Sunday, December 17, 2006

dear hip tranquil chick . . .

Q: I wanted to ask your thoughts on something we all face on a regular basis: dealing with negativity as we move through the world. Of course we can care for our physical and spiritual bodies by surrounding ourselves with as many positive forces as possible, such as in selecting our circle of friends, but unfortunately we can’t shield ourselves completely from the negative vibes “out there.”

For example, as a copywriter at an ad agency (a job I truly love), I have to deal with criticism of my work on a daily basis, and our clients aren’t always nice about it. As hard as we work for them, sometimes enough just isn’t enough. I try to approach these moments with an enlightened mindset, but sometimes it’s quite difficult.

That said, I wanted to ask if you'd like to share any hip-tranquil perspectives on dealing with these negative forces. Is there a yoga pose you find particularly cleansing? Is there a meditation or mantra you can recommend? I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this subject, and I’m sure others would benefit as well.

A: Oh dearest, this is the PERFECT issue to discuss, especially this time of the year. I've even put together a podcast on relations and a 13-minute hip sequence to boot - all to assist us with dealing with others and the emotions that ensue.

In the podcast, I note two favorite quotes on relations:
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." ~ Mark Twain

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Unfortunately, as we've all realized, we can't change other people. We can only change our reactions to others. I've read suggestions such as "visualize the negative person as an innocent baby" so that you can get past the anger of their actions or comment. That hasn't really worked for me but I have taken good care to release toxic people from my path. Sometimes it isn't that easy and we have to interact with them daily through a work situation such as yours or in family situations (which some of you may experience over the holidays). The best route to take is to observe their good traits, focus on the good, stay strong and filled with integrity, and limit your interaction with them. Avoid letting emotions take over.

As Don Miguel Ruiz states in The Four Agreements, nothing others do is because of you. That negative client is dealing with her own issues, and you just happen to be in their path. Diffuse their negativity with love and I promise it will come back to you ten fold. Karma has a way of making this true. Take action by surrounding yourself with as many positive and supportive people as possible, having a trusted source to vent to, and taking the high road as often as possible.

Finally, observe the criticism that comes your way (from clients, partners, etc.). Is there a common theme? If so, be grateful as this is a prescription for improvement along your journey to become more hip and tranquil.



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