Is it possible for a corporate cynic to respect crystals and woo-woo? Not in a 'I could make money off these products' kind of way. Duh, yes, where there's money there's corporate respect. But in a 'these things might have power' kind of way.
Apparently so, because I've been creeping in that direction, unwittingly, for ages, despite my science degree and my early adult training hauling my way up the corporate ladder in the very non-woo-woo world of high tech companies such as IBM. Not only did I not dabble in woo-woo, I actively disbelieved in it.
My innocent progress along the crystal brick road started with my quest for new Gumption Guides tools. Little did I know it would lead me to participate in all kinds of weird stuff.
The cynic is, of course, not quite dead given that 'weird' is the word that popped into my head in that last sentence. I admit to still getting giddy with laughter over one 'I'm game to try everything' moment when I stood in convoluted poses while chanting my desired outcomes. So I'm not exactly a personal convert to all forms of woo-woo.
But I did notice that other people felt better for doing some of these things I found, well, ridiculous. I started thinking: if it moves you forward, that's cool. Well done, you.
And the very fact of opening myself up to trying whatever has been illuminating in another way:
I've come to understand I'm full of contradictions.
I don't think I'm alone. It can't just be because I'm a Gemini.
Contradictions can make it challenging to categorize yourself, which is both liberating and discombobulating (damn, another contradiction). Liberating because you no longer have to be restricted by your so-called self-image. Discombobulating because there are times when it's comforting to crawl into your nicely defined tribal box and not worry about what you do and don't believe.
Besides the crystal-embracing corporate cynic contradiction, I'm also a God-loving agnostic. I'm not religious in any traditional sense. But I am into the possibility of a power higher than my puny self. My favourite poem, the only one I've bothered to memorize besides the irresistible Jabberwocky, is E.E. Cummings' I Thank You God for This Most Amazing Day. It comes to me every time I witness the natural world in some act of breathtaking splendiforousness. Cuz it's a friggin' miracle.
The there's the gregarious introvert contradiction. I'm all over jumping into a crowded room, meeting new people, telling stories at parties, public speaking and other acts of social daring-do. Then, suddenly, even when I'm having a grand time, a switch flips and I hit my Limit of Sociability. Smack. I urgently need to be alone to refuel. Just like that.
Other contradictions: My desire for belonging, despite being a freedom zealot. My pleasure in eating meat despite being revolted by the killing of animals (so much so that my house became home to 20 mice before I decided I really had to get over that revulsion, but that's another story). The list goes on and on.
So I guess I shouldn't find it all that surprising that I'm finding value in woo-woo. At least some of it. I even own a couple of crystals. I bought them years ago and my cynic self was about say 'in a moment of weakness' as a kind of snipe. But wait, isn't that the point? These things are there to help us through our moments of weakness. Whatever works, is good by me.
I thinking these contradictions might be the very things that keep life interesting. Maybe I am 'that' kind of girl, whatever that is. The idea is giving me a great sense of possibilities.
What are your favourite personal contradictions? I'd love to know.
Follow Shelagh Meagher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gumptionguides