There is a trait I see often among those following a conscious, alternative lifestyle – one that has been especially clear to me lately, and that I believe is troubling.
And that is that many on this path have (if you’ll pardon the pun) “no fire in their belly”.
One way in which this shows up is that they are, to quote one of my sources, “lost on this really soft, undisciplined kind of love. ‘It’s all good, it’s all love’. We need to be about a more fierce, exacting kind of love.”
Hell yeah we do!
I used to be lost in this way, too, and it took me a lot of difficult lessons before I learned that it is not spiritual to look the other way and stay silent when others violate our or others’ rights.
We don’t have to judge those doing the violating. But if we look the other way and stay silent, we enable them.
It’s my personal belief that this is not a healthy reaction, but far from it, and the situations it allows are also very far from healthy.
So the overlooked essential of health and happiness is having appropriate boundaries and not being afraid to clearly communicate them.
Repeat after me: There is nothing unspiritual about having clear boundaries about what is and isn’t acceptable, and communicating them. There is nothing unspiritual about getting angry at dishonest or otherwise unethical practices, and expressing that anger. There is nothing unspiritual about standing up for yourself, and your rights.
In the words of a whistleblower in an online report about alleged unethical behaviour by a prominent figure in the raw health community (said report will soon be featured in an article I will be linking to by someone I highly respect):
“We are a conscious caring community and that’s the ONLY reason why [name deleted] has even lasted this long. If this was ANY other business or ANY other organization, she would be held responsible for her actions. But because this is a conscious and compassionate business, we allow her to walk over everybody as we try to ‘hold space’ for her. But enough is enough.”
I don’t know the details of this particular case, but I include this quote because I do know that I have sadly also witnessed situations that have made me say the above almost word for word.
To give two more examples, as I wrote on here recently I have discovered that the practice of labelling foods as raw when they are no such thing, and charging up to five times a much for them, is rife.
I have also been investigating how it is that a group of around 30 trusting people who followed their dream to live as part of a conscious raw vegan community that never materialised are still waiting – over three years later in some cases – for sums ranging from $10,000 to $170,000 to be returned to them. Yes – shocking but true.
There is no guarantee they will ever get their money back, and for some this was their entire life’s savings. Those who lost their money will soon be telling their stories, in their words, so you will be able to make your own mind what you think.
What many of them have told me is that they never believed anything like this could happen in the alternative health community, at the hands of two people who were/are big names in that community, so their trust was implicit and their guards down when they handed over their money.
Some have paid a huge price for this trust, and the stories are nothing short of tragic. Some have not only lost their financial security but have also suffered considerable stress and emotional damage.
One of the things that has been most disturbing to me about this situation is how little action some of those who lost money have taken in standing up for themselves, and the state of fear many are in.
It’s so extreme in some cases that they have shared with me that they are afraid to speak out against those who have their money, as they believe if they “upset” them that might eliminate any remaining chance of getting their money back.
My heart goes out to all those caught up in this.
And it affects all of us.
As a close friend of mine said this weekend, “If we in this enlightened, conscious little marketplace can’t work together to ensure it operates with integrity, fairness, honesty and transparency, what hope do we have of doing anything about the massive deceit and corruption in the wider world?”