Career, love life, weight or bank balance not turning out as you wished? “If your happiness is based on an external experience, then, my darling, you are f***cked.”
That’s Gabrielle Bernstein speaking; the glamorous 30-something spiritual advisor from New York, accredited with bringing her hip approach to spiritually to an audience of stressed out, internet savvy, younger women on both sides of the Atlantic; and when the Sunday Times of London presented her message in a feature article to the notoriously snarky and cynical British audience it was a major hint that the times (no pun intended), they are a-changing.
Across the world from Cape Town to Tokyo, Melbourne and Madrid; conversations over Friday night cocktails have changed from Sex and the City to the search for Zen in the city (“Have you tried Kundalini meditation?” “Bikram Yoga is not real yoga, sweetie.” “Hmm, I think your second chakra is affecting your friendships.”); business meetings became peppered with talk of being ‘mindful’; and Facebook became populated with bite-sized Buddhist sound bites. The Age of Aquarius appears to be in full force.
So what’s it all about? New Age thinking is no longer the inkling of misfit hippies donning tie-dye t-shirts and yin yang pendants. Instead, gratitude, meditation and manifestation have became a fashionable part of our daily schedules.
We are seeing think-tank executives in the Pentagon with crystals stuffed in their bras, and talking to ‘the universe’ is no longer equated with insanity but rather the conversations of an enlightened soul. Pinterest boards are filled with spirit animals, and Ganesh, and Hindu Goddesses (Saraswati is said to ignite your creativity). It’s why women are chanting Kundalini mantras for abundance alongside checking their bank balance (alternatively tap the mounds of your hand, then the base of your thumbs together and chant “Har, har” with each tap. Riches should then flow).
A deeper trend is emerging of women seeking a more fulfilling understanding of our existence and looking for connections with humans across the world – something that goes beyond nationalities, religion, and outmoded hierarchical structures of society.
Those willing to stand up and lead the movement include Russell Brand, an ex-drug addict turned comedian turned unlikely guru, who has been packing out shows in his bold, tongue-in-cheek calls for a spiritual revolution over a political one to promote oneness, togetherness, tolerance and making sure each person in the world is taken care of. That’s a hefty call. Similarly, Marianne Williamson, the best selling spiritual teacher, author, lecturer and Oprah regular, is running for election to the US House of Representatives from California’s Congressional District 33, in a mission to “turn love into a political force.”
Why now? Some have said it’s the need for meaning following the crumbling of our material securities. We’re no longer the noughties, and Carrie Bradshaw with her gaudy love of over-priced shoes already seems a vulgar moment in our search for an idol.
And love. What’s that got to do with it? According to the teachings of the spiritual movement, love is the bottom line. Only love is real, meaning the rest of this crazy world and the horrors that happen in it, the weight you can’t lose, the money you don’t have – all an illusion and only the pursuit of love is the path to oneness, unity, and happiness.
We don’t yet know where this movement is going to take us individually nor globally, nor for how long it’s teachings will run for. But judging by it’s growth into the mainstream it seems a lot of people feel they have been looking in for happiness in all the wrong places for a very long time.
What do you think to the global love revolution? You in, or a load of woo woo?