Do you feel bad for taking too many self help workshops?

Ron and I sat outside and had lunch together in Santa Fe. “Yeah, I’ve been into personal development for the past 30 years. I’ve taken every workshop you can imagine,” he said and smiled. Something in his smile seemed sheepish to me, bent, and hung low. I’ve seen the look before: shame, as though he was confessing leprosy, because he thrived on learning. It’s crazy to me, that in our culture there is a stigma about self-help, spiritual growth, or personal improvement– as though you’re weak because you choose to explore, feel, and stumble into grace.

I looked at Ron and said to him what I’ll now say to you: I am so proud of you for continuing. I am so proud of you for searching. I am so proud of you for staying on your path no matter what. Something in you has always known you are magnificent and unlimited. Something in you has always known you are here with purpose, love, and magic in your pocket. Something in you refuses to settle for anything less than your soul’s genius. There’s a reason it feels good when you hear this. It’s because it’s true.

If you met a concert violinist who was taking more music courses to improve her art, her arc, her ardor, you would appreciate that person’s dedication. You most likely wouldn’t think, hey, what’s wrong with you? Didn’t you learn enough in high school music class? How come you need another workshop? You may be like a dedicated artist or scientist or lawyer who continues their ongoing education– not because they’re stunted— but because they strive to be exceptional.

For some of us, our art is our consciousness, the way we think, the way we respond in life, how free we are in the cells of our being. We are the ones who have the guts to say I want to feel better, and I’m willing to learn more about myself and my choices, instead of making other people wrong or shooting up on materialism. We are the ones who may be hungry for Spirit or truth, or forgiveness or peace of mind. We are the ones who want to make a difference and be a difference. That’s not broken to me. That’s breaking new ground.