The In Crowd vs The Within Crowd

by Tess on October 15, 2009

Warning! My blog will challenge you to be more, give more, live fearlessly, take more chances and show up in the world unstoppable, daring and bold.

Monk lighting candles on a stupa east side of Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal
Creative Commons License photo credit: Wonderlane

“Before a brilliant person begins something great they must look foolish to the crowd.”  
                                                                                                                                                                       - I Ching

Growing up who didn’t secretly want to be in the “in” crowd at school? I did. The in crowd were the kids who were cute, got attention, stood out and at least looked like they were always having fun. What kid wouldn’t want a part of that?

Many adults today contine to strive to be in some sort of “in” crowd, buying what  they can’t afford with the hope of fitting in, looking good, and being loved.

Today the “in” crowd my ego desperately wants to be a part of  is the group of online guru’s who make  millions of dollars online and swear I can do it too.

Daily they come after me with an overpriced e-book, series of CD’s, some big secret or seminar they’re sure I can’t live without!

In fact if I just purchase it I can be just like them! And I’d better hurry because there are only so many available and I only have 24 hours to purchase the product or get in on the class.

Seller Beware! I don’t scare well when it comes to my pocket book. I have to go within for my answers and may not get my guidance within your deadline!

Once I get still and go within for answers then I’m ready to decide weather a purchase is right for me.

Don’t get me wrong I do attend workshops, conferences and retreats. I do purchase products online. Yet, I need to stay in my budget reguardless of what will be available tomorrow or the next day.

And just because I have the money doesn’t mean I’m going to spend even if I want it. 

I’ve never met anyone who has gotten rich quick. Not that it doesn’t happen. It happens on a rare occasion. Most honest wealthy people will tell you they worked long and hard to get to where they are.

I want to create an new group of bloggers. We’ll call it the “within crowd.” Members of the  ”within crowd” know all answers lie within. They are passionate about sharing their talents to help others. They are authentic and trustworthy with no hidden agendas. There are no “get rich” or “get enlightened quick” schemes. 

 They get quiet, journal, meditate, pray and spend time in silence asking for guidance. Then they act upon the guidance they get from a place of calm and peace.

Part of the reason I believe Leo from Zen Habits is so successful is because his price tag on his products are affordable for the average person.  He makes one feel he is on their side. He wants you to succeed. No gimmicks. Just Leo and his truth.

Today I want to declare a “within crowd.” If you want to be a part of it you only need to live your truth and help others live theirs. You only need to want the same thing for others as you want for yourself.

One favorite blogger of the ”within crowd” is Lance at Jungle of Life. He is currently working on an e-book donating all proceeds to “Susan G. Komen for the Cure.” Not only can you purchase it you can become a part of it. One can’t get much more authentic than that!  

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for selling and making money on line. What I’m not for is charging exorbitant prices to do so.

James Ray charged a little under $9,695.00 for his “Spiritual Warrior Retreat” in Sedona, Arizona. Two people died last Thursday and others became ill and were hospitalized.

I’m not judging James Ray, in fact my heart goes out to him. If I were in his position I would want prayers not judgement.

I’m bringing this up as an example of caveat emptor, “let the buyer beware!” If it sounds too good it is too good to be true! 

Exactly what did the 64 people who went to James Ray’s Spiritual Warrior Retreat think they were getting for 5 days? Enlightenment? The secrets to wealth? Or a chance to be in the “in crowd?”

I want to be my authentic self, shining my light, living with love and extending it to others. I don’t need someone to play on my fears  and tell me what I must have today to be successful or rich.

 Would you like to join me and become a member of the “within” crowd? You only need to declare your blog as being genuine and authentic to be included.

You only need to have the best interests of others in your heart: when you post, recommend others, sell products or become an affiliate of a product.

Please say a prayer and send blessings and good thoughts to James Ray and all those involved. They are all good people who are going through a difficult time. Tough lessons…

Do you want to be in the “within” crowd?
Have you ever fallen into the trap of spending too much online for a product or seminar?
As always any thoughts on this topic are welcome!

