Notes from the Universe and What Mike Dooley of TUT.com Unexpectedly Taught Me
My dearest, darling Lorna:
We are about to send you someone who will tell you some great and useful things, many of which you already know but need a new way of thinking about them… but the real gift will be more in what this man shows you than in what he tells you.
Love you muchly,
All the Hosts of Heaven
I was getting messages from the “Universe” long before I signed up for Mike Dooley’s Notes from the Universemailing list. Since the mid-90’s, I have frequently referred to Deity—God, Goddess, The Trinity, The Higher Power, That Which Is Greater, The All, The Source—as the “Universe.” Though some people (surprising to me) consider it a disrespectful term, my use of it is to convey the vastness and magnitude of Deity, whether I’m talking to a Christian, Wiccan, or occasionally an atheist who can find commonality in more scientific approaches. In any case, I often ask for insight and the Universe doth provide!
Last year, I was trying to figure out how to pull all my projects together to get them out to the people who need them. I’d come up with a solution—put it all in one place—but didn’t have the right processes in place at the time, so I spun my wheels a lot. The vision began to develop but I had qualms, and those stopped me from pushing forward toward fulfilling my vision. There just weren’t many role models for what I was doing. So I asked the Universe to send me some guidance.
Okay, well, I did ask the Universe for help—and what happens? The Universe sends me notes. I’m still amused by the irony of that. If the Universe had sent me textbooks, I probably wouldn’t have paid attention, given my sometimes short attention span. I mean, who wants to read Textbooks from the Universe?
I’d heard about Notes from the Universe much earlier but only in mid-2009 did I join up and become a fan. In case you’re not familiar with them, the notes are uplifting insights—often humorous—and they’re sent from the viewpoint of the Universe and personalized with the recipient’s name. (You can sign up at Tut.com.)
They reminded me a lot of the Gifts for the Goddess mailing list I started over 10 years ago and, in spite of its uber-fast growth, let lapse because my own personal life crises (divorce, extended family illness, job changes, etc) got in the way. For almost a year, I sent out a short article every day, Monday through Friday, each day focusing on a different category. After three months, I suddenly realized I had enough “gifts” to create a seasonal book. I did the same for all four seasons, though the last two books got side-tracked for a number of years while I agonized my way through family issues. The series was well-received, and when I offered to give away free ebooks in a non-ebook-friendly world of a decade ago for a period of 2 months as my way of giving back to the community, I was shocked that my fledgling publishing company gave away $75,000 worth of Gifts for the Goddess on a Hot Summer’s Night, which is the shortest and simplest of the four books (and actually my least favorite!)
Whereas I abandoned my free “Gifts” mailing list when it was at its peak subscription count, Mike continued with his freebies, building a list that now swells to 275,000 or more. His “Notes” became his connection with a market of 275,000 fans—and potential buyers for any other products he created. So when I joined his subscriber list, I was pleasantly surprised that he lived in the same town as my daughter’s college and gave monthly speeches there—and that he had a single upcoming hometown seminar that was within a day’s drive of me and about 20 minutes from Shannon’s apartment. I was so excited!
I loved his 6-hour seminar, “Playing the Matrix and Getting What You (Really) Want,” by the way, and did get a lot out of it. Although I’m already quite well-versed in Abraham-Hicks, The Secret, and a whole host of other Law of Attraction gurus and although Mike’s material was not anything particularly new to me, he had a different point of view that helped me make a few wonderful changes in my life. But that was based on what he had to tell me in his products, not what he had to show me.
By becoming a buyer of most of Mike’s material, I saw something that I wouldn’t normally have felt comfortable with for myself or that it would work for me: the whole idea of how you package your products…and repackage them. The first time I “bought” Mike was through his free “notes.” That sold me on his style and unique humor. The second time was when I found out he offered a subscription to the audio from his live monthly speeches, which are usually 1 to 1.5 hours long. I bought the yearly $98 subscription so I could tune in once a month and hear new goodness. After the $200 6-hour seminar I attended, I purchased his 12-CD series for $80, bought a new CD series called Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic for $30, and bought a book. Okay, for most people (including me) these were not inexpensive and I ended up gifting them to friends. The information was very worthwhile, however, and might have been even moreso if I were not already so familiar with works of this type. I always appreciate a new perspective.
