4/16/12 – Part I
My BFF, The Queen, works for a local company that specializes in making people better thems. One of their taglines is “Ready to live a balanced and meaningful life?” They do seminars which are designed to help folks figure out what’s not working in their lives, what they would like instead and, at least hopefully, how to bridge the gap. Make the change. Work the voo-doo. Hocus the Pocus.
Among my longtime friends I’ve been significantly outnumbered by folks who have done the Magical Betterment Seminars (or “MBS,” trademark pending) for literally decades. The folks who’ve done the MBS’ have all come out the other side with stories of epiphanies and revelations and big plans to make big changes and get big payoffs and other things of bigness. Most of them will tell you that they think that everybody – EVERYBODY – should do these seminars. And yet with all of that I’d never done one. Never even considered doing one.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve never been opposed to the Magic people and their seminars. And I’m all for any of my loved ones doing anything that will make them happier, be that religion or seminars or sleeping with a Kardashian. (ok, not the last one…) To be honest, I just never had anything in my life that I wanted help to fix. Not saying my life is or has ever been perfect, but my woes have been tiny compared to so many (and don’t you worry – I’m very aware how lucky I am to be able to say that!!!!) and generally things I felt like I had a handle on.
Jump forward those decades of “no thanks, not my thing” to that dang break that T.E. and I had earlier this year. While waiting for those two weeks to pass and having WAY too much time on my hands I did some thinking. Lots of thinking. Gobs and piles and oodles and frickin’ gallons of thinking. Some of it was good, and some of it seemed really good at the time, but then later turned out to be utterly insane. One of those thoughts was about how much time I seemed to spend needing T.E. to reassure me of my place in his world. I decided, in my crazybrain, that this meant I needed to do something about my apparent lack of self confidence in relationships. That I shouldn’t put all that pressure on my partner, and I needed to figure out how to reassure myself. I couldn’t afford therapy, but thought about The Queen and those countless invitations to check out the MBS’s. I decided I finally had something in my life that seemed broken and that I couldn’t fix, so this was the time.
Though there are a bunch of seminars that these folks run, and many of them are specifically focused on things like relationships or communication or… possibly gardening? I’m not sure. There are many focused ones. Anyway, though there are focused ones you have to start with the same one. It’s designed to cover a lot of ground and give, I would say, a good starting point for the more focused ones. The initial seminar takes 4 days (Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun) and you’re in there and working a seriously long day – 9am to around 9pm or sometimes later! I took the necessary days off of work and made excuses to the rest of my friends and family and headed in.
Oh crap, wait. I should explain a couple of things here:
Explanation #1: No, I didn’t tell anybody other than The Queen and her family that I was doing this. Don’t get the wrong idea: I wasn’t ashamed about doing the seminar or anything like that. But this kind of thing doesn’t really resonate for most of my family. Now I was going in with as open a mind as I can manage. No kidding, my mind was super-open. Thoughts and memories and very stupid limericks kept falling out of my mind, so open was it. Really, really open. Really. BUT I knew that openness was a tenuous thing after having spent so many years watching my friends join the cult from afar and raising my eyebrow ala Spock, and the rest of my social sphere is still Spockish about this idea. So I decided I didn’t want to let any of their possible doubts or concerns, or even their possible enthusiasms and potential dirty jokes, color my view. Best to just give them vague and mysterious ideas of where I was going to be for four days and let them wonder if I was in rehab or just getting botox in my butt.
Explanation #2: Though the inspiration for doing this was part of various plans and plots to save my relationship with T.E. by the time I actually WENT to the seminar T.E. and I were done. Done for about 6 days. So where as I was slightly worried about overly emotional moments in such a seminar when I signed up I went in knowing that I was going to be on the verge of big, dumb tears all the damn dumb time during this seminar and being proactively resentful about the situation. I hate to show the vulnerable emotions to people who I know, and would pretty much rather gouge out my eyes rather than allow them to leak in front of strangers. In short, I went into this seminar with every single worst fear and possible nightmare I’d ever envisioned totally real and in full freaking Technicolor. Awesome? No, no awesome.
So, there I was: emotions as raw as an elbow that has been attacked by cheese grater and dipped in Tabasco Sauce; surrounded by people who were coming to this MBS for real issues and problems and seeking true revelations and epiphanies and doing it all on the down low. (yeah, I’m regretting that last choice of youth-oriented slang too.) What could possibly go wrong?
To Be Continued…