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    { 29 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jill 10.15.09 at 9:21 am

    What a great idea. I definitely want to be part of the “within” crowd. I have dealt first-hand with the “in” crowd and its a scary place to be.

    There have been a couple of products that I have purchased on-line that proved to be a joke. I have also come across a product/service that I have thought would be a good idea, but sticker shock helped make up my mind.
    Jill´s last post…Humility is a gift My ComLuv Profile

    Evita 10.15.09 at 9:39 am

    What a great and timely post Tess!

    You are so right, we all probably deep down want to be in the “in” crowd. And how was it once there….very, very inhospitable. This is one of the reasons why I do not recall high school as “some of the best years of my life” - no way. I did not even then enjoy the lies, deceit, jealousy and the list goes on….

    There is nothing greater than being yourself and today I love living that way. While it may still be hard to tell everyone out there who I truly am and how I truly feel, each day exposes more and more of the authentic being I call - me. The one thing that I have mastered and feel sooooo good about, is I don’t look for others’ approval. Sure it is nice, but I don’t look for others to let me know if I “belong” or fit in. In fact I love being like a “renegade”, setting my own paths and enjoying whoever is interested in sharing them with me.

    So as for all the material out there, I so agree with you, ever since the Secret came out, the market seems to be flooded with stuff like this. While I do know that there are some great products, there is of course ones own personal discernment that has to go into making the decision of whether this product came from ego and is going for ego, or came from spirit and will be used for a better spiritual journey.

    I will quickly tell you another quick story. Last winter, I really wanted to learn how to read auras, so we went with my husband to a well known local intuitive who claimed she taught how to read auras. Well 2 hours later and about $250 later, I was in no better place to read auras then when I came in.

    I don’t regret this, I truly think this was the last bit of “icing on the cake” to teach me that anything spiritual, can only come from the spirit within. Today I know that no one can offer me more, than I can offer myself.

    So I am right there with you in the “within” crowd :)

    Keith 10.15.09 at 10:12 am

    I stand with you Tess, and with any others who declare!

    The troublwewith trying to be in the “in-crowd” is that it’s always changing what it takes to be in the “in-crowd”!

    I truly want to help others with what I have learned and experienced, and I want to learn from others as well. I intend to do more of that and will launch a new blog sometime in early 2010. My current blog will still exist but it’s scope is too narrow for all I wish to do.

    I always get so inspired and learn so much from your blog Tess, and I am grateful for it and you!

    Keith´s last post…Overload Your Life! My ComLuv Profile

    Julie 10.15.09 at 10:18 am

    I never wanted to be part of the “in” crowd; I just wanted to be me. Evita’s line says it all: “I know that no one can offer me more than I can offer myself.” As for the “within crowd,” I love it, Tess. It’s a great place to be!
    Julie´s last post…Honor Redux, with a Twist My ComLuv Profile

    Patty - Why Not Start Now? 10.15.09 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Tess - Sign me up! Our thoughts are absolutely in alignment on this one, and I’m delighted to see someone telling it like it is. In fact, I’m working on a couple of posts for next week on the magician archetype, both its light side (transformation) and its dark side (manipulation and guruism). So I’ll link it to your post. Thanks!
    Patty - Why Not Start Now?´s last post…The Archetype of Relationship My ComLuv Profile

