|This is something I've been meaning to address since the first day I started writing here.|
Make Up Your Own Mind.
Why I've waited until now to write about this is beyond me, but it does fit in with the post I put up last week about blocking the flow of the Universe, so maybe I should quit questioning, follow my own advice and accept the divine order of it all. (Insert winks and chuckles)
It is amazing how your life can change and grow once Personal and Spiritual Growth concepts are understood and applied. The sense of empowerment is astounding and leads to even more growth and change. You want to share the ideas and the teacher who made them all make sense, with everyone you know so they can feel how you feel. You buy all the books, DVDs and CDs your teacher has released. You attend their lectures and workshops. Everything they have to say makes so much sense and your life is better for it. But here is where I wave my cautionary flags.
These ideas have been around forever. They are in ancient texts like the Bible and have been interpreted, reinterpreted and channeled for years and will be for many years to come. The New Age movement is nothing new. You'll find a lot of similarities with Native American philosophies, which have a lot of similarities to Buddhist philosophies. I majored in Humanities. I could keep this going forever, as well. (hehe)
It is essential for your growth, to expose yourself to other teachers and their interpretations. This author, teacher and lecturer is simply presenting one perspective. Everyone has something to offer and the more perspectives you expose yourself to, the more you will grow. Sticking with one teacher, putting them on a pedestal, following everything they do verbatum regardless of how it affects you or those around you; this is a recipe for stagnation and an off course trajectory. It is important to make up your own mind and develop your own ideas. This is how you develop your own personal power and philosophy.
Here are some signs that you might be stuck in the Guru Syndrome:
· You're famished! I'm making light of a serious thing here, but this is something I've been meaning to address, so take note. If you sign up for a workshop and you are asked to not eat and you don't get fed, your teacher is trying to make you a follower and wants to be a guru. Cult leaders use this technique as well as terrorist cell leaders. It's a great way to weaken the mind and attempt to alter your perceptions. Run for the hills and don't look back! (This does not apply to fasting for any sort of retreat or ceremony you may consciously choose to participate in. These generally accelerate your growth and help you define your path.)
· Your family and friends run and hide when they see you coming. OK. So maybe they're too polite to be so blatantly rude, but if you've been constantly telling people all the great things about your teacher and they aren't contributing to the conversation, you may be wearing out your welcome. This also means you aren't taking the time to see what others have to say, so you can make up your own mind. When you aren't being a follower, you are generally silent because you are too busy learning. Conversations about your growth are usually pretty seldom unless you are working with a coach or have access to a great community like the one at Common Space ;)
· Everyone around you talks about your teacher. I know this sounds odd, and if it does, that's a good thing. But if you notice that lately, all your personal interactions outside work and family involve something to do with your teacher, then you may be really limiting yourself. It's OK to have someone speak to you and resonate with you. But if your whole life revolves around one single teacher, to the point that all your social networking (online as well as in person) is connected to one single philosophy, then it is definitely time to shake things up.
· Sigh. You're Swooning. Really. If your adoration is overboard, then you have put your teacher on a pedestal. Never put anyone on a pedestal, especially a teacher. The fact that they present ideas in a way that resonates with you, is your blessing. All the teacher has done is gather information and reworked it in a way that is more comprehendible. They are a human being, just like you and me. They are simply pursuing their passion, so they know a lot on the subject.
· You're not questioning. You may not have many questions at first. This is normal and expected. But as you start to apply personal growth philosophies to your life, you should start having experiences that make you question what you have been learning. If you are blindly following and not holding your teacher accountable by seeing what others have to say, then you are in the midst of Guru Syndrome.
So, if any of this applies to you, it's time to head to the library and see what else is out there. Trust me, there is literally no end to the Personal and Spiritual Growth perspectives available. I also have many of my favorites under Self Development at Marla's Market if you're interested.