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Dear Layla,

I honestly don’t see how you can differentiate yourself from the Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand. Are you not a Female who seeks to Empower women while telling them how they should Live? Did you not just raise your fee for your “Community” when your open letter to white women went viral? Is it moral to pose as a spiritual leader and then ask for money? How are you different from all of the other Lifestyle Gurus, Health Coaches, and Yoga Instructors?

If the only thing that sets you apart from the FLEB entrepreneurs is your non-whiteness and non-conformity to the beauty standard (nice lipstick, by the way), then you are using your identity to gain authority. You are no different from “skinny white women” doing the same thing. 

I read part 1 of your letter to white women. It had nothing novel for me, but to be fair I’m already doing my own soul work and facing my shadow self’s preconception of race and privilege has been a part of that. I feel like you haven’t posted part 2 either because you actually have nothing more to say and were only stringing us along for the page views, or you are intentionally postponing sharing it so that you can get more page views. Either way, what is your purpose? To share ideas and mentor your online community or to gain as many page views as possible? I’m disappointed that your soul’s work is to pose as a modern day priestess for the privileged, since I assume not many women in poverty, or any dire living situation, have access to the internet, a computer, and money for your fees. (I’m afraid to ask what you charge for long-distance readings and “Word Witching” which both sound like empty services to me.) What do you do to serve those in need?

I want you to realize that community is a living, breathing thing that requires face-to-face interaction and physical locality. It’s not a web forum. You are not effecting change by getting a bunch of lost, privileged, often White Guilt-ridden young women to send you money. I think it’s time for you to hit the books, the really old ones like the Bhagavad Gita, and listen. Listen to real Teachers with real, millennia-old wisdom. Once you’ve humbled yourself and realized you are small, insignificant, and at the same time perfect, then make yourself available. To those in need. To the unfortunate. Making money is not the soul’s work, but when you do your soul’s work, money will follow.

One love,

The Skeptic Lotus Lady

P.S. I’m not sure why it is acceptable to capitalize on white guilt. Confused women are asking you, “How can I be a better person?” and your answer is “Google it until my book is published.” Does this not strike you as unethical? To the confused, guilt-ridden, would-be allies out there: I hear you. I know I lack credibility because I’m -gasp- white, but I am also human and  a pretty intelligent and compassionate one at that. As I learn how to use my white privilege for the greater good, I’ll pass the info along. A good first step is to listen much and talk little. Apparently being a good person is privileged information in itself, because that Google search Layla suggested turns up a lot more book pitches. Also, if you want a podcast that blows Wild Mystic Woman clear out of the water, check out some of my favorite On Being episodes:

Ruby Sales: Where does it hurt?

Isabel Wilkerson: The Heart is the Last Frontier

Eula Biss: Let’s Talk About Whiteness

And on the TED radio hour:

Just a Little Nicer

Photo by Mallory Johndrow on Unsplash