In 1997, Don Miguel Ruiz came out with a wonderful little book, called The Four Agreements. They are four simple rules to live by. Agreement No 2 states: Don’t take anything personally. The premise of this rule is to learn to let things roll off your back (the Teflon coping skill of stress management). Under stress, the perceptions of the ego become magnified 10 fold. When others are under stress, they are thinking only about themselves. As a consequence, there is a lot of rude, cynical, sarcastic and less than desirable behaviors that come full force in our direction, or so it seems. Don’t take it personally. Sensitive people tend to absorb these negative energies, which ultimately causes internal stress.
There is a find line between thickening your skin and turning the other cheek, yet both are possible at the same time when you can learn to rise above the occasion and domesticate your own ego. The real lesson is not take anything personally while at the same time offer compassion. This is known as the “unbearable lightness of being.” Once you have this down, you have conquered the world. So the message today (and every day is this: Don’t take things personally, but keep your heart open).
Stress Tip for the Day:
It bears repeating that the best way to rise above the fray is to meditate each day. Sitting still, focusing on your breathing, and clearing your head of the ego chitter-chatter becomes the best way to domesticate your own ego; the simple inoculation of daily stress. In essence you become not only the observer of your thoughts, but you eventually learn to observe yourself observing your thoughts. This is called detachment; a necessary step in learning NOT to take anything personally. And remember, by and large, people are not malicious. They are just clueless (perhaps you’ve noticed).
Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
Today’s book recommendation is the best selling book, The Four Agreements. And if you ever get a chance to hear Don speak, I highly recommend it.
Quote for the Day:
“Don’t take things personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. Don’t take things personally.” — Don Miguel Ruiz
Photo for the Day:
Today’s photo is an image of Hanging Lake Falls, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado… Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.