It happens to the best of us. And strangely, it often happens to people with the most integrity.
Criticism. Harsh. Cold. Even surprisingly cruel.
I've had my share recently.
So I've had a bit of practice at learning how to stay strong and true while dealing with critics.
The Yoga Sutras say act with "friendliness to the happy, compassion for the unhappy, celebration for the successful and equanimity (healthy detachment) for the wicked and or unkind."
This was my first, okay, well, honestly, maybe second, impulse upon getting some harsh criticism. Speak with love, kindness, compassion.
I did. Thought about the other person's suffering. Talked to friends like Xochitl Ashe. Got brilliant insight and guidance. And then looked for the kernel of truth in the critiques.
Okay. Let it go.
Offer them loving kindness. Boom. Powerful. Yep! Got it. Halo status.
Ahem. Okay so the reality is, no matter how spiritually evolved I want be there's some sneaky feels that creep even in the best of us.
A strong desire for retribution. Woah, what's that there? Love, nah, I want to feel vindicated. Yeah! I want to hurt him or her back.
Well, that's not very bodhisattva of me, is it?!
I don't want to suppress my emotions. They are natural. And though it might be new-agey cool to tamp it all down and act above it I don't want to be Zen-fake and stuff it.
So what can I do? I know intellectually it's not my highest self or best reaction. But I'm seething mad.
Here are six ways to immediately deal with criticism:
1. Don't slander, react or email back.
Get really clear on the inner and outer work to be done.
It is all a lie to think violence will solve the problem even if the critic used it. It rarely helps and certainly won't serve higher good.
So what can we do instead?
Process emotions and not react in a way less than my higher self.
2. As one of my dear teachers says, I can look clearly at my feelings.
Watch them come and go. Don't judge myself for having them. Whether super evolved or not we all still have those feelings. It's the human condition.
3. Here's how to deal with the big emotions.
I can watch my breath and emotion rising. Not avoid the mad. Watch it. Breathe deep and take it slow.
* Breathe. Definitely don't write that snarky email. Breathe. *
I can see my feelings are separate from the critic. My feelings are mine. Whatever the person said or did, they are pushing my buttons. So my anger is what needs caring for.
5. I can take care of myself, just like a friend helping a friend in need.
I can give myself loving kindness, kind words and lots of support.
6. I can know and speak my truth no matter what.
By working with my emotions I cool them down. They are normal reactions but that doesn't mean they are the truth. The higher truth of care and love can still win out.
This is part 1 on how to deal with critics. Next week, I'll share about how critics are often a hidden key to humungous growth and success.
Get on the list for an exclusive workshop to Bust Through Blocks to Going Big with Xochitl Ashe and Susanna Barkataki by signing up at www.healthyhotgoddess.com