Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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The Wisdom of Tom Petty

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“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part
Oh, don’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to you
Don’t let ’em kill you baby, don’t let ’em get to you
I’ll be your breathin’ heart, I’ll be your cryin’ fool
Don’t let this go to far, don’t let it get to you.”

Words and Lyrics by Tom Petty

Since Tom Petty passed away early last month, I’ve been listening to him and his words like never before. He had a spirit connected to a level of source that was wrapped up in leather, coddled in guitars and flowed through a weary, snarling voice that personified 20th century music.

Petty was my high school days. He was my early Los Angeles world (“Free Fallin'”). His music was always rollicking and rolling. Although his music with the Heartbreakers and the Traveling Wilburys was the soundtrack of my 80’s and 90’s,  I never really HEARD his lyrics until the day he died.

Petty died on day one of a transitional period in my life. It was, and continues to be, an expansive, scary and amazing time of discovery, meetings with new people and some hard to ignore frustrations. With Petty’s untimely death making his music part of the zeitgeist, the words floated and landed with me at the most important time to hear them.

Especially the song, “The Waiting”. These past few weeks have been a test of patience. Waiting is hard, but part of applying one’s will toward the greater goal – the brass ring you know is coming if you just put in the work and let the powers that be take the wheel.

He was a sage. Just like Dylan or the Beatles – those touched by something that was beyond their comprehension. They opened the conduit to something other worldly. He translated the flow of a deep seed of knowledge we all find in the base of our soul. There were messages of survival and strength in the face of a cruel world. He opened the path and rendered words that would be understood by the human ear.

Songs like “Learning to Fly” and “I Won’t Back Down” have become anthems in my life at this particular time.

I take solace in “Learning to Fly” – how I’m starting out all alone on some dusty road, as the sun comes up day after day with new ways to find my wings.

And “I Won’t Back Down” is my mantra. This world will make you quake in your shoes, but I’m not gonna let it. I won’t give into fear. I will not give up my focus on success, and failure or rejection will not shake me for long.

I don’t mean to overstate this or make him out to be a god. He was only human, a man with a painful past that molded him into understanding the human condition so intensively, he could passively bring down some goodly wisdom from somewhere. Where that place is – we’ll never know until we’re no longer here.

We just have to wait.


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From Pain to Change

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I take a lot of spin classes, and one of the things many a spin instructor says while we’re in the throes of sweaty hell is this, “The more uncomfortable you are, the more you work through it, the more change you will see.”

As life toodles on and another year ends in my many decades on earth, I learn this little ditty on human perseverance more and more. There’s been a lot of pain that culminated in loss, health issues, job challenges and personal self improvement. But the one thing I can say is this – it’s temporary. As my beloved George the Beatle once said, “All Things Must Pass”. And they do. We plow through the pain. We lean into the fire and endure the flames until we come out on the other side singed and burned, but stronger. (Really? Stronger? Aren’t we bandaged and terribly sore? Bad metaphor. But you get the drift).

Today was a wee bit of a rough day. Uncertainty surrounded me, with so much hope for terrific opportunities dangled and just in reach.  It’s the waiting that adds more fire to the flame. But one thing I know is this. I’m damn good at what I do, and anyone would be lucky to have me. It’s beyond a cliche statement, written with some self delusion or self help mumbo jumbo. It’s real. I know it. I have what it takes to be amazing in contributing my mind, experience and dedication to anything anyone throws my way. I’m passionate about this. Just watch me.

Meanwhile, I wait. Another day. Another day on deck, full of possibilities.

By the way – that’s my dog’s butt in the photo.

 


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Meditation in a Loud World

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When I was eleven years old, I fell in love. I first laid eyes on him inside an album cover.  He was photographed within a crowd of people who looked off into the distance, as if there was an accident, or some guy who “made the grade” and “blew his mind out in a car”. He had cheek bones for days, a perfect shag, symmetric feathered hair cut and held an inner beauty with an essence of humor. The man was gorgeous to me. His name was George Harrison.

It was my pre-adolescent crush on the spiritual Beatle George that introduced me to meditation. The stories about the Beatles’ visiting a giggly, wise, (and apparently very handsy) guru named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, fascinated me. Further obsession with Harrison introduced me to the story of Krishna. I’d read Rolling Stone, listen to Harrison interviews on the radio and on TV, marinate in the lyrics of his songs about finding inner peace and gaining a concept of how life “flows within you and without you”.  All these bits of wild and wonderful wisdom have followed me, escaped me, and the returned during the most difficult and wonderful times of my life.

