I admit it. My name is Lynn Newman and I’m a recovered spiritual self-help junkie.
I fell onto the spiritual path accidentally in my 20s when I moved to Santa Fe. I found myself meeting all sorts of healers and spiritual teachers in the new-age town.
I started with walking meditation as my gateway drug and, before I knew it, I was into the hard stuff: Rebirthing, quantum dynamics, psychic surgeries, parapsychology, Rolfing, past-life regression . . .
I became a Reiki Master, a certified yoga teacher, collected a library of self-help books, and went on Shamanistic power journeys to the top of Machu Picchu, the Egyptian pyramids, and Teotihuacan.
I learned lucid dreaming, drummed in circles, went to ecstatic dance parties, had aura cleansings with didgeridoos, singing bowls, and power rods.
I called world-renown psychics, intuits, numerologists, astrologists, astrocartologists—all with the hope that they would tell me that my life was going to end up fabulous or, at the very least, I would soon know some happiness.
Why did I do all this?
I did it because I inherently felt like there was something I needed to fix about myself—a problem that needed to be solved.
I was taught that we’re all spiritual beings having a human experience. For decades, I focused on the spiritual part.
I believed that one day—if I remained committed—my issues would magically disappear. My story would re-write itself to the point I would never get triggered. I wouldn’t be upset or off center ever again. I would be a stunning example of a close-to-but-not-quite enlightened person, since I could never be the Buddha.
For some reason, I believed that I needed to be more than human.
And that was the crux of my addiction. I was looking for something outside of me to save me, to rescue me and most importantly, to change me. Rather than just let myself be all that I am—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
There was nothing wrong with my intention to heal. Nothing wrong with all the many modalities I studied. Yet, in the judgment that I was not enough, I perpetuated my problems. I was searching and seeking for something outside of me to erase the lie that I was broken.
Without the pressure, grasping, and need to fill what I thought I was lacking, I could come back home to myself.
I could have more acceptance and compassion for what arose in me. And rather than fix it, or trying to change it, allow it to be there in all its glory. I didn’t have to do anything.
I learned not only did I not have to be perfect – I couldn’t be. And I no longer had to feel bad, guilty or ashamed about it. I could allow myself to just be with all I was feeling: I was free.
What if you didn’t have to be anything more than being human? What if there was nothing you needed to do to be any different than who you are right now? If there was nothing you needed to change or fix and you got to just be you?
Do YOU, I tell myself now. That’s my serenity prayer.
Wishing you a life full of self-acceptance and peace!