About a month ago my personal Facebook page was hacked! My first reaction was “who on earth has all this free time?”. I guess some people do. I immediately took measures by reporting my concerns and this is exactly how it went: “Please FB help me with my account, someone stole my FB page, I think someone is using my FB page without my permission, someone is misusing my account, FB I need you to urgently respond to my problem”. And as I am writing this I can’t help but laugh.
Guys this is a serious situation, I can’t post any selfies or let the rest of the world know what I’m up to. Really? No! For some people this can create a serious catastrophe or a mental breakdown. I do have to say that as I was trying to gain control of my account I thought I was losing my identity simply because someone else was pretending to be me.
Hacker #1: “You are your image”
“What if someone decides to post an obscene picture of me and it lingers in cyber space for eternity?”, I thought …
Hacker # 2: “You are your thoughts”
I lost total control of my account and for a few moments of my life, I felt as if an alien entity had violated my most basic rights of privacy. But wait, isn’t FB a platform to make our lives public? For a moment I felt embarrassed and ashamed, as if I had done something wrong to deserve this.
Hacker # 3: “You are not good enough”
While I was trying to regain control of my account the invisible hacker had gained access to my business account. They managed to post two irrelevant and inappropriate pictures on our studio’s page. I sat in complete disbelief staring at the page and not knowing what to do. I called everyone I could to help me find a solution and I immediately posted a warning message on the studio’s website and emailed every member. I drained all my energy into making things appear normal.
Hacker # 4: “Do what you ALWAYS do … react”
For a few seconds I panicked and thought my business had been compromised. The fear had creeped into my mind.
Hacker # 5: “Life is out there to get you”
Days passed and my personal account was wiped out from virtual reality while the business page remains active but useless. There was nothing else to do but to let it GO!
A sense of uncomfortableness still creeped inside my head and that’s when Hacker #6 showed up: “You need to re-invent and protect your new ego”. But from who? Or what?
You see, unfortunately, we live in a world infused by fear, anger and retaliation. We remain asleep from the real hackers in our heads. All that time I spent trying to gain control of the situation and fight against an enemy out there, I couldn’t see that the real threat was inside my head. These mind hackers are the habitual patterns of thought that keep us numb and unaware of our toxic and repetitive behaviors. They are with us 24/7 telling us how to live, react and think. The real challenge is not the uncomfortable or “bad” things that happen to us, but the fact that we become surprised and upset when things happen to us that we don’t like, or think we don’t deserve.
Once I realized that my true problem were the hackers in my head telling me how I should react, I took a few deep breaths and began to create some space and gain perspective. Because there's always one more hacker that sneaks up to remind you: “You are a victim, you are guilty, you need fixing.”
And just like the hardware in a computer, I began to reboot, refresh and reprogram. I used my yogic tools to center myself and seek creative solutions. I regained my trust and sense of confidence knowing I have the support of an amazing yoga community. Things will always be as big or as small as our senses want to perceive them. In every life experience there is always an opportunity to move beyond our limited beliefs and ways of being and doing.
This past month I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with people by phone, which is something I hadn’t done in a long time. It was refreshing to have meaningful conversations and listen to their voices, rather than just clicking “like” and moving on to the next post.
We can learn so much about ourselves when faced with situations that are out of our control, which is 99% of the time! Social media can teach us valuable lessons about our fears and also about those things that most matter to us. Being overly concerned with our image and what others think of us can hinder our capacity to be courageous, resilient and creative.
In the end, I realized that what matters to me is the trust of my yoga community and that whatever happens to us is not who we are!
My anchor is my practice, my home is in my heart and my life is in each conscious breath that I take.
Btw, I’m working on my new FB page!