Sometimes I Just Don’t FEEL Like “Blah-ging”
Today, let’s pay tribute to our tricky friend, the Ego (yes, you read that right!)
The Ego has received a bad rap for quite a while. But for as much trouble and life-lesson-learning as this character can subject us to, its intentions are pure. It’s developed to help us survive throughout the ages as we’ve evolved, protecting us from danger and instrumental in the ‘fight or flight’ response of the nervous system.
We’ve done pretty well - now that the everyday doesn’t necessarily pose an impending threat to our lives to survive, one could say the Ego has lost its sense of purpose. No wonder it’s compensating for us these days! So instead of casting an old friend out in the cold, let’s do something radical and have fun with it. Consciously Awesome Meditations help to do just the opposite of ‘trying to overcome the ego’. With practice, we learn to embrace the ego, including it in the circle of our arms’ and heart’s affection by the simple shift into a role with a new purpose - hold us steady and keep us grounded while we bring in the abundance!
Woah Nelly! Riding these waves of energy takes practice. Call it a surge of solar flares, the shift of the Earth’s magnetic molten core, the evolution of life into a higher consciousness, or a combination, even the most level-headed of us will have their whacked-out, emotionally exhausting days.
There may be some noticeable workload changes or social/home life demands that are requiring more of our involvement, more time investment, demanding more of us to show up, exerting and expressing ourselves with greater intention. Go ahead and ask around, ask your friends, your family, your colleagues and co-workers - have they been experiencing a surge of energy lately or a curiously excessive demand in their daily lives than normal? Are coincidences piling up?
Show up! Make note of those intentions! Going through the motions is a great way to nail down fluidity, if there is such a walking contradiction, but it doesn’t support us as much anymore. We’ve got to shift with this changing influx of energy, and the best way to do that is to hone in on what you truly want out of life. So, each thought or emotion you express, each action you follow through with can be backed by a mindful intention. These new waves of energy we’re swimming in will carry you, me, and each one of us to help with that follow through.
Great. So checking in with my ego here, listening as a friendly companion to its wants and needs, I’m telling it, “Thank you, ego, for keeping me well-grounded in my day and on Earth while I carry out my highest intentions.” Everyone’s highest intentions are different and may change from one day to the next, just as what ‘doing your best’ looks like will change from day to day. That’s allowed (yes, you read that right, too).
So my ego here is saying, “Great. That’s just great John: riding with the tide, living up to your intentions, doing your best and not beating yourself up for mistakes, because those are all a part of the process. What wonderful be-ing we are, right? Awesome. But sometimes, even still, I just don’t feel like showing up today. I want bed. I want some sheet-snuggle and sprawled-out loafing time. I just want to loosen the bootstraps for a minute and not have to think about what I need to do, let alone doing, even with all the heart-centered intentions and passion behind it.”
Positivity doesn’t have to be a profession, it’s a state of being, and we need to allow ourselves the change as we feel it. Talking to the ego as a friend, thanking it for doing its new job of simply keeping us grounded helps channel this fluid, felt-out and undefined process, especially when the daily requirements of being awesome are layered over with a nice topping of emotions to acknowledge and allow. Yes, you are, we are, and can always be more - superhuman. “Sweet,” says the ego, “but even superhumans need to take time out for themselves.” Listen to your ego.
Did Someone Order the Stress Platter?
Performance is a common and qualified theme in our functional society today. In business and the professionalism that we’re trained to cultivate from the first quarter of our lives, we’re hard-wire programmed to push ourselves to - not necessarily be our personal best, mind you, but - be the best. Because hey, there’s a lot of competition out there and if you’re not working to be the best, it doesn’t really look like you’re making the effort to work.
Some great old-job themes of the Ego standing out here. Look familiar? Striving to survive, long enough to stay alive and thrive. Work toward retirement, pay your dues, and then feel good enough to claim your life for yourself, feel accomplished and do whatever you want. Quality of work based on quantity of production, punctuality and meeting deadlines,
No matter how motivated we may feel, operating in everyday life with contingency on the above principles induces some level of pressure that can lead to an unnecessary sense of stress. Take the word ‘deadline’ in and of itself - it says, “live up to this standard or experience the death of your best intentions and efforts.” It gives off a programmed sense that if work is not met within a given time frame, somehow the quality of that produced work is diminished. That’s the old sense of the Ego working to protect ourselves to survive in the working world of ever-increasing demand for higher performance.
