New-Age ‘Secrets’ and Why They Don’t Work

There was a time when all I needed for inspiration was a quote, horoscope, fortune cookie, or one of those refrigerator magnet poems. The days of fluffing the pillows of hope to make the world seem less random are over. I am simultaneously distraught and relieved that I no longer rely on my tea bag for a shot of wisdom.

My industry is known for injecting the public with heightened inspiration, feel-good yumminess, and the perception that one can be happy all the time. I’m a generally calm and happy person but I’m over the illusion that we can talk ourselves into seeing the half-full glass as overflowing.

Nature is my teacher. People are a part of nature and in my work, I come in contact with a diverse group of humans. A lot of people subscribe to the theory posed by a new-age book that claims to reveal the one secret law of the universe. Basically, it says one just has to specifically ask the universe for what one wants and, like a genie granting wishes, it will appear.

I’m a big believer in setting a goal and a bigger believer in working my ass off to achieve the goal. Whether or not I accomplish the goal seems to only come down to how I choose to spend my time… Not whether I put the right picture on my vision board/talked with my angel guides/chose the right spirit animal before my vision quest.

We have an immense amount of power in our brains to change the way we think about things, but because we change our thoughts does not make something manifest into this world.

I’ve found the people who talk the most about manifesting are the people who are doing the furthest thing from their ideal job. I get that we all want direction and we all want a plan, but the thing that pisses me off about “The Secret” will hopefully become clear by the end of this rant.

Driving down a busy street in Dallas in the middle of Summer, I saw a man carrying his groceries. He was blind and using a walking stick. Do you think it would help him to wish himself out of blindness? Do you think having a clear intention would spontaneously make him able to see? No. And an intention like that would be a complete waste of time and energy whose results would be futile.

He inspired me. He didn’t let his fear take hold of him.

A student of mine was struggling in a yoga class this morning. We were doing Downward Facing Dog. For many healthy people, this pose is a breeze. This man would get into the pose for about one second and need to come down to his knees again. He did this five times in the eight seconds we held the pose. This student has Cerebral Palsy and wants so badly to do the yoga poses everyone else in the class is doing. Do you think if he was very clear that he is asking the universe to heal him that he would get better? Do you think it is a good use of his mental capacities to dream of having use of all motor and mental functions?

He inspired me. He kept trying. He isn’t giving up.

People who do their best with what they have inspire me. Determination and focus inspire me. Vision and creativity inspire me. Don’t tell me the world is going to shimmer with sparkles and happiness when sometimes it is just going to suck. Teach me how to work with what I have – to shape my own clay into something I really love. Teach me how to get re-focussed when I lose sight. Teach me how to love.

2 thoughts on “New-Age ‘Secrets’ and Why They Don’t Work

  1. True…..I still love affirming, tarot, astrology, angel card, inspirational quotes etc. and I too also know now they are a lovely means to an end. They can be a very useful diagnostic tool and they encourage me to take time to pause, and go within, before I take the action needed. Intention, Feeling And follow-up Action gives them the power to manifest.

    I do not do goals because when I do set a goal I self sabotage…..the monkey brain resisting big change?…..I do Now with great flexibility….I achieve great things when I allow myself to NOT do grand things but to do little things….Kaizen. And I am amazed by what I have achieved at the end by doing little things.

    I accept myself as extraordinarily ordinary. Honouring ordinary is a lost art, ordinary is the majority, ordinary is ok, ordinary is good, ordinary is extraordinary…

    I have manifested this ordinary life but it did take the absorption of tea bags, the secret, the affirmations, the vision boards, the quotes, the cards and the navel pondering to embed/awaken/filter the wisdom within me so now I like to think I Am the Wisdom I used to seek so I now can be the wise guide, the positive prompt, the gentle support, the clear mirror for another seeker.

    To quote Richard Bach from Illusions ~ “We teach best what we most need to learn.”

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