Detachment vs. Enmeshment: The Goddess Practice of Creative Distancing

Workplace dysfunction is like a bacterial infection that can rip through a company and mess with employee morale. The Corporate Dominatrix Goddess archetype is an expert at “creative distancing,” or keeping you at arms length from office situations that are negative and people who are toxic. This practice helps you retain your objectivity, your equilibrium, your integrity and your personhood. If you can escape the tangles of occupational hazards, you will find it easier not fall victim to harmful cycles that will keep you chasing your tail, and essentially, allowing your job, co-worker or boss control your spiritual self. The Goddess approach encompasses:

  • Inner strength
  • Self control
  • Self Discipline
  • Zen-like calm
  • Independence
  • Inner balance
  • Keep your emotions in check
  • Mind over mood

The strength you receive from creative distancing may not be obvious, and your boss or co-workers may not be immediately aware of it, but it will help you overcome situations in which you feel inadequate, trapped or fall victim to doubting yourself or your ability. When you want to separate yourself from the melodrama at work, remember this: there is a higher power stronger than the ordinary corporate structure and management and it’s in you. Instead of seeing your job as a pair of golden handcuffs, you can rise above the bondage into a higher state of awareness where the job itself is a means to an end (to the extent that it keeps you sane). In any bureaucratic situation, creative distancing can ground you before you lose your sense of self. Corporations are not people (regardless of what Mitt Romney says), and the workplace is not your extended family. The Goddess will bring you back from ego-busting, self sabotaging behavior. The Goddess doesn’t let her “id” get the best of her (or anyone else’s for that matter). It is the ego that gets offended easily or hurt by off-handed comments and it is the Goddess role who counters that self consciousness by knowing that the offense or hurtful comment has nothing to do with her true self-worth.Screen shot 2014-07-25 at 8.42.31 AM

As demanding as the internal fortification process is, so too will be your ability to create a protective force field between you and your environment.  This “buffer zone” is critical to your professional survival, since you need to create boundaries between the professional you and the personal you. Sometimes, you need to jump out of the corporate fishbowl!

Screen shot 2014-07-25 at 8.43.26 AMWhether you are a novice or a veteran executive, management can practice a unique type of corporate vampirism, and suck your energy, and your confidence.  Since we work in a 24/7 work environment, it’s hard to disconnect from the office due to laptops, tablets, smart phones and social media–the lines between our professional and personal lives have blurred.  Do you have more or less control in your life? Do you feel you can influence outcomes?  Are there situations you feel are beyond your control? Be honest—when you put boundaries around these three circles, are they clear?  Do you take calls after work or check email incessantly and allow it to disrupt your time with your family?  Do you have you time?Screen shot 2014-07-25 at 8.44.10 AM

Remember the Serenity prayer:  “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Where these circles might intersect is where you need to create shock absorbers that separate your subjective experience from your objective experience (are you aware of which sphere you’re allowing to bleed into another?)  Let’s call this new awareness, or creative distancing, a type of consciousness cushioning.

Dommercise:  Practice Creative Distancing

  • Velcro vs. Teflon – Does everything stick to you?  Watch out—don’t take ownership of responsibilities and/or actions that don’t belong to you. Graciously step aside and let others take their fair share.
  • Be kind to yourself after mistakes or missteps and learn from them. Nobody is perfect!
  • Try hard not to personalize what isn’t about you. Don’t let your demons get the best of you.
  • Form an external sounding board you trust and listen to what they have to say.
  • Take a deep breath and don’t overreact. Modulate your response to fit the situation at hand.
  • You don’t have to buy what other people are selling.
  • You are not your job. Develop outside interests and hobbies.
  • When someone tries to rattle your cage, remember you don’t reside in one.

Now that you’ve learned how to keep a safe emotional and psychological “distance” at work, you have some spiritual body armor.


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