Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Spiritual Life Coach Turned Out to Be Anything But...

So, here's how the relationship began:

Hi Tim, 

I checked your site and see they have made design improvements, not to my exact specifications, but it does look far more like a site for a spiritual life coach now. 

I really appreciate your kindness the day we spoke. It was lovely of you to offer to do a bit of complimentary counseling. 

The thing is, I'm not a novice at this. I've been studying mindfulness for over 15 years.

I've read several of Abraham Hicks books based on the Laws of Attraction. I've read Wayne Dyer, TD Jakes, "The 4 Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz, "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho . I'm currently reading "The Power of the Subconscious Mind", and a host of others. I believe that we have the power to make our lives what we envision. I fall off at times, but I do meditate. I normally use The Gayatri Mantra while holding crystals that represent the 7 chakras. I understand, although I don't always practice, the power of thankfulness. I feel close, but always lose connection, like I just need to fine tune my alignment with the Universe. 

I write a Blog , where I partner with PR agencies to review films, interview actors, directors, producers, cover Philly events as press, have access to film festivals, I even have Blog contributors who write for me. I LOVE it, but in almost 6 years, I have not been able to make it what I do. I want this more than anything, it's exhausting working a full-time job and trying to keep things not only going, but improving with this side business. 

I suffer from an ailment where if I try to do too much for long periods of time, like the last couple of months, my adrenaline system goes off the charts and starts wreaking havoc with my immune system and creates painful lactic acid in my joints. 

I don't like my job, you were nice, but mostly we deal with disgruntled, complaining people who are livid about billing issues, disappointed with the service etc...and our salaries are just above minimum wage. It's a really negative space. And an exhausting commute from my home. Which is the positive in my life, my sister and I just recently moved in together to save money and we found the perfect place, so close to Center City which is where I've wanted to be for a long time. I spend a lot of time in the city because of my blog and it's nice to finally get this part of my life right. 

Abraham Hicks says you can't get to a good place from a bad place, that you have to stop paddling upstream and let the Universe take you downstream. I want this. I don't want to be in a bad place, but I always HATE these types of jobs, I need more flexibility in my day. I am not aligned with my true self working in a 9-5 environment, it saps my energy, health and positive outlook on life. I want to figure a way out of this horrible rat race. I don't know if there's anything you can suggest to get me over this hump. Perhaps it's just not possible, I'm severely in debt and can't afford not to work, don't have a husband or boyfriend... Anyway, since you offered, I thought I'd reach out and take you up on your kind offer.

Best regards,
Le Anne

His response:

I just got back from vacation yesterday and am just catching up. I'm honored that you think I could be of assistance to you. Let me know when you will be available, Sat. would be good for me, since I'm off. Give me a call and let me know when we can get together, either I'll come to you or we can talk on the phone. But remember one thing , you have to be 100% committed to removing what it is , that is standing in your way. And we're going to be talking about The Power of Belief! And how important it is ! Ok? And I can introduce you to some other things as well! In the mean time I'll be putting together some content so we can change it to the way I need it to be, ok? Hope to hear from you soon! 


So how did this positive exchange turn into something kinda ugly?

We had 2 sessions where we just started to get to know one another, he analyzed me via numerology, talked a bit about my patterns, gave me a new suggestion for meditation, which I followed, but when I asked about pointers for keeping my mind from both meditating and thinking, he said go back to the mantra and breath.  I said, I don't stop doing either of those things during meditation,  I breath in and out, say the mantra and still think other thoughts at the same time.  He said that's impossible you can't think two things at the same time. And when I tried to explain again he accused me of not wanting to do it or being stubborn.  I found that was his way over and over, there could be no discussion on anything, I couldn't interject or question, just take in his pearls.

Ironically, at the end of the second phone call he abruptly said that this can't be a one way street and that I needed to compensate him.  Because we had already discussed early on that I couldn't pay him, I asked him what he had in mind.  He eventually said I should be able to offer him some monetary compensation on a sliding scale.  Normally this would seem normal for a business arrangement, but he'd offered some sessions for free.  And he didn't seem to want to be paid going forward, he wanted compensation for our two telephone conversations. I was non-committal on the phone, so later that evening he texted me.

