The future is here
She conquered her dark and traumatic past to become the master of her own universe, and is now helping others do the same as the mastermind behind Institute of Women International. Marylin ‘Maz’ Schirmer shares her incredible tale of triumph and explains how the girl no one thought would amount to anything uncovered the future of psychology and personal development.
Marylin Schirmer welcomes me into her stunning home, full of a positive energy so contagious I can’t help but beam back at her. Here is a woman who has been through hell, but has conquered her demons and made it out the other side, grateful for the fire the experience lit within her.
It’s an amazing attitude, and one that is responsible for turning her life around and inspiring her to do the same for others – first through her business Institute of Women International, and now through Global Transformatrix. But behind Maz’s revolution of the self development and psychology world, lies a dark past full of abuse and self-loathing.
“I was the girl who wouldn’t have amounted to anything, that would have been the perception of me from most people,” says Maz, as she tells me about her childhood growing up near Innisfail in Far North Queensland.
“You would never have picked little Marylin Schirmer from Flying Fish Point – who was literally kicked around – and put her here. You would never have written that in the stars.”
Abused by her father and other male family members as a child, Maz says she was taught at a young age to accept her lot in life and understand that his behaviour was “just what men do”.
"I didn’t even realise everything my father did to me was actually abuse, I just knew that I hated him,” she says.
“Dad often had a gun at Mum’s head. It was normal – that was just Friday night in our house.”
Maz says the constant humiliation from her father and fear he instilled in her took its toll.
I had very low self esteem, I couldn’t even make eye contact with people. I thought everyone was out to hurt me, especially men. But while the women in my family didn't hurt me directly, they allowed the behaviour because it was all they knew,” she says.
“I had this belief and I used to say to myself, ‘I am the chewing gum under people’s shoes. I’m not wanted, I’m not loved and I don’t deserve to be on this planet’. And I ended up living my life thinking that for 30 years.”
Maz left home before her 16th birthday, and it was during this period she met the man she thought would be her salvation. At 18, she fell pregnant, and when their first son turned one, they wed.
“I married the first boy that gave me a flower. A male saw something in me, and the minute he did that ... I was only 15 but I committed my life to him in my head,” she says.
“I didn’t want a man like that (her father) but I walked straight into a situation that ended up being just like it.”
Instead of married bliss, Maz had found herself in a nightmare and within 12 months she had made her first visit to a women’s shelter when, after she confronted him about having to cook and take care of his father and school-aged brothers who moved in (she was now 18 with a baby), she says he left her winded by throwing a kilogram of frozen meat at her.
“It was the first sign of anything and I just said to him, ‘I will not be my mother, I’m leaving’. I went to the women’s shelter and he pleaded and promised he’d change.”
Having always believed that family was everything and that her children needed their father, Maz returned home, but that was only the beginning. The lies and intimidation continued for another six years, coming to a head when Maz says she was beaten after she didn’t take him back after she’d kicked him out.
“I saw what he was capable of and when that bashing happened I had to run and hide. He said he was going to kill me, and I believed it,” she says.
Maz took her four young children and spent the next six years on and off in hiding, bouncing between women’s shelters and housing commission properties and living on a pension. But it was the discovery that her daughters had been abused by her husband’s relatives that clinched her decision to pack their bags and move nine hours away.
“It was too late for me, but I refused to accept that for my children,” she says.
That’s when I realised it’s a pattern, and if anyone was going to break that cycle, it was me.”
It was on that journey that Maz’s life was fundamentally altered, by what she terms as her ‘wake up call’ moment. Having stopped halfway to check in with her mother from a phonebox, Maz collapsed. At 31 years of age, she had experienced her first grand mal epileptic seizure.
“I distinctly remember looking through the phone box glass through the windscreen of my car and I saw four kids and a dog. And I realised that the sum total of my choices is why their lives were in danger. That if I kept this up, if I kept doing what I’m doing, we’d all be dead. And in that moment, it was like all my other decisions had been made in sand and this one was in absolute concrete,” says Maz.
“It was like a window in time where all my faculties and beliefs and who I was, my conditioning, hadn’t caught up with me and it was just such an eye-opening experience. It was like the same wakeup call a person gets when they have a heart attack. You pivot your life on a dime and you go in a new direction.”
After arriving at her destination, Maz set out to turn her life around. The former checkout chick went to TAFE and discovered she was smarter than she realised. She started working on improving her confidence and applying for better paying jobs. And while she stumbled plenty along the way, she eventually found herself working as a consultant with a make-up company that had a strong focus of personal development – an irony not lost on Maz, who until then, had never worn make-up in her life.
Desperate to prove herself, Maz says she even surprised herself when she managed to sell $5000 worth of product in her first month without knowing what she was doing, and before long she was not only the number one team sales person across 10 countries, but was training others to lead teams.
