Who is CJ Golden?
I met CJ on the Internet. It was a strange, but timely and fateful coincidence back in 2012 when I was trying to get some traction for a video about “History of St. Valentine’s” just few days before the Valentine’s Day.
CJ Golden is an author and a speaker, her writing and words help strengthening women and girls as they embrace the transitions and challenges of their lives. When she is not engaged in her speaking tours across the country, she continues her inspirational work through her website at TaoGirl.com.
Q: Hi CJ, welcome! Please tell us about yourself so our readers get to know about you better.
Hi back, Andre. Okay – so I am a grey-haired (with bright red streaks) grandmother whose personal mission is to be the best grandma/mom/wife/friend possible. And one of the ways I can do that is by being the best “me” possible – constantly learning and growing and bringing whatever positive attributes I have to others. I love sharing my experiences and, hopefully some knowledge, and my upbeat attitude towards life through my books and my speaking engagements.
Q: Could you tell us more about Tao-Girl and the community that you’ve built Does it have anything to do with your personal experience?
The Tao-Girl community of women and girls did, indeed, stem from personal experience. I was one of those women who fell prey to the negative stereotypes of the older women that we so incorrectly have here in the west. Believing that I was no longer of great use to the world (as the naysayers would suggest) I had a very difficult time with the natural transitions of life: mainly the aging process. I took a look back upon my college studies of the Chinese philosophy of Taoism and recognized that aging, like all the other transitions we face, is a natural process and until I learned to accept and acknowledge that fact I was doomed to have a very unhappy experience as I travelled my path of life.
And, so, I sat myself down and wrote my first book, “Tao of the Defiant Woman,”
which shares the acceptance of the Tao and adds to that some healthy defiance (defying negativity and self-limiting behaviors and harmful stereotypes).
The book has helped many women as they sometimes stumble with the transitions in their lives. And my second book, “Tao-Girls Rule!” now comes to the aid of teen and pre-teen girls who also face issues such as low self esteem and lack of confidence and inner strength.
The perk in all of this is that I now love every age and stage of my life – if you could see the bright new yellow convertible that I bought myself to celebrate my last birthday, you’d understand how far I have come!
Q: So, it’s been a while since we created a music video for you, Do you find it’s useful to have a video on your website? Any data or statistics that you can share with us?
Absolutely! As you can see above, it takes many words to explain just what I mean by Tao-Girl and Tao and Defiant. My viewers can “get it” immediately just by watching the video you created for me.
Not only do they understand my work, but they also get a good idea of who I am. Keep in mind that I am a grandmother who goes into schools and visits with teen girls. With the video (which is titled “The Tao-Girl Rap”) they understand immediately that I am with them completely in spirit and mind.
Q: What made you interested in having the video in the first place? I love the song by the way!
Thanks for that – I love the song, too
At the end of some of my sessions with the girls, I have them get together in small groups and write a song that expresses just what it means to be a Tao-Girl (a girl who is Tenacious, Accepting, Optimistic, Grateful, Radiant, Loving). In that way we have fun together and they really begin to understand what I am talking about.
One day, on my way to a meeting with a group of girls, I decided to write my own rap song. I composed it in the car (using my phone’s recorder) and knew that I wanted to do something with it beyond just singing it for my teens.
As I had always envisioned Tao-Girl as an animation of some sort – since the day I began writing the books – and now I had a song, doing the video was the logical next step.
Q: You mentioned that you also played the video when you are on the stage, or when you are on your speaking engagement. Can you share any personal experiences here? How the audience reacts, or anything?
I sure do, for, when I am speaking to a large group, this is the very best introduction of who I am and what I do.
I’ve begun the sessions with the video and, at times, have played it again at the end of the event and we all get up and sing the rap together. Instead of creating an explainer video template, I contact Andre from Breadnbeyond.
Using the video at times like this is fun as it starts the speaking engagement in a lively manner and lets the audience know – right from the beginning – who I am, what I hope to achieve with the women and girls I work with, and that while the subject is heavy, the manner in which I deliver the message is light.
Wow, this is a real eye opener. I’m sure that our readers would be excited to read about your experience with this totally different style of animated video than those that we currently have in the market.
When I first met you, Andre, and learned of the work you and your team do at BreadnBeyond, an explainer video company
– I knew from the start that you would understand what I needed. With so many video styles to choose from, however, I was quite undecided about which would be best for my rap song.
It was your team who suggested the mix of styles that became my video – and it was so very perfect. The proof of that is in the huge grins on the faces of the folks who watch the video. And their expressions of understanding when the video has finished playing.
By the way – I now have a new book out, “Reflections From Beyond” -is very different from my first two- about a man who had a near-death experience. I bet you can do something amazing with that to help me get the word out about this new book!
Thank you for your time CJ. Cheers!