I moved to NYC right before my 21st birthday. I always say that I became an adult in New York. I grew up in a super small town (population 3,000-ish) and then moved to a small city in Florida. One thing I’ve realized more and more lately (especially post-election) is how different my life and my outlook on the world would be if I’d never left those small towns.
New York has everything at your finger tips and it’s also an extremely progressive place where no one really cares what anyone else is doing at any given moment. As long as you’re not physically harming someone else?
Do your thing and we’ll all just keep on walking (fast..we walk really fast)!
Which I know allows for a certain amount of comfort that no matter what weird, alternative or woo woo things I’ve gotten into over the past 5 years or so – nobody is really going to judge me for it. If anything, they’re probably going to one up me with their own weirder story!
For me the entry into all of this stuff was going vegan.
There’s a vegan restaurant in every neighborhood.
And then I got into acupuncture.
People here will literally fight you over whose acupuncturist is better.
Half the people I know are Reiki practitioners and spend hours waiting to get a hug from Amma every year.
Needless to say, I’m in a pretty “safe space” when it comes to sharing all the unusual things that I’m into.
But when I’ve traveled other places, namely Soul Camp where I meet people from all over the country – I know not everyone is so lucky.
Not everyone can just talk about drum circles and witch candles without everyone in the room thinking they’ve joined a cult.
If you relate to that and want to feel more comfortable and confident sharing your new alternative interests, I’ve put together 3 very easy ways you can be honest about it all without causing an unnecessary stir with the people in your life.
1) “Speak your truth to ears that can hear you”
My own life coach Amy talks a ton about having awkward conversations with the people in our lives, and the quote above comes from her.
What it means in a practical sense is, yes – of course you want to be honest about your interests, if the person you’re talking to is not in the place to hear it with an open mind and respond with grace and kindness there’s nothing you can do about that.
Not everyone needs to know every detail about your life.
Little nuggets of surface level information may be as much as they’re going to be able to accept right now. Don’t force them to be more open than they actually are.
So if you’re into something like Deeksha, you may just want to call it a meditation circle (not a lie, that is part of it) instead of going for the full on explanation of…a room full of people channeling Divine grace through their hands and changing the neural pathways of your brain. (Trust me on this one) 😉
If you go to something like Soul Camp, describing it as being ‘like a yoga retreat but with fun camp games’ might suffice. You probably don’t need to tell your super religious family about angel circles and middle of the night tarot readings where you get told that maybe you should become a lesbian. (Speaking from experience again here…haha)
I know you don’t want to hide what you’re into, but honestly – can they hold those truths right now?
If they’re super conservative, haven’t been exposed to much or have a ton of preconceived notions about alternative healing and spirituality, is it worth the fight?
Personally, I’m all about planting seeds with passing mentions and honest answers to direct questions.
But I also know that as much as they’re not going to be able to force you into believing the same things they believe – the same goes for your ability to make them instantly feel comfortable with your newfound “new age” interests.
2) Your life is your message
Strong arming everyone you know to give up GMOs, travel to India to meditate or do a past life regression will probably backfire on you pretty quick. (yep, I’ve tried).
Here’s why: whenever we make major changes in our lives in can feel threatening to the people around us.
Because if you’re doing things different, that can feel like a rejection of what you’ve done in the past, which is probably pretty similar to what they’re currently doing.
This especially applies when it comes to parents and family.
It can actually feel like a major diss if you all the sudden start tearing to shreds what they fed you as a kid or talk about all the healing work you’re doing.
They probably worked hard to put that food on the table for you, and no matter how bad your childhood was your family probably did the best they could with the tools they had at the time.
A better way to let people know you’ve changed, grown or are working on yourself is to just let your life speak for you.
If you’re happier, calmer, better at dealing with difficult situations, healthier, more vibrant and have more energy – people will notice.
The greatest testimony you can give to the power of the healing work you’ve done is to live a good life.
3) FOMO (fear of missing out) is real
So let’s say your friends and family are noticing you’ve made some changes. In the beginning you may be met with some resistance from them.
“Who do you think you are?”
“We’re not good enough for you anymore?”
“What was wrong with how we raised you?”
Now is the time to remember that nothing people say about you has anything to do with you.
It has everything to do with what it means about them.
Honestly, everyone is just protecting their own ego, protecting their own inner child and making sure she’s not being threatened.
So keep on doing your thing. Sharing a little here and there and living your new, sparkly life.
Because eventually a really funny thing starts to happen…
People want what you have.
It may take years (hell, I was vegetarian for 15 years before my family even considered dabbling in a plant based diet!), but when people see something that seems to work – they’re going to want to give it a try.
Even if right now it doesn’t seem like anyone is even noticing the shifts and changes you’ve made, I promise they’re seeing it.
They may need to keep their heads in the sand a little while longer…or for…15 years…but one day the moment will come when they decide enough is enough in their own life.
You can’t force that moment to happen for them any more than someone could have forced it on you before you were ready.
Until then, stay firm in your beliefs, have boundaries, do what works for you and keep being that first flicker of light for them to see another way is possible.
To you and your growth,