People kept saying to me, ‘Thank you, you’ve given me all this confidence’ and my self esteem started to grow. They were giving me this confidence because they liked who I was and that I had guts.
“It’s like my filters fell away – I changed my filter in that phone box.”
But while her success took her around the world and now provides her with a stunning home where she now lives, Maz realised she wanted to help others who were struggling to overcome obstacles in their lives like she had.
“If something’s not right, are we going to sit and wait for someone to come along on a horse in shining armour and save us? If you look out there, it’s not happening,” she says.
“If you were to look at this on any grand scale, the biggest issue us women have is that we have hundreds of years suppression in the DNA of our gender. Not that it’s our fault, but there haven’t been tools before that to deal with the issue and take the suppressiveness out of us. That’s what I was wanting to create – a solution for the deepest root of the issue.
And that’s what I’ve found as being the deepest root issue for women, that ‘I’m not good enough’.”
Maz immersed herself in any book or report on psychology and self development she could find, on a mission to solve this problem, and discovered there’s a reason why abuse often impacts multiple generations.
When you understand epigenetics, where you inherit conditioning and unresolved issues, you know that we inherit way more than just the knobby knees and the crooked nose and the green eyes and the lisp.”
During her research Maz also realised that almost all of the leading practices and theories in the realm of psychology, self-development and science originated from men.
“The origins and basic foundations for everything the experts teach us only ever evolve from them,” says Maz.
“No one ever went around the back and asked the questions from a new perspective. But I did that and thought, you’ve missed something so obvious, it was right under your nose, and that is that females and men don’t work the same way.”
Determined to understand the differences in our brains, Maz signed up for a range of courses both online and in person, and from there, created a process she calls Creatrix. Working much like her ‘wakeup call’ moment, the process changes the lives of her clients within 90 minutes and is being hailed as the future of psychology.
“It was always going to take someone who had experienced it – who had a reason to dedicate 18 hours a day for six years to finding a way to make that come into existence for others,” she says.
“If I had been indoctrinated into psychology, I couldn’t have seen the simplicity of what needed to occur. And the process is very simple – there’s no trauma, you don’t need a trigger like I did to bring it on, and it’s fast and lasting.
Basically, I’ve managed to emulate what happens in the eye of a wakeup call moment. And what does happen in that moment is that there are no filters on you – you are not filtering your reality with beliefs, past thoughts, past emotions, past traumas, or even ancestral conditioning. It’s like you’re in a silent void where there is nothing there but stark reality and what happens is you make decisions and beliefs from that place, and when you do, they’re your knowings. You know something and no one can tell you otherwise.”
Originally offering her help to those who needed it for free as case studies, Maz was getting phenomenal results, and in 2011 she started Institute of Women International, through which she offered Creatrix to women who needed help overcoming the obstacles blocking them from succeeding in life – women struggling with everything from trauma and depression to anxiety and confidence issues. While she was initially met with skepticism from the psychology community, Maz says she now works with life coaches, counsellors and psychologists across seven countries. In fact, it’s grown so popular, Maz has stopped working on individual cases and is now training other facilitators and even trainers full time to become ‘transformologists’ so they can help others overcome their confidence and success blocks.
“Nearly every woman has her own story and her own niche of people who she wants to help. It might be women who have had miscarriages, or women after divorce, something like that – I just give them the tools and the support and the love and the breeding ground for success.”
Trained in small groups capped at 12 to ensure quality, Maz provides her transformologists with six days of very specific training that is safe, fail-proof and set to a script, during which they must undergo the Creatrix process themselves and sign a 14-page license of integrity to ensure they provide their clients with the best outcomes possible. They then leave with the tools they need to start practicing immediately, able to earn while they learn online.
“What is breeding in the personal development industry is underhanded behaviour, where people strip others of self confidence to upsell them to the next thing, and that’s not what Creatrix is about. It’s a fast and effective solution that really works, which is why my facilitators offer a money-back outcome based guarantee.”
Launching Global Transformatrix as her main overarching company, this month will see Maz roll out Innovatrix – the process tailored to the male brain.
“Men’s suicide numbers are absolutely ridiculous, and I’m watching all of this and I know I can help,” says Maz. “It’s for men who don’t want therapy – they just want to get over it and on with life.”
It’s a creation that’s truly disrupting the self development and psychology industry, breaking the mould when it comes to breaking the cycles of negative and self-destructive behaviour. And while she has personally transformed the lives of hundreds of women already, there is no greater testament of the power she has uncovered than her own incredible journey.
My legacy is that my life suffering is worth it, and this wakeup call – this moment that I’ve created that I can take anyone into – is my gift. That is the one thing that will get me up every morning until the day I die,” says Maz.
“I believe this is the new psychology. I believe it with every bone in my body.”
Catch Maz in person when she presents at the Women’s Lifestyle Expo on 1-2 September. For more information, visit instituteofwomen.com