But what Mike showed me that is affecting me so much now is that much of his material is re-packaged. During one of his CD series, I recognized most of the stories from his seminar. Told a little differently but still the same story and same lesson. By the time I’d finished another CD series and gotten half-way through the monthly audio subscription, I wasn’t finding much that was new to me—but it was being told to me in different formats. And that was what Mike had to show me that went beyond what he had to tell me.
Back in January 2005, I had started my Supergirl@40 blog—what I called my healing journal—to work through the aftermath of my defunct marriage. My older teen convinced me to use her own blogging group and I started very small, with just a handful of people I didn’t know off-line. I kept few things truly private and wrote my rawest emotion, usually working through situations cathartically to get to my solution. In the process, I uncovered occasionally profound insights into human nature, spirituality, and life in general. It wasn’t long before abuse survivors started showing up to share their stories with me, as well as people who were currently going through the same territory I’d just come through. As I worked through my starting over process, I started to note the patterns in my life and make course corrections though my self-inquiry. I also started digging into much older wounds and patterns from my childhood and then clearing out very old shadows. That doesn’t mean that everything became perfect or that I turned into some kind of Ascended Master or something as some of the New Age gurus seem to have achieved—I still backslide sometimes but I can note it and correct it more quickly now, and then share my process for my latest “course correction” with others.
Over a few years’ time, I quickly wrote around 3000 essays, though essay is usually a rather negative term for epiphany-filled scribblings. I learned a lot in the process about how much people have in common beneath the skin, and ever moreso the closer to the bone you go. I began getting letters from readers who told me they were “addicted” to my articles and that they used my writings as a “blueprint” for their lives. I heard from strangers who swore I was writing about their own lives—right down to the same stories about in-laws, things that go bump in the night, and OMG-I-put-together-a-home-gym-that-can’t-be-taken-apart-and-won’t-fit-through-the-door-when-I-sell-the-house. Strangers marveled that I seemed to be writing about their lives while people who knew me swore I was spilling secrets that they’d never told me. I did not, however, go the way of many writers and “monetize” my blog at that time with AdSense or corporate ads. I simply wrote what I felt and shared it.
I wasn’t aware of Mike Dooley at the time to copy him and I no longer remember how I came to the decision, but around the time I’d written half a million words in blogs and articles, I decided to take the best of the articles from the first year or two and put them in a “blog book” for my readers who wanted to catch up on the earlier material. There was just one problem: how to decide what to put into the package. My friend and mentor, Vicki Hinze, was the one who suggested that instead of publishing one book with my favorite articles, I should publish them all, but break it into a trilogy.
“Life is in the details,” she told me, explaining that the greatest value of my articles was in the detail of what happened and how I worked through it.
So I turned my articles into fifteen 150-page blog books covering January 2005 to Fall 2007, in chronological order for those who wanted to follow my story and my growth process. I have now made 11 of the 15 available in digital form on this site—4 are still in production—and the first 4 are available in print. For much of the work I did at the end of 2007 and through the next year, I packaged both old and new articles into themed books, which became—thus far—The Long-Awaited, Honest to God Secret to Being Happy (which I also teach at regional spiritual gatherings), Give Your Life Direction: 23 Life Coaching Tips to Motivate You, Re-Focus Your Time, and Overcome Resistance to Positive Change (which was a bundle of my favorite coaching tips), and Attract Him Back: Master the Law of Attraction to Bring Back Friends, Lovers, and Relationships from your Past (different ways I’ve used the Law of Attraction to bring former lovers and friends back into my life). Those 3 ebooks have outsold everything else I’ve published that wasn’t overtly sexual in nature.
But my dilemma has been what to do about “overlap.”
Thanks to Mike Dooley and his Notes from the Universe and all the material that launched from that experiment, I’ve stopped worrying about overlap and I’m gleefully pushing my work out there to an audience that craves it and can made good use of it. At this point, I plan to reconvene the chronological blog books under the Third Degree Diaries series but also package them (along with new material) in themed collections with many more on the Law of Attraction and its lessons, on romance and relationships, on starting over, on meditation, on empathy and intuition, and on bizarre metaphysical events. Some of these will become audio books, and others will become new courses that can be licensed to the life coaches who read this site so that they can teach from my articles and make money doing it.
I’ve considered all this before but felt unsure of my steps. I wasn’t sure where the draw the line between the books, but I don’t necessarily have to. I’m glad I asked the Universe to send me some guidance—and that I’ve had the chance to see how Mike puts his material out to his audience. I don’t see myself climbing on stage in front of crowds—I’m more a fan of writing than talking—but who knows what will turn up next?