    Wilma Ham 10.15.09 at 2:36 pm

    Fast food, fast wealth, fast cars, planes, fast health, fast learning, please give me a pill quick!
    We want to be taught new stuff quick, we do not want to go over the same thing until we get it, no please that is boring AND we might look stupid or slow.
    Let’s skip from new thing to new thing, making it more outrageous to attract customers, fire walking, abseiling and sweat lodges. All to get whatever we want fast without being in integrity about what we are doing and wanting here.
    Tess, you so hit the nail on the head and when will we learn that everything takes practice and effort AND that that is NOT a bad thing.
    Practice the same thing can give depth of skill and understanding that is wonderful. You go from layer to layer and that gain is beautiful.
    Practice can be done coming from love and loving what you do and can be lovingly done under honest guidance and a loving community of people encouraging each other.
    Leo’s message about simple productivity is profound too, because we can actually only deal with integrity with what we can give our full attention to, thus most of us sure have to let a lot of things go.
    Learning for example then returns to wanting quality rather than quantity, and a fair exchange of price for what is on offer.
    In the East they practice for years and years without going for new because they get bored with their practice. Top athletes practice for years and years and why do we think we can get anything to mastery quick and effortless when they can’t?
    As you can see you certainly hit home with this post, so count me in.
    Ann-Marie and I want to add value with our blog and womenlikeme and we certainly do not go for a quick fix as we ourselves want to gain that mastery over our lives and doing what that takes. Why fool ourselves when in the end we do not get what we want anyway?
    It takes a lot of work, practicing over and over again, it requires honesty and integrity and the results do pay off, slowly but surely AND they are sustainable!
    Wilma Ham´s last post…What happens when instead of an old fashioned partner I become a sponsor. My ComLuv Profile

    Sara B. Healy 10.15.09 at 2:56 pm


    I definitely want to be in the “within crowd!” What a great idea. I love it!!

    Of course, I’ve fallen for the trap of spending too much money online…usually as a result of false expectations on my part of quick fixes. I’m slowly learning that life doles out lessons for reason and they don’t usually come with quick fixes:~)
    Sara B. Healy´s last post…Like Minds: The Love List Project My ComLuv Profile

    Carolynn 10.15.09 at 3:30 pm

    I’ve bared my soul too many times NOT to have my blog declared genuine & authentic. *grin*
    Carolynn´s last post…M.I.A. My ComLuv Profile

    Patricia 10.15.09 at 4:10 pm

    I think I am already at the “within crowd” - I truly make only enough money to pay for my blog right now - so I do not spend any…and I think my blog reflects my inner work in an outie format?

    I like Julie’s and Evita’s response too.
    Prayers said and I participated in Lance’s ebook and will purchase it…I also voted for Sean Platt, Tracy (Ihate my message board) and George Argus today for their stories on Happiness contest (I went from Blogger Dad’s post to vote)

    I like you thoughts and idea….Thank you for sharing - once again it is bold
    Patricia´s last post…Jeepers Peepers – Where Have You Guys Gone? My ComLuv Profile

    Jan 10.15.09 at 5:57 pm

    Count me in, within! Good job on this one, Tess, I love the idea and the rhythm of all this. Yes, metta is going to Mr. Ray and anyone who suffered in this tragedy. We can also send metta to any who suffer delusion that any of us know any more than another how to make it in this world. We are all here together, to learn from and grow with — in community. You are one wise woman, Tess Marshall (practical too!) and I am blessed to know ye….xo

    Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor) 10.15.09 at 6:43 pm

    Do you want to be in the “within” crowd?
    No~ Perhaps being on the autism spectrum helped with my not being interested, and nowadays wanting to walk the path of “in the world, not of it” are reasons why. I’ve almost always been a fringe dweller~ at high school and uni I was like, “I don’t get it” (the motivation to be “in the crowd”). I resonated more with the readings of dead people; Whitman, Tzu, Rumi, Hindu ancients, Jesus etc. I still grapple with understanding the viewpoint so that I can communicate with wider society on some level.

    Have you ever fallen into the trap of spending too much online for a product or seminar?
    Not online, offline for sure. Really NEEDED that wii fit 3 months ago. Sold it last week for almost half price to pay a vet bill. No regrets selling it, and will not be re-buying it now that my month of financial challenges has passed.

    As always any thoughts on this topic are welcome!
    I find my online work and blogging provide opportunities to walk my talk. This month was financially a nightmare, I had two advertisers contact me;
    1. How much to guest post and/or have a link to his site?~ I have never charged for this, and just cause the waves were high I wasn’t about to lose faith and start now. I invited him to post monthly, no charge. Visited his site~ hey, he registers tutors~ I made AU$30 in the first week.

