When I scrolled through my emails recently, I saw one from an established coach listed as personal. The email title was my name. When I open the email, it said, “Do you have space for a new coaching client, Rohini?” I have seen this email before. I remember it.
Six months ago, I was speaking with a new coach developing his practice. We were discussing how his business was going, and he was very excited that he had received a personal email from this coach asking him if he was interested in new coaching client. He assumed the email was specific to him and about a referral. I had the same email in my inbox that day as well.
At the time I felt angry. I responded to the email asking if this was a legitimate request regarding a referral, and if it wasn’t, and was simply a marketing ploy, I asked to be removed from the list. It appears I have not been removed from the list. This time I replied, “Yes!” to see what happens next.
As I reflected on this, I realized I was annoyed again. My peace was disturbed. I got curious about this. Why was I upset? What was the big deal? I was feeling my thinking and not the email. Feelings are my compass to let me know the quality of my thinking. The level of upset lets me know how distorted my thoughts are.
Everyday I get an email from Seth Godin. I never feel resentful about receiving his emails. I get other marketing emails that I might not be interested in, and I feel neutral about them. Why was I irked now?
At the University of Santa Monica they teach that anything that disturbs your peace is a projection of a misunderstanding in your own consciousness.
In this instance my reactivity settled quickly. My curiosity overtook my upset, and from a place of peace and acceptance, I was able to reflect on this in a productive way without getting stirred up.
I asked myself, is what I find most objectionable the deception? That was only part of it. It was also the disregard for other people’s feelings. The blatant self-interest. Marketing with no attempt at creating value, only thinking of gain — selfishness.
Even though I refer to myself as spiritual rather than Christian, I was reminded of Matthew 7 in the Bible:
And why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, ‘Let me pull the speck out of your eye,’ when a log is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
I acknowledge the plank in my eye — my own selfishness. My capacity to have a disregard for others. My capacity to think my needs are more important than others feelings.
How does this also show up in my relationship with myself? What is the inner dynamic where the pattern of selfishness plays out? The inner power struggle of the ego to dominate my consciousness and let fear drive out love. Of course, since love is the essence of my true nature, it can never be driven out, but I can buy into the fearful thoughts large or small and feel disconnected from the truth of who I am.
From this perspective, I have compassion for the hand that gives with a closed fist. I have compassion for my own neediness and selfishness. I see how it results from my own limited thoughts and fear. It is only human to get disconnected from the loving of our true nature, and when I act from that place in my consciousness it is easy for me to put my needs above others — to give my ego credibility over the wisdom of my heart.
My True Self can see my disturbance with compassion, and realize my judgment is only ever a reflection of my limited perception and not reality. The truth is no one has the power to disturb my peace. Only I can do that via my own thinking. I am the only one who can create an experience of separation from my loving essence based on a limiting belief — a misperception in my consciousness.
The blessing is that the natural flow is for my thinking to settle so that I can see clearly once again, and return to the loving in my heart.