Don't Feed The Sharks

Image Credit: Norman Jean Roy

Image Credit: Norman Jean Roy

There was a day, after many workshops, much research, personal exploration, and deep, deep inquiry, when I made a claim. I was going to do a public demonstration of a very private practice. It was going to require nudity, and presence, and vulnerability, and surrender. It was frightening and exhilarating. And it might have even been illegal -- I wasn't quite sure!

But what I did know is that the declaration came from the core of my being. It came from a place inside of myself that suddenly felt free after decades of shame and confusion. It came from a deep desire to free other women, to create better partnerships, to transcend what felt like utter bullshit that was handed to me by a long line of people from my own father to many of my lovers to my own psyche.

It felt like freedom.

And yet, the very people that taught me that practice, and encouraged that freedom, called it "blasphemy" to schedule my own demo, and share without their "permission." Which is when I realized I was in a cult -- and got the f*ck out. Like, literally, within minutes, packed my bags and got O-U-T and never looked back.

But I took the freedom and the learning with me, and continued along the path I was already on to share it.

I've never shared this publicly before, although I've warned people privately. And suddenly, I feel compelled to break that silence.

Here's why...

Too many people want to sell your freedom back to you. As if it isn't yours. Too many people want to make your freedom into their business opportunity. Too many people turn your personal development into a game of belonging and exclusion. They want to use you to feel better about themselves.

And it's so easy to fall for it. Especially when you're hungry. Especially when you're lonely. Especially when you’re hurting. Especially when you're searching.

The very first thing I do with any *prospective* client, before I charge them a dime is helping them hone their bullshit meter. So they can make a clean, wise decision about how they spend their time and money on their personal development. So today, when I got an email that said "coming to [your retreat] feels heavy in my body" I can say "GREAT! Then it's not a fit for you right now!" and mean it.

I am not selling you your freedom. I am only selling you my time and expertise so you can find your own freedom. And the minute you do -- I'm completely expendable. As it should be.

If you ever feel anything more sticky than that from someone in the personal development industry, run.

I mean it. There are too many sharks in this tank. And I just can't be quiet and collegial about it anymore.

Monica Anna Day