“I am not woo-woo, but…” Whenever I hear this statement I can’t help but think, “oh no, here we go again.” This set up always signals a blatant admission of a derogatory connotation around things involving the spiritual arts, followed up by another statement that is inherently “woo-woo.” This contradiction reminds me how far we’ve come as a culture, especially now in the midst of a mainstream embrace of alternative spiritual beliefs and practices, while simultaneously signifying how much further we have yet to go.
Most people I know dismissive of “woo-woo,” feel this way because they fear that woo-woo equals flakey. And in their defense, certainly there are tons of people out there misusing spiritual practices, either as way to sidestep personal responsibility or as a way of taking advantage of others. I once spontaneously walked into a tarot reader’s office on the way home from dinner with my husband to have a psychic read my palm. Consequently, she told me if I paid her a couple of hundred dollars, she’d remove the “negative energy” that was about to ruin my life in some big way. I thanked her very much for the offer, and left, only to giggle with my man about how silly to waste five bucks on such nonsense. No doubt, there are unscrupulous people out there misusing spirituality as a way to make money, capitalizing on other people’s fears. In the healing arts industry or any other industry for that matter, it’s imperative to discern for yourself which practitioners have integrity and what modalities feel aligned for you. Discernment is the number one prerequisite to making any sound decision in life. However, many modalities and practitioners out there rock and help people heal their lives, while aligning them with their inherent truth, even though science has not proven the technique through rigorous study (yet).
As someone who’s absolutely infatuated with evidence based research, (yes, I read academic articles for fun) needless to say, I am also a huge supporter of techniques, modalities and approaches that mainstream academia dismisses as new age. Why, because my life has proven over and over again that many of these techniques work. They’ve enhanced my life on a personal and professional level. In my work, I straddle the crossroad between ancient wisdom and modern science, making it a point to find equanimity between evidence-based research and a mystical approach to life.
As a child, I always had a rock solid intuition and often predicted things before they happened. Many times through play I’d find myself acting out scenarios hours prior to the real life events happening. As I became older, this sense of knowing and a strong curiosity about offbeat spirituality only intensified.
For example, I always knew I was not meant to give birth to children of my own from a very early age. Later in my teens years while writing in my journal I received a strong message again that the purpose of my life did not involve giving birth to kids. I cannot tell you how much this knowing comforted me in the aftermath of my cancer and infertility. Now in my professional life, I have the honor and privilege of helping my clients take control of their destiny with mystical interventions too. I have seen the unseen at work in so many miraculous ways I cannot deny the existence of it.
I am curious to witness the ways in which spiritual practices continue to evolve, and how attitudes towards them simultaneously progress. Modern history knows nothing but a time when patriarchy dictated society, inclusive of our spirituality. As we stand on the intersection of time, where more and more people seem to accept alternative and spiritually oriented modalities as ways to improve life, I believe we are on the cusp of a new paradigm.
And yet there is still a hangover from the past, a fear that letting intuition act as a driving force in ones life equates to a form of quackery, that believing in something that cannot be proven through science (right now anyway) means adhering to an naïve and flaky way of life. But why such negativity about spiritual practices not backed by science?
Maybe the negative connotation around spiritual arts considered “woo-woo” is actually a hangover of a long-standing reign of patriarchy, and what we are calling woo-woo is actually innately feminine?
The next time you hear someone dis something as woo-woo or new age, consider this, what if the negative opinion or fear actually represented a prejudice against the feminine so deeply ingrained in our world view we don’t even realize it’s there?