by Lee Warren

I decided to sit and eat lunch for a change – relaxing to digest food is always seems like a good idea but doesn’t always happen.

Equipped with a wayward 'Sounds True' catalog that had come in the mail for my friend and former housemate, I started flipping through.

By the third page, I could feel tension in my body. By page five it was full blown anxiety.

This catalog reads like the Spiritual version of a high-gloss women’s magazine. I felt barraged suddenly by a seemingly endless list of things I need to cure in order to be a functioning human being. The inner equivalent to white teeth and no-smell-armpits.

As I read the book titles, I watched my mind (in parentheses):

  • Mindfulness Meditations (Should I be more mindful?)
  • Enlightenment and the Brain (Other people are enlightened – maybe there’s a secret.)
  • Personal Transformation based on Kindness and Compassion (Am I kind enough to myself?)
  • Freedom from Depression (Is that for me?)
  • Living the Lakota Way (Maybe they know something I should learn.)
  • Hold Nothing Back (Am I holding back?)

The more I read, the more contracted I felt. By page 15, I got up to throw the thing in the trash.

Suddenly my lunch was more peaceful.

Is it me? Am I just too sensitive? Or is everyone trying to fix and change and tweak and alter us? I’m sure there’s even a book entitled, “You’re Fine Exactly How You Are,” which would then bring up anxiety for even wanting to change ourselves.


The overall message seems to be that something is amiss. That someone else has the answer. There’s a sense of dis-empowerment about it. Approaching these books should be like approaching something dangerous. Proceed only if you’re feeling strong.

The Wise Woman Tradition reminds us that we have wisdom within us.

It reminds us that there’s nothing to fix. I’m grateful that this voice exists among the forest of fixing.

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