Learning and teaching about the human condition is, quite simply, my favourite thing to do.
I was once a school teacher. I’ve spent all my adult life in corporate arenas of one type or another, and my inner professional conservative is a strong voice. . In my past circles, mentioning the fact that liked tarot cards or astrology wasn’t advisable, if I valued my job or credibility. For years mine were secret passions, hidden from fear that I would be seen as “Woo Woo”
Over the last few years, however, I have come out of the closet about how I like to learn, and to teach. Partly that is because when the outside stuff fell apart, it was the Woo Woo which picked me back up again. But mostly, it is because I feel strongly that it is our highest responsibility to understand ourselves as best we can, so that we can bring our best to the world around us. To be accountable for the impact we have on our own fate, and that of others. I believe we do that by finding tools of self recognition that work for us, and Woo is what works for me.
And here is thing I find really amusing about Woo.
The vast majority – read, ALL – of my clients are strictly non- Woo. In fact, they are everything from School Principals to Corporate CEO’s to mining supervisors, and other professional occupations you have never heard of. Most are university educated. All are employed, usually in high ranking jobs. These are not what you might term “alternative” people.
Since “alternative” has gone mainstream – and it has, in a big way, over the past few years – there is no longer any shame in pursuing what were once thought ‘hippy’ pursuits, a fact made evident in the sudden rise of yoga and meditation classes. But it seems that certain practices still fall in the Woo category. Mention Tarot, and one frequently hears the fear and fascination in equal parts:
“You do what? But do you really believe in all that stuff?”
Usually quickly followed by a furtive:
“Would you read for me? Like, not that I believe in it or anything…”
Whilst I am not really your crushed velvet and crystal ball kind of Woo I am, however, a huge believer in self determination. That means I would rather teach you to read Tarot than read for you, because I want you to understand yourself, your unconscious, and how you are getting in your own way – and that will become a whole lot clearer in you learning to use the tools than by asking me.
Here’s the thing: the more you delve into Woo, the more you learn about yourself. Not everyone wants to learn about themselves; many are highly content in their lives, and feel totally comfortable with who they are and how they live. I love nothing more than seeing that, and don’t for a second feel anyone MUST Woo. But for those who are drawn to Woo, there are answers there to be found – and they require a certain level of commitment.
Put it this way – if the Woo calls you, then it is your responsibility to make it a tool, not to become it’s slavish devotee, nor use it as an excuse to avoid living in the world.
When I teach, I do so from the perspective that I have learned tools over many years which have helped me immeasurably, and which may be of use to you as well.
These are some of the tools that have helped me do what I love and be my best, and thus they are the tools I can offer in the service of others:
Kundalini Yoga – known as the ‘Yoga of Awareness’, Kundalini Yoga just makes sense to me. It never ceases to astonish me by unlocking parts of myself I didn’t know were locked; by accessing parts of my psyche and being that contain tremendous gifts; and by simply making me feel amazing. It has literally changed my life.
Tarot – When I walked through the Sahara, I took a deck of cards with me. I joked it was because I had been so deeply lonely during the first part of my walk that I needed something other than my own head to talk to; it wasn’t really a joke, if I am honest. I’d read tarot for years as a hobby, but in the desert, I gained a new appreciation for the cards’ innate and potent wisdom. I learned that in them, I could see past mental constructs to the emotional reality of my own being, and that of external situations. I have respected tarot utterly ever since as an invaluable tool for insight into myself and others, as well as a fascinating product of our collective mythological and religious history.
Astrology – Another lifelong fascination, I became almost obsessed in the Sahara, since astrology is used on a very pragmatic level by Arabic nomads, who imbibe the heavens from birth. I learned a new and deep appreciation for the movement of natural cycles, and the way they have been interpreted over the millennia. I love both the historical story of traditional astrology, and the way it plays out in the natural, broad, and personal worlds.
Numerology – always fascinated by the poetry inherent in numbers, my interest has deepened and become intrigued by learning from my mentor in all things Kundalini, Beant Kaur, about Karam Kriya, or the “magic of numbers” as taught in the Kundalini yoga tradition. It has altered the way I work with tarot and astrology, and the way I understand my own soul’s path.
There are many others – I didn’t include meditation and mantra here because they are inherent in Kundalini yoga (another reason I love the practice so much).
But one thing I do know.
Being Woo Woo doesn’t remotely fuss me anymore. I have built a business on it, and I spend every day practicing and teaching skills I love and treasure. They are a gateway for me into other things, opportunities I never would have found had I continually tried to disguise my inner Woo behind my inner professional conservative. I have found balance in teaching one with the integrity of the other. It is the perfect symbiosis for me, and one I take great pride in.
I hope, now that we are out of the closet, that Woo can be encouraged to reach for the highest professional standards. I believe in excellence, above all.
If you are going to Woo – then Woo with integrity, with pride, with authenticity and – more than anything else – with tolerance. Because the greatest shame would be to see Woo become just another way to box ourselves or others in with judgement, ego, or exclusivity. The best thing about Woo is that it is all about You.
I believe in keeping it that way.
Oh – and if you want to come and learn some seriously decent Woo, you can book a class at our centre here.