The next few Diva Dispatches are going to deal with a particular kind of advanced self care that I call “the Golden Ticket.” If you’re familiar with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the novel, or the movies based on it – the Gene Wilder version is downright nightmare-inducing in the tunnel scene), you’ll remember that the “Golden Ticket” gave a select few admission to the mysterious inner workings of Willy Wonka’s chocolate kingdom. It essentially represents the key to the kingdom of your heart’s desire.
Just as Dahl’s Golden Ticket wasn’t meant for every ticket holder (who all came to pretty bad ends, except for the pure-of-heart Charlie Bucket), advanced self care is not the jumping-off point if you’re just getting started on this journey. Please – first complete the “Diva Drills” and take a few 12-hour vacations before trying this. That may sound silly, but really – the Golden Ticket requires that you already know what you like and don’t like. While that sounds simple, it’s actually something that so very many of us don’t really know. We know what the glossy magazines and TikTok/Insta influencers tell us we should like, but walking the Diva path requires that you know your own preferences and the Diva Drills and 12-Hour Vacation are both valuable tools to help you figure that out. (The “Self Care Alphabet” isn’t bad, but it’s incredibly general and is only a sketched framework.
Honestly, the Golden Ticket is all about going beyond the small bits of time needed by the Diva Drills and even the longer commitment to yourself required by the 12-Hour Vacation. In short, the heady intoxication of the Golden Ticket is not to be entered into lightly. It demands that you have done some deep digging into your own personality and psyche. Most of us are so busy taking care of other people and satisfying other obligations that we don’t really know what we like – to eat, to listen to, to occupy our time, how far you’re willing to go outside your comfort zone, and even the indulgences you prefer.
The Golden Ticket is available to anyone at any time, but it requires the laying of some significant groundwork. I’ve worked way up to the Golden Ticket and I’m going to explain what I did over the last week or so as I presented my hard-won Golden Ticket to myself. My experience will not be the same as yours, nor should it be. But hopefully I can convince you to dedicate yourself to learning more about your own likes and passions, with an eye toward you presenting your own Golden Ticket to yourself in the future.
Let’s get going!