Monster to Mentor (3)

A collaboration with Hazel Gale: Founder of the Mind Monster Project

Our UPS driver throttled up the hill at full speed. In drive, and sometimes reverse, he’s traversed our driveway’s S turn for twenty years. For fifteen of them he visited almost daily, delivering heavy cardboard boxes brimming with sales brochures from my husband’s employer. Most of the time, we dumped the materials right into the recycle bin and wheeled them to the curb for Thursday morning pick up.

Humans do a lot of silly things.

From the window, I watched Carl descend the steps of his big brown box on wheels. He handed a manila envelope to my husband and zoomed back down the drive to his next delivery. He told me once that he’s tracked by his employer--never time to chat more than a minute. Could be true...or, maybe Carl just doesn’t want to chat? (That bit in italics is my monster speaking.)

My book! I thought. Just in time for the weekend.

I got on with whatever I was doing and later when my husband came in I asked, “Where’s my book?”

“What book?” he asked.

“Carl? The package?”

“It wasn’t a book. Business cards.”

“Oh,” I replied with a frown.


All packed up with boat attached to hitch, my Memorial Day Weekend fisherman hit the highway heading north. I walked down the drive behind them, then up the road a ways to our mailbox. Guess what was hiding behind the brown metal door? A manila envelope! I could tell from the heft of the parcel, my book had arrived via USPS instead of UPS.

Standing at the kitchen counter, I pulled a scissors out of the junk drawer and cut open the package to find Fight: Win Freedom From Self Sabotage by Hazel Gale. Just days before I’d shared a face to screen to screen to face conversation with the London based author and wished we lived closer to each other. I felt an immediate connection and wanted to invite her to lunch.

I knew the book was going to be something special. I’d read the introduction online and was captivated by Hazel’s story, enchanted by her prose, and I wanted to know more about her, monsters, and minds.

My first reaction while holding Fight: Win Freedom From Self Sabotage was I’m so fortunate to have connected with the person who has created this amazing piece of work. As I opened and browsed the hefty tome with proper table of contents and full index, my monster jumped in and said, “You’d never be able to do something like that!”

I looked Little Girl Me in the eye, gently took her hand in mine, smiled, and asked, “Why not?”

She’s getting used to my questions and didn’t skip a beat before answering, “Well, maybe we could, if that’s something you really want to do.”

“I’m not sure yet, but thanks for being open to the possibility,” I said.

We’d taken another step.


Our monsters, when we work with them and accept them, can become our greatest teachers. Every challenging moment and every mistake we make has within it a lesson yet learned. When we uncover and begin actioning that lesson, the self-sabotage will cease to be a self-sabotage (and the monster will evolve into a mentor).

Our monsters' lessons, however, are usually pretty hard to hear. They're either things we don't think we're capable of or don't want to do. But we usually know, deep down, that we need to, and the self-sabotage can be seen as a way for our unconscious mind to send us that message. Until we heed it, the problem will persist.  ~Hazel Gale

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