Now, make sure you’re interpreting me correctly here, it feels great when we can live up to these standards; setting intentions, completing projects, and making the hat trick to finish them in a professional and timely manner. By no means am I endorsing a semi-slacker lifestyle (even though my ego may wish to!). With this contingent mentality framing our efforts however, the stress that’s automatically invited along with it, in some subtle level of context, will affect the performance of those efforts.
Now that I’ve got you thinking about it, does that sound like something you want in your life if you had control over it? Personally, my transforming ego says, “No thanks!”
It’s simple: we will always perform better with relaxed nerves and a clear mind. Pressure can be a great motivator, seeing us perform beyond our own expectations when applied in a healthy way. The consistent presence of stress to perform in the backdrop of our minds however will cloud our thoughts, seeing us ‘drop the ball’ in some area amidst the melee of busyness for everything we take on from one day to the next. And over time, if we’re not careful to listen to our basic needs (that supportive, transformed ego!), constantly pushing ourselves will cause us to hold on to unnecessary stress that can manifest into many forms of illness. When we’re ill or even just dogged down, we’re incapable of fulfilling that ability to be our best.
So, how can you walk that trending line of doing what you want and performing what’s required of you in your quality of work while feeling good and comfortably buzzed about it?
Playing Games with the Ego
Our old sense of the ego is called ‘tricky’ because it plays games with our better sense of self, thinking it’s helping us by giving us what we want and finding so many ways to justify that, even if we know (or are discovering, or don’t know) that those ‘wants’ won’t give us a true sense of fulfillment.
“Hey, I’m just here to help,” says the Ego. Okay Ego, here’s a game for you now. It’s time to turn the tables.
We’re going to play something called, “How much can I admit to myself?”
It works like an adult version of the young and fun ‘truth or dare’ game, except it can also be ‘truth and dare’ and you play by yourself. There is no judgement in this game, so it’s a great opportunity to open up to yourself, explore your likes and dislikes deeper as well as the inner workings of what makes you tick. WARNING: in this game, be prepared to laugh with yourself - laugh with your ego.
The beauty of playing this game is reflected in the idea that you don’t have to change your lifestyle to welcome ‘the new’ and excitement into your life. Sometimes a change of perspective is all you need to melt the feelings of stress that may be weighing on the mind, the neck and the back. Oh yes, it’s a whole new way to massage the Ego.
Outcomes of the game:
- You’ll find that your choice to be more open with yourself and others becomes easier and more readily available.
- You’ll gain a deeper sense of security, confidence, and creativity in the way you express yourself.
- You’ll develop a better sense of your habits along with the power to shift them more easily based on how they make you feel.
- You’ll cultivate a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual position of personal comfort that you can operate from no matter the task, social situation, or external environment. It will be your launching pad that you can always come back to, no matter where life or your dreams may take you.
Ready to play?
- Check in with yourself regularly
- Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, uncomfortable, or ‘not like yourself’, ask yourself, “Is this feeling mine?”
- As we grow, evolve, open up and expand our consciousness, we become more prone to stimulants and feelings from our immediate environment, taking on these factors oftentimes without realizing it, then finding ourselves in some funky attitude and simply reflecting that we’ve had an ‘off-day’, and these can add up without addressing the issue. By checking in and asking this question, realizing that what we’re feeling isn’t even ours to begin with helps to immediately dissolve those factors and emotions so that we can get back to feeling in tune with ourselves.
- When feeling resistance or a block toward some form of engagement, be it a social interaction, a work task, chore or even personal interest, ask yourself, “What do I really want at this moment?”
- Sometimes engaging in an opportunity or requirement is just a matter of timing: when you feel it, you’re ready and you do it; when you’re not feeling it, it can’t be helped. So in these times, consider putting it on the shelf for the moment. There’s certainly something else you could be doing that you’d feel better about. You can always come back to that particular thing later, and by then you’ll be in a better mindset to take it on with your vibrant self.
