Where to begin? Narcissism seems a good place, start from the self absorbed self and work outwards. I’ve been looking at how to teach yoga and treat the various people that come to me for help. I really believe that the less my ego or self engrossment get into the communications process with others the happier and healthier people become. That is communicating from a relatively non invasive, egoless state.
We have most likely all experience our own defensive behaviour. You might feel challenged or even threatened by someone’s words or behaviour. I’m not talking about war zones or street fights, I’m talking about normal interactions with people that evoke in you an uncomfortable feeling in your gut that rises up into anxiety and, depending on your past experiences, you either try to ignore, suppress it or express frank hostility towards the other person, or just maybe make an effort to understand and maybe even feel compassion for the other person and for your good self and behave in a dispassionate and calm way, not always assuming you are being attacked. Stopping your contribution to the cycle of action and retribution, that is of karma.
A friend described the anxious feeling inside him as an entity growing from his abdomen and rising up into and through his chest. I feel it like a strong wind being challenged into a narrow space and forcefully rising up through my body. To ameliorate this feeling people take drugs, strike out verbally or physically, drink alcohol, withdraw from life and maybe even try controlling the elements around them, becoming addicts and or compulsive, or the old chestnut passive aggressive.
So what evokes this entity or feeling in you. Really it’s your belief systems. The biggest mistakes humans make are:
- believing that your own thoughts are real and
- taking another person’s behaviour or actions personally.
We come back to the central belief that your encounters with others are centred around you. So on it goes, someone does something you find offensive for their own reasons, and you, narcissistically thing they are having a dig at you, trying to hurt you, bolster their ego or pocket at your expense or some other permutation of an intrinsic belief system you may not even realise you hold close if nor dear.
So back to overcoming narcissism. That is, being in a state where you examine and perhaps lessen your self involved narcissism so you can see and hear more clearly who the person is in front of you and what they are experiencing without reference to your own acquired egotistic beliefs. Have you ever talked to another person and felt like they couldn’t see you for who you are or hear the meaning of your words? Then maybe you felt inadequate, if that’s your proclivity, because you feel that you are not worthy of being listened to or too dumb to express yourself clearly.
They thing is, communication is a two way thing and the continual ego stances we take to compensate or ameliorate feelings of inadequacy ricochet about and cause endless discomfort and compensating narcissistic behaviours in varying degrees of intensity. As you become less self absorbed you do see what and who is in front of you and can choose to act appropriately.
My question for myself is how to stop or at least slow down this endless cycle of negative behaviour based on your belief systems. The problem is well neigh impossible to solve on your own. It’s darn hard to solve a puzzle from inside the puzzle, you need to step outside the problem to understand it and start the process of changing how you behave. You will probably still feel the rising entity of anxiety within your chest but, I know from personal experience, you can stop reacting to it and start to respond to others more spaciously. Then the entity has, over time, less and less power to control your behaviour.
In the middle of the hormonal cascades of youth and in the busy business of life it’s hard to take the time to stop and relax, meditate, or even ask for help towards self understanding and the possible often uncomfortable process of changing the way you behave and experience your life.
Anxiety can paralyse you yet it is something you can change with the right will and patience to do so.
What helps anxiety?
- Learning to relax, the practice of Yoga Nidra is a systematic application of tried and true techniques to calm your life. Listening to music or reading can also be relaxing.
- Certain foods can hype you up or depress you, learning to observe your food habits and the affects of food and perhaps alcohol can help you to make better dietary choices.
- Dehydration can wreck havoc with your nervous system. Drink more water at least 2 litres a day can cool your reactive systems down
- Get help with physical and emotional issues
- Do not ignore your body’s pain signals, that is often the first sign of chronic stress or imbalances that can really deplete your energy
- Have regular checkups. Make sure you have appropriate medical tests for your age, heritage and situation. Knowing you are well is calming, knowing you have a specific illness or problem is a good step towards fixing it.
- Connect with your family and friends, they are the wellspring of your health and happiness.
So As a health practitioner I have realised that all you have to do to gain or regain your health is to start somewhere and continue to initiate healthy changes, if you correct or fix one aspect of yourself, many other aspects of your life improve.
So as a practitioner I do practice what I preach. I attempt to stay out of my own way and stay clear so that people around me can feel heard and seen and their spirits can discard the dross and weight of outmoded beliefs and behaviours and really surprise themselves in the most delightful way.