So, I’ve got a lot of “inner work” going on this week. In addition to my visit with Eckhart Tolle, I’m also participating in a 40-day program to learn to silence my “Inner Mean Girl.” Each week, for six weeks, we focus on one corrosive habit that we want to eliminate. This week was gossip.
I’ll be honest and say I didn’t have much opportunity to observe my habits around gossip this week because I was: 1) out of town; 2) mostly by myself; and 3) in a very supportive situation where there wasn’t much opportunity for aggravation in the first place.
However, I have been consciously working on reining in gossip, especially over the last year or so. I am not always successful, but when I do succumb to gossip, I now realize that it never makes me feel good. In my mind, that is the trap of gossip: we engage in it because on the surface it seems like we build ourselves up by knocking others down. In reality, we are bringing ourselves down even more. What’s worse is that by defining and judging another person with gossip, we lose whatever opportunity we might have had to learn or experience something valuable through that person. Back at Rancho la Puerta, Leslie McGuirk said in her sessions on creativity to, “Treat every person as if they have something for you.” Not possible if you are engaged in gossip and judgement about that person.
In his live session this past weekend, Eckhart Tolle reiterated something he said in A New Earth: that whatever you are reacting to in another person is also in you, and maybe even only in you. Then he used a beautiful metaphor about the consequences of judging other people. He said interaction between people can be like flowing water — spacious, changeable and full of possibility. But the moment judgement comes in, that water becomes frozen, a block of ice. This relationship is now trapped and restricted inside that ice, and so is the potential between these people.
So I try to remember to treat each person as if he/she has something for me. When I do that, it doesn’t leave much room for gossip.
Next up is comparison. That’ll be a doozy for me.
“I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador. To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School.