“Beware the Guru.”
This is a mantra I return to often, especially when I’m with a friend, colleague or even a client who doesn’t consider challenging their Practitioner(s).
We all look to guides, teachers and experts in our quest for Wellness. Some we find very effective, with some we don’t resonate, and with others we cede Our Selves to their agenda.
My question to You is: Are you truly charting your own Healing Path? - or are you just following someone else’s Directions?
Let’s look at a few modalities:
When you get a massage, do You explain what you need from the session?—deep tissue work, relaxation, attention to an injury, the healing power of intentional touch?—or do You get on the table and let the Practitioner move through a protocol that s/he has decided for You?
With an Acupuncturist, are you unclear about the interplay of Elements and their impact on You? the concept of Chi? your reluctance to drink a bitter tea that’s been prescribed?—or do You forge ahead and figure “s/he must know better than I.”?
In a Therapy session, do you set your own agenda? challenge what you’re being told? disagree? double back to something from a previous session?—or do you sit compliantly assuming that that’s your role in the process?
In an appointment with a Doctor, do You go in with written questions and concerns? are You willing to ask for clarification, or even a second opinion? can You speak up if you’re not being heard?—or do You settle for what you’re being told?
This list could go on and on. It could also include anyone who supports our sense of well-being from a Barber to a Manicurist to a Tailor. The point is, do you default to abdication, complacency, surrender or resignation when you’re interacting with someone who’s “taking care of You”?
If so, it’s time to:
Stop — just Stop.
Take a pause and a breath.
Assess the moment, the exchange, the information. Is it working for You?
If not, take action that will change what’s happening.
And what might that action look like?
“Your touch is too heavy. What you’re doing is uncomfortable.”
Ask for a deeper explanation of the Elements, Chi or the reason for the tea in the first place.
Be your own guide: “Today I want to talk about, explore, dive more deeply into this piece.”
Question the reason for a particular treatment and dare to decline it if it doesn’t serve You.
“That shampoo leaves my hair greasy.” / “I don’t like that color of red.” / “Hem it shorter, please.”
…. and so on.
Like every other aspect of the practice, start small and build on your successes. I guarantee you’ll have plenty of chances to counter the “Guru”. Because when it comes right down to it, the guru has expertise, but You are your own Expert.
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