Have you ever been told not to take things personally? When I was younger I did not understand very well what that meant, because when they told me that, I was so upset and self-absorbed, that I could not see the reason why they telling me that.
I couldn’t understand the expression until I could see my own reaction in another person, and curiously I told her the same thing, -Don’t take it personally-, and then I said to myself -OK, how do I know if she understood me? – so I added , -It was not his intention to make you feel bad about your work, he is simply more worried and stressed about the results that are demanded of him as a boss, so he’s trying to get the most out of your performance and that is why he told you the things that way-. Or so I tried to explain her that.
Most of us find it very easy to take things very seriously, or to complain, let’s admit. Isn’t it easier to complain than to propose? It is easier to think you’re right, because you know what is really going on and that others are wrong. Have your felt that way?
All those previous ideas come from the EGO, it is when you identify with something or someone so strongly that you appropriate anything, such as YOUR illness, YOUR family, YOUR nationality, YOUR history of success, YOUR story of failure, YOUR partner, YOUR children (that is, you see them as your own and not as free beings) YOUR subject of expertise, YOUR religion, YOUR profession, YOUR opinion, YOUR discovery, YOUR work … AND Therefore, if someone criticizes the way you do YOUR work, you take it personally, you feel that they have criticized YOU, that they do not accept YOU as a person, when it is not the case, because the result of what you have worked is simply that, a result, and it is NOT YOU. But unconsciously we have that learned to make a relation like ME and MY things, experiences, opinions … etc.
So if I am NOT all of those things, my results my experiences my family my history … etc, then … Who am I? They say that it is naturally in all humans to ask ourselves that question, honestly I don’t think I asked it that way, although I’ve always been self-reflective, but I did wonder… what am I?, Which is similar.
Anyway, in one of my therapies the teacher told me -Remember that you are not your mind- And again I thought…What does that supposed to mean ?!
Before answering this question, I recommend that you do these Self-awareness exercises:
- Keep a journal . Write every night, or every week at least, your most important experiences and / or reflections about your day.
- Make your family tree. Ask for help from your parents, grandparents or the aunt who has the photos of everyone in the family and knows all the family history, or uncle. You can go as deep as you want, and ask as many details as you want about the family history, but the more you know, the more you will enrich the experience, personally I don’t really like to investigate the past because I think the present is more important, but you might discover patterns of behavior that you thought you were not going to repeat and for your surprise, you might be doing things the same way your ancesters did! For example I’m more alike my grandmother than I thought. Just do not use them as an excuse to continue falling into the same, the purpose is to be more aware, but not to anchor in the past.
- Write an autobiography. Ok this exercise comes with its own instructions, of course you are going to make it as deep as you want, but it would be best If you don’t leave it superficial, so as a guide, get yourself in these contexts, and try to answer as much as you can, GO LITTLE BY LITTLE, I do not recommend trying to answer all in one day:
- Historically, where and when were you born? What was happening around your family, community, state or country? It is not necessary that you do a super historical investigation, unless you are passionate about history of course, go as far as you can, depending on what you know and how much your family cooperates with you. What was happening in your parents’ life before they conceived you? What stories have you been told about your birth? How did your parents and other people in the house where you grew up react? How was your relationship with your mom, your dad, or those who raised you? How did you see them? How did you get along with your brothers? What role did people play in the home you grew up in? How did they treat you? Do you remember a story that led you to those conclusions? What role did you play and do you now play in your family? How is your relationship with the members of your family? How did you meet your partner? How do you get along with him / her? have children? How is your relationship with them?
- Social. Remember the most important events of your childhood, with whom did you live them? Who were your best friends in childhood? Who did you consider authority? How did you get along with your classmates? With your coworkers? Who do you frequent nowadays? Who are your friends?
- Financial How was the financial situation of the home where you grew up? How did your parents view money? (or if you know further back, also from your grandparents) What was your relationship with money? How did they express themselves about money and / or money problems? How did you see yourself financially in relation to your classmates at school? Did you learn anything about money from another mentor? Did you learn anything about money in school? Did you ever had a business? (Even if you got paid to teach your classmates at school or do their homework) How is your current relationship with money? How much do you currently earn? How much are you currently spending? What are you currently spending on?
- Vocational. What do your parents do? Or mentors, grandparents, relatives or some other important figure in your childhood? What did you like to play the most when you were a kid? What role did you like to play the most in games or at school? What did you want to be when you grew up? What career did you study? What do you currently do?
- Spiritual. Did you grow up under any religion? Do you know what creed your parents, grandparents or mentor… professed? Did you ever ask yourself questions about God? Were you tempted to serve God as a career? Or if not, were you interested in knowing more about spirits, the dead or magic? Or do related internships? Did you believe in fantastic or supernatural beings? Have you become particularly inclined or passionate about music? Or for amulets, pyramids, and esoteric things and knowing how they work and energetically influence your life? Or, were you ever tempted to try psychedelic mushrooms or drugs to get you high? I can think of an endless number of questions in this section but I think it is because it is a more taboo subject than it seems so people often are not aware of their spiritual inclinations, but in short, if it is already clear the question here is that you write any spiritual experience that has marked you and the course that you have taken, and you continue now, can it be anyone, yoga? Taoism? … .etc.
- Intellectual. Do you remember learning something that really left a mark on your mind? What were your favorite subjects in school? What subject were you particularly good at? Are you more logical or creative? Or both? What topics do you like to read about? Or what topics do you like to see courses and tutorials on? Are you good at teaching on any subject? which one? Do you currently share it or do you give training in your work? Are you taking a course or reading a book? If not, what are you busy with your mind? What shows or content do you consume the most?
