Friday, May 5, 2017

When the New Age Movement Grows Up

I was in an interview yesterday afternoon for a part time copywriter job. After seven months of "couch surfing" (aka recovery or healing enough to integrate back into normal life) I've started thinking about becoming gainfully employed again. No sooner had the thought started to form, and no sooner had I started to worry about how to find a job, did a possible job offer appear from an ex-colleague of mine. And, no sooner had I began really entertaining the idea of taking that three month contract with her business than did another ex-colleague send me a job description for the part time copywriter job i interviewed for. If I get the copywriter job I will be effectively going from the engineering to PR/marketing (the other job makes me jump from engineering to HR/finance). To me it feels a little like defecting to the dark side (but the guys at the PR firm wear much cooler clothes and are a lot hipper - I have no clue what the HR peeps wear.)

It was during the interview that I was "forced" to explain why a career minded little freak such as I would be content to work only three days a week. I've sat on the interviewer's side of the table far more times than I have been interviewed so I know what it looks like when people try to explain away things, or make things sound better than they really are. I personally recommend sticking to the truth or at least some version of the truth. (While some interviewing managers come across as stupid most are not.)

My truth is that the two days a week left over would be dedicated to setting up a small business/practice that's nudging the spiritual field. I can't remember how much I've actually rambled about new age and spirituality on this blog. (Maybe I need to read my own work but who does that?) While I've skirted and/or immersed myself in it the past two decades I am also very much at odds with the industry of utter tosh it has in part become. The rehashing and repackaging of concepts drive me a little crazy to be honest. While there are a lot of helpful practices about there's also a whole marketing machine driving the movement and where there is marketing there is also a lot of crap. (See how I will fit in soooo well with the new industry I'm attempting to enter with my job interview? No? That's right, I don't trust marketing because it's so powerful.)

Anyway, I thought it was better to tell my interviewer, my impression was that she was a smart woman, that I would be attempting to set myself up as an intuitive coach and of course inevitable questions followed. Was I doing something really spiritual? No, too much woo woo. Was I doing life coaching? No, there's too many of them out there, it's a saturated area. Well, what was I doing then? I'm taking my empathic and intuitive skills and applying them to problem solving specifically around overcoming obstacles preventing people to reach goals or their potential. But, is it still a spiritual thing? Yes, but since some of spirituality is so woo woo, fluffy, undefined and plain out there, I want to make it grow up a bit and become more practical.

I'm not saying I'm the person to make the new age movement take a long hard look at itself and make it mature but I'm saying I think it needs to. There's a lot of places in spirituality and especially the new age movement where you can hide with your own problems and pain, and just never ever get around to dealing with them. There are ready made excuses for behaviors and for not doing anything about your circumstances, for crazy and addictive behavior, for remaining detached and inflexible, and for being judgemental. You name it, and in the new age movement you can find reasons for changing and you can find reasons for not changing for everything and anything

While I think that something like spirituality is a very personal concept I don't agree with pseudo-professionals serving up advice for how people should live their lives, and yet that's where I'm heading myself it seems, I do think there's a lot we need to take on board from it. We are heading towards the destruction of humanity and it seems to be all related to a worship of greed rather than a reverence for life itself. I think though that unless the new age movement repackages itself into something new that's more tangible, or it simply matures, it's not going to be the thing that helps us get there. While we all need a bit of hippy in us it's not where most people's minds are at as they are living in a perpetual fear of not making enough money to "make ends meet" because they are buried in a consumerist cycle.

If I had my way we would concentrate more on people's emotional and spiritual health to kind of balance how we've concentrated so much on the material and intellectual aspects of our lives, but in order to do that we need to make the new age movement, and spirituality, about more than crystals, smudging and oracle cards. We need to make it grow up and mainstream.

I would love to see a movement that actively encourages values that are more about the community and that are less commercial because at the moment we are still seeing a movement that is very much about money and profit. Instead of the movement being about revolutionizing our thinking and bringing more meaning into our lives, it has tried to fit itself into a commercial world and has corrupted itself in many. I think it needs to grow up and stand on its own two feet and become something completely new and bold. What that has to do with what I started this post with is anyone's guess but you know......

I'm just saying.

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