Building Legends One Life At A Time
Recently at the start of 2024, I was presented the statistic that over 48,000 people had taken their lives by January 4th. At first the person said guess how many suicides happened in the first 4 days of the year. I thought I was guessing high by saying 700. They responded, "are you answering for your state?" I said, "no." They then shared that my state had experienced 1,100 suicides. I did a double take! I was afraid to know the number if Virginia alone was at 1,100. After hearing the actual number, I was in total disbelief. It shocked me that so many people felt so incredibly hurt, and unwilling to live, that they killed themselves.
I traveled further into that day and shared the statistic. My friend revealed to me that the US Surgeon General just put out an alert that there is an epidemic of loneliness in this country. I was taken aback a second time. In my lifetime of over 56 years, I had never heard a Surgeon General make a public declaration over emotions, and not a physical disease.
Thinking loneliness and depression is not a disease is part of the problem. Mental health and emotional wellbeing is a crisis of our emotions. That’s a disease. It's the silent, discounted, and stigmatized disease that allowed 48,000 people to kill themselves 4 days in a new year.
Mental health is treated by different doctors than a broken hip, but treatment is treatment. The sense of hopelessness and loneliness is silently festering in our communities. We who say we love people, have to open our eyes to start fighting for these hurting people. We have to care about mental health one life at a time. It's a disease, not a stigma.
In preparing for the marketing of my upcoming book, Leap of Faith: Questionable Choices, I have been asked who is my target audience? Who do my talks and my topics speak to? My naive answer was everyone. I heard BONK NO!! wrong answer. Marketing professionals alerted me that my book and my speaking can't be targeted to everyone, even if many people accept it. They informed me I don’t have the time, the energy, or money to focus my efforts on everybody. That floored me!
The marketing world sent me grappling and soul-searching for who am I trying to reach. The question is a hard one and the answer is even harder. Can you believe that? Here's the thing. Someone with a wealth of knowledge gave me a lifeline by reframing the question this way:
Anita, where have you seen the most energy, response and gravitational pull from your voice, your message, and your presence? That answer was clear and unexpected.
During the last two years, I’ve spoken on dozens and dozens of podcasts, in front of crowds whether a retreat, church, senior center, university, zoom, pub or wherever the platform led me. The one audience with the most intriguing, energy soaking up, my words like fresh milk was just one. That audience was college students. (Maturing adults) They listened, questioned, asked me questions, more questions, and asked me back for insights on all types of topics. The students who have come into my journey have shared vulnerability, identified pressures and emotional frailties. They showed me time and time again how much they needed me.
The genuine honesty of their need was palpable. In all their maturing vigor, quest for intellect, and thespian talent for bravado, these new adults were totally overwhelmed. Our institutions have prepared them for book learning, but life learning was behind the eight ball. The SAT, GPA, I-Phones, and virtual potato salad left their thumbs aerobic, and the understanding of life...rudderless. What’s ahead to them is a dark and scarry mystery. The fear of what life really has out there for these maturing adults is frightening for the rich, the poor and the unprepared.
On and off campus, I get asked question after question about life, relationships, God, and validation of self. None of those questions are shallow and they all require courage to ask in a safe space. Parents, Preachers, and Coaches this is not meant to be an indictment of any of you. None of us is comfortable exposing ourselves to what is really going on within. When we do expose ourselves it's on our own terms and with the people we have trust. It just so happens that I get chosen more than most by people who know me, because they know I care. Building others has never been about fees and honorariums to me.
With my speaking forums, I open myself and expose fifty plus years of vulnerabilities and screw ups. I don't mind sharing my story in hopes it will help someone with theirs. My speaking venues are a safe place. The young men and women who experience my talks, feel my heart and participate in my question and answer sessions knowing that they can share. If I am willing as a woman on the platform to admit the most embarrassing and foolish thoughts and decisions of my life, then they tend to share what's bothering them. They tend to share the secrets keeping them awake and causing them to abuse substances in the dark of night.
These maturing adults let down the guards, the walls that many of them often find easier to talk to me, than a licensed therapist or doctor and all the other incredible people in their lives. I have heard more than once said to me - I've tried therapists but they weren't for me for one reason or another. They say, but Anita, I know you care. I want to say a resounding, yes, I do care.
Here's where I want to share my intention. I know who Anita Helm is and why I raise my voice. For those looking for voices for stadiums, auditoriums, rooms, and stages, you can always find someone more popular, my published, more famous, and louder, but what you won't find is a more honest and authentic voice than Anita Helm to share my life experiences to those struggling for their very existence. My voice and my message will be SAFE in the rooms with those in need. Building people energizes me. My heart pumps faster encouraging those who need hope.
Starting in 2024 my offering "Building Legends One Life At A Time" is about the tools that can help build Self-Mastery. I have pulled together parts of my basket of offerings over the years to introduce to the generations of maturing adults that we all need to exhale together from the tireless pressure to perform, to attain, and to maintain. This offering is going to lessen the bravado of self-marketing who we think we are “supposed to be” and just be.
In the rooms you invite me (that's your part to play).Invite me. You orchestrate the invitations. I can promise that I'll bring the preparation, the heart and the straight talk. My content, like life, is not rocket science and not set in stone, I am there to share knowledge and customize to the needs of what's going on in your group. The below is an overview of the Self-Mastery, Session entitled "Building Legends One Life At A Time."
Here's the Unfiltered Conversation that will happen:
Who are you really? (Identity)
What's Your Hustle About? (Purpose)
Where's Your Safety Net (Ropes of Security and Having an Inner Circle)
What’s Your Rebound Game? (Lessons of Failure)
What Would this Life be With You? ( Your Legacy and Struggling with Life)
If I have peaked your interest, contact me to learn how we can help one another.
Main Office (703) 670-2066
YouTube Short- YOU MATTER