Too young to really understand how to meditate, I put it aside as a future tool I’d never realize I’d need. With maturity came understanding the technique of meditation and its value. When things get rough in this loud and crazy world – especially during a time of transition whether in your career, life, status or whatever is on your plate that’s stirring up the particles in your mind’s snow globe – the practice of meditation can help keep your mind balanced and on track to finding the peaceful room that lives inside you. It can also hone your intuition, allow you to make decisions with power, and provide a state of well being that will provide clarity while going out and accomplishing your goals.

The answers come when our mind is still. Live mindfully. That means, don’t give into fear. Don’t give into worry. Don’t believe in scarcity. Shutting off a few minutes a day to focus on the peace that lives inside you will autocorrect these feelings because we are not meant to feel this.

We are not running from wolves anymore. Our frontal lobe bullshit can only help us understand what we need to change and work on. But letting fear cloud our clarity toward success will only hold us back and manifest the very things we fear. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I’m like you. I’m constantly face to face with the fearful stuff life brings.  The pitfalls come and the self doubt creeps in. Yet, I work hard, and encourage you, to transform fear into power. We are racing through life, family and career without thought or connection to our inner vibration. Time to slow down to help you tap into your gut feelings and live mindfully. It will help you and those around you be the best you are meant to be.

Here are some resources on meditation I’ve found helpful.

The Universe Has Got Your Back, By Gabrielle Bernstein.

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Vo-Dihn Mai

Science of Being and Art of Living: Transcendental Meditation, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

There are also plenty of guided meditations on YouTube to provide steps on how to calm the mind so you can think clearly and optimize your day.

If you’re like me and prefer atmospheric, brain soothing spacey audio to help you flow, like high frequency tones and vibrational sounds that reboot the electrodes in your brain – search for “Binary Beats” on YouTube.  Play with some videos and stick with the ones that make you feel good.  Plug in for 10 minutes – at your desk or in a quite corner at home –  and clear those mind clouds. (Don’t do this and drive.)

The one great challenge is to make yourself do this everyday, and to not fall into the well of despair by forgetting that quiet peace inside you.

Thoughts don’t matter. What lays beneath does. George opened that concept to me.

Thanks, George.

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Go forth and namaste with your spiritual self.


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Treat Yo-Self

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We’re two days past “Trick or Treats” and all the fun of Halloween, so talking about treating oneself might not be for those still trying to work off all those Snicker Fun Size bars they wolfed down over the past 48 hours.

(What are you looking at? So what if I’m buzzing on a foggy brained sugar high right now?)

But when life gets rough, the one thing we do is treat ourselves rough. When a bad diagnosis freezes you in your tracks, or you’re unemployed, or you’re now the caregiver to a loved one who is fading fast – the last thing we want to do is treat ourselves. We fall into a pit of poor eating, no exercise because all your energy is going toward those freaked out nerves coursing through your veins. That’s not cool, people. Not cool at all.

I’m not a guru on these things, but I will say – that I’ve known people who were caregivers to spouses with grave conditions. It consumed their lives to the point where when that loved one passed away – they weren’t far behind on shuffling off the mortal coil. Why? Because when they accompanied their partner to the doctor, they didn’t stop to ask about their own pesky cough or that weird spot on their arm. Things go undiagnosed or waited on because they aren’t focused on their own well being. Their priority is the ill loved one.

If you’re reading this and going through the ringer of life, please make sure you do the following. This is not rocket science, and I’m not saying anything different that what other people are saying a bajillion times on the internet, but since you’ve landed here – try this:

1) Breathe. Go to a quiet place and breathe.

2) Meditate. There are vast resources on the internet to get you started. It will ground you.

3) Eat well. Be careful with the food you chose. Treat yourself to a fancy juice. Drop the pizza and the pasta for a day. Know that you need your strength and well being.

4) Exercise. Start off walking. Breathe in the air. Take a yoga class. Try spin class – it will knock your ass on the floor and cleanse you. Or just do something that makes you move and sweat. Endorphins are your friends!

5) Reach out to friends and family. Ask for their help. If they don’t help, reach out to your community. Volunteer for a cause that means something to you. Meet new people. Get information on how to handle the difficulties you’re facing. If you have an EAP (Employee Assistant Program) group at your place of work – give them a call. Most companies have this service as a perk. There are counselors on call that can help you for free on anything – mental health, legal matters, financial planning, child & elder care. It’s pretty awesome.

And just know – that we are living a life full of nonsense and chaos with lessons galore. You are amazing and strong. Understand what’s bad in this world.

Be good to yourself and kind to the world, because sometimes the best treat of all is how you feel when you treat others the way you want to be treated. 

