I've met many people who describe themselves as non-violent and warm-spirited, and by and large, that is how they show up in the world. But not always. Stressful situations find them flying off the handle in a fit of rage in seconds flat – rage they feel is justified: the driver who cut them off or is driving too slow is a jerk, the politician whose views are opposite of theirs is an idiot, the teenager who didn’t turn off her cell phone at the movies is clueless.
I actually wrote an issue of this newsletter last week - then, I didn't send it. It was just TOO mean. I was reacting, I guess, to all the meanness I was actually writing about.
I'm sure you've heard how people in the audience at one of the Republican debates supported allowing people without medical insurance to die rather than be treated. And, not one person
standing on that stage disagreed with it.
Self-help is a $10 billion a YEAR industry. In their desire to save money instead of hiring a personal or group coach/mentor like myself, people will happily fork over 15 - 25 bucks for the latest NY Times bestselling transformational/inspirational/motivational celebrity-guru-penned book, CD or DVD that has been hyped to produce "life-changing results." Don't get me wrong; some of these products are very helpful, and some of the popular teachers out there are very sincere; but unfortunately as I have learned from direct experience, some are bona fide hypocrites and charlatans just lining their pockets with softball "feel good" advice that tells people what they want to hear more than what they need to hear. They don't take their own advice, and it's an unfortunate situation of "do what I say, not what I do." (But I digress ...)
I was a bit baffled when my boyfriend posted that as his Facebook status the other day. But after inquiring what the heck he was talking about, I was inspired to write a blog post suggesting everyone who reads this do just that.
Many of us experience moments of awakening and make crucial life decisions when we realise that the way in which we are living is not right. One of my own pivotal decisions was in my thirties, when I left teaching in a university to work in a deprived inner city area with students with learning difficulties. Teaching in a university was good for my head, but not for my heart. I stayed at the community college in Southwark for almost a decade, mainly running and tutoring drop-in sessions for men and women of any age, sixteen upwards, who had missed out on their schooling and wanted to come back into education. These sessions brought them up-to-speed with their literacy and numeracy skills, built their confidence and self-esteem, and helped to clarify their next steps.