    2. Are you interested in hosting banners for gaming companies~ Sure, I replied, providing they do not promote violence (combat skill is ok) or objectify women~ haven’t heard back from them.

    Tess 10.15.09 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve bought online things as well…some excellent some not good. I choose to take 100 percent responsibility for my life so it’s no one’s fault but my own when I buy out of fear. Thanks for joining the within group. The more members the better the world.

    You are an excellent role model for me;) I still have some fear to overcome with being genuine…You’re very encouraging.

    “While I do know that there are some great products, there is of course ones own personal discernment that has to go into making the decision of whether this product came from ego and is going for ego, or came from spirit and will be used for a better spiritual journey.” This is such a great way to put it. It becomes very clear…the question may be, “What is my intention as I purchase this product. Is it loving or fear based?” Only I can decide the answer for myself and then make the purchase or not.

    And then this…”Today I know that no one can offer me more, than I can offer myself.” Wow!

    I’ll add that, “I can offer no one else more than I offer myself.”

    Thanks so much for sharing your example. When you do we all are a little bit more aware than before. I’m grateful for you honesty and visit here today!

    I’m excited about your new blog. If there is any way I can help let me know. No charge;)

    That’s why I’m happy we’re friends. You are unlike any other person I know. Keep shining and I’ll keep following your light. See ya Monday for some great hiking.

    Yeah! More insights and a link. Life is good and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

    Yes we get so caught up in the ego with greed we forget about our integrity. Notice I say we because it’s a human thing. Once I tasted higher ground there was no going back.

    I love your layer to layer example of beauty.

    This is an awesome mission statement.
    “Practice can be done coming from love and loving what you do and can be lovingly done under honest guidance and a loving community of people encouraging each other.”

    Wilma I knew we were on the same page when I first came across your blog. Not that I won’t stumble along the way. When I do you and the rest of my commenters have permission to compassionately confront me and give me a good kick in the butt! Then I can get back on track again.

    Yes I agree…no quick fixes and no short cuts. I want to get my lessons the first time around so I don’t have to continue making the same mistakes. Thanks for joining with us.

    You are so brave and I’m happy to know you and that you’re in! Yeah. We all learn so much from you.

    I know you are already in my good and big hearted friend. I think everyone here today is already in. I just did this so we can declare it and spread the love. I’m grateful to you and your genuine service you do daily.
    Thanks Patricia!

    Thanks so much. I feel the same about you and if you spot it you got it anyway! We’ve been on the same path since I first started writing for your magazine so many years ago. And here we find ourselves writing together again. Life is full of surprises…eh? More love back at ya!

    diantha 10.15.09 at 7:14 pm

    Count me in in the within crowd. The IN crowd is not a comfortable or welcoming place to be. Thanks for drawing the distinction in this wonderful post. And yes, sending positive energy to the James Ray group….
    You are the best, Tess. Thank you.

    suzen 10.15.09 at 7:36 pm

    What a refreshing, uplifting proposition to create a “within” crowd. I would be thrilled to be a part of it. I started blogging because writing is my passion, and I want to share my unlimited enthusiasm for life and sometimes thinking outside the box. Obviously I love humor!

    Everything you said in this post I resonate with. I have no hidden agendas to my writing - it’s all about inspiration, motivation and a good laugh or two. I’m a part of Lance’s project which I intend to support way beyond my blog. I
    think it is just fantastic that there are so many super people I’ve “met” in the blogosphere and I’m so happy I overcame my techno fears and turned on my computer!
    Hugs from within!
    suzen´s last post…Monkey See, Monkey Do My ComLuv Profile

    Peggy 10.15.09 at 8:16 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’m already in the “within” crowd. Or at least that’s were I go when I need answers, clarity, peace, poise, serenity, quiet, stillness…It’s only when I go within that I can better deal with the ever shifting landscape around me.

