Most of us when we hear the word, stalking think of someone who is constantly watching us, following or harassing us, making us feel afraid or unsafe. Those of you who know me well enough, know this is not the type of thing I generally blog about and you would be right. You also probably know that I tend to take words that have “negative” connotations to them and looking at them from a completely different perspective. So today, I want to talk about stalking as a healthy and transformative thing we can do for and to ourselves and not others.
Toltecs, a group of spiritual warriors, talk about stalking as “the process of hunting, following, and observing our habits, beliefs and weaknesses for the purpose of transforming them into our strengths. A Warrior, will Stalk her own mind to break her obsession with the rational mine, with thinking and with the Tonal.” Warriors fight for freedom from their own social conditioning, self-rejecting, self-neglecting, and otherwise harmful beliefs, thoughts, and wishes for self or others. Stalking allows us to break free of this and the world of reason we have been trained to accept unconditionally.
Become a stalker, in this healthy sense, involves us gaining control of our thoughts, our actions and ourselves. It requires us to objectively examine the things we normally think, say, and do and create new and different ways of being in the world. In doing so, we are controlling what we think and do and not being controlled by the patterns, which have become a part of our being. Changing these patterns requires discipline. It requires us to be mindful of ourselves and our environment and be intentional about maintaining control over our lives and practicing this on an ongoing basis. We create a discipline of constantly being mindful of our words, thoughts, and ways of being in the world. We learn how to stalk our mind, like a jaguar stalking its prey.
As a stalker, we develop new skills and ways of interacting with those who attempt to get on our nerves or with whom we tend to take things personally. As we are able to gain and maintain greater control over our lives, we learn how to create ways of minimizing or eradicating our interactions with those who attempt to zap our energy, or with whom we are still practicing not taking things personally. For example, a friend of mine has a family member whose negativity wears on her. Being a family member, it is hard to totally ignore him, but she has learned to neutralize the situation by going for a walk with him, which energizes her, and provides him with the space to vent. By controlling the environment in which she interacts with him, she finds herself more at peace after spending time with him.
It is important that we remember this self-stalking is not a race or a competition. It is part of our spiritual journey and evolution. The pace at which this work is done is about us and our readiness and patience with ourselves. There may be times when we are able to move at a faster pace then others, and there may be times when our ability to move through the process of stalking the prey in our mind requires patience. This journey of stalking is an act of love for ourselves, so it is important that we move through this with unconditional love and respect for our lives and ourselves.
Finally, I must remember that it is my determination to remove all the parasites from my life, to liberate myself from the agreements I have been taught I must agree to, and to do whatever I have to do in my life to set myself free.
According to Sheri Rosenthal, there are ten steps to stalking:
Step 1: Watch ourselves with absolute objectivity, observing how people behave in our presence and how they react to our actions.
Step 2: Create an inventory, through journaling of what we believe about what is happening to us, noting our judgments, opinions, and points of view.
Step 3: Examine our emotional reactions and journal what we believe about each of the emotions we have listed.
Step 4: Look at everything you have journaled to date, and ask ourselves if our journaled beliefs reflect the truth.
Step 5: Acknowledge the truth of what is happening in our lives, and accept responsibility for our half of making it happen.
Step 6: Recapitulate our lives by going back in time and seeing where our beliefs and agreements originated.
Step 7: Release all of the expectations we have in life about everything and everyone.
Step 8: Forgive and let go. Forgiveness is not about the other person, but about setting ourselves free and letting go of the past and harmful judgments.
Step 9: Erase our personal history. This is not to say that events did not happen, but that they no longer have an emotional hold on us and hook in us.
Step 10: Become impersonal by totally detaching from the egotistical mind.
Stalking, from this perspective, is not about causing anyone to feel unsafe, but about a way of being which leads us to freedom and happiness. It is about hunting the beliefs in our mind, which cloud our vision and removing them so we have greater clarity in life. This is why I am constantly working on my stalking skills and invite you to join me.
Rosenthal, S. A. (2005). Complete Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom. New York: Alpha.