-ness that has always been my modus, in favor of more attracting, magnetizing, and receiving that characterizes the oh-so-divinely feminine egg. As Martha Beck said to me when we were discussing this, “Lissa, the egg is just bigger.”
I’ve often waxed poetic about being less sperm, more egg. You can read here about a feminine way to manifest your dreams. Or read here about an eggy way to align your desires with the highest good. Or you can learn to Be Less Sperm, More Egg with Martha Beck’s 4 Technologies of Magic. Or – as I wrote about here – how to succeed while still being eggy.
For us spermy types, experimenting with being less sperm, more egg sounds all hunky-dory, when you’re in your groove, everything is on autopilot, things seem to be happening in the flow, the money is flowing in, and you feel on your game.
Then crunch time comes. And suddenly, your commitment to being eggy gets tested.
When The Pressure’s On
Take launching a book, for example. Hay House, my publisher, has invested boatloads of money, not only in two six-figure book advances for me, but also in producing a PBS special about my work that airs in September, filming a DVD about my 6 Steps To Healing Yourself, which is about Mind Over Medicine and also features Crazy Sexy Kitchen author Kris Carr, The Tapping Solution author Nick Ortner, and What’s Your Body Telling You author Steve Sisgold, and sending me on tour with Hay House’s I Can Do It conferences (come hug me in Atlanta next!).
Hay House has been awesome about not pressuring me to hit the New York Times bestseller’s list, and they’ve made it clear to me that they’re in it for the long haul with me, regardless of the success of this book. But as your classic overachiever – the kind who always made straight A’s and did every extra credit project in order to please the teacher, I notice my old spermy tendencies around this book launch. I want millions of people to read Mind Over Medicine because I’m convinced it will help heal patients – especially those suffering from “chronic” health conditions for which Western medicine has little to offer. I also want to heal our broken health care system. And I truly believe that if empowered patients and conscious health care providers adopt the scientifically-proven fact that the body has natural self-repair mechanisms that can be flipped on or off with the power of our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, our broken health care system will start to heal.
But underneath those noble missions, I notice something else, something I’m reluctant to share.
The Desire To Achieve
I want to please Hay House. I want to please my agent Michele Martin, who worked so hard to help me make this book the best it could be, and my editors Patty Gift and Sally Mason, who gave me all the freedom I needed to make this book what it wanted to become, even when it meant rewriting from scratch 2/3 of the book in 17 days long after the deadline.
I also want my mother and my husband and my daughter to be proud of me. I wish my physician father, to whom I dedicated the book, could tell me he’s proud of me too, even though I know this book is probably making him turn over in his grave.
I also want my friends and colleagues to like my book. Hell, I want YOU to like it. And I want you to buy it. And I want you to tell your friends about it because it resonates so deeply with you that you want every friend and family member to learn the paradigm-shifting ideas I teach in this book.
Sounds like every author, right? We care about what we write about, so of course we want to spread the word. But at what cost? When does our passion become pure sperminess, at the expense of the commitment to stay eggy?
When It Really Matters
You may or may not have launched a book, but surely you’ve been in the situation when you’re engaged in work that really matters to you and other people have high expectations of you. Maybe you’re burning the candle at both ends, pulling all-nighters, and sacrificing your self-care, your relationships, and your sanity in order to achieve some idealized result someone else has defined for you. Because you care. And it matters. And because other people are counting on you…
Or maybe you’re healthier than that, in which case, can I rub your head and hope some of you rubs off on me?
An Eggy Book Launch
I now find myself in a curious place. I’m SO committed to living in this “eggy” way, even when the stakes are high and other people are counting on me. I don’t want to come across as lazy or fail to do my part to alert the world about the mission I’m so committed to sharing via Mind Over Medicine.
But I do want to announce my book launch (and yes – spermy note here – there are lots of preorder goodies if you buy your copy before May 7!) while also trusting that I’ve written a book that will help many people. I do want to spread the word that the book is coming out, but I also want to release attachment to any particular outcome and just let The Universe have its way with this book.
I’m trying to let people know that I’m available to promote the book through television, print media, radio, blog posts, live events, and social media. But I also aim to breathe, sleep, exercise, be there for my family, release, surrender, pray, and trust.
So far, my eggy approach has gone pretty well. O magazine, SELF, and Health magazine are doing features. Top bloggers like Leo Babauta at Zen Habits, Scott Dinsmore at Live Your Legend, and Lewis Howes (listen to our podcast here) are helping spread the word. The PBS show will surely attract many who will benefit from my work. The Dr. Oz producers are noodling how to make my work fit into their production schedule.
And those of you who took me up on my offer to read galley copies of my book and spread the word in your own way are being SUPER creative and making all kinds of yumminess happen. (Bless you!)
An Eggy Book Tour
But I’m choosing not to do the kind of book tour I did for my last book. My 5 month 2010-2011 book tour was exhausting, and I missed my family and my Tempur-Pedic mattress and Muir Woods. By the end of my 30 city tour, I was depleted.
I won’t be touring 30 cities this time, but I am saying yes to book tour invitations that feel super yummy, eggy, and fun. What does that mean? Well, I’m waiving my usual $10,000 speaking fee from May-July 2013, and I’m waiting for people to make me fun offers to host me at events that give me the chance to spread the word about my book. (If you feel like making me an offer I can’t refuse for an eggy book tour event at a conference, hospital, women’s event, New Thought church, or other non-bookstore venues, email Melanie@OwningPink.com). And if you want to see where I’ve already agreed to speak, check out my book tour schedule here and let’s meet in person!
The New York Times Bestseller’s List
Unlike many of my successful author friends, I’ve decided not to kill myself (or spend a fortune) to try to hit the NY Times Bestseller’s List. Yes, it’s an author’s wet dream to hit the list. Yes, it means you’ll get big fat advances for future books. Yes, it means you can raise your speaking rates.
But at what cost? I’ve decided not to pull any of the tricks some people try to manipulate the list. Instead, I’m trusting that if it’s in the highest good for this book to reach millions of people, it will happen organically, not because I’ve bought a lot of books on my own dime or paid a lot of money to fulfill preorders from small indie bookstores that report to the New York Times, but because real, live people read the book and love it so much that they buy 10 copies for everyone they love – and they spread the word because the book genuinely changed their life.
I’ve decided I’m in this mission for the long haul. I’d rather run the marathon than the sprint, and if this book never hits the NY Times list but sells hundreds of thousands of copies over the course of a few years, I’ll be thrilled.
And if it only sells 10,000 books… well, I trust that this is how it’s supposed to be.
How Do You Stay Eggy When There’s Work To Be Done
The trick comes in setting goals but releasing attachment to outcomes – and then not kicking yourself if things don’t go the way you planned when you chose not to be spermy. It’s all about balance – doing the spermy work that needs to get done so The Universe has a chance to work its magic while trusting that it’s enough to put it all out there – and then let it go.
Are you willing to put your faith to the test? Can you trust that being eggy works? Or do you believe you must sperm your way to success?
I’m still learning how to navigate all this. And it’s super uncomfortable sometimes! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
PS. One more spermy note, if you order 1 copy of Mind Over Medicine before May 7, you’ll get free access to Make Your Body Ripe For Miracles, a $79 value 2-hour Live Online Event with me and Martha Beck. And if you order 3 copies, you’ll get that plus access to 6 Steps To Healing Yourself, a $297 value 4-week teleclass with me. Order your copies here.
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