 


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Mindset: The Matter of Money

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Let’s face it. I can spew all the spirituality and personal self help mantras to manifest and create abundance from within. But there is nothing like having some money in the bank. And in order to work hard at earning the kind of money we feel we deserve, we have to change our mindset about the whole megillah.

Although our money may seem scarce – to live in a mentality of scarcity only keeps you in the low numbers.

To freak out on not having the dosh by jumping ship to live where you don’t want to live, to be with the people you don’t want to be with, to think the way you don’t want to think – will only keep you there.

If you need something – work hard to earn it. To earn it is to know how to get it. To get it is to know how to keep it.

Think of all the lottery winners who’ve lost their dough by buying stupid stuff or “making it rain” instead of investing wisely. If you didn’t know how to earn it – how are you going to know how to keep it?

I’ve always feared money. I seemed to have come into this world fearing everything. Sometimes I wonder if I was ripped away from my previous life and reincarnated so fast that I still had the old birth marks of the person I may have once been. Everything, from the first day I can remember being here on earth,  felt frightening. The constant feeling of nausea – at food, mornings, doctors, school – was constant, until I could navigate the world.

But money is weird for me. My parents were always saving and being careful with it. I had friends who always seemed to have more money in their lives than I did. Nicer houses, more vacations, nicer clothes. Although my folks tried hard and did give me a lot, money had to be treated in practical terms.

If my mother wanted to join a gym to get fit and healthy, my father would scream and yell about it.

If my mom wanted to go back into the workforce after raising me past the age of 10, my dad would tell her she was all talk and no walk. So – she didn’t try.

I’m not trying to rail on my dad. He was a good man who felt he needed the whole world to be on his shoulders, and didn’t know how to understand my mom.

Money and how we treat it tends to come from how our parents handled it. But we’re only a product of our parents. We don’t have to live or think the way they did.  We’re individuals with our own strengths.

Sometimes we have to look at money like positive energy. It’s a currency that is so ethereal. It’s paper with value, and it determines our well being. But it shouldn’t.

We should feel wealth from within.

But try saying that to my bank account and landlord. Am I right?

Time to change the mindset. I’m going to try not to allow money to frighten me.

How about you?


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How To Bring A Hound to New York

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I miss New York like crazy.

With the recent change of jobs and, well, being “in-between” opportunities right now, I’m kind of free to move wherever I want.

I say “kind of” because I’m not rich (yet!?).  It’s not easy to just get up and move back to New York from California to search for work back home – where things are expensive. But I’m making some plans and getting my home inventory together for selling off my life to do it.

But here’s the thing. My hound Baxter is coming with me, and it’s going to be quite a journey for the little guy.

He’s a California hound.

He knows of green grass and warm to cool temperatures.

He knows nothing of snow.

He’s okay with rain.

I’ve not a clue what he’ll do with ice.

Maybe he’ll eat it? Maybe he’ll grow found of the taste of snow?

He’ll have to  learn to poop on concrete if we can’t make it to the grass fast enough.

He’ll have lots of smells because New York is a cesspool of smells.

He’ll find new friends that will make his wag his tail.

And maybe I’ll find things to make my tail wag, too.

Unless a job comes up in Los Angeles. If one does get offered to me, then I guess if it’s a great one – I’ll stay a little longer.

But I’ll still miss New York, and I’ll long to see my hound romp in the snow for the first time.


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Going with the Flowing

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Ah, the first feel of autumn. It doesn’t matter if the calendar bumped over the Autumnal Equinox, summer’s heat always hangs around like a friend who’s outstayed their welcome on her couch.

Pumpkins are on your neighbors’ front stoops. Cotton blobs have been stretched and draped over bushes and trees to resemble massive nests of spider webs, but actually look like dryer lint that has exploded through a laundry room window. Decor of miniature rubber rats and cats with arched backs are sitting on lawns, freaking out your dog who thinks they’re his enemies.

Yet – the summer heat still lingers. They call it Indian Summer, where the colors of the leaves that are ready to shed off summer branches. Both entities don’t match the temperatures hitting your skin. The smell of mulch, mixed with dying summer. It’s the in-between. The confusion of leaving something behind and looking toward winter and it’s chill.

But, I’m going with the flow. Setting up a routine of meditating, job search, networking and writing. Trying my best to ignore how each of my neighbors go off into the world to earn their money to keep their home, live the lives they have chosen.

There are possibilities out there, and I’m in the twilight between what has left me and what’s to come. Just like autumn is the in-between of summer and fall that roars right into winter.

I only hope that what’s to come won’t be a snowstorm, or brittle cold. We work on choosing paths that will alter the chill. We discover and cherish warmth, color, beauty, light and abundance within frost frozen windows. Let it snow out there.

