So I begin my blog. Can’t tell you the degree of professional procrastination that has this date be Mar 11th 2008 vs. Mar 11th 2005.
Oh, what would I write about it?
What if I make mistakes?
What will people say about my mistakes?
And my grammar sucks. What happens when I change my position, which I will, on any position? And on and on….
I have something to write about and it’s time to begin.
My thing is about living your life as a practice: the exercise and pursuit of a consciously created life.
And if that sounds too foo-foo (a term I learned from James Ray) give me a chance.
I’m really into the practical application of getting things to work, in particular your life.
The breakdown that has me look at life as a practice is described in a book called S.H.A.M. How the Self-Help Movement made America helpless, by Steve Salerno. What Mr. Salerno claims is that all of this self-help stuff doesn’t work, and that they, the purveyors of all this self-help stuff, take advantage of the pitiful predicament of the unhappy masses by promising happiness, romance, riches etc., but they don’t work.
Yet people keep coming back because these hucksters (my usage) are good at making people feel good while they’re at the seminars etc., but when they go back to their lives it’s back to what they had before.
While I don’t agree with Mr. Salerno for the most part, he did point me to something useful, and that is people keep looking to get fixed and they think it can be done quickly.
Buy this CD, read this book, go to this seminar and you’ll have all that you need to turn your life around.
In fact the entire American culture is all based around getting what you want NOW. People are looking for the tips and tricks to get what they want. Often the tips and tricks work for awhile but then they’re back to being unhappy with their condition and off they go to the next seminar or next book to find the answer.
Mr. Salerno made me realise that the tips and tricks will never work.
I don’t agree with his conclusion about many of the offerings in the marketplace, in fact I think many of the people and organisations he criticises offer valuable help to many people, but I do agree that there is something fundamentally not working with how people approach their self-help or personal growth.
Living your life as a practice
And that something is a complete unawareness of the fundamentals that are required by any human being to grow and develop. Learning about and mastering these fundamentals are what I mean by living your life as a practice.
Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and then they had him killed. I say the examined life is worth living, and I’m hoping for a much more successful outcome.
And here’s something fundamental about how to read this blog.
Please remember that nothing I say should be regarded as the truth. I first heard a speaker say this at a course called the The Forum now called the Landmark Forum back in 1993. He then went on to say “it’s simply a place to stand from and see what opens up for you.”
Coming from a colonial British/Roman Catholic upbringing where we were taught to unquestionably accept authority, this occurred to me as hugely refreshing. This guy was not telling me to believe anything he was saying, but merely to try it on like a coat, walk around the room a bit, see how it fits.
If I liked it, I could buy it, if not I could return it, being all the wiser for having really tried on a new perspective.
This is how I will ask you to ‘listen’ to everything you read here.
I’m not trying to tell you anything that is true or that you should believe. Hell, I often change my mind about positions I take, and that’s all about being human and growing.
But be open to being wrong about things that you believed, even cherished beliefs.
Oh, and another thing, if you reject something that I say, or something that someone else I endorse says, try not to reject everything else and the whole person with it.
Take what works and leave the rest. (Something else I learned at the Landmark Forum). In a subsequent post I’ll talk about this as a practice.