FIRST HAND WOMAN is not just a stage play. It’s also a state of mind.

As we gear up to bring my play down to FringeNYC (getting chills!), it is my pleasure to introduce you to Holistic Health Coach and Anger-slayer, Tina Paymaster. She is ready to share how she said so long to being a second hand woman and hello to becoming a first hand woman. I hope you enjoy this inspiring read. Make sure you get all the way to the bottom to get your very own call to action. Okay, time to kick Anger’s butt!

And as always…

Dream up,

Sarah Michelle Brown

FIRST HAND WOMAN is one woman’s powerful story, told through five different parts of herself. These parts are the boisterous and unapologetic stages of loss. So the characters onstage are Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression and Acceptance. This is an exhilarating ride through the stages of loss and into redemption!


First Hand Woman - Tina Paymaster

My path to becoming me…

Being a second hand woman is denying your true self. It’s living your life according to “what is right” or “expected” of you, and therefore losing your real identity as a unique individual. It’s always looking to others to fulfill you and bring you happiness instead of looking within yourself.

I’ve never felt more like me than I do at this point in my life. For years I was always worrying about what everyone else thought of me… family, friends, boyfriends, you name it. I never realized how much this was holding me back from really experiencing the amazing joy in just being me. I was anxious and constantly on edge. I always felt that I had something to prove and like I needed to do more to make the people in my life happy. I was constantly looking to someone else, usually a boyfriend, to make me whole and truly happy… and I usually ended up less than satisfied.

Earlier this year, my three-year relationship ended. It was an intense, up and down, confusing time. Sometimes it’s hard to see how things “happen for a reason”. But what I took away from this relationship has helped me go from being a second hand woman to being a first hand woman.

First Hand Woman - Tina Paymaster

Towards the end of the relationship something occurred to me that transformed my life forever. After a huge argument between myself and my then-boyfriend, where I literally went crazy-town on him, full of uncontrollable emotion and anger, I did something I had rarely done:

I looked at myself.

After everything was said and done, I realized JUST how angry I was getting during our arguments and how toxic I was being to myself. I couldn’t live like that anymore.

For so long I had always looked at others for being the reason for my happiness or sadness. He did this or she said that. I rarely looked at how I was reacting to situations and what part that had in my emotional states.

First Hand Woman - Tina Paymaster

I finally looked at myself and I didn’t like what I saw at all. That wasn’t me, that wasn’t the person I wanted to be and I had to do something about it or I was never going to be happy.

I realized it didn’t matter what the context of the argument was or who it was with. For the first time in a long time, I took responsibility for my own emotions.

I didn’t ask anyone to change, but me.

I immediately began going to Buddhist mediation classes, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and started seeing a therapist again as well. I knew there were underlying issues as to why I was reacting to things the way I was, and I had to get to the bottom of them. Meditation brought an incredible calm to my everyday, the principles of Buddhism brought clarity and therapy brought understanding. It was the trifecta that I needed.

First Hand Woman - Tina Paymaster My relationship didn’t last, but from that moment on, I took responsibility for my own happiness. I didn’t put that weight on someone else’s shoulders.

I found pleasure in things that made me happy, even if it wasn’t what others wanted. I became a little selfish and I was ok with it. I finally understood that I needed to be happy with myself to be truly happy in life. It didn’t have to do with anyone else and that was amazing and so much less exhausting!

I had the power within me!

Being a First Hand Woman to me is paving your own path to discovering your true self, taking responsibility for your happiness and finding pure joy in just being you, because you are amazing!

~Tina Paymaster
Holistic Heath Coach

First Hand Woman - Tina Paymaster_____________________________________

Thank you so much Tina!!

Okay, now, here is where you come in. I want you to take action now. Let’s put Tina’s advice into action right now. You are going to become a Sabotage Slayer! What ways are you sabotaging your own happiness? Is it by overworking, eating poorly, not exercising, letting anger and depression take over, stressing out?

It’s time for you to make a chart. On one side, I want you to write down 5 different ways that you are sabotaging your own happiness. Do it now.

Got em? Great. On the other side, I want you to answer each of those points with one easy action step.

Got em? Fantastic! Now, in the comments below, I want you to write down one of those action steps.

That’s it. Let me know how you’re going to slay your self-sabotage.

Dream up,

Sarah Michelle Brown