Let me start this blog by giving context around my beliefs on the role of Personal Development Coach or Mentor. I believe that role to be somewhat similar to the role of a therapist in that they should facilitates the client’s discovery of their own inner truths. They should not lead their client down a path nor assume they know what’s best for the client. They should assist the client in finding the answers within and also encourage the client to listen to their own inner guidance system.
As I watched “Enlighten Us: The Rise & Fall of James Arthur Ray” on CNN last night, I was a bit sick to my stomach. It disturbed me for a few reasons. James Arthur Ray is clearly a Narcissist. He didn’t show any responsibility or accountability for the death of his clients and he actually stated their deaths in the sweat lodge happened to help HIM grow. He’s so narcissistic he thinks three people died to help him evolve as a spiritual teacher. He also referred to himself as a Saviour! Prison clearly did nothing to humble him. I don’t know about you but I have one Saviour. It’s Jesus Christ!
The show also disturbed me because Ray’s actions casted a shadow on the book “The Secret!” I love “The Secret”. I’ve found many great techniques for positive thinking in the book and often use the principles of The Law Of Attraction in my everyday life. However, I did not resonated with James Arthur Ray while watching the movie. I also don’t believe everything that was in the book to be fact. It’s a good story with some good tips to improve your life – it’s not the Bible or a miracle. It’s a self-help book – that’s it!
What I found most disturbing about Ray and his “followers” is that it felt like it was a Cult. He was a Narcissist self proclaimed guru of a cult. They didn’t see he also liked the fame and enjoyed his lifestyle. His sweat lodge retreat was $10K! Holy crap! I’m too cheap to pay that much for a retreat😂His “followers” were clearly in a cult and never knew it. They blindly followed him as a Guru.
Perhaps because I’ve always had a strong sense of self, maybe because I’m a leader and not a follower I just could not wrap my head around anyone giving away their personal power to another person. Also, if I did somehow end up at that retreat, I would have straight up left when the head shavings started! 😂 My spiritual growth stops just short of being bald😂I’m too vain to be bald; I will not evolve if I have to be bald to do it😂✌️️
By the time I got done watching the documentary I was angry at Ray for showing no personal responsibility or accountability. He actually came across as if he wanted the viewers to see him as the victim. I was also angry that he is actually trying to make a come back as a personal growth coach when he was clearly negligent in that role. Three people died while entrusted in his care! No one should be seeking his coaching services. Narcissists do not change. I was also sad because I bet there are folks out there who lack a sense of self and will fall prey to him. I have compassion and pray for those people. However, I can’t say I emphasize with them because I can’t relate to being a follower.
If you can’t tell, I am an independent thinker with rock solid faith in God. I also have faith and trust in my strong intuitive abilities. I can’t be brainwashed😂 I am also pretty good at “sensing” people. I “feel” the true intentions people have towards me and I “sense” their unspoken hidden agendas. Believe me, it can be a drag to see people so clearly at times. I often see the truth in people before others and I can’t say anything. That drives people crazy. It also irritates people that I can’t be controlled. I bet some wish I was a better follower but I hope the people in my life appreciate my strength & ability to see through crap and know the truth.
With all of this said, my message today is BE YOUR OWN GURU. Do not blindly follow ANYONE – especially if you have to pay them money to do so! Follow your inner wisdom. Tune into yourself. Have faith in your ability to choose wisely. Remember coaches and mentors are NOT Gurus. They are ordinary people who provide you a service. They are facilitators and should help you find your own answers within. At least, those are the boundaries I enforce with my own “coach” like person. I don’t currently have someone I would consider a professional mentor right now but I do read a lot of self directed professional development books.
Are you a leader or a follower? Can you shut down the external noise to tune into your own inner wisdom? Are you your own Guru?
(C) 2016 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
Life Is Best When Lived Passionately