This weekend, I was watching the series finale to Mad Men, again for the millionth time. As I watched Don Draper sitting in lotus position and chanting, and I was again clapping to myself “Bravo! Bravo!” I realized that there must be people out there who do not like the ending to the story. I’ll bet they think that it was frivolous of the writers to have Don Draper go off to a yoga retreat in California to get in touch with his feelings. And I’ll bet they scoff as Don Draper suddenly sees the light, hugs a man in despair and cries, and now his life is on track. I’ll bet they were really disappointed in that episode.
But I applaud the Mad Men writers yet again, because I realized that that is the problem with the personal development movement. It has been contextualized in a blanket of moral superiority and frivolity.
The problem with many healers is that they attempt to inspire you to be your higher self as if it’s a moral imperative, like you’re morally superior if you choose to push through your shit and reach an enlightened level. Who knows what enlightened is, anyway?
The flip side of that endeavor, the downside of encouraging others to choose personal development because it’s “what we’re here to do,” is that if you choose to be who you are, as is, and cannot seem to break through your shit that you struggle and struggle with; for example, depression or anger, it’s like you’re morally inferior for being who you are.
I’m one of those people who has always been drawn to personal development: books, seminars, lectures, conversations. I love it all! Now I choose to lead and coach others, because I personally know how good it feels to end the struggle of cycles with depression, anger, addiction, and so on. I don’t want to see suffering in others because I know the torture of suffering. Those cycles and struggles have very real effects like heart attacks, high blood pressure, and obesity.
How to convey that personal development, reaching the higher level of yourself, is not a “should” ? Like you’re not an intelligent or good person if you don’t?
It is for our quality of life, our health, that we process old, stuck beliefs and move them through and out, replacing them with the Truth of who we are: peace, love, connection.
Now I have the tools, experience and resources to transform the shit when it happens and maneuver the experiences and options that life gives us for better health.
And now, I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. ….It’s the real thing!