Money and Self-Help

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.

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8 thoughts on “Money and Self-Help

  1. jo eldridge January 21, 2011 / 9:40 am

    well said !!

  2. PopSmartsZen January 21, 2011 / 10:49 am

    It’s tough for many (most, I’m FINALLY seeing in my advancing age!) people (rich or poor) in a consumerist society to even KNOW that true worth is not about things but about one’s own feelings and purpose in life. Those are the folks who, when things go wrong (“What kind of god…”) easily and quickly get knocked off any small sense of such true worth they may have had. To my view, a consumerist society is an off-shoot and mirror of low self-esteem of the insecure — that’s where most people reside. That’s why I try to show people they can INTEGRATE being happy and spiritual by being aware more often — because you can’t turn off the noise.

    • lesleehorner January 21, 2011 / 9:32 pm

      Thanks for the comment S! Very true…

  3. Jennifer January 21, 2011 / 11:03 am

    AMEN! I was just thinking about a post along these lines yesterday. We need money for basic necessities but millions? No. And, yes, the high prices are keeping everyone but the most wealthy out of most of these retreats. For the services I offer, I frequently have people tell me that I don’t charge ENOUGH. But, I want to make them accessible. I thought a very long time about how much was fair. And, spiritually, I have to trust that the Universe will make sure I’m ok.

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” I don’t take that as a literal, “rich people go to hell.” But, I think that having a lot of money, or a desire for a lot of money, can definitely hinder spiritual development.

    Money does not equal value OR success.

    • lesleehorner January 21, 2011 / 2:20 pm

      Jennifer-I definitely appreciated how you understood my budget situation and worked with me on another kind of exchange! And when people get fair prices they spread the word.

  4. meeshelleneal January 21, 2011 / 8:55 pm

    A friend and I did an ‘artists exchange’ just the other day – her CD for my DVD, it was pretty cool 🙂

    • lesleehorner January 21, 2011 / 9:28 pm

      Yep, I made Jennifer an “intuitive collage” in exchange for an astrology chart! Definitely awesome!

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