Open any self-help book and you will likely be met with a barrage of what exactly you have been doing wrong for your whole life, and what you need to start doing right lest you be miserable forever.
“Almost every moment of the book emphasizes being excited about life, about your own creativity, about letting it run free but also being in control of it and yourself,” says Elliott. She's a former University of Pittsburgh poetry instructor who’s now a counselor, teacher and organizer in the Evolver Network, which is dedicated to visionary social activism.
Elliott, 29, says in an interview that she wrote the book for friends of hers who she saw had immense creative ability, but weren’t sure how to use it. That situation gradually made them more and more unhappy.
Positivity is something of an avocation for Elliot. On her blog, www.awesomeyourlife.com, she writes, “I’m on a mission to help myself and everyone else become fully lucid, joyful and compassionate inside this crazy dream.”
Awaken Your Genius is published by Evolver Editions. In it, she outlines seven steps to self-improvement, emphasizing “making your soul,” which, she says, gives you backbone.
“Soul-making is about learning to see the world through your heart,” she says. “Seeing the world through your heart emphasizes the idea of being good and happy in every aspect of your life.”
The seven steps are a chronological plan to help readers move through their life without being held back by their own creativity: Hearing Your Heart’s Call, Accepting the Call, Meeting Your Guide, Crossing the Threshold, Enduring Trials and Becoming Divine. The book’s final step, Taming Your Genius, tells the reader that it doesn’t matter if a particular objective is good or bad; if it is not within reason, one will lose control.
Elliot is a published poet, but the book also draws on her experiences teaching, reading and being with friends — her failures as well as her successes.
She says that the book is not just a plan for a couple months, but rather outlines a possibly lifetime journey. “Our genius is hungry, and it needs to be fed,” Elliott says. “We have many different kinds of energy and oftentimes it can be overwhelming … [W]ith the book I am trying to help people find a healthy outlet for their energy and their creativity.”