Stop Apologizing

Stop Apologizing

This is a note to self. I’m pretty good at not apologizing for who and what I am, but this whole energy work thing got my panties in a bunch.

Half of my friends think energy work is obvious. A fact of nature, and of life. The other half unsubscribed from my e-mail list after the essay went out. That’s okay.

Jenny Bones linked me to a discussion that I really needed to see between Susan Johnstone and Bridget Pilloud about the term “woo-woo” which is identical to my term “hippy shit.” It means “out there” stuff like energy work.

They agree that the term is self-apologetic. A preemptive pejorative that we apply to our own model of the world—after all, if we look down on ourselves first, we hope to rob others of the power to look down on us as well. It’s hard to make fun of someone who is trying so hard to make fun of themselves.

Authentically Weird

We think authenticity sounds noble because we imagine we’ll be authentically brave, smart, strong, compassionate. Authentically successful. Authentically palatable.

But authenticity is trickier than that. If you’re a smart person you will inevitably come to conclusions that will confuse, alienate, and upset some other people. Smart people end up on fringes because they ask a lot of questions and demand the answers. That’s how business coaches begin offering astrology services.

If you’re not pissing people off, you’re not trying hard enough. Or you’re not honest enough with yourself. Don’t apologize for who you are.


  1. Laura Cowan ()

    You could also add to that that if you’re doing anything brave or worth doing, some people close to you will be petty and jealous. This bothered me a lot for a while, because people very close to me would turn jealous and critical and nasty when I most needed their support, but in the end I realized it just revealed a truth that was already there: they’re not really your friend in the first place if they can’t celebrate even your small successes and happiness.

    Keep it real and I’ll keep reading.

    Laura (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      Totally, Laura. That’s one of the early lessons of self improvement: some people are terrified of it to the point that they will attack you for trying to better yourself or your situation. Drop them like they’re hot. Love them, but drop them anyway. (Reply)

  2. Sadia ()

    you’re pissing me off (b/c you care so much what others think Pete)…, always, Sadia….keep on shining friend!…… Don’t worry if there are finger prints around your lit bulb (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      I think maybe I need to hold onto a little of my hang up because I see my role as a kind of go-between the two camps. That means I have to maintain my consciousness of what I look like to both sides so I remain properly credible to both. Thanks for caring though, I appreciate it 8) (Reply)

  3. Kenya ()

    Had to contemplate the same thing when I called my site “Psychic Jazz”. Many people are turned off by the word Psychic and feel much better with the word Intuitive. But I said, the heck with it…I like the ring of both words. Intuitive Jazz just didn’t do it for me…lol ;-)

    Also…I have the saying …It’s all about empowerment instead of prediction for me. I guess this is to separate myself from what people think. So now that I think about it…this may be apologetic on my end. But my intent is to just be ME…Loved this post ;-) (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      It’s sometimes difficult to “just be yourself.” You have to create yourself first 8) Nice work! (Reply)

  4. Sroek ()

    It’s funny because with each new essay, I discover that you and I share of a lot of the same, dare I say, progressive beliefs. First with the productive use of entheogens and recently with the existence of human energy fields, which is actually scientifically proven with electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. It’s synonymous with Chi, Chakras and the multitude of cultural-specific labels. (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      I’ve noticed growing trends in this area and others as well, so maybe we’re becoming less fringe. Still not mainstream though 8) (Reply)

  5. Aaron ()

    Hey Pete!!! I came across your book looking for a way to increase my strength in telekinesis. Telekinesis to me, at the time, was pretty much just the movement of physical objects via the mind. I know for a fact that I was guided to your book/you for a reason. Your book absolutely expanded my perception. Your articles absolutely expanded my perception. Your book and its examples helped me perceive energy a lot better. Your chakra observations are indeed correct. Your name is truly the source of your greatness, as is mine, and every other remarkably smart person. Peter, after reading How To Draw I came to conclusions about life that are shocking yet liberating. Again, these conclusions that I came to only happened because I was guided to you and your work (these conclusions are serious and is NOT fiction, it is often said that the truth is stranger than fiction). Random question: Is your head bald because it clears your mind? If so, you have inspired me to continue shaving my head, regardless of other people’s opinion, just saying… Anyway, I’d love to share those conclusions with you when you respond and if you are interested.
    You do awesome shit man!

    -Aaron (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      Thanks for the kindness Aaron, I do appreciate it 8)

      I shave to be free from myself. I shave because choosing my scars is happier than hiding from them. (Reply)

  6. Paul Onwueme ()

    I think it is a crime against one self to apologize for being yourself, you might as well snuff out your life and drop DEAD! If that is what your haters want them offer them the less evil – let them stew over your authenticity. But then again there is the danger of being arrogant and thinking you are being authentic. Be wise! (Reply)