The Fine Art of Detachment

Have you ever flicked through a magazine or surfed the TV channels and nothing is grabbing your attention? This is non-identification.

Identification is when something grabs your attention, you watch a show for a few minutes and suddenly you are hooked until the end or the graphic or title in the mag strikes a chord and you read the entire article.

photo-1469708105586-50396e970312Social psychology studies show that it takes approximately 30 seconds for someone meeting you for the first time to form an opinion on your character and abilities.

“People will love you, people will hate you, and none of it will have anything to do with you.”- Abraham Hicks

Recently I ran an Intro to Mindfulness Course for 20 people. Ten people returned the survey and two women gave negative feedback, they didn’t like me or my style and they didn’t like the course.

All feedback is good feedback but instead of focusing on the positive comments, I let the negative remarks get to me. I very quickly realised that this attachment to a few negative comments was a total waste of my energy and I needed to detach from this mindset. I knew that stepping back, releasing ego, judgments and my own self-righteousness would give me space to access it for what it is and improve the course where need be.

Recently I told this exact story to a wise woman, aka Dani Gardner, and Dani asked me “would you want to work with those types of women anyway?” My answer was “no I wouldn’t” and looking at it from that perspective gave me a whole new angle to view from.

The lesson I am learning and I think it applies to most of us is don’t take anything personally. It is challenging and hard work but detaching, witnessing, stepping back and making room to breathe, is self-care, self-worth and very liberating.

I will finish this post with the words of don Miguel Ruiz, the author of the Four Agreements.

“Don’t take anything personally. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. Their point of view and opinion come from all the programming they received growing up. When you take things personally you feel offended and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflict. You make something big out of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong.”

A photo by Matthew Wiebe.

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