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September 5, 2016

Why the Self-Help Movement Needs to Die.

self help how to

I used to call myself a healer.

I have a big heart. I have an empathic and highly sensitive soul. I used to read as many self-help books as I could get my hands on. I used to book sessions with coaches, intuitives, healers and holistic health practitioners whenever I could afford the extra expense.

Why? Because I felt that I needed help.

I felt that I needed to change some fundamental internal flaw. And those books and people (I, myself, being one of them), affirmed my insecurities—while taking my dollars or trade hours, booking appointments, and asking me to join their newsletters to keep tabs on all their self-improvement info.

What changed my mind?

What made me see my wholeness through the lens of my so-called cracked perception?

My child. Yes. I am a mother. I have a sweet five-year-old who, like any child, has tantrumed and expressed her emotions in impulsive ways, and then forgotten them.

My ex and I brought our child to therapy, and it was there, in the toy-filled waiting room brimming with thumb-twiddling parents and bouncing-up-and-down-in-the-chairs children, waiting for their turns to be seen, that I let go of a long-held belief about self.

We called the therapist a “feelings doctor.” Her dad and I admitted to seeing our own feelings doctors since our legal separation, almost four years ago. What golden kernel of wisdom arose from this quiet moment sitting, I cannot put clearly into words. Instead of direct, matter of fact statements, I was left with a feeling of relief.

What if this feeling of being all f*cked up is just that: a perception?

What if we are whole and complete as we are?

Wren’s father and I affirmed that it was completely normal to go to a feelings doctor—that everyone needs to talk about their feelings. We of course encouraged her to process with us first, but stated that another person is helpful to have, and that going there does not mean anything is wrong with her. We told our daughter that it was quite the opposite actually: instead of being wrong, she was right. It was completely normal and natural for her to have an array of feelings that needed expression and outlet—that it was part of being human!

Aha!

Being. Human. A human. Being.

A human being.

F*ck yes!

Simple, simple, simple and yet made oh-so-complicated by the self-help world.

I’m not saying that I haven’t gained personal and professional insights, epiphanies and relief from reading and working with self-help professionals. What I’m proposing is a moment to just stop and wipe that inner slate clean in order to get a good look at and feel for yourself right here and now to ponder what it is to be you, eye goobers and all!

As humans, we have messy minds and unpredictable hearts. We have needy bodies craving all sorts of self-care.

And on top of all of that, we have to interact with other messy, unpredictable and perhaps self-defeating, humans on a daily basis. This makes for a chaotic symphony to guide us through our days.

Chaos breeds neediness. This is where the enlightening teachers begin to appear.

What I am proposing is letting them all go for a moment, or a day, or a week…or maybe a year, and just be yourself. Be your wild, messy, insecure, sometimes balanced, sometimes f*cked-up self.

Embrace it.

Embrace self.

In that embrace, you will perhaps discover the most wise and wonderful guru you’ve ever found.

You. The human, being, storms, swells, sweet sunsets and all.

Wishing you lots of love on your human journey! From one human heart to another,

Sarah.

~

Author’s note: As a yoga teacher, empath coach and Reiki master, I have not stopped practicing. I have merely shifted my perception of what I do. I view each client who walks in as already whole and complete. I remind them that they are channeling the session. Any information that arises is also just momentary insight, which can also shift with a flick of the mind and heart. Doing healing work is a beautiful way to be human, in my book, just as you have your own way of feeling fulfilled in yours. Let’s keep our lights shining by being human in ways that inspire and ignite us! 

~

Author: Sarah Lamb

Image: Carlos Frederico V. Vilar, de/FlickrAmy Wilbanks/Flickr 

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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