Whenever I hear personal development, I myself often get feelings of repulsion. The personal development industry has spilled out quite a lot of commercial non-sense and I can totally relate to people that think of coaching as just the next scam. But then, what industry does my business fall under? Uuuh, I guess any other definition but personal development would sound fabricated, like self-development, self-help etc. I guess there is no other industry name yet that would encompass spirituality, psychology, business, hypnotherapy, weigh-loss, access consciousness and more in one? If you get a spark of an idea, please shoot me an email!
As it seems, the movie “The Law of attraction” unleashed an entire industry behind itself. Poly, a friend of mine told me once, while we were having a playdate for the kids: “How do you know if all of this works? I’ve tried so many practices and they seem to work for a while, and then, after some time, I come back to my previous thinking. I have the feeling that I’m wasting my time. Honestly, it’s getting harder for me to trust the next guru, or method.”
I was looking through the windows of her living room, overlooking a network of busy city streets. The world outside seemed buzzing and chaotic. I was rushing through my own views and beliefs and trying to dig out the reason I was fascinated by the topic of personal development in first place.
A thread of images passed through my mind like a movie and I saw myself sitting in some of the self-growth courses I had been through in my 20’s. Re-birthing: I saw myself laying on the floor and taking deep breaths together with a dozen other people, some laughing, others crying, one performing high-level asanas that she was recalling from a past life. Reiki - my reiki Master Penka Nesheva appeared and nodded with a light and ensuring demeanor – the mere thought of her lifts up my ethics bars. Then I remembered the Silva method weekend course.
The Monday after, as I was rushing in the door of the airport, I saw myself picking up money from the floor. A few minutes later I was called in at the check-in desk and offered money to travel one day later, as the plane was overbooked. Coincidentally, the amount that I found and the amount of the reimbursement for the ticket, was the exact same amount I had paid for my mom and brother to attend the Silva method weekend course with me, mostly, so we can spend some time together.
Then the pictures sped up, fast forward a decade – I saw myself learning about mind reprogramming with NLP. This, together with the Silva method and EFT tapping helped me get rid of my fear of public speaking. Trust me that was a big and embarrassing one to overcome!
Then it hit me: I had gotten all my jobs, got in one of the best business schools in the world, got my relationship and lots of amazing traveling destinations with intention and using lots of the 'personal development' tools I had learned. The two vision boards that I have ever made came into reality to at about 80%. Then I remembered some of the other sessions and courses that I took - cranio-sacral, kinesiology, speed reading, hypno-birthing, herbalism, energy healing, hypnotherapy, astrology, numerology, kundalini yoga, the Kleinsche method, Shamanic teachings, all the hours spent on reading books about philosophy and religion. And more and more.
Was this all a waste of time?! Did I really waste 20 years of my life with no result? Was I really supposed to have achieved visible success after devoting so much time to personal development?
I knew there was a good answer to this and it was already peeking through the door of my mind, as the questions were getting ready to depart. I took a sip of coffee, smiled at Poly and focused to begin my interpretation of personal development.
“Look Poly, all of these courses and teachings improved me, my self-confidence, my awareness and my understanding of the world. All of this together has improved my life. Don’t we all want to know who we are and to create for ourselves a clear picture of how the world functions? I cannot say with certainty what my life would have been like, had I not dug my feet into personal development. One thing I know for sure, the searching for answers and the practices I’ve learned – ancient and new – are the thing that is giving me a positive outlook on life. This understanding of the world and of myself lets me trust both in myself and in the perfection of the Divine Plan.”
I simply cannot stop trying and discovering. Call it personal development, I call it coming to myself.