Exploring the Echo Chambers of Toxic Positivity vs. Depth Positive Psychology
… The wellness industry is massive. It is one of the largest in the world, yet many of the products and services being offered are still irrelevant for a majority of the global population. Thanks to the powerful impact Instagram has had on the industry, effective ideas from a variety of cultures, beliefs and philosophies have been whitewashed and replaced with phrases like “love and light” “raise your vibration” “good vibes only” “we are one” and “you’re my mirror,” among others. These cartoonish representations of meaningful self-actualization take the relatability out of substantive self-care by using misrepresenting language that only a small fraction of the population relates to or understands.
When we use simplistic phrases to sum up complex methods, we turn them into empty promises. And when we hyperbolically emphasize a positive approach to life, we cheat ourselves out of the fullness of our potential emotional capacity…
…A lot of us read in horror of the massacre in Sudan, the shooting that just happened in Virginia, and every day we pass homeless people here in NYC. Inequality is a constant theme across all human categories, and we see global scale human rights violations happening daily. So, why are so few people in wellness talking about these issues as they relate to the practices we are claiming as answers for a better life? How can we become mindful civic participants in global human rights expansion?
Has chosen ignorance become the depleted (and most common) expression of equanimity?…
…From the National Institute of Health paper titled “Moving beyond Mindfulness: Defining Equanimity as an Outcome Measure in Meditation and Contemplative Research”: “In a common misunderstanding of contemplative practices, equanimity is assumed to imply the absence of emotional reactivity, if not the absence of emotions themselves.” By constantly seeking to operate as some obscure ‘higher self’ who isn’t emotionally triggered by anything, we actually strip the practice of its value. What we end up with then, is promotion for avoidance of contentious situations. By using words like ‘flow’ and ‘aligned’ we champion conflict aversion in favor of an unattainable harmonious daily life. We are feeding each other a false definition of equanimity that hides us away from our civic responsibility in the trenches of human rights evolution….
…Pop Wellness Entertainment is just that, really entertaining.
It feeds our salacious materialism with crystals, tarot decks, wide brimmed hats, panchos, singing bowls, prayer flags, yoga outfits, mala beads, etc…
Pop Wellness boosts our egos and projects a false sense of ownership over traditions from other cultures. Studios and communities trivialize these traditions and objects that are revered in other cultures while stealing them to turn a profit. Overnight you can become a shaman or a wellness guide and people will trust you even if you are ignorant and/or misleading them, as long as you sound like you know what you’re talking about.
In these conditions, Spiritual Tourism is attractive! There is so much to say about this topic that this article will barely cover the tip of the iceberg. But, we must start the conversation somewhere, because it has become a booming arm of Pop Wellness…