We’ve got more than what we need within. The more we know that, and the more we work at what we want with that belief – we are sitting pretty. There is a job out there that wants me. What is meant for me will come. I will work at it and embrace it. There is much I have to offer.

And – there’s that book I want to write, and the course I want to teach.

“A blank page or canvas. So many possibilities.” Stephen Sondheim

That’s going with the flowing.


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Job Seekers: Pep Talk Time

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The job seeker’s search for the soulful job is a challenging one at best.  Some get paralyzed with fear and worry about the unknown. The reality is – the only thing you can deal with is now. Not the past, nor the future. The past is a memory. The future ain’t here yet, brother. You only have this right here. So, when the window closes on a job, believe me – a big door opens. I’ve been through this a few times. I’ve seen it.

It may cause your stomach to fall to your knees. Being “let go” is not for the weak hearted. But sadly, even the weak hearted have to deal with it at one point. They need to find their strength and get used to the waves. It’s not the end of anything. It’s a start of something. Yeah – I’m going to get all self helpy here.

Don’t give into fear. This change has allowed you to embark on a new, open road, filled with vast possibilities – as a chance to recalibrate their career compass, to learn new ways to improve skills and sharpen their personal outlook.

It’s scary, yes. Bank accounts don’t lie, and sometimes the severance check doesn’t land in your bank account sooner than you think.

I’m going through all this now, and I’m here to say this to anyone in this position:

Don’t give into scarcity.  Don’t shrivel up and panic.

Does the loss of a job put the fire under your butt?

Yes – it does. And that’s good.

Does the pain of trying to find your footing in the world of job search get you down?

You know what? Yeah, it’s a bummer. And you need to embrace that, because I’ve come to believe – through the readings of stoics and “not give a fuckers” – that happiness is earned through the rough and tumbly waters of difficulty. It strengthens your wings and sets your sails toward survival. That strength, that survival, creates happiness.

As Mark Manson says in his book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck”:

“…happiness requires struggle. It grows from problems. Joy doesn’t just sprout out of the ground like daisies and rainbows. Real, serious, lifelong fulfillment and meaning have to be earned through the choosing and managing of our struggles.”

I know – I’ve done the Abraham Hicks stuff, and I understand that in order to manifest cool stuff in your life, you have to feel good all the time. But facing the crappy stuff and finding solutions to your setbacks are more empowering.

Know your worth. Understand what you bring to the table when looking new opportunities. Don’t let anyone make you feel or believe you aren’t worth anything if rejection holds you down. Don’t let it suck you into the mire.

Know your finances. Be smart – not nuts about what you have to live on until you can find work. But if you have some dosh coming to you via severance or temp work – embrace it. Relish it. Be kind to yourself and treat yo-self to a lunch.

If you need to buy a new suit, or a new home printer because you need to look sharp and whip out instant resumes with powerful cover letters before that last minute interview — do it.  Spend a little money to help prepare you for the task ahead.

Get your hair done. Get your manicure fixed.

If your iPhone’s ringer doesn’t work and you keep missing important calls – consider getting a new iPhone – even if it’s not an upgrade. Just get yourself up to task so you show up bright, on point, shiny, empowered and ready for an abundant new chapter.

That’s what I’m doing. I’m flipping the bird on scarcity and fear. I’m doing it carefully because money isn’t growing on trees – but it is all around if you open yourself to it. Still -I’m not holding back on the things that I’ll need to get me there.

And if you’ve been unemployed for a while and have just given up – think of all that rejection as a nudge to do something else. Start a project that could spin into a real job. Volunteer at a local food kitchen. Start thinking like an entrepreneur and build a little something on the side that could spin into your life’s calling.

Take control of your path.

I know I’m going to get there. And you will, too.

 


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Human Resource: Being Human

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One of the worst things a person can say to someone who has just been laid off is, “What are you going to do now?”

What do you  mean, “What am I going to do now?”  Are you asking me because there is an answer? Do you have a job for me in mind, and the question is to see if I’m free so your wealthy dad can hire me?

What am I going to do now?

Well, for one – I’m going to feel a bit relieved. I wasn’t happy in the job I held for almost 5 years, and was gravely underpaid and unchallenged. Not that I didn’t try looking for a new job with better options while employed. I did. I have a resume that’s polished and updated. I have recruiters numbers and HR contacts on speed dial. From New York to Los Angeles – I’ve traveled for jobs that rendered nothing – yet.

And then, I’m going to speak to my financial advisor who deals with multi-millionaires and must wonder why the hell she took me on as a client several years ago when I was making better money, had a better job outlook, yet moved to Los Angeles for a change of pace only to run into low paying jobs thinking I’d get out of this financial rut. But seven years on? I have yet to.

