Yoga helped me learn about projections - how I project onto others and how to manage being projected upon. I've attended many lectures and the word projection is often used. Up until recently, I didn’t quite understand the concept of projection.
I had a big a-ha moment at white tantric yoga in Mexico City this May. The 62-minute meditation required us to sit across from our partner with our index finger pressed firmly at their third eye point, and they in turn pressed ours. We were instructed to look into our partner's eyes and project positive thoughts toward them.
Sending positive thoughts to a complete stranger was initially a challenge. My thoughts started out as short, positive affirmations - forced, in short stutterings "You're beautiful. You are good. You have a sweet heart." And after about 30 minutes of this, the levees broke and erupted rivers of poetry "You are a beautiful manifestation of the cosmos. The power of your essence is boundless. Your heart is generous, kind, and overflowing with bountiful love!"
Then, something even more interesting happened. My partner's eyes were dark-brown, nearly black, like mine. And in an instant I could see the reflection of my face in her eyes. All the things that I was mentally projecting toward her, I was saying to myself! What!? It was so beautiful because I realized that most of the time I'm not saying those kinds of things to myself and I could be.
In the processing time following tantric, I grasped that how I treat myself is how I tend to treat others. And I project, paint my picture reality of my internal landscape, onto the people who surround me for better and for worse.
Likewise, I become representations of people’s mother, friend, sister, the kid who made fun of them in junior high. And that is where the biggest breakthrough came for me: Other people's projections onto me is NOT MY PROBLEM!
At one point I thought it was, like it was my job to be liked by everybody or at least make them see that they were projecting onto me. But it's not, and it's not really a big deal. When I see that someone's reaction or opinion is disproportionate to the reality, I just get out of the way. And I've noticed there's less conflict when I just allow their opinion to shift or not shift. I just keep on being me! Like what Rupaul says "What other people think of me is none of my god damn business!" Can I get an amen?
So, moving forward I can see that the changes I want to materialize in my life start with me and how I treat myself. That in turn affects how I treat other people and sometimes, how I'm treated in return.
Instead of treating others the way you would like to be treated - treat yourself the way you would like others to treat you and see what happens.
Hi! I'm Robin - Teacher, Singer, & Author. I love creativity & sharing what I love!