- Emotional. What was one of your happiest moments of your life? Did you really feel happy? When was the last time you laughed out loud? Which was a situation when you felt really angry? Do you remember the most painful situations? The saddest situation? Do you remember a situation in which you were very afraid? Do you remember any situation in which you felt ashamed? Do you remember any in which you felt guilty? Any situation that caused you great personal satisfaction? The one that made you the proudest? disappointed? Any passionate love story? Any of romantic love? Any of lust? When did you feel lonely? A story of a lot of tenderness? Do you have past stories of these emotions? They can be interconnected of course, how about the most recent ones? How do you feel in this moment?
- Physical. How was the house where you grew up, physically? (Country? Apartment? Well-off house? Dirty? Clean?) What was your environment like? (eg polluted city, beautiful landscapes, many animals) What landscapes do you remember? (It can be both everyday and a trip that has been recorded for you) How was your health when you were a child? Ask your parents, if you want and you can also inquire about their health and that of your grandparents, did you care about your clothes and your appearance? Did you have a problem with your appearance in your teens? and now? What is your physical environment like now? (your home, your community, your work) How is your physical body now? (your current health, your relationship with your body, how you take care of your body and your physical appearance, exercise habits, makeup, wardrobe …etc )
4) Ask yourself the following questions, (yes, more questions)
- What is my scale of values?
- What are my dreams / goals / aspirations? Write those that you have always wanted to do even if you think it is not possible. Which of those goals would really make me feel fulfilled? Which ones do I want to achieve to please someone else? Or because I think that they will make the life easier for that person? Or because that way he/she/them will value me more? Or for that person to just leave me alone? (As in the case of parents, for example).
- What is my present life like? It is not about telling you stories, answer frankly and directly based on your actual activities. What do I do every day? How do I spend most of my time on? What do i eat? What kind of food? What do you consume the most content on the internet? What topics are my favorite channels on YouTube, Instagram, Netflix, or whatever subscriptions I follow? Make a list of the topics that predominate, and the ones you spend the most hours on.
And ant least, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, come back to here and now
Observe yourself – The best way to observe yourself HERE AND NOW is through Meditation, here are some links for guided meditation if you’re a beginner:
Anyway, I also leave you the summary of the process, in case you decide to do it on your own:
Meditate in a comfortable place and in a space where nobody will bother you, with a comfortable posture, but preferably do not lie down, because some people fall asleep, and it is about being conscious.
- Breath. Focus your attention on your breath, feel it, you do not need to try to control it, just feel how you inhale and exhale. Keep doing it for as long as necessary
- Observe yourself now How do you feel? What do you feel? do you have any sensations or discomfort in the body? Place yourself in a comfortable posture, until you can focus on your breathing calmly again, if you cannot solve it, if it is some internal discomfort, do not try suppress it, simply give it your recognition, your attention accepting that it is there, if it continues to hurt or it continues to emphasize that feeling, breathe it.
- Feel the space that your body occupies. feel what it feels like to occupy your body. Go through the space that your head occupies, your scalp, your eyes, your ears, your nose, your skin, your neck, your throat, your chest, your shoulders, your back, your torso, your abdomen, your sexual organs, your buttocks, your legs, your knees. your feet, if you can feel your hair your nails or the sensations they generate, that’s fine, as far as you can feel.
- Smell and listen, only if there is not too much noise outside, otherwise focus on the music that accompanies you.
- Feel your emotional body. Is there an intense emotion on you? either through some part of your body? or through a thought? anger, judgment, memory of sadness, if it is intense, like any sensation of physical pain, do not suppress it, just feel it, pay attention to it, accept that it is there, do not judge it, feel it and breathe in deeply as many times as you need, until you can exhale and let go.
- Can you feel your spiritual body? I have to admit that I have not reached this level, but I suppose it exists, if you already felt it, tell me in the comments!
I also leave you these links of different music channels to meditate, they help a lot:
When you meditate and become aware of your present, you simply ARE, stop judging and holding to your past, you just feel, breathe, and live the here and now. Therefore you stop identifying with everything you thought you were, you realize that YOU CHOOSE , by releasing what you identified with at some point, you expand your possibilities because you can choose to do, feel or think endless attitudes, roles and postures, because you are NOT any of those things.
It may seem contradictory that first I ask you as an exercise to do everything that makes you identify with your EGO, or define yourself as your SELF, and then I tell you that “You are not your mind” “You are not your thoughts”, that trust whatever realm of spirituality you believe in and trust your connection to the ‘Whole’. We are not separate entities and therefore there is no reason to draw distinctions or labels between other people, regardless of whether they have different stories from the ones we have lived. Because regardless of all your experiences and what you have identified with in the past, in the present moment in which you meditate and breathe, you simply ARE, like everything else IS.
But the objective is not to confuse you, nor to contradict yourself, it is simply part of the experience and journey of self-discovery, to be able to realize what things of the experiences you have gone through and go through are the ones that you give the most importance to, with which you identify the most, and on the other hand to bring up that awareness that BEING goes beyond that, with infinite possibilities.
So it doesn’t matter what you think defines you, if any challenge or “problem” or threat appears to what apparently maters the most to yourself or your ego, far from collapsing, you will remember that you can choose how to feel, you will enjoy each stage of transformation by breathing through the wonder of the awareness of being alive in that unique moment, that challenge will be more like a game, something interesting to learn and live. It will no longer be something that causes you too much suffering because you are no longer going to identify with that problem, or if you do, now you have the tools to be aware that you can choose to stop doing it, and to be free, just BE, and let life BE.
You can also read the book from Joe Dispenza, Breaking the habit of being yourself, it has a deeper explanation of how our mind can relate to BEING and also on how to meditate.
On the other hand, the book, Letting go, the pathway of surrender form David R Hawkins, is the one that help me the most to understand the process of releasing suffering.