Verena asked me some questions a little while ago, about the potential issues with my whole spirituality and self help deal and my education and career in psychology. How do I handle the scientific skepticism that is installed in me due to my education? And how do I respond to scientific-minded people who think I’m dealing a bunch of non-proven crap? How do I combine everything and deal with everything?
I experience some inner turmoil over the whole “Universe” and “Energy” stuff that no (psychological) study has proven, but not very much. Since it has always affected my life in such a super-positive way, I personally don’t need any more evidence to keep using it; what can I say? I’m easy like that.
As long as it works for me, I will practice…and preach! I really enjoy writing about it– it forces me to think about how it could work, and more importantly, how it can be put to work. I like practical stuff. If you can’t use an idea to actually help you, it’s no good. So I try to figure out how it is optimally used and put up articles about it.
Because even if it’s not “Universe” and “Energy” and it’s just an elaborate self-created way of thinking, it’s still the most functional way of thinking you can have: Adaptive, flexible, resilient, positive, solution-minded and using your creativity and imagination in a helpful way.
And let’s not forget it totally puts the ‘fun’ in functional. I love little mental tricks, happy thoughts and spotting synchronicity in my life. I entertain myself with gratitude, positivity and manifesting, and I do little experiments for myself to see how it works. It keeps me busy: It was either that or knitting.
That I work with the Law of Attraction and manifesting is my personal choice and so is writing about it. I am who I am and I love what I love and I am one big fluffy ball of self acceptance. Hooray.
Work And Outside of work
Now, I don’t feel like I have to ‘cover up’ anything about myself. Some of my coworkers know about my website (and even read along, hi guys!) I also tell my students when I’m introducing myself. I’m a happy camper and I am a pretty honest nerd.
That being said, I know my audience. Both in the psychology department and out in the open, I use non-threatening terms like ‘positive thinking’ and ‘goal setting’ to explain what I concern myself with.
I always keep it short too. I don’t go into lengthy explanations on how, and why, and ‘oh join the Dark Side we have magical worksheets that will change your life’. It’s not the place nor the time: I’m at work.
Both in and outside of the workplace, I compare it to being a cat person. Unless someone else is also a cat person, you wouldn’t show pictures of Mister Whiskers or talk elaborately about Garfield’s love for tuna cakes, would you? I only explain or elaborate when I am invited to do so. I find that if people are interested in these sort of things, they usually scribble down the url I mention or come talk to me after a meeting.
When it comes to academics and PHd candidates, I don’t really talk about it at all. That’s not really because I’m afraid to talk about my ‘weird stuff’ with them, I’m just afraid to talk them period. I usually find their genius a little terrifying. However, the times I have taken my Valium I’m perfectly comfortable and capable of having a conversation about other topics with them. After all, I totally respect that this is not everyone’s cup of mushroom tea.
Combining it with real life
I can combine my perspective perfectly fine with reality. I know which roles I play in different areas (teacher, non-crazy friend, sane granddaughter, researcher, etc) and what those roles consist of. I always know the audience I am dealing with, and most importantly, I don’t feel the need to convert everyone I meet into Law of Attraction believers and create my personal army of Manifest Enthusiasts to take over the world*.
I am allowed to think using the Law of Attraction can be beneficial even without scientific evidence to back it up. Someone else is allowed to think that I’m absolutely ‘kookoo for Coco Puffs’, as Sheldon Cooper put it. I very much enjoy being a high-functioning crazy person.
Now I’m off to find my gratitude journal and see an imaginary Universal delivery man about some orders. After all, it’s after office hours.
*Hold on, that sounds pretty cool actually. Anyone got a brainwash-technique I can borrow?