I have a little bit of a rant today. I’m in one of my moments of being extremely frustrated with the self-help and spiritual movement or industry really. I’ve mentioned The Secret a lot on this blog and in writing elsewhere. That book helped me tremendously but also bugged me. Every time I recommended it to someone, I did so with a warning to not get caught up in the materialism of it.
In the book and movie, when you looked past the people wishing for sport’s cars, checks showing up in their mailboxes, million dollar careers, and mansions, there were several spiritual gems there. The thing is most people didn’t look past the cars, checks, money, and mansions. In some cases it just fed the desire for more, more, more by convincing everyone they deserved it and would have it.
It is a tragedy that we think ourselves smaller than we actually are, but it is also a tragedy when put our own self-worth before the good of the people we are meant to be of service to. I love to go to workshops and learn about new things, but I refuse to pay out the wazoo for something that is supposed to heal me and improve my life. Shouldn’t we want everyone to be healed and improved? Sadly, most of the teachers that offer these type of experiences make them unaffordable for anyone on a budget. Those people who died at James Arthur Ray’s spiritual warrior retreat paid $10,000 to be there. The last person I talked to about this said “Yep, that’s about the price of a funeral.” From what I heard about the incident, James compensated the families of the victims by giving them $5000. They didn’t even get the money their loved ones had paid to participate!
In everything I read there is a promise of abundance and prosperity to those who are awake and aligned with Truth. I believe that, but I don’t believe that abundance and prosperity mean that if we connect with God and follow our hearts we will all get a million dollars and a fancy house. I believe that actually the two are measured in love, not dollars. If you love your work, are surrounded by people you care about, find joy in the small things, and allow yourself to be mindful in each and every moment than you are very wealthy indeed.
At some point we have to stop feeding this myth that money equals value. Money doesn’t make people happier and healing/self-improvement should be accessible to even the poorest among us. In the end it is what we offer to the world that makes us valuable…not what the world decides to pay us.