We are living in a time where conciousness is shifting. Of course this gives rise to an increasing number of folks feeling a need to “work on themselves.” It is common to see gurus promising everything from aligning our chakras, helping us find nirvana through vision quest, becoming a shaman in a week long program, or any other technique to fix our “broken selves.” Of course this is not to say that self improvement is a bad thing. Heaven knows we all have dark, shadowy sides that call to be reckoned with. Giving our power to another promising to fix us only makes us dependant and not true to our selves. We begin to gain a sense of spiritual superiority thus making many feel the need to peel those who no longer fit their new found sense away from their lives. There is nothing more pious than the newly spiritually converted.
Ashrams and retreats are filled with individuals looking for an external mechanism to change them failing to realize that change is an inner process and a slow one at that. Some isolate themselves feeling their need for self work cannot be accomplished in relationship with others failing to understand that others are also doing self work. Naturally when we go through life changes, many things will no longer fit and our lives will feel chaotic for a while. Things somehow just do not make sense. Spiritual teachers can be valuable assets but as with anything their beliefs and methods are not our own. They are human and subject to prejudices and foibles as we all are. If any human were perfect they would not be here on planet earth.
As a child I was taught many lessons and given the belief system of my parents. Being a devout Christian we would sit every Sunday listening to a spiritual leader telling us how sinful we were. As an adult, I have chosen what fits me and discarded the beliefs that no longer fit. This is our role when we are working with others. Undoubtedly there will be some things we will want to keep and others that are not in alignment with our authentic selves. We feel it and if we listen, we will hear. We will walk our journey alone but we will meet others along the way. The path will be shared. No woman or man is an island even the self proclaimed spiritual ones.