Below is our text conversation:

T: Hey I was thinking about what you said about what I would want in payment. What would you like to give me, pray tell? Whatever you think it's worth to you, give to me what you think would be a good payment, OK? Whatever it is it's OK with me - 10:53

T: What if I would have said I would like a sexual favor? Would you? - 10:59

LL: Actually, I thought perhaps you wanted me to promote your services on social media, or a link on my site to your new website.  I remember when we first spoke, and you offered some counseling, I said but your aim is to charge for your services and I can't afford to pay.  And you said, the first client you get thru the site will be charged, but that you'd be willing to help free of charge. - 12:08

I continued without response from him

LL: If we had had several sessions and you said, I think you handle it from here, otherwise at this point I'll have to start charging, that would be different, but that was only our second  discussion. I know you're putting it in the context of giving & receiving on a cosmic level and maybe you're only asking for $10, but it has changed the dynamic from you being someone reaching out to someone you felt a spiritual connection with, to a business proposal.  And I don't even want to discuss the other insinuation, I hope that was an attempt at humor that failed over text - 12:12

T: If was just funny to see if you were going to over cooperate or not, but from now on I need some kind of payment, to see if you're going to follow higher spirituals laws. 11:20am

LL: That was a test! Well, that is rather funny then. Nonetheless it looks like I'm between a rock and a hard place, I'm in deep debt making slightly above minimum wage. If I don't move out of this period of shortage, I can't afford to pay anyone anything else. Was hoping you'd be of assistance to help me break thru my block move me into prosperity. But looks like that won't be the case.  Appreciate your time. Best wishes with your new business. 11:37am

I don't want to repeat word for word the next part because it has to do with work details, but basically he asks if I can build him a website myself.  I say not from scratch and even Wordpress would be a big commitment.

T: I'm impressed with your integrity and your honesty, but I'm sure that with your caldron of creativity and your sensitivity to another person's deeper self you could come up with something that you could give me materially in return as payment. Start sorting it out. This could be another psychological habit way of yours to give up. So let me ask you one more thing, if you thought you couldn't give me anything in return, why did you ask me what I wanted? 12:53pm

LL: Whey you said there has to be some give and take in our relationship, I said what do you need? because I knew I couldn't give you money, so I was wondering if you had something else G rated in mind.  All I have is a lot of followers on social media and visitors to my site. - 1:58pm

T: No I have nothing in mind, the ball is in your court, it's up to you to come up with an idea. All I can tell you is back in the old days Gurus had their disciples clean house for him do chores and cook him dinner in payment. - 2:00pm

LL: If I saw a big difference in my life and I could attribute it to our work together I'd planned to give you an endorsement and promote you. The only reason why I'm saying goodbye at this point is because you changed the rules on what I thought was a charitable act. However, I understand you're trying to get your business off the ground, I just don't think it's going to work any longer, under this dynamic of I owe you. - 2:04pm

T: What rules, there are no rules. I never said for how long a time for anything. It's just what you thought again, in your mind what you thought it should be. You need to learn that there are no free lunches! That what you give life, you get back. Why are you thinking you don't have to pay back, what kind of cooperation is that? It's a one way street for me, I just give and you take, very unhealthy. Maybe you are too selfish to have a relationship - 2:17pm

LL: And maybe you're too belligerent to be a Guru or Life Coach.  I'm sure you have a lot to do today, thanks a lot for your time and energy. Wishing you peace and light. - 2:23pm

T: No. I'm just too honest for you, the one who wants valuable knowledge for free, then get some books, but no you might have to pay for them! You know what they say, you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen and I see you're running. So just go take your ball and go home. You only get nothing for nothing.  I used to make only about $1500 a month and I used to pay my guru $100 a week every session for one hour. 1 hundred dollars because it was that important. -2:39pm

LL: If you had just let things happen organically, I would have helped you edit your website, without you having to tell me I owe you something.  Anyone this obsessed with what they have to get to feel validated is no Guru.  Of course it says something about me that I attracted this type of person to help me.  Or perhaps I had something to teach you. - 5:14pm

T: If you wanna play you gotta pay girl okay just bug off! - 5:16pm

LL: Nice karma you're creating. Good bye - 5:22pm

T: I'm not going to be treated the way you were treating me and telling me what I should be doing and pushing back ad fighting me. I'm not going to be treated that way, so you have a nice life and learn how to cooperate and learn what the meaning of cooperation is. - 5:24

T: If you know so much, why the hell are you coming to someone for help, you know everything and you don't think you should pay for services rendered for some odd reason  ridiculous you think that I would owe you to have sessions with you until you felt it was the way you wanted it to be, until you could afford to pay me, well, maybe you'll learn to say what your intentions are instead of what you were playing at, a mind game and trying to control the whole situation - 5:29

T: In other words you are a pain in the ass and I no longer want to have sessions with you with the attitude you have even if you paid me - 5:29pm

T: I don't need to be validated. I need to be paid, just like anybody else. You want something for nothing, that's all you're going to get nothing it's hard for me to believe I ran into one person who thinks like you do that I'm here at your beck and call for free and I will do what you tell me you think I should do. That is just wonderful. What are you a charity case or a parasite, you don't even know what a Guru is and I never claimed I was a Guru in the first place, that's how whacked out you are.  And I didn't need your help with my website - 5:51pm

He's a raving lunatic.  I get it, he wanted payment, but right from the start I made myself clear several times, in the beginning of our dealings with each other, that I was only taking him up on his offer if he truly was offering it non-gratis.    He already told me that he has never charged for being a Life Coach, that he tended to council a lot of people on the stuff he'd learned over the years and that people keep telling him to make a business of it, so he decided to start one and the website was his first step in making it a business.  So it's not like I'm the first person he met with pro-bono.  And besides that, what type of higher thinking person, gets this caught up in a couple of dollars. It's like me paying him was the only way he could prove to himself that he could be a real life coach. 

