Walking the Walk

By Steve Clayton

HippiesSpending my first decade in the sixties, I was surrounded by people walking the walk as the Hippie movement had blossomed all around me. I was too young to understand much of the significance of what was happening but I do recall a lot of happiness around me. The music was rich, varied and free. ‘Make Love Not War’ was the mantra of the decade as people began to explore alternatives to the post World War mentality. People were encouraged to be themselves, to be more accepting of others choices, and to view the world as one huge Eco-system (Gaia) for whom we all had a responsibility.

There was a look that went with the Hippie movement: long hair, jeans and army jackets covered in peace signs for men. Women fell into two categories. They either wore the same outfit as the men or replaced the jeans with cut-offs, very short skirts or long flowing skirts often decorated with flowers. There was a joke I first heard in 1970. Though I did not truly ‘get it’ for a few more years, I have never forgotten it. In this joke there is a group of young people of both sexes dressed as above, and one boy, same age, but sporting a crew cut and clean laundered clothes. An old man passing by asks the group of Hippies why they are dressed the way they were, and as one they reply with volume “Too be different”. He then asks the clean cut young man why he is dressed as he is and he replies with a knowing smile, “Too be really different”. In an illustrated version, the emotions on the Hippie’s faces upon hearing his reply, range from anger to confusion to sadness. The group of hippies were walking the walk of their culture or group, while the young man was walking his own walk.

It is now 40 odd years later and the Holistic movement is in full swing. This New Age movement encourages people to ‘Own Your Power’, and is accompanied by its own codes of acceptable dress and conduct. Many of my clients lately are unique and vital members of the Holistic movement and many are carrying the same burden: the stress of judgement. Be they healers, readers, life coaches, or wherever they may fall under the holistic umbrella, they are feeling they have a ‘lightworker’ standard to uphold. They find themselves accused of being less than pure, true or authentic if they fail to adhere to that standard. They often feel hurt without understanding why.

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