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Beware The Trolls – Issue 76

When you’re the victim of your own success. Simple tips for dealing with the haters. By Jo De Rosa

You’re teaching, gaining a ton of followers on social media and your classes are packed. This is what you always dreamed of, right? Living the dream!
However, the more successful you become, the more people you pull into your orbit, and you may begin to notice the toxic looks and venomous comments…and then realise that you’ve picked up a troll or two.
Unfortunately, in our digital age, it has become far easier to say nasty things from the shadow of your own home and with total anonymity.
And, unfortunately, it exists even in the yoga world. Yes, it’s true.

So what would you do?
Probably begin with panic, anger, tears and a deep desire to retaliate, especially the first couple of times it happens. Of course, all of these reactions are only going to make things worse.

So what should you do?
For starters, know that the angry or malicious words posted online say more about the sender than they do about you; this isn’t, in fact, anything about you. What has happened is that you have shown them an aspect of themselves that they are not happy with: I wish I could do that pose, sit like that, look like her/him etc…
It’s as if you’ve held a mirror up and all that they are not shines forth, leaving them in a state of lack. And when we feel the void of lack we fill it with something…yoga, if we are aware of it, or spite, perhaps, if not.

Out of the drama
The first time this occurs will be a shock and you may not know what the best action is. So here are a few steps you can take to navigate yourself out of the drama with your dignity still intact:

1 Imagine holding a mirror up
Allow the poison to bounce off you and back to them using the ‘mirror’; it’s their ‘stuff’ after all!

2 Recognise their woundedness
When we are in alignment, we celebrate others’ success and hold them up rather than push them down. This person is hurting themselves, and doesn’t know how to get better.

3 Lead by example
Rise above it and don’t get involved in the conversation, no matter how compelled to do so you are. This is the absolute worst thing you can do and will only make matters worse.

4 Send love
Know that you have touched in on someone’s nerve, so be sure to send them love if you can. Also gift yourself love.

Whilst sending love, also know that you have opened up the space for them to do some inward reflection. A door has been opened
yet it is not your job to push this person through; that is up to them, and they will only do so when they are ready. Your part of the contract that you unconsciously entered is done, and now it is time to let it go.
However, if you want to immerse yourself into the learning even further and go to the next level of understanding, ask yourself what part of your lack – in beliefs and/or judgements – is this drama mirroring back?
However deeply you are delving into this situation don’t allow the naysayers to get you down; instead, celebrate that your work is reaching a far wider audience. Life isn’t about what happens to you; rather how you respond to it…and this is possibly your biggest test yet in your yoga career.

Jo De Rosa is the founder and director of Inner Guidance Retreat Centre 

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