    I hope you’ve been having a marvelous week Tess!
    Peggy´s last post…A Few Of My Favorite Things My ComLuv Profile

    Walter 10.15.09 at 11:05 pm

    I’m always skeptical about products being offered on me on the net. I believe that there’s no quick path to success. Important elements must be mastered and endured to be able to achieve what we want in life. We are all unique, and I trust that my abilities will make a mark of its own. :-) Walter´s last post…Pitfalls of instant gratification My ComLuv Profile

    Davina 10.15.09 at 11:18 pm

    Hi Tess. I believe the “in crowd” IS the “within crowd” and vice versa :-) No separation. We’re IT darn it all! Like Patricia says, I already feel like I’m there. I love the idea of looking for the answers within rather than finding them or following someone else to “adopt” their ideas.
    Davina´s last post…9. Thyme Out On A Mountain My ComLuv Profile

    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord 10.16.09 at 8:05 am

    I go back and forth on the idea of judging those who charge money for their services. Ridiculous prices vary in the mind of the buyer. As I’ve had more money in life, what once struck me as absurd no l0nger bothered me, cost-wise. I understand the gist of what you’re saying, though, and like you, prefer to spend time thinking about whether a class, book, etc. is worth it to me. I’ve always wanted to be liked, but also shunned those who were too well liked. (Man, I’ll bet there are chapters in psychology books written about me based on the fears I tote around!) So the within crowd that you’ve presented is very appealing to me.

    There’s a bit of compassion I always want to have, though, for those who are ostracized for their actions. I remember talking to a girl a few months ago who thought that any psychic who charged money for their services was a charlatan. She viewed a psychic gift as a gift from God, and therefore thought it should be given away for free. On the other hand, as I pointed out, aren’t all of our gifts given to us by the Divine? She’s a massage therapist, and I would argue that her gift comes from the Divine, yet she feels comfortable charging $60/hour for what she does. Why is that okay?

    It’s a tough nut to crack, but ultimately, as you so beautifully said, we have to go within and see what feels right for us as individuals. What famous person said something like, “I wouldn’t want to be part of any club that would accept me as a member”? I like that line. (smile)

    Happy Friday, Tess!
    Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last post…A Study in Sibling Reverie My ComLuv Profile

    Jodi at Joy Discovered 10.16.09 at 9:31 am

    Hi Tess! Thumbs up for the within crowd–sign me up!

    I’m very turned off by the gurus who charge a ton of money for their products or make their “secret” seem so out of the ordinary that we can’t figure it out for ourselves. I do understand that spirtual people need to make a living, too, so I get it that exchanging money may be a necessary part of business. But I don’t think enlightenment should become elitist because it’s only affordable to the ultra rich!

    My thoughts on James Rey—his philosphies make a lot of sense. I love his idea of harmonic wealth, or living in harmony (rather than striving for “balance”). My very close friend went to his $800 weekend conference where he pumped everyone up on positive thoughts. By the end of the weekend she felt she was on top of the world, and she learned some things that changed her life over the year following the retreat. At the end of the conference, he also changed his tune from ultra positive to a sort of doomsday sales pitch, that unless she and others in the audience signed up for his next conference, their lives would basically fall apart. My friend was so grateful to him, and also turned off. All that aside, though, I still have a great deal of respect for him and I feel very bad for Rey and all the people who participated in the retreat with him over the weekend. My heart goes out to every one of the participants.
    Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last post…Love in All Directions My ComLuv Profile

    Caroline 10.16.09 at 4:36 pm

    Yes! I want in. I want to be part of the “within crowd.” This sounds like an amazing idea and a wonderful journey…
    Caroline´s last post…Crusty My ComLuv Profile

    vered | blogger for hire 10.16.09 at 5:21 pm

    I’d love to be a part of the “within” crowd. Especially now that my oldest is in fourth grade and I can already see the cliques forming. History is destined to repeat itself, it seems - and whether you belong to the in-crowd or not, (today they call it “being cool”), it’s all very stressful and ultimately damaging and sad.
    vered | blogger for hire´s last post…A Beautiful Winter Poem, and a Rant on SEO My ComLuv Profile

    Jannie Funster 10.16.09 at 6:12 pm

    Can a site that occasionally pulls a leg or two be counted “In”? If you think I qualify, may I humbly ask to join?? I do often look foolish to crowds a lot over there. :)

    Just LOVE this line, Tess…

    “I don’t need someone to play on my fears and tell me what I must have today to be successful or rich.” Amen, Soul Shining Sister!

