Are you looking for a Guru or a Guide?
Hi everybody – this is Artemiss from ArtemissK.com
I want to have a little chat about something that keeps bubbling up right now – we are in April 2020, we’re in the middle of the Covid19 ‘pandemic lockdown’ – whatever you want to call the current situation happening around the world right now – and on my personal Facebook page I’m quite open with my opinion about things – which is not the issue here or the topic – but what’s happening is I have people messaging me, private messaging me, and saying “thank you for sharing your views, I agree but I don’t feel that I can share this information or speak publicly because I’m afraid of what my friends are going to say” etc – and that’s all fine… we only should ever speak up at the point that we feel safe and willing to do so voluntarily… but the side conversation, which is also incredibly interesting, is that some people are saying “I’m not worried about what my friends or family are thinking, I’m afraid of losing clients – or potential clients – because they might have a different view to what I would share”…
So it got me thinking – if you’ve ever heard me talk about marketing or read any of my website you know I’m very anti-guru – I believe that the only guru you need in your life is you – so this idea that we might potentially lose clients or prospects down the line because of our personal values or opinions that we’re sharing, is a really interesting concept when you think about “are we looking for a guru or are we looking for a guide?”
Now, I don’t have the answers here I’m just suggesting some questions to help us clarify because, for example, if I’m looking for say a nutritionist and I have very strong views about “I don’t want to have, I don’t want to ingest, I don’t want to eat GMO foods and I want to be as organically inclined as possible”, then those are the beliefs of a nutritionist that I would employ because where that nutritionist comes from is directly informed by his or her beliefs about the source of food and the type of food etc – but if that nutritionist happens to drive a certain brand of car that I do or do not like, does it make a difference to their ability to serve me fully in their capacity as a nutritionist? Maybe… maybe not.
Or say, as a business coach I also use business coaches because coaches need coaches… personally, I will not use any kind of scarcity or fear-mongering in my marketing because I strongly stand against that so if I’m employing a coach and their approach and their suggestions and the way they do their own marketing is around scarcity and fear-mongering then they’re absolutely out of the running for me because they’re showing me their values and for me I not only want to engage with the service I want to engage with the person behind the service which means their values are part of that. But, however, if this particular sales coach or business coach eats GMO foods or non-organic foods does it make a difference to the kind of advice and support they can give me as a coach?
So there’s the idea that when we’re looking for a guru we want this one perfect person that we can totally believe in… and it’s almost like giving up responsibility… our responsibilities to ourselves to discern, to see the person as separate to the message, as separate to what they’re offering us so that at every level we can actually say this piece of advice or guidance yes, this piece of advice or guidance no. And that’s where we need to step into our own power – whereas when we’re looking for a guru we want that one person that we could put aside our own responsibility and say “yes just tell me what to do, yes I’ll do that, yes I believe whatever you tell me to do, yes whatever you say is right, that’s where I’ll come from”… where’s the power in that?
The only guru you need is you – when we stand in a place of self-trust, self-love, self-respect then we can look at any piece of advice – which is really anything is: it’s advice, it’s opinion, it is not your truth until you decide it’s your truth – and that can come from our best friend, our parents, our children, our most trusted adviser, whatever… any piece of information or guidance is only an opinion until we decide it’s our truth.
We can also look at people in society or history and see how they’ve been idolised, which kind of removes them a bit from humanity. So I do like reading about historical figures and there’s a couple that are hailed beautifully in our society; so for example Mother Teresa she’s very very very known for being a humanitarian who helped a lot of people in situations where other people didn’t want to be involved. I was reading some articles about her and one of the things that is said – and to be honest I didn’t research it enough to say ‘yes it’s fact or not’ but it made me stop and think about what my personal opinion about Mother Teresa was and whether it affected all the other good things I believe she’s done – and that is that because of her personal opinions around suffering and connection to God she actually withheld pain relief from many of the people who were dying in her care because she believed that suffering was part of life. Now, whether or not that was her decision to make, whether or not that undoes any of the glory that we hold around her about the work that she did do – questions to ask, maybe… maybe not.
There’s also Nelson Mandela, yes a lot of us know that he had a particular start before he chose the peaceful route and that in his experience in prison and the momentous things he did after prison and his capacity to forgive and collaborate with the people who had imprisoned him, you know there’s so much to learn and be guided from his humanity. But the interesting thing is when I was reading one of his biographies it was talking about how while he was in prison and his daughter would write some letters he would edit them, correct them and then send them back to her.
Now I can tell you that as a daughter that would not sit well with me – you know, imagine trying to connect with your parent who’s taken away from you and all they’re doing is correcting you… but again that’s his role as a father, does it change him as the leader that we look up to – maybe… maybe not.
So as I said, I have no answers for you – what I’m suggesting is we start asking more questions, when we start having a reaction to someone and ask ourselves are we having a reaction because we want this person to be like a Smurf – a single-sided single emotion Smurf ‘I’m always happy, I’m always positive, I’m always whatever’ – are we looking for a guru or are we looking for a guide?
And how much responsibility are we taking that we can listen to someone and say yes, this piece of information resonates and no, this piece of information doesn’t resonate, without feeling like we have to attack them or negate them or change our overall impression about whatever good or ungood (now there’s a word) they have done in the world – so ask questions, trust your own inner wisdom to guide you to the answers that are right for you for those questions, but always keep an open mind that down the road you will continue to grow and you will continue to learn new information and then at any time it is up to you, your self-given freedom of sovereignty to change your opinion, to change what feels like your truth now.
So with that, let’s let go of our hero-worship, our guru-worship and just turn inside, connect to the guides that support us but always hold on to the absolute level of self-responsibility that allows us to say yes or no for what’s right for us and our family and our happiness and our inner peace.
© Artemiss Keyhani, 2020
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