I did learn two lessons:
1) Our first meeting was supposed to be at his home, but my intuition told me not to go, so I opted for a phone meeting instead. Now I have more faith in my intuition.

2) My money issues seem small and inconsequential compared to this guy's desperation.  It's not that it would be impossible for me to pay him, but since he turned the tables on me, I decided I just wanted out.  You see I tried twice to nicely extricate myself from the relationship.  It's not like I ever begged him at any point to counsel me for free. 


Friday, August 8, 2014

Air Strikes, Ebola, Down & Missing Planes, Double Hurricanes and other Natural Disasters

Messages via Meditation

It's impossible to miss the fact that the news of the world is more dire in the last couple of months than the usual reporting of bad things happening.  I've been turning on The Today Show each morning asking, is this the end time?  Is Revelations upon us?

In 2007 I was really sick, I was suffering from an autoimmune that was partially diagnosed as Lupus, but they were still making a determination.  Eventually, I sought out an Alternative Medicine Physician who told me emphatically to start practicing meditation.  I resisted for a long time, wanting to be actively curing my illness, not sitting in the dark with my eyes closed.  However, eventually I gave in through a method that's both meditation and yoga called Kundalini.  Truthfully, I did a number of other things to help heal, but I have to say, I attribute the bulk of my wellness to making a commitment and really giving in to Kundalini yoga.

Over the years since recovering, I stopped taking yoga classes of any type and sporadically attempted to meditate, but without any consistency.  Life got busy and I felt fine.  However, over the last couple of months, I really started breaking down again. My stress level was high and some symptoms started returning. I love being the editor of Tinsel & Tine, but it's difficult to do everything I need and want for it and work a full-time job - which isn't where I want to be, which pays very little, and comes with a long commute everyday. Then there's other things that I won't go into.  On top of which, we have all this scary stuff going on in the news!

I of course considered going back to meditation, but I kept saying I don't have time, I go to bed too late, can't get up in the morning... No time before bed, too sleepy, work all day, blog at night etc.. etc.. etc..  But I also kept getting messages through random people and stuff I happened to read online, things that had nothing to do with spirituality, yet would somehow come back to meditation.  2 weeks ago, I happened to meet a Life Coach through my job, during the course of handling his account, we got to talking and he offered to meet with me free of charge for a consultation.  We spoke about a lot of personal matters, that I don't feel comfortable writing about, but his biggest push was, you guessed it ... MEDITATION!  So I couldn't fight it anymore, and once I made up my mind to commit, I've been able to wake up a half hour earlier to do it, following his instructions (so far).

Alright this is a long build up to the reason why I was compelled to write this post this morning, during my meditation today, I got a strong message that said I and the collective "we", should not be distracted by the disasters and wars happening in the world right now (easier said than done, I know), BECAUSE where there's this much negativity, there's that much more light.  That this is a time for obtaining ones heart's desire, that the Universe is really open, but because of the Ying/Yang - balancing thing that seems to be a universal law, it also creates havoc.  The "devil" wants us to miss this opening, this time of being able to align more easily with light and joy.  If we can shut out the noise and fear happening now and instead concentrate, each of us, on our inner spirit, AMAZING things could be in store!

Am I a prophetess? - certainly not.  Do I have other things I need to be working on for Tinsel & Tine, instead of taking time to write this? Yes. Am I worried that this sounds too airy fairy, crunchy granola?  Yes. Could it just be wishful thinking? Denial?...  All I can say is, it was just there, first a fleeting thought after yesterday's meditation, and really strong today.  Nor do I consider it an earth shattering, original thought. All I know is, I felt compelled to write it down, so I have.

The other thing that keeps coming up recently, is a book I read a couple of years ago, which now I seem to be better able to see its merit:

 The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,― Miguel Ruiz

1. Be impeccable with your word - 
Follow through with what you say or promise otherwise keep your mouth shut.

2. Don’t take anything personally
99% of the time people are not trying to dis you, even when you feel you're being ignored or under appreciated. They're  just doing their own thing and will get back to you or seek you out when they need to, but it's not personal.

3. Don’t make assumptions - 
More or less a continuation of #2. Don't try and figure out what people are thinking. Be as clear in your communication as possible and then let it go.

4. Always do your best - 
I love the part in the book that says your best differs depending on the day and the subject matter and your frame of mind, but if you can say I did the best I could as each moment  comes, you've done enough.