How to Respond to the Critics in Your Life

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Doctor Neha: Welcome to Talk Rx with Doctor Neha in Bali. I have a wonderful guest with me here today, Cassie. Welcome.

Cassie: Thanks, Neha.

Doctor Neha: We were talking a little earlier and you said you had some questions.

Cassie: Yeah, I’m working on my book, My Pursuit of Peace.

Doctor Neha: Congratulations.

Cassie: It’s coming out soon, but I’m nervous about how I’ll be able to convey the questions around the topic. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 16, and I overcame it over the course of 20 years. I used many different ways to overcome it. I’m now sharing the lessons, but I’m nervous about sharing this because of how it may be perceived and the questions I might get asked. Though I feel really good about where I am in my life, the questions and the public opinions, and the back and forth, makes me wonder, How am I going to navigate these waters?

Doctor Neha: All right, well since that’s way out in the future, I’m going to bring us to right here. Happy dance! You’re done with your book—it’s coming out!

Cassie: Yes.

Doctor Neha: I want to really celebrate you.

Cassie: Thank you.

Doctor Neha: In this moment, right now, nobody is making any comments about anything you’ve written.

Cassie: No, absolutely.

Doctor Neha: What might come in the future is what causes anxiety—the what if. Such as “What if the sky falls?” “What if someone says this?” There are infinite ways we can do that; that’s anxiety. And it’s a failed attempt to try to control the future.

Cassie: Beautifully said.

Doctor Neha: The first thing I want to tell you is that this concern comes back to self-trust. You have plenty of that. I’ve spent some time with you here in Bali and I can tell, whether it’s on the dance floor or whether it’s just the two of us hanging out, getting ready for this video shoot, your self-trust, confidence, and strong sense of inner knowing (that helped you bring your book into the world) is going to guide you through all of this.

Cassie: That’s reassuring.

Doctor Neha: Where do you feel it in your body when you really know you know something?

Cassie: When I’m at peace, it’s in my heart. I feel that peace in my heart. Then it goes to my gut. For me, it starts from the heart.

Doctor Neha: Okay. Then it even drops deeper.

Cassie: It drops deeper, and that’s when I feel that grounded sense of I’m good.

Doctor Neha: I love this. Tell me about how you struggled with depression, something millions of people struggle with.

Cassie: Yeah, it’s projected to be the number one disease affecting us by 2030.

Doctor Neha: In this 20-year journey, did you try any conventional methods?

Cassie: I tried conventional ways. I tried prescriptions. I worked with lots of different therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, sound healing, energy healing, yoga, and meditation. I tried many things. I would say all of them worked to a point, but they were not sustaining me. I was tired of relapsing. That became really difficult. I mean, maybe your audience can relate to this, but how many of us go through this? I felt like, “I’m done with this.” I was really at that point that I didn’t want to relapse anymore. At that time it was 18 years into the depression.

Doctor Neha: Wow.

Cassie: I said, “I can’t do this anymore.” What I realized was I was creating a life of facades.

Doctor Neha: Masks.

Cassie: Masks—exactly what I call it in the book. I was creating these masks that I was hiding behind: the great education, the good job, the perfect guy.

Doctor Neha: Money.

Cassie: Money…while inside feeling like a fraud because I know that I’m not all together inside. This doesn’t feel very authentic. I gave up everything one at a time, not knowing what this life would bring. And right in this moment, me living in Bali was never the plan. That unfolded over the course of the last four years.

Doctor Neha: You know what’s so funny is that it was probably always the plan.

Cassie: It was. But what is revealed to us in life is usually only what we need to know.

Doctor Neha: That’s right. One step at a time.

Cassie: One step at a time.

Doctor Neha: Let’s go back to your first question, which is, what if the world meets me in a place where they aren’t accepting of the ways that helped me [with depression]?

Cassie: Right.

Doctor Neha: This is really about listening to the voice of your own heart slightly louder than you can hear the voices of others.

Cassie: That feels good.

Doctor Neha: What if you knew that when the time came, people might be skeptics, because they are skeptics?

Cassie: That’s okay. I was a skeptic too. I was a straight, type-A corporate chick. I needed scientific research. I was that girl, but now I’ve gone through this journey myself and I’ve understood the wisdom that unfolded within from personal experience. That’s the only way you become a believer.

Doctor Neha: Yes.

Cassie: I’m not necessarily trying to say my way is the way.

Doctor Neha: It’s a way.

Cassie: It’s a way. Parts of it might work for some people, or it’ll just inspire them to go do what they need to do.

Doctor Neha: Yes. That’s what I want you to keep in mind. Critics may come. Skeptics will be there. They serve a big purpose in our world, to separate out what is true and what is not so true for them.

Cassie: For them.

Doctor Neha: As long as you know it’s your truth, there’s nothing else you need to worry about because when those voices come in, go back to that place of truth for you. Do you have any practices that help you hear your own truth louder?

Cassie: Yeah, several. I ground and meditate. I’m a Vipassana meditator. Sometimes it’s walking meditations. Sometimes it’s painting or being in nature. It depends on the day.

Doctor Neha: I can already see you softening as you’re talking about how you do it.

Cassie: I love going for morning jogs. That, to me, is my medicine. It’s not a long jog. I used to run for an hour. Then I realized, “Why do I need to do this?” Now I just go for a 20-minute jog, and it’s perfect. I come back refreshed with clarity and with stillness.

Doctor Neha: Love it. Now tell me, what are you going to do when this book comes out into the world and you birth this beautiful experience that you have been able to transform in your life, and the naysayers come out? What are you going to remember to do then?

Cassie: I’m going to look at the jewel that this critic is giving me and just rest in the fact that this book is my experience. I’m sharing it. Let the critic show up because they are coming from their experience.

Doctor Neha: We can honor their experience.

Cassie: I can honor it and say, “Maybe there is something that I need to clarify.” I’ll look at the gift and whatever is not part of the gift, I’ll let it go.

Doctor Neha: Let it go. I’ll be excited to read your book.

For all of you who have struggled with depression or something else serious and you have a deep sense of knowing that a certain way helped you get out of it and you want to share it with the world, make sure you turn up the voice of your own heart slightly louder than you can hear the voices of others. Until next time, this is Doctor Neha with TalkRx. If you have any questions that you’d like to drop me at Twitter it’s #AskDoctorNeha.

Awareness Prescription for Anxiety

(Read TalkRx, Chapter 15 “The Sky is Not Falling” for additional details.)
  1. Get present (soft belly breathing + ground your body).

  2. Name that fear:

  3. What I’m most afraid of is…

  4. What if…(your fears)

  5. Ask yourself, “What would self-trust and courage do now?”

To being brave & speaking the truth,

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4 Responses

  1. I love this! What would self-trust and courage do? And 20 minutes of meditative centering every day is good… i will share it!

    1. Thanks Martina. Yes, your intuition will usually guide you in the right direction if you ask it good questions!

  2. I love all your interviews from Bali. Hope you had a great time and were able to find time for yourself.

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