I have been reading “The Untethered Soul” by Mickey Singer lately and he talks about being the Witness and noticing things. As the Witness, you notice and let go and while working in customer service, I am blown away by the amount of negativity that gets passed my way each day.
For the most past, the negativity is not directed at me specifically but I am the filter it needs to pass through on its way to the appropriate location. Being that filter is exhausting when I don’t let it pass through me. I am a sensitive person by my nature, I have only learned to build up resistance to it as a defense mechanism. I am learning now that those defenses take a lot more energy out of me than they protect me from.
I am trying a couple of things this week to try and learn to sit with the negativity that gets blown my way. The first is to notice each time a feeling or reaction is stirred up in me. Once I notice it, I am giving it a name like: guilt, fear, insecurity, shame, anger, disgust, humor, pain, joy. For the time being, I have only been noticing the more negative emotions and feelings but it’s been helpful to label them. By labeling the feelings, I am able to bring myself back up into my higher brain functions which keeps me out of the stress response lower brain functions.
After I have labeled the emotional response, I take in a large breath and say: “Let it pass through me,” and imagine the feeling to disappear on the exhale. Sometimes this takes more than a few breaths in order to feel the emotions pass. It’s been helpful to try this and believe me, I see and listen to a lot of unnecessary negative feedback during a shift. It’s part of the job but the trick is letting the feelings it brings up in me go.
This could honestly be a game changer for me in many aspects of my life. Even just now, I saw a black VW golf drive down the highway, the car driven by my ex and it brought up all kinds of stuff and I just labeled all the feelings: regret, pain, abandonment, hurt, betrayal and took a deep breath and allowed the feelings to pass through me. I don’t know that I would have noticed it if it hadn’t been an example in the Untethered Soul as a trigger. Of course, thinking back on it now – every time I see a black VW golf of a certain generation, I get all kinds of feelings. Now I have something to use to help me get passed those feelings.
Being in customer service may give me the best amount of experience I need in order to master this practice. It’s too bad that it took me two years to really “get” the practice and understand it. I mean, it’s one thing to be told this is what you can do and it’s another to understand how I can put that into practice. It might be that I needed someone else to explain to me how to use the tools because for some reason when my teachers tried to explain it, I wasn’t grasping the how-to. “Ride the wave,” they would say but I still get the feeling of what the wave was and now after reading “The Untethered Soul” by Mickey Singer and listening to videos from Carrie-Anne Moss on her Annapurna Living site, I am starting to get it. “These are the deep practices,” my teachers would say and yes they are but I know now that when I was learning them, I wasn’t ready to put them into application and practice.