An empty canvass sits on an easel in front of the window with an expanse of tropical landscape behind it. The paints are neatly arranged next to it; the paintbrushes dry and waiting. I want to paint on it. I can feel the pressure of art yet to be expressed inside me. Over the last few months, it has felt like these creations waiting to be born are on backorder.
A close friend of mine has a saying… Starting a business is like making a plane take off of the runway. Everyone involved has to put everything they have into it and in the beginning it is tense and sometimes rocky and then after a bit it stabilizes.
This retreat center (though it ties in with my mission and current business perfectly) is in reality, a brand new business. Since the second we decided to go ahead with it, it has taken every last drop of sweat, every breath and every minute for every person involved. None of us have been able to focus on our respective role within the organization because of everything we have had to get done. Instead of fulfill my usual role, I have had to sort out details with design and direct contractors and workers and shop for necessities and haul things in pick up trucks. At this point everyone on the team feels guilty for having ever been upset at the price any of us ever had to pay for a hotel or any other hospitality service (having seen what goes into the back end of a retreat). It is a crazy amount of work and the minute something goes right, something else goes wrong. The kind of pressure we are all under has made the team's collective shadows and wounds surface. On top of that, the intensely shamanic nature of this property itself is a catalyst.
To add to it all, there are people around the world who are so vehemently opposed to my career ( actually mostly to me as a person), that they have decided to dedicate themselves to trying to destroy this retreat center. The minute that we announced Philia, they began planning how to try to shut it down. This began with them collectively contacting the FBI and the local police. Now their efforts are aimed at attending so as to sabotage it from the inside. They have been targeting both attendees and teachers of the retreat. We had one teacher resign from doing a retreat here because of the amount of Anti-Teal 'Danger' propaganda sent to her when she announced that she was working with me. The teacher of the current retreat and many of the prospective attendees have confessed that they too felt deeply insecure coming here because of it. Essentially, the principal strategy of those who oppose me is to “befriend” people associated with me and then turn them against me.
It has been a frustration being told by some that I should just ignore it all (which can’t happen if they are taking tangible steps). And on the other hand being told by others that they need my help and a direct response to it all. As sad as it makes me to say, the reality is that conflict and controversy now surrounds me.
Now, I am at a point where I literally have to warn people publicly (like I am doing in this blog) that because of the intense dedication of these individuals that have decided they hate me and then banded together to form an Anti Teal group, that people who demonstrate association or alliance with me should expect that they are going to be targeted for conversion by these people.
I am now facing several issues because of their strategy. Primarily the fact that this hate group has done such a good job with their fear propaganda and slander that people’s moms and dads and brothers and sisters and friends are getting scared about me and then trying to turn the people they love away from me. It’s WAY harder to brush off the concerns of a passionate hater than the concerns of someone in your life that you love and whose opinion and connection you care about. Second, many people do not want to stick their necks out in support of me and be 'shot at' by this hate group too (condemned by association). Third, even more people than that, are merely conflict avoidant and simply do not want to be involved in the heat and pressure of controversy.
I feel more like a revolutionary than a spiritual teacher when I see people polarizing around me so dramatically either FOR or AGAINST me as a person. And to add insult to injury, the shadow aspect of the spiritual field has reared its head in the form of messages from people saying that the reason they are pulling away from me is because they believe in the law of attraction. And therefore, if I “attract” so much hate and controversy, it must mean something about me as a person. When they say things like this, I wonder how people can hold such a double standard. They say that the level of controversy surrounding me is indicative of some dark shadow within me. And yet, they revere characters like Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Joan of Arc. History has shown us that controversy is not always indicative of people being evil, but people being change. Many of the biggest game changers on earth end up dead as a result of circumstances like I find myself in today. As history has shown over and over again, the person who wants to stand up the loudest for change, takes the highest risk and is often the one who suffers the consequences of taking that risk.
The pressure I am under now is the very reason that people choose to stay small. I am acutely aware that it is much safer socially to do so. That is sad to me. This is what people are trying to avoid by holding themselves back. The reality is that launching anything in the hopes of success, just like you do when you push the throttle on a plane to launch it into the air, is a risk. It is a risk that you’ll never be ready for. And so, rather than provide any solution today, I would like to end this blog by inviting you to ask yourself the question… What am I afraid of that is currently making me hold myself back? By taking a risk to ‘really go for it’, whatever that may be, what is it that I risk?