And then, I’m going to write a book proposal where I reach out to frustrated people who are underemployed, underpaid, unemployed – millennials, Generation X-ers, Boomers Y-ers  — the multi-generational workforce that is fucking tired of trying to exist in this world. Not just in the material aspects of life, but spiritually. We are living in our machines – our faces illuminated in the light of our iPhones. We don’t see or feel each other. We argue and hate – in a world divided because we can’t find the American Dream.

And then, I’m going to find a job that pays better than what I’ve been paid. I’m going to write the book that needs to be written. I’m going to coach people to change their mindset so they find empowerment in the job seeking world that transcends race, gender and generations.

We are all in this together, folks. We need to wake up and understand how to survive.

Yet – here’s the thing:

I refuse to give into fear. I REFUSE to panic, to  live in lack and scarcity.  And if you find yourself in this position – YOU SHOULD TOO.

This is the hero’s journey, the big story of our lives, where we are taken out of our comfort zone, the “ordinary word”, and reluctantly forge to the “ordeal”, where we fight the slings and arrows of rejection and “what’s next”?

I don’t know if I believe we all have a “purpose” in life. Some of us do. Some of us don’t. But it’s nice to do something that helps others while we’re trying to help ourselves. It makes us – and jobseekers alike – human in a Human Resources world.

Just don’t ask a person who’s been laid off “What are you going to do now?”

What do you think I’m going to do?

Survive.

 

 


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Writing: Not Giving A Rat’s A$$

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**Warning: This Blog is Filled with major potty mouth. If you don’t like this language (and I don’t blame you) I absolutely respect it, and suggest you click on another fine, insightful blog post here at “Order…”. The subject matter brought out a way of writing I don’t want to edit. In fact, it was cathartic.  Thank you!

I’ve been reading this amazing book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson.  The title alone just pulls you in. If you’ve been disappointed and tired of self help gurus and the magical thinking of manifesting and positive belief to get what you want – well, this book turns that all on its head.

By not giving any fucks, we’re not talking about going through life not actually giving any fucks. We all have to give some fucks. But the whole point of his thesis – and a very wise and interesting one it is – is making sure you know where you place your fucks and how.

Make sure your priorities are in check. In looking for your bliss – be realistic. Life is one big bowl of suckitude. It’s always unfair, rife with inequality and the luck of the uterus we were gestated in.

We lose our jobs, our money, or people die on us, leaving us bereft. We struggle to survive financially. We write lots of blog posts and articles, book proposal unseen and spec scripts turned down by TV studio workshops that favor writers with better connections.

We loose the love of our lives to other people. We hate on our politicians, our leaders, our false profits and the hypocrisy of a dangerous world placed in the hands of people who are looking out for themselves.

I could go on and on. Yeah, yeah – life can be beautiful. But we dwell more on how life can suck. Because life sucking makes you want to change things for the better.

This all doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Quite the contrary – we should try so hard it makes the fucks quake. Just don’t try by thinking you’re going to make it, because that will be your obstacle. It will make you raise the bar so high for yourself, that you won’t want to even try.

That’s why you shouldn’t give a fuckety fuck fuck about the outcome. Just do it. Just be a Nike ad. Just write. Just create. Who cares if it brings nothing. Let the work make you happy.

As Manson explains in his book: Life is hard, and choosing HOW we live through the pain is the secret to surviving. The pain of bad luck. The pain of hardship. The pain of pain. The pain of taking lemons and not making lemonade, but understanding the lemons so we can make some nice pressed juice in the future. Maybe with some lemons, now that we understand them.

The subtle art of not giving two fucks is to stop looking for happiness in materialistic things like money, houses, wealth, that hot man or lady who we think will complete our lives, because it only lasts for a little while. Then the problems begin. The bills. The upkeep. The arguments. The way she likes to snap her gum in your face, or how he scratches his butt at inappropriate moments.

It’s fuckery to compare someone in another lane, riding in his Mercedes and sharp suit, thinking this dude is all happy and we want to be happy like that too, only to find out the guy in the Mercedes is going bankrupt and being sued for a portion of his earnings and his wife left him for her bi-sexual spin instructor.

The art of not giving a rat’s fuck is allowing yourself to clear expectations of yourself and your goals. To chose your fucks wisely. It is here where we find freedom.  The freedom to clear away obstacles so we can just do the damn work for the sake of doing it where no fucks are given, and the fucks don’t even wanna know.

I’m going to write that book and coach people in writing. I don’t give two fucks.

Thanks for reading. But please – read Manson’s book.