Are Seekers Weak?
This is a question that comes up a lot as we discuss what happened to Kirby at James Ray’s “Spiritual Warrior” retreat in 2009.
Many people make assumptions about the participants of the retreat:
- They were weak.
- They were troubled.
- They were pathetic.
People like to think that the very fact that they were at a self-improvement retreat suggests they were somehow deficient or fragile. It makes it easier to be dismissive, so that you can think to yourself, “this would never happen to me.”
But here’s what we’ve learned.
The majority of people who attend retreats like Ray’s, or Tony Robbins’, or any of the other many self-help/self-improvement “gurus,” are driven and motivated. They seek out self-improvement not because they are weak or lacking, but because they want to grow and be the best versions of themselves. That shows great strength.
But, this does make them vulnerable. Whenever you open yourself up to change, you become vulnerable. It’s a process of questioning, evaluating, taking stock. That in itself is a brave effort–opening up requires strength.
Because of that inherent vulnerability, though, you have to take precautions so that your openness won’t be abused by a teacher who only wants for him/herself: more money, more prestige, more influence.
And this is where SEEK’s mission lies: it’s about teaching these motivated seekers to have a healthy skepticism along their process of change. That’s it! Just asking a few questions of a teacher or situation can in many cases be all you really need to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
Here’s a thought: if you’re feeling like you need a boost in your life and you’re open to making changes that can improve your career, your personal life, or your health, consider first taking small steps that you can do on your own, without relying on someone else.
I really like meditation for this. It’s something that anyone can start on their own, no special equipment required. They buy in is low, the risk is small, and the potential rewards are great. It’s also a practice that has the backing of scientific research–it’s not just a passing fad.
So, to help you get started, May is Meditation Month at SEEK. We’ll be featuring a few articles and blog posts and some tools to help you along the way.
If you are already in your journey of self-improvement, attending events or lectures from teachers or coaches, remember to read through our Red Flags to keep you safe along the way!