Updated: Mar 24, 2019
Taming the Ego helps you allow more flow in your life to manifest the life you want!
"The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of ego." ~Eckhart Tolle
Recently I have been thinking about how much the ego plays a part in our lives. Dictionary.com defines the ego as, "the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought." I have come to realize that we are not our thoughts. If we were our thoughts, then who is thinking them? Growing up, one of the first concepts we are taught is the concept of "I, me or mine." So, right away, society teaches us to differentiate ourselves from the rest of humanity. We spend our formative years thinking we are better than or more important than others around us; constantly comparing ourselves and our accomplishments to those around us. And what happens? We become our own harshest critics, never living up to the ideals that our families', society, or simply ourselves' have placed on us. That is the beginning of our suffering. Then, as we grow up, even if we choose to live a life of compassion we attach ourselves to ego once again by feeling the need to identify ourselves with various roles we play (Mother, student, teacher, son, boss, etc.). While we are individuals with unique talents and purposes, I don't think any one of us is more important than the next. We are all one piece of this collective conscious experience on planet globes!
Ok, Lindsay, then how to you start to release the ego you may ask. The first step is being patient and aware enough to recognize it when it rears it's head. When somebody does or says something that pisses me off or hurts my feelings, my initial defensive reaction is simply the ego trying to pretend that the world revolves around me. I remember years ago when my husband John and I first started dating and I would come home so emotional about an incident that happened at school with one of my students or a fellow educator. Most of the time, John's response would be something along the lines of, "Do you have proof that it has anything to do with you? Chances are, they weren't even thinking of you when they did that." After hearing that so many times, it finally sunk in. How egotistical of me to think people even considered me when they did or said certain things. That realization was so liberating and allowed me to get out of my head long enough to have more compassion towards others and what they are going through. And I know you've been on the receiving end; where somebody came to you about something you did that upset them and you were oblivious.
One of the easiest ways to begin to let go of our egos (and also to manifest the life you want) is to simply allow. Let things come as they are and accept situations as they unfold. Live the path of least resistance. When you allow, you send the message to the Universe that you have learned this lesson and are ready to move on. The more I start to do this, the more things align in my life. Have you ever noticed that in your life? The same negative pattern will repeat over and over again until one day you decide to be happy and all of a sudden this simple act of not trying to push against or change the situation, to just let go instead means the situation changes. It's like magic! One way I have started letting go is in little things like how my husband and I have different ways of doing things. The teacher in me used to try to teach him the "better way" to cut the onions or the "most efficient" way to load the dishwasher. I thought I was helping, but actually because I wasn't allowing him to just be (as he so often did for me), I was constantly making him feel inferior or not good enough. Even though he may not tell me so in the moment, it would show up later in through being disconnected. Now, when I hear my ego in my mind, I pause and ask myself if it is necessary to speak up and say anything. This simple act has resulted in a happier and more connected marriage.
Another way we can let go of our egos more is to release the roles we play. For so long my identity was so caught up in being an art teacher that I couldn't see myself as something else. It has taken a lot of practice for me to release that egoic role and not identify myself solely with that role I used to and sometimes still play. I am not an art teacher. I am a human who sometimes teaches art. Recently I realized while I had done a lot of work in letting go of my role as a teacher I was still attaching to my ego too much in both of my roles as an artist and in leading my Empowered Vibe Tribe. So much of how we interact with each other these days through social media platforms are just ways for us to stroke our own egos. For every Facebook like and comment we get, the more validated our ego becomes. Just like joy is a process that takes work, so is releasing the ego. It takes commitment to your practice. Last week I noticed that my emotions were tied to how others responded to me and my own false belief systems about how I envisioned people viewing or judging me. None of this was real, but it felt real because I believed it. I was so sensitive to what other people posted on Facebook, even if it wasn't about me, I would convince myself it was. I woke up one day and it was like a bell went off. This is just my EGO! I can choose to release these limiting belief systems. I even moved Facebook off of my home screen on my phone because I was just clicking it and mindlessly scrolling way too much. I have recommitted to be more intentional about when and how I interact with those platforms. And it has been so healing!
The sun has powerful healing affects and also helps in activating your third-eye chakra. Whenever I feel my meditations need a boost I make my way outside and make sure to face the sun.
Just like a flower needs the energy and warmth of the sun to bloom, so do we. Maybe that's why sun bathing feels so good!