Practical Spirituality

Practical Spirituality

Gaga For My Guru

Ok, so to begin, I am not a big fan of TV or pop culture in general, and while I think everything has its place in the world, I wasn’t overly interested in Lady Gaga a week ago. I certainly knew who she was and of course lots of her songs are catchy – but a “meat suit” – really??? It just didn’t seem worth following.

Then came my mom’s 70th birthday and my wife and I wanted to do something fun, memorable and uniquely honoring my mother’s eternal youth, love of rock and pop culture and wildly open mindedness… so what else could we do? We took her to the hippest biggest tour of the season: LADY GAGA MONSTER’S BALL.

My mom and wife LOVED every minute of the journey – from the moment they started to plan their “outfits” to the dinner before (at a restaurant full of insanely dressed Gaga fans) and of course the “Broadway, meets Madonna, meets  LSD, meets a massive LGBT pride parade, future disco rave” show itself…


Me, well….

If you don’t know me, I have a PhD in Comparative Religion, I am an ordained interfaith minister, trained as a chaplain, and business consultant and author of a few books including “Return to the Sacred” and “Inspiration Deficit Disorder,” both with Hay House books. I have been a director at Canyon Ranch Health resorts, an executive director at a major Canadian healthcare management company, and have been featured as an expert in books, films, radio, TV – the likes of Larry King Live, Yoga Journal, In Session TV, CNN, etc. etc. etc.

Why do I say all this? To blow my own horn? To promote myself? No. I say these things to make my comments very clear.

As of March 26, 2011, the night of the Monster’s Ball, The Gaga is my Guru!!!


No, really! I loved this show and the woman herself! It was fantastic . My taste in clothing (or lack of it) and music is not always the same as hers, but she embodies something extraordinary and I have to honor it and follow it. Who knows if she was always like this, or not, or why she started on this road or not… Gossip is gossip and you can judge the past all you like.  But in this moment she has been transformed into more than an icon and she is using her status to raise huge amounts of money for charity, huge amounts of awareness for disenfranchised groups and maintains a bizarre kind of artistic integrity that shows that you can be in the world and not of it at the same time.

That’s why I am going to dedicate a mini-blog series to the Wisdom of Lady Gaga (as I see it). If you love her it Gossip is gossip and you can judge the past all you like.he same time.she is using her status to raise huge amounts of money fois worth reading, but if you don’t get her yet, it makes it more worth reading…!


So, before concluding Gaga for my Guru vol. 1, I want to highlight the three core messages she repeated again and again in her show.

1.     Charity: Vote with your money, support charities, get involved, get educated and align yourself with brands that support your beliefs. Don’t be an ignorant contributor to what you don’t agree with.

2.     Love Yourself: Its basic, but a universal spiritual and psychologically healing message. This isn’t about narcissism. This is about believing in your innate goodness no matter how high, low, on or off you make think you are. At least know that you are lovable, right now without exception.

3.     Don’t Let Others Tell You Who To Be: Whether it is about how to be a good mother, a powerful man, your sexuality, ideas success, appearance, you name it – define yourself from within. Trust your intuition, your calling, your passions and sense of purpose and true nature. My book Inspiration Deficit Disorder says this a thousand different ways and gives you the tools to make it happen – but Gaga can do it in about 4 minutes with a song, an outrageous outfit and imagery that simply blows away all stereotypes, sense of judgment and control. It about PERMISSION and FREEDOM to choose.

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posted April 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I saw Lady Gaga in concert a few weeks ago. I had just turned 49 and wanted to celebrate my refusal to grow “old.” The concert was so positively empowering. I was on a high for 2 weeks and wanted to see her again when her tour came near my hometown a few weeks later. She does give a ton of support to the LGBT community, however, most folks don’t realize the most people feel less than, judged and bad about themselves. She states in her concert that she wants you to leave her concert loving yourself rather than her. She was 100% successful with me and my daughter! I went to Lady Gaga for a fun evening, but left a “little Monster!”

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posted April 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

You have hit the nail on the head for me and how I feel about Lady Gaga. She caught my attention with her outrageous outfits. She has KEPT my attention with her voice and her message. Thank you for this post!

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posted May 5, 2011 at 11:58 am

Yes, Gaga is good in concert…thanks for saying she is important, so you can get the message to the kids…Theresa and others, he’s trying to say that she’s great, but the other qualities are nicer….shes fun, and yes helps others, but the real qualities of life, self–esteem and a life without filling yourself with drugs that cripple and cussing like a sailor, is yummier..much….peace and love

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posted May 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

I did see Lady Gaga, but what kind of message is she really sending?

