Table of Contents
Also on this website:
Toby Johnson's books:
GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe
THE FOURTH QUILL, a
novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"
The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"
You're Not A Wave
What is Enlightenment?
What is reincarnation?
How many lifetimes in an ego?
Emptiness & Religious Ideas
Experiencing experiencing experiencing
Going into the Light
Meditations for a Funeral
The way to get to heaven
Buddha's father was right
Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal
The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
The Two Loves
Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook
Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer
The Way Out by Christopher L Nutter
The Gay Disciple by John Henson
Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry
Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr
Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois
Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson
Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low
Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman
The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman
Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor
Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine
The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada
The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook
The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther
The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel
Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak
Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez
Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr
Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman
Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano
The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo
The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar
Occam’s Razor by David Duncan
Grace and Demion by Mel White
Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso
The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery
The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass
Pay Me What I’m Worth: A Guide to Help You Say It, Mean It, Get It
Souldancer Network, 198 pages, paperback, $19.95
Reviewed by Toby Johnson
When I was first putting up the White Crane Journal website nearly a decade ago now, and discovering that creating links with other websites was the key to carving out a space for oneself on the worldwide web, I found a site called Gay Evolution. The goal of this website was an online community of lesbian and gay people committed to personal growth and the general principles of the human potential movement. Gay Evolution proved—not surprisingly, I suppose—a little ahead of its time. Online communities, like MySpace, hadn’t really evolved yet. And Gay Evolution was idealistic, not just social. It came to function primarily as a referral site for career and personal coaches. It certainly assisted me as editor back then of White Crane in learning of gay professionals across the country. But then in the notorious shakeup of the dot coms and retrenching of the Internet, the Gay Evolution site got left behind.
I’ve stayed friends and occasional correspondent with Souldancer, one of the founders of Gay Evolution. He has evolved himself, staying on that cutting edge, now offering, as he says, “a unique blend of multicultural ancient wisdom with the best of global business practices.” Souldancing: The Path of the Masters engages a set of ancient spiritual techniques to help clients improve their lives on many levels, including body, mind, spirit, social and economical.
He has now produced a workbook-like text presentation summarizing one of the central themes from his coaching practice. And he has titled it with one of the great complaints career coaches must deal with all the time: “Pay Me What I’m Worth.” From a practical perspective—and that is what coaches specialize in, being practical and realistic—this is one of the most common sources of dissatisfaction with work people have: their job doesn’t pay them what they’re worth, which is to say, what they need to be happy and fulfilled as human beings.
The title might sound like simply instructions in asking for a raise. And it is that, but that is only a small part of the book. For to ask for a raise, Souldancer says, you need to believe you’re worth more to your employer because you believe in your own worth. So while there’s a little advice about how to properly and effectively word a request for a raise, that business practice offers the occasion for a much broader and richer quest for understanding what you really want (and need at the karmic/soul level) from the work you do. That is to say that the preparation for asking for a raise is really a quest to understand what your life is for.
The book offers a series of 33 exercises, all of them aimed at producing a so-called “Worth Passport.” The techniques are all pretty simple—like making post-it notes identifying your positive traits or your personal possessions, skills, and talents, then sorting them in various ways. You need to be able to assess your “worth” if you’re going to ask somebody else to pay you for it. And in the process, you discover there is so much more to you than just what you do in a job or what they pay you for. Producing your “Worth Passport” results in a major investigation of patterns in your whole life. And so the technique for determining occupational worth opens out into a practice for increasing self-esteem, confidence and sense of well-being.
Remember Souldancer says he is blending good business practice with multicultural ancient wisdom. So it’s not surprising that the mercenary question about salary requirements turns into a spiritual inventory. As the exercises continue, they demonstrate that giving is the way to get and that integrity and ethical living is the best success and the way to get paid by life with happiness and fulfillment.
So the thing about asking for a raise is really a hook to pull you toward enightenment and wisdom.
If you really are wanting help to ask for a raise, this book could be very useful. There’s good practical advice. BUT it is likely to transform you way beyond just getting a better salary.
For the purpose of writing a review, I read the book fast without actually doing the exercises. I’m sure I’d had benefited more fully if I had done them. But I want to attest that the book was interesting, occasionally eye-opening, and beneficial just read as a presentation on how people’s self-image and self-worth manifests itself in the details of their real lives.
So just like my finding Gay Evolution in the early days of the Internet, I suppose, Souldancer’s gimmick is to link all the various hungers we have for “more” in our lives into the great hunger for personal fulfillment and love. It’s the links that count. This is a useful book on many levels!
Toby Johnson, PhD is author of eight books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality. In addition to the novels featured elsewhere in this web site, Johnson is author of IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL.
Johnson's Lammy Award winning book
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of
Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated
PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003. Both books are
available now from Lethe
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