If I’m Describing You, This Big Promise Will Overdeliver.
One of my husbands used to say to me, “If you are pleasing everyone, you’re doing something wrong.” I think in those days (“those days” being the Sixties), he was referring mostly to political positions, but he took this saying in a broader sense, also—like how to live life. If everyone agrees with what you are doing or what you are saying, then you’re probably not holding firmly to a clear and well-directed core value. Because no matter what you believe, there’s gonna be somebody who just doesn’t like what you believe, or someone who doesn’t like YOU for what you believe. A big part of growing up is learning to deal with that fact.
In a previous blog post, I discussed the connection between the clarity of one’s core value the quality of one’s living. But what I did not say in that post was if you hold a value about life strongly, you will eventually rub up against someone who has a different core value from yours. And further, you’re sure to encounter people who don’t appreciate your core value, much less value it. That’s a topic for another blog, but the idea is important to what I want to say in this post.
Big promises, from the world’s great wisdom traditions
In essence, this post addresses the excruciating discomfort I have with marketing what I am most interested in teaching. If you have followed me even a little bit, you know that I make some pretty big promises about the LifeArt curriculum and offerings: joy, equanimity, clarity, purpose are all key words that come up again and again in my teaching and my writing. And I also assert that there is a clear and verified pathway to achieving these conditions in our lives. But sometimes I think, oh my god, what on earth am I saying. Do I really have the temerity to offer such riches to my audience? I scare myself sometimes.
But then, I remember that it’s not really “me” that offers these glorious conditions to my fellow seekers; my offerings are all based on the concepts and practices of the great wisdom traditions, and they are the instruments of change and transformation that I share with students. Still, at times I do wonder if I am ill-advised to tout such bounty to potential clients. A saying in the marketing world comes to mind: Always under-promise and over-deliver. Hmmmmmm.
But, if I go back to the wise advice of former husband, I may not be holding true to my core value if I’m trying to lessen the hugeness of what the teachings have to offer. I profoundly believe what the traditions teach us: there is a way out of the everyday dissatisfaction and suffering that keeps us from living happily. Who doesn’t want joy, peace, and good will! But it takes some work to get to those states. So this comes down to another notion in marketing: be very clear about your target audience. Right? Make sure you’re talking people willing to do the work.
Are you ready to do the work that’s needed to live with more joy and clarity?
OK, having said all of that, this might be where you stop reading. But please wait. Maybe you are my target audience for my next offering. Aren’t you willing to do the work? What if this book group could help you deepen your life of joy, equanimity, and clarity? (There’s the big promise.)
For three Tuesdays in April, I’m directing my focus to a remarkable book by Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul—the journey beyond yourself. I call the book “remarkable,” but of course, I say that based on a very specific core value that I hold: the importance of cultivating practices and insights about the way my mind works. This is a topic of endless fascination to me, as I watch how the mind sometimes causes me to suffer and other times causes me great joy. I have devoted a good deal of my career to the study and practices of wisdom traditions and contemporary texts that bring insight into the workings of the mind and the possibilities for personal growth, human potential, ultimate peace, and inner freedom.
If you do not hold a similar core value, then you may not find Singer’s book “remarkable.” In fact, you may find this book annoying, or dull, or irrelevant. And if that is the case, I totally respect your disinterest in what I am offering. Be well and proceed with other endeavors, by all means!
But. . . if you, too, have a keen desire (a drive even) to understand the way your mind works and its potential for ending your suffering, think about this next LifeArt offering. Here are some of the markers of the audience I’m appealing to:
Your mind sometimes causes you to fail to satisfy your deepest desires.
Your mind causes you to be blown about by emotional winds.
Your mind causes you to spend way too much time feeling frustrated, depressed, confused, anxious, or in any other afflictive state.
If any of this applies to you, then you might really be interested in reading this book and spending a few hours talking with other people who also desire to create a life of joy and equanimity.
Starting April 9th: The Untethered Soul Book Group Series
If these ideas resonate with you, I urge you to buy the book and read it. It’s an easy read, even though some of the ideas are complex. I’ve read it five times, and I get something new out of every reading. It’s that kind of text. So even if you can’t come to the group discussions in April, I urge you to take a look at what Michael Singer has to say. It’s really important.
And on the other hand, you don’t even need to read the book if you want to come to the discussions. You’ll get the drift of his ideas very quickly and that may be the nudge you need to pick up the book. Or not!
Makes no difference if you read or don’t read, attend or don’t attend. To me, what is important here is to make the claim that Michael Singer has something remarkable to teach us. I don’t mind promoting Michael Singer! I am 100% sure that the content of this book, when applied consistently, can significantly improve the quality of your life. Sounds like I’m over-promising, doesn’t it? It’s not my content, though. His book is the work of a mind far wiser and more deeply connected to Spirit than I. I am proud to offer his book as a part of the LifeArt curriculum.
So if these ideas sound intriguing to you, I will be thrilled to have you join us on April 9, 16, or 23. You can attend one, two, or all three sessions. You can read the book or not read the book. You can talk with other participants in the group, or you can sit quietly and observe. However you want to be there will be perfect for examining what you really need at this point in your life. I’m quite sure of that.
So here’s my final thought on this last session of the season, and my own neurotic difficulties with marketing and promoting. I’m going to follow the advice of former husband (he’ll be so delighted) and go against the advice of the marketing world. I am willing to over-promise the benefits and insights that can be gleaned from this experience. And then, I graciously let Michael Singer do the hard work of over-delivering. I’m pretty sure that if you’ve read this far, you will not be disappointed.
Here’s the link for registering for one or more sessions.
One final note: Beginning in May, I’m closing up shop for a few months to give me the time and space to work on a new project. So if I don’t see you in April, I’ll be back next September promoting the LifeArt agenda (and over-promising its benefits!). I hope to see you then!