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posted May 21, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Kind of strange because yesterday my husband didn’t see what all the hype was in regards to Lady Gaga, I am a 61 yr old, young at heart woman and my first introduction was Poker Face. I liked that song and did not know of any others and was surprised to find out she was not one of those one hit wonders.
I was in Utube listening to another song of her Alexandro but she did some of her own talking promo on her work and that clinched it. This was a young woman who came across as intensly grounded, and i admire the impact she has on younger woman. I had to write a comment on being true and i had a number of women commenting via a facebook, gaga fan, not even sure of the rest. But they connected with my words because gaga was and is true to herself – what a wonderful thing. So many women nowadays are not secure with selves – they havent experienced that when you are true to who you are and you honor that without fan fare, without apologizing, without look at me, without “well, i will show you”, without copying but instead being exactly who they are those who are attracted to that come because that is what they resonate with. Who wants to spend a number of years acting like, or being like or just not stirring the waters and then after 10,20,30 or even 40 years (in my case) when you finally get tired of the charade and be self all of those who were into that character wonder what happened and disappear and you are left with the gems. I really think that lady gaga does exactly that. It might be an extreme statement but sometimes that is how we get noticed.
I cant say i like all her music, but i know i like that human being, she is an old soul with guts, and a heart and terribly refreshing. I hope that the music world does not eat her up and spit her out.
There is one other thing which adds to the above and i saw this because of my back ground of my work. I am not sure how long ago it was but it was some charity event on tv and she and elton john did a piano signing number – at the end the camera perhaps flashed on her – and then it was elton john, what i saw was a person (her) who seemed to possess no jealousy. That was doubled when she invited that young lady who was in utube on stage to sing born this way. I havent ever seen a big star do that where the gal got to sing solo – all i know is – the woman is a treasure, a genius, and she just is.. no apology for who she is

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Tonja Price

posted June 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Is your mom Linda Ellerby?

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posted July 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm

You say, “align yourself with brands that support your beliefs. Don’t be an ignorant contributor to what you don’t agree with.” …. Yet this Beliefnet site is riddled with ads for products to make you look younger, remove wrinkles and even an ad for “Papa Gino’s” I had to sit through (muted of course) in one of T. Borchard’s video blogs! … There’s much good stuff here, yet it is packaged in everything contrary to its content. … Then the irony of your comment.

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posted July 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm

It is so refreshing to read so many positive comments about “The Gaga.” Her image can be daunting initially, until you hear her speak. I saw her on Oprah speaking for the first time and was so impressed by how intelligent and insightful for such a young woman. She was not at all how I imagined her to be. I hate the over-use of the words “old soul,” but how else to explain her. I get her outrageous costumes, and they get her a lot of attention. She has a powerful message, she’s extremely talented, and the girl knows how to get noticed! She’s genious! Also, it’s so refreshing to read such a positive article {a bit to the left, eh? (yeah!)} and to read so many positive comments from people in my age/peer group….truly inspiring!
Thank you all!!!

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Craig Villarrubia

posted October 8, 2011 at 1:04 am

I love Lady Gaga! She’s evidence of an evolving culture within our youth. I think it’s great that you took your mom to the concert. Thanks for sharing!

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Dan Weintraub

posted February 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I THINK that one of the ways we change our patterns of behavior, or our propensity toward sabotaging our lives, is by cultivating increased awareness and by NOT reacting to our impulses, but by critically and patiently examining them. Easier said than done! I have the tendency to act in ways that are inconsistent with how I THINK (intellectually, reasonably) about something because my “old tapes” tend to click in, and before I know it I am saying something or typing something or DOING something that I know I will regret later. Something happens that triggers big feelings or big emotions, and instead of taking some time to examine where these feelings are coming from, I end up treating the feelings like they are my TRUTH…when usually they are just old conditioned responses from when I was a child…stuff I have yet to resolve, and may NEVER resolve!

If you’re at all interested…I have written about these issues and have just started a daily video blog, detailing my own journey as I try to STOP behaving in ways that are inconsistent with what my self-reflective and conscious mind believes. Like most of us who read these pages, I am simply trying to live a life that reflects my TRUE beliefs and dreams and goals, and that isn’t side-tracked or derailed or sabotaged by my reactive, self-protective and utterly OUTDATED super-ego and inner critic!! Smile

my site is called “free yourself from yourself”. Check it out if you’d like:

It is FREE, of course. Nothing to sign up for or anything. Just another traveler trying to figure it out, and sharing my thoughts and my “practices” and my daily process with you.


Dan W

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