The other day I read an article by Andrea Ranae called Why The Personal Growth Industry is not Changing The World and I couldn't agree with her more. There is an awful lot of bull in the self-help world and in the New age "healers" world as well and I for one am no longer willing to sit by quietly and let good people get screwed by people who, may have good intentions, but are doing more harm than good. (Ok, yes I know, I never sit by quietly)
I think my frustration with this started when I was married. My ex Husband is a Professional Applied Kinesiologist, notice the word Professional at the front of that title, and a Doctor of Chiropractic. Now my Ex and I may not get along all the time, but you know what, he's a damn good Chiropractor who spent a lot of time studying and training to become not only a Professional Applied Kinesiologist (Literally thousands of hours in order to be able to put that word Professional by his title, along with a whole host of other legitimate certifications and degrees). He would get really upset when a new patient came to him after spending thousands of dollars with some sort of new age "healer" who sold them a lot of oils and tonics and either didn't actually help them and in some cases made them worse.
Nowadays, everyone is either some sort of business, life or relationship coach, a Reiki master, or Energy worker, or a diet expert and you know what, most of them took a weekend course from someone who just finished the weekend course a month ago and has figured out that the easiest way to make money is to teach their new found mastery and offer a "certification" of their own. (FYI that is how most make their money, very few actualy make their millions in private practice) And now we have glutton of "experts" and "masters" all running around posting endlessly on social media how they and they alone will forever change your life...hmm they probably will, but not they way you'd hoped they would.
I have spent the better part of 17 years on the "path" and I'm no where near a master, but one thing I've learned is that anyone who has to tell me they are a master, well they probably aren't. Anyone who promises me that in 6 easy sessions all my problems will be solved and all I have to do is click this link and the universe will provide everything I have been waiting for in a nicely packaged 6 hour video is probably desperate for money. (Sorry, just tellin' it like it is folks)
Remember when "masters" had to apprentice, for a really long time, like most of their lives before they could be considered a healer, and just because you went to college, got a degree and then started a bunch of failed companies, does not make you a business coach, I'm sorry. It just doesn't. You know what will change your life, work, conscious work on yourself, eating healthy, exercising, self-reflection, honesty about you, your behaviors, your bullshit...your heart, and a if needed a really qualified, highly educated coach or healer.
There are too many down-lines and MLM's and if one more person tries to sell me a diet product and then proceeds to try an up-sell me to become a sales rep for that product my head is going to explode. Here's the truth, I have no business selling diet pills, shakes, oils, tonics, any of it, because I have no education or experience in any of that and no, your nifty 3-hour seminar is not going to make me an expert even if it comes with an embossed certificate replete with my name in beautiful calligraphy. There is a reason people study and go to college and learn things like physiology and, I don't know, where your liver is and what it does and perhaps knowing that and other stuff like, what medications a person is on and what they do when mixed with that nifty diet drink might be a good idea.
Here's the deal people, it's really on you to do your homework. I absolutely believe in the power of many healing modalities, when provided by a professional who has taken the time to learn their craft and practiced their craft consistently under the tutelage of someone who has been doing it for a very long time. Someone who takes their craft seriously enough to actually put in the time, before they decide they are a "master", or a "coach" or a "Diet expert" or ready to guide you to the sunny shores of Necker Island.
I have spent the last year with some amazing, qualified coaches who know the difference between depression and "gee I'd like more out of my life", they know when to say to a client, I think you need a therapist and guess what I am not a therapist. They have the courage to be honest. I have met some truly amazing healers, who spent years learning about their craft and they will never promise you magic, never, they will explain it to you in a way you can grasp and in a way that you can tell they didn't read the cliff notes or the short articles off the web. They read the books, they went to the courses and got the real certifications and training and it probably took them a very very long time to understand how to harness their innate ability. I actually believe in innate ability; I believe people have gifts and when we nurture them, take the time to become educated on how to use them, we can do amazing things. Have you ever noticed in the movies when a super hero has a gift, they usually have a guide that helps them learn how to wield their powers, and while it may be a 2 hour movie, in "real" time it's usually a whole lot more than a weekend seminar. yea, there's a reason for that... it's called plausibility, Jeez! Even screenwriters know that no one is going to believe some guy who took a weekend course is a Wizard, why should you!
It's buyer beware and in the end you get what you pay for and you get out what you put in. So if you're in the market for something alternative then do your homework first.
Start by reviewing their website fully. Read up on the modality yourself. Understand exactly what your asking to be done to you and what it's purported to do. Educate yourself before you decide on that newest and greatest fad modality, drink, tea, healer named Bob....Listen if they got a degree from Trump University, chances are you're about to get trumped.
Questions to ask:
1. What certifications do you have? (Review the website where the certification is from to understand what it took to get it. (It's about hours, hours of training and hours of practice before they can call themselves a "master", FYI- Most master coaches must have either 3000 or some even 10,000 hours before they can site the certification)
2. When did you get that certification?
3. Do you have a degree?
4. How long have you been in practice?
5. What life experience do you have that qualifies you to "teach/coach/heal" me.
After you have these answers, then you can make an intelligent choice. It's possible this person may be new, but you have a good feeling about them, awesome, but go in with your eyes wide open. If they are honest and say, "Hey I'm new and I'm studying" or "I've just started and I'm serious about my craft" then great, go for it if it feels right. A lot of people will tell you things like "Universities and traditional education stifle the true healing art" ok, listen that's a load of bull. In order to become a massage therapist in California, you need 500 hours of training (500 hours!) That my friend is not 2 weekend courses. It's a good start, but truth be told, I won't let anyone who hasn't been practicing, successfully for at least 10 years touch me, ever, period.
For those of you who are searching for answers, you're sick, hurting, struggling, listen, I get it, a lot of us are and we're so desperate for someone to help us, that it's easy to fall prey to a smooth talking, seemingly "conscious and kind" individual because they talk a good game, they "seem" really authentic, and you know what, they probably are, they want to help you and that's great, just make sure they actually KNOW HOW to help you before you lay on their table.