Coming Clean

DSCN0039My name is Mimi and I am a spiritual/personal/self-development addict. I have been clean of online seminars and books by Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Caroline Myss and dozens of other spiritual improvement gurus for two weeks. In other words, I am in the frantic throes of withdrawal.

My addiction started over ten years ago with a harmless book by M. Scott Peck called A Road Less Traveled. It was OK, but I didn’t even make it all the way through that one.  Too boring. I moved on to The Celestine Vision by James Redfield because who doesn’t like a good story? Only, stupid me! I thought the trip to Peru and the ancient manuscripts were real.  My mom had to tell me it wasn’t. Then I had to pretend I knew that all along. What a dork.

Despite that embarrassing start, I was hooked on all things deliciously different.

This was a whole new weird world and I knew I belonged in it somewhere. And for some strange reason it seemed my mother was pushing me toward it also. Why else would she give me Gary Zukav and Wabi-Sabi books and silver bracelets that say “Be in the moment”? Why would she loan me her copy of Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality if she wasn’t interested in alternate multiple universes and realities herself? (although she will never admit it).

Soon I was hitting all the library book sales for new material because that’s where everyone dumps the books they don’t want anyone to see in their homes. I picked up The Emerging DreamHealer by Adam at a library sale, plus  The Purpose of Your Life by Carol Adrienne and The Dance by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.  These were OK. They fed me, but being the pig I am, I wanted more. I needed something stronger. Weirder. More sciencey.  Messages From Your Angels by Doreen Virtue wasn’t going to cut it, although it’s a fun read in the bathtub.

It was on to The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart and Miracles of Mind by Russel Targ. Finally some real science to make me feel less flakey. Then I got mixed up with some weirdo self-published stuff and found The Infinite Concept of Cosmic Creation by Ernest L. Norman (waaaayyyy out there).  I traded up for The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav. Over my head at the time, but the title drew me in.

Finally, I moved forward to tackle a Deepak book, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire and at last I realized what abundance really means. In fact, I am abundant with his books, especially The Book of Secrets since I inadvertently bought two of them. Things were definitely shifting in my head.

By this time I started a list of all the books I had accumulated, read, loved, or threw under the bed out of sheer disgust.  I am at about 75 books. I figure I could have written my own spiritual and self-improvement book by now.

After all, isn’t that what addicts do? Write their memoirs?  

It’s two steps forward, one back in this cosmic world of never-ending publications. There are a thousand ways to shift your consciousness and for some reason, I crave every single one of them.

My life coach (yes, I had one) encouraged me to just stop cold-turkey and come clean. Admit this is all just an obsession with fear and procrastination. Is that what I am doing? So fearful and weak-willed I am putting off my life? What if this is my life? Somehow I feel comfortable here.  Like these are my peeps.

Ever since I was a child I felt called to all things alternative, never feeling like I quite fit in anywhere else. I kept quiet about it of course.  Ideas of multiple levels of being and consciousness are still not accepted in many places. Am I procrastinating? Am I fearful? Am I hiding behind my new copy of The Untethered Soul?

The cravings come and go now. Maybe I’m not a self-development junkie. For a few weeks I’ll be happy with reading The New  Yorker and the latest David Sedaris book. But then,  along comes a cool evening and I can’t wait to be done with the dishes so I can snuggle up with Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements or peek into The Science of Miracles by Gregg Braden.

Maybe this is my world and I just have to come out of my cosmic closet. And maybe I am just waiting for the right moment to come clean.

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30 Responses to Coming Clean

  1. I love your humor Mimi. If you wrote a self-help book, I’d read it. You seem to be doing just fine, with or without the books.

  2. MartyW47 says:

    Just so long as you stay away from the Tony Robbins cult you’ll be OK… Fire-walking though fun will give marshmallows and odd flavor if the fire ire is tread by too many… ;)

  3. Jim Foulkes says:

    Aren’t we all looking for signs, guides, directions to help us through life. We must be. That why the authors you listed keep writing more books.

  4. Kris says:

    I love the simplicity of the Four Agreements and say them (almost) everyday.
    Be impeccable with your word.
    Don’t take anything personally.
    Don’t make assumptions.
    Always do your best.
    Love your writing Mimi – thanks for this!

  5. lostinmist says:

    Stay clean. There are interesting spiritual books out there which are also real, but they do not normally promise instant fulfillment. No one can argue with simple meditation, exercise, sunshine, and creativity, although of course the bills must be paid somehow.

  6. emisformaker says:

    The closest thing to a self-help book I’ve ever read to completion is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but it was certainly a life changer. I’m more of a productivity junkie, hooked on articles from Fast Company or the home feed on LinkedIn about how I can make more of my time, especially if it includes making a chart of some kind. I’ll take any excuse I can to break out the Magic Markers and glue stick.

    • I know I started Zen, but never finished. Perhaps I should try again. There is something addicting to what you read too because then you resonate in it and feel closer to creativity. Thanks!

      • emisformaker says:

        I’ve found that everything – including books – comes into my life when I’m ready for it to do so, even if it ends up having to make the trip more than once. The works of Kurt Vonnegut are an excellent example of this. Tried to read them when I was too young to appreciate them, and now cannot imagine my life without having read every one I could get my greedy mitts on.

      • Maybe that was my problem, too young (or naive) to read some stuff. Lord knows I’m old enough now, but still naive as hell.

  7. dcardiff says:

    My name is Dennis and I’m a junkie. I’ve read many of the books you mentioned and even attended a lecture by M. Scott Peck on The Road Less Travelled. I love your writing.

  8. Miss Lou says:

    The first self development book I ever read was Susan Jeffersons ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ It was an awesome book that I found on our lamp table one weekend. My mother had left it lying around. I was 14, and found myself immersed!

    That was sooo meant to happen, because just after I turned 17, I had a car accident and was in hospital for 4 months almost. I couldn’t walk during that time – broken unstable pelvic fracture and all. I started having health anxiety attacks which is not uncommon for people who have experienced a serious MVA. That book was my saving grave after I left the hospital, with an UNDIAGNOSED anxiety disorder. The book helped me to push my comfort zone, which had become really tiny after doing just about nothing for 4 months. I had to learn how to feel comfortable about leaving the house, getting out of bed at night to go to the toilet. It was a crazy time.

    Yay For susan Jefferson!

    Great blog, and an interesting walk down memory lane for me as a result. Thanks so much for sharing :)

    Miss Lou

  9. Said smilingly and from my omni-curious state, when will you know it’s the right moment to “come clean?” Enjoyed the post!

  10. Tusk says:

    Hi Mimi. Pleasure to read you. Re the Four Agreements, I was giving a lecture and nervously began a long explanation of each agreement and how important they were until I reached the third and I couldn’t remember the fourth to save my life! I panicked (not easy to do when you’re talking) and then got my mind together and prayed for a sign – anything – to give me reminder as I continued to drag out the “always be impeccable with your word…”. Suddenly I realized I was in true trouble and paused and said to myself “Just give yourself a break, Tusk, and don’t take it so personally. Anybody could forget this under stress. They will forgive you.” And there it was. Forgiveness. “And remember, don’t take things so personally, I concluded. The Fourth Agreement…” There must have been a Toltec warrior in the audience beaming into my heart. tusk

  11. Oh my! I love your style of writing!! you had me smiling at your comments of some of the books you read, that I did as well….there comes a time, you hve to stop for a while and allow some things fill you, sort of like get into your veins…then…well, what else? write your own!! and please if you do, could you arrange to have an e-book that can be downloaded on my Kobo. Thanks:) Look forward to reading more of your posts. Oliana

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