I have been accused of being overly critical.
But it's BECAUSE of how much I see the good and potential of the New Age/Wellness/Live Your Best Life Industry, that I can't turn a blind eye to the bad.
For every white person who found it empowering to just focus on the positive and not let the news (AKA reality) get them down, how many Black, Indigenous and People of Colour who couldn't see beyond the blind privilege of that approach were shamed for not being more spiritually evolved? And them had to process those feelings ON TOP OF all the ways systemic racism makes life harder for racialized people?
For every person who's NEVER experienced a serious health issue who could feel empowered by the idea of "I am responsibility for the state of my health. I create a healthy body with healthy thoughts." how many people with disabilities or chronic illness felt shamed, blamed, and like they were not positive enough, and so deserved their symptoms? And them had to process those feelings ON TOP OF their health challenges and ON TOP OF all the ways our culture makes life harder when you have any kind of challenge?
Also - given that underlying victim-blaming attitude - how many organizations were truly open to meeting everyone's accessibility needs?
(I say this knowing that the Creative Dream Incubator is NOT a role model for meeting everyone's accessibility needs)
I mean, personally, I was fat shamed as a normal part of any kind of "healing experience" I attended in the New Age community. Even though I never once brought up the subject of how I felt about my body, I was told repeatedly that if I would just love myself, the weight would be gone.
No one, not even once, asked about my blood pressure or blood sugar reports - more accurate measurements of health than weight.
No one, not even once, asked me how I felt about my size. I feel good! I eat healthy, I exercise, I LOVE carbs, I have the metabolism that I have, and I'm enjoying my life.
All of the shitty things about the culture we live in, now live in the culture we created in the New Age.
But then we added some extra layers of blaming and shaming because we use the "your thoughts create your reality" concept from a place of blind privilege AND a complete political disconnection to the realities of the world - which IS actively encouraged as a way of "focusing on the positive".
A LOT has already been said about that complete disconnection from politics made it possible for the far right Q Anon conspiracy theories to take such a strong hold in the new age. And there are some really eye-opening ideas about how the new age was founded on white supremacist principles, that once you see it, it's hard to un-see it. (If you want to know more - conspirituality is a good place to start )
It's because I believe so completely in the potential of our creative power that I speak out about this.
I believe we can do better.
My hope, with everything happening politically in Canada right now as we continue to discover more children's bodies buried under former residential school grounds, is that we use this time as an opportunity for RADICAL DECOLONIZATION.
We, white Canadians who have been so gifted at turning a blind eye, are being faced with the reality of what colonization is.
It is my hope that we open our eyes, be present to how violent and destructive colonization is, and become actively engaged in the process of truth and reconciliation to stop the violence.
It's because I believe so completely in the potential of our creative power that I know we can do this.
If your healing tools and practices are not sturdy enough to allow you to be present with the real pain of the world - you need to upgrade your tools and practices.
(Dream Book can help you do this, and process the layers of feelings that come up as you AND get more clear about wha you want to DO in response to what you learn - our members are doing amazing work at confronting privilege and cultural appropriation and finding better ways to do things)
Spiritual bypass tools are not going to get us where we need to go next.
All they can do is help individuals feel more comfortable leaning into their privilege to "feel good now" while we watch the whole world get destroyed. Which isn't even hyperbole at this point.
Colonial culture is violently oppressing and destroying Indigenous people every day. But it won't stop there. It will destroy us all, by continuing to squeeze every penny out of resource extraction until most of this planet is no longer livable for humans.
It's because I believe so completely in the potential of our creative power that I know we can create a whole new world.
One of the ways I have most benefitted from learning anti-racism and taking actions outside of my comfort zone, is how my perspective has shifted to include seeing that there are so many more solutions that it seems like there are.
When we stop seeing the world from our own places of privilege, whatever they may be, and instead learn to see from the perspective of those with the least privilege, so much opens up.
Making the world work better for people with less mobility makes it easier to navigate for people with more mobility.
Since the majority of my readers are women - I think you can see that if we eradicated sexism everywhere and made the world safer and more supportive for women - this would benefit men as well.
Following that logic, making the world safer and more supportive for trans and non-binary people would serve all of us in ways we can't even currently see. I mean can you even imagine a world where your gender doesn't determine ANYTHING about who you are or what your potential is? It goes beyond the end of the "pink tax".
This works for literally every marginalized community.
And that's why all of this matters: Because we can get to a better world - but only if we don't leave anyone out.
And the New Age, with the blaming and shaming and blind use of privilege and spiritual bypassing, leaves a lot of people out.
It's time to do better.