    Jannie Funster´s last post…10 Great Mysteries of the Universe, 2 My ComLuv Profile

    Jessica 10.17.09 at 5:44 am

    I don’t really sell anything…or recommend products…but I certainly spend too much money online :)

    great post…as so many of us keep trying to figure out the secret to being “cool,” though after years of trying myself, I think the answer is to just be yourself -and that can be really tough.
    Jessica´s last post…are you afraid? of what? My ComLuv Profile

    Pamela 10.17.09 at 7:08 pm

    To fit in with the “in” crowd you have to get used to being anybody but yourself. It’s such an empty and unfulfilling life … so tiresome … so wasteful. Add me to the “within” group so I can rid myself of the masks and just be my authentic self.
    Pamela´s last post…Solitude Makes Me Happy My ComLuv Profile

    Chris Edgar 10.17.09 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Tess — yes, I think it’s important to avoid the trap of doing personal growth work because we want to be someone else, like a millionaire or model or something along those lines — one of the many reasons is that those people often don’t have it “figured out” either. I remember back in high school as a musician wanting to be like Kurt Cobain, until one day I heard that he killed himself. The super-happy rock star lifestyle I imagined him having, as it turned out, was my own fantasy.

    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} 10.17.09 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Tess,
    I am in the club..i am in the club..I want to be the “within” crowd!!!
    Such an awesome idea :) What fun to have all like minded bloggers unite. Lance as you mentioned is doing such a great job with the ebook..its inspiring.
    Doing from “within” gives new meaning and deeper dimensions to even the most common of acts. May it just be a smile…but given from “within” lights up even the saddest of faces :)
    This is my “within” smiling at you and hugging you for sharing such a wonderful idea with us. :)
    Lets all be the IN “within” Crowd ;) !!!!
    Lots of love
    p.s. I love the idea of the interview for your blog to promote the Online Counseling on my blog. Let me know how we can proceed further on the idea.
    Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Explore Dream Discover{Inspirational Quote} My ComLuv Profile

    Hilary 10.18.09 at 4:28 am

    Hi Tess .. me please too!! My hand’s up for being part of the “within crowd” .. and yes I joined Lance and Joanne in their amazing project and from their lead, I am quite sure we can all go out and benefit others .. developing our own styles and ideas.

    I hate doing what other people do - just because they’re doing it .. I like to join in with others and share things: but I do like to be individual.

    The net is a dodgy place - but you learn .. and actually, now there are blogs you can take suggestions from blogs that you like, people from the “within group”, and check out the information .. and then buy if you would like to - or keep a record for a future purchase. Ask others on their findings on the product, or conference, or leader etc but particularly pay attention to Evita’s comment on personal discernment .. and do you need it now?

    Thanks Tess - great post ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    Hilary´s last post…What can you read from Kitchen Utensils? My ComLuv Profile

    Stacey Shipman 10.18.09 at 4:45 am

    I love it. If I join you as part of the “within” crowd, does that make me part of a new “in” crowd? :-)

    I came across a Chinese proverb once (I think it was a Chinese proverb) - “Relaxed is who you are, tension is who you think you should be”

    Trying to be part of the “in” crowd is tension…going within, while at first appears challenging, really is so much more satisfying and “relaxed”.

    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now 10.18.09 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve been very tempted to buy a lot of these products. They look so tempting. I’ve refused because I’ve found that I prefer a real live interaction. I do pay a monthly fee for Ittybiz program called SpeakEasy. I don’t regret this because it’s only $24 a month and I’ve learned a ton.

    We need to check in with our own hearts. What we really have time for and what we really need to succeed.
    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now´s last post…Hard, Fun, and the Beautiful – Before it Gets Cold Edition My ComLuv Profile

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