Day by Day We Get Better and Better!

When I stopped blogging a few months ago, I told myself that it was for very legitimate and noble reasons. As I would say to everyone including myself, “I’m not sure where I’m going with this blog and I just need some clarity before I continue moving forward with it.”

I wasn’t lying. It was true. I was confused and I felt I needed to establish a sense of direction.

But, that was a half-truth. I was denying to myself and to those around me the other half of the reality… the real reason that I had encountered one of the strongest doses of writer’s block I have ever experienced.

The other side to this story is that I had lost complete confidence in myself. One little critical comment from someone close to me threw me off track way out into some strange abyss and I wondered if I could even write anymore.

I felt as though I were writing like a child. I felt like my ideas were jumbled, mixed up and irrelevant. And, I thought that it made no difference if I kept this blog up or not since I didn’t think it was having an impact on anyone. Really? How could I forget that there were people following my blog? Lovely people… people who gave me feedback and talked about my blog.

The reality is that my ego saw an opening and it tore me apart. When someone says anything negative or critical about us or what we put out into the world, it isn’t a true reflection of who we are and what we are creating. Remember that.

I forgot that. I internalized what was said to me and what’s worse is that I let it fester and grow inside me. A whole series of lies inside my mind were being concocted about my self-worth and the value I bring to the world through my blog.

I have recently begun studying A Course in Miracles and in it we learn that the ego is an illusion. All that it conjures up- not true. Not one bit. What someone else may say about you is simply their opinion and has nothing to do with the reality of who you are and what you bring to the world. The ego (and I’m not talking about theirs, but our very own) will twist anything to shut us down and attempt to extinguish our light.

The reality is that our light can never be extinguished AND we have every right to shine it out to the world. The ego will try to convince you that you aren’t perfect in your own right, but the reality is that you and I have come to this planet with a beautiful light, not a tainted light, whose only purpose is to shine out.

When you think a negative thought about yourself that makes you feel small or that feels constricting and painful, that is the ego trying to bring you down.

In these moments, you must remember that you have a very important mission on this planet. You have been assigned the task to shine your light no matter what.

What does this mean?

It means doing what makes you feel expansive. It means cultivating the love and joy in your heart and spreading that to those around you.

Moral of the story: You’re the light, don’t let the clouds hinder your sight of how beautifully you shine.

Here’s a bit on clouds: they’re misty, ephemeral and you can fly right through them straight to the light of your soul. We ALL know that. We just have to remember. That light is real. The clouds are not.

So, this post touches a lot on our solar plexus chakra, the seat of our feelings of self-worth and place in the world. The thought of posting the following video made me laugh a bit, but if I’m going to keep this real and follow the impulses of my soul, it has to be posted. So, when my solar plexus chakra is feeling a bit weak and downtrodden and in need of major building up… I sometimes find watching this video helpful:

Oh yes, “day by day we get better and better!” Okay, I actually think we are already complete and great, but we get better at not letting this ego overtake us and bring us down. It won’t beat us into submission.

I promised myself that I wouldn’t get embarrassed by posting that video. And, I’m not.

Photo credit: Lovelight by EverJean from Flickr.

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The Cunning Ego

Oooh yes, today’s post is all about that frenemy of ours, the ego. And, if you’re wondering why I called it a frenemy instead of an enemy, it’s because we keep it so close, we appease it and tend to it, yet we so often want to kill the darn thing. It truly is akin to that frenemy relationship. Anyways, let’s dive into it, shall we?

So, the ego, as you know is a cunning character that takes so many different forms. At the overt and more obvious levels, the ego manifests as cockiness, jealousy, and feelings of separateness. And, some of us fall into the trap of thinking this is it that is what the ego is. Simple just work to get over these states and you’ve conquered the ego. However, once one becomes aware of these manifestations of the ego in their life and begins the path of healing and reconciling with their true nature (aka getting over the cockiness, jealousy and feelings of separateness), one may seem to have conquered the ego, but this may not be so. This is where many people often fall into a trap. We may not be contending with the overt ego anymore, but once these incarnations of the ego are overcome, it devises new ways to enter into our lives. I see myself at times in the thick of this trap. And, in fact, I’m sometimes so stuck in it, that I’m not even aware of it. I’d venture to say that despite our work, many of us are there together in the muddy egoic swamps at times. Sometimes, it’s something as seemingly innocent as feeling special about our “gifts” or feeling like our souls must be quite advanced or other such concepts that when you really sit with them, are kind of silly!

I digress for a moment here. Our essence recognizes that we are all truly gifted and it is our purpose to be of service and to be of service means not just to do something for someone. Our task is to cultivate our essence and in so doing, that process will reveal our gifts and then we are to share the gifts. Because it is in sharing our gifts which allows us to shine our light that we create the energy and space for others to discover their gifts and shine their light. And, that is how we are of highest service.

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”– Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

But, let’s go back to the many faces of the ego for a minute. I was on the phone today with my dad and I was talking about how the ego just seems to put on a new mask every time you feel like you’ve overcome an aspect of it. That led me to say that we always have to be “on guard against the ego”. And now as I write this a few hours later, I realize that is NOT it at all. It’s actually the opposite. If anything, being compelled to be on guard against the ego is another mask that the ego is donning. The ego, not our true essence, is what is compelling me to have that sense of needing to be on guard to catch it. That’s because it’s the ego that keeps us trapped, keeps us small and keeps us in that place where we actually need to be on guard. Being on guard means you’re closed, you’re holding yourself back, and it is akin to being in the fight, flight or freeze mode. Being on guard means that you are not free. You can’t let go in other words. This is not spirit talk, this is ego talk. Our true essence compels us to let go, to be free and to allow.

Now, the ego has been on so many people’s death row for a little while now and probably with good reason. I mean it takes a drop of realization and connection with your true self to feel its lightness, freedom and love as opposed to the heaviness of the ego. So, no wonder people want to be done with the ego and embrace their spirit! However, we overcome the ego, not by sinking down and resorting to its own tactics. The ego thrives on war. And, it’s in war that you need to be vigilant and on guard against the “enemy”. On the other hand, the strength of our essence, stills our divisions and all the fractionated parts of “us” and allows us to see the holistic, big picture. It’s like in the Bhagavad Gita when Krishna drives his chariot between the two armies and stills the battle as he gives his teachings to Arjuna. Killing the ego is a drive compelled by the ego itself. There is no killing the ego, to aim to do so only strengthens it. Spirit overcomes all by shining its light and love. It is in that way that it tames the ego. Therefore, we overcome the ego by cultivating our essence our true spirit. It is from that place that we become aware and we see beyond the illusions of ego (in any of its manifestations). The heart extends love and beauty in all directions.

Check out this video and listen for the main underlying message. The key is not to demolish the ego, but to let the heart be in the driver’s seat.

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Photo credit: Masks by exfordy

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