Ever had the experience of putting something with integrity out into the world–a comment, a statement, maybe a simple Facebook post–and then getting criticized for your contribution? Imagine you make a statement, someone changes one or two words so that it no longer means the same thing, and makes it public, and THEN you get criticized.
Pshah! (That means something like W.F.T.)
This happened to me recently. And it was me who did the criticizing.
A few weeks ago I was asked to be a regular contributor at Mind Body Green. They asked for my views on yoga and meditation practice. I submitted an article, they changed the title and published it without letting me know.
Here was the title I suggested: Yoga Teachers: What Your Students May Not Tell You
Here’s what they published: Yoga Teachers: What You Are Probably Doing Wrong
The new title is not only inaccurate, but it is decidedly NOT the message I want to put out into the world. I received a note from a student who told me she initially bypassed the article in MBG because of the title. When she learned I wrote it, she went back to read it.
I have issue with this title because I don’t want to tell people they are wrong, and they are not “probably” doing anything as far as I am concerned. I want to suggest uplifting options for people, not denigrate them for trying. The tone MGB uses goes against my fundamental principles and represents exactly the attitude of carelessness that I eschew in the article itself. It makes me wonder if anyone at the magazine actually read the article.
My intention was to share some insights for newer yoga teachers who may not have the benefit of an authentic lineage behind them. It takes time to develop a style and learn how to negotiate the obstacles that can arise from teaching a spiritual discipline. My hope was to bring awareness to potential pitfalls to help people avoid them. I wanted to share how important it is to maintain integrity in the teaching situation.
How does one negotiate this potential pitfall? I’m grateful for the opportunity to write for such a coveted blog (I had someone offer me money to submit their article as my own) (sorry, no) but is exposure to Mind Body Green’s vast readership worth having my words minced? Can one maintain integrity today in spiritual marketplace?