- Sometimes the hesitation can be attributed to the structured beliefs surrounding the task: those insecure feelings of “What if?” for scenarios going an undesirable way based on past experiences, stories of others, social conditioning, etc. By questioning for yourself how you really feel about it, you may find that those surrounding beliefs were simply adopted or impressed upon you, but in your own world they’re really not any concern of yours. Congratulations! You can drop them now.
- Start here and find out how you really feel about it, then proceed with the courage to live that way for yourself. You do not have to convince or prove anything to anyone - you are free to express your personal truths. And even if you still have to meet certain requirements within a job, relationship or otherwise, you have at least dispelled the pressure of obligation, feeling better about being yourself while doing it.
2. Question Your Beliefs
- Write down as many of your convictions about life in general, they way you see others, certain groups of people, the habits of others, your own habits, programs of society that you adhere to or abscond, etc. After you have created a list of length to your content (and you can always add to it), go through each belief and ask yourself, “Does this make me feel good?”
- IMPORTANT: the key here is to focus on the good feeling, i.e. uplifted, empowerment you can readily share, loving, etc. This does not mean feeling justified. We all feel secure when we can find a way to justify our beliefs. That’s our tricky old ego serving to protect us in the life we’ve agreed to, whether consciously or subconsciously. This can be a false sense of security that ropes us off from the risk of a greater understanding and sense of fulfillment in our lives.
- While playing this part of the game it helps to pretend that there’s no such thing as a fact. If facts are supposed to be permanent, consider that everything is a matter of perspective, the only constant in this world is change, and the beliefs we hold are what determines our reality. Allow our beliefs to be fluid, to change, and our reality changes along with the ever-evolving Universe that we help create, just by be-ing. (Thank you Ego, for keeping me grounded and alive on Earth while I go exploring what it means ‘to be’.)
- The point here is to move out of the personal comfort zone you’re used to, to expand it; to find out if your convictions really are your own, and discover how they affect the way you see and function in life. If you find out they don’t make you feel good, hold you back or they’re not even yours, you’ll also find that you have the power to change them! Talk to your ego, ask what does really make you feel good, and make the agreement with yourself to believe in what supports you to be the best you can be. Write those down along with your previous list.
3. Trick the Trickster
- Spend a little time in self-reflection and explore all the various aspects that you feel define who you are as a person. Is it the way you interact with others or certain people? Is it a personality trait? Is it a desire or sense of being that you’ve always wanted to embrace but have struggled to express? Is it the way you see yourself in the mirror?
- When you fall upon something you identify with that you do not like, wish to change, improve or simply expand upon, focus on that aspect. Open your heart to feeling what it means to you, the way that you sense it within yourself now. Ask yourself how you’d prefer to see it; would it still be a part of how you identify yourself, would it change or would it dissolve altogether.
- This here is the bonus round baby, the fun challenge of the overall game. The Ego is so good at its job of protection, even if we find ourselves caught in a habit or belief that we’d like to change, it will inflate itself to validate that the old habit or belief is ‘okay’, keeping us locked in an undesirable pattern of self-betrayal and compensation. It’s inflation can manifest in so many ways of self-sabatoge, looming guilt, overzealous pride, inflexible convictions, as well as narrow vision and the need to judge and justify “right and wrong” at every turn.
- The trick in tricking that tricky trickster? No tongue-twisters or strict identifiers; the Ego already does that. Play into it’s neutral nature by shifting the take on its own game: reflect, identify, and instead of judging, find a heart-centered perspective that embraces and accepts you and that particular habit or belief for what it is.
- Acknowledge that that particular aspect does not define you, it’s merely a current reflection in your fluid state of be-ing. And so without having the Ego attach you to “a procrastinator”, for example, as an identifying sense of self, you’re free to move beyond qualifying yourself within that aspect; you let go of judgement so that you can expand the sense of who you are and change your habits or beliefs with ease.
You are the ever-transforming be-ing of your own creation and self-discovery!
To help give you some incentive and get started playing, I’ll go first and shed some light on my personal ego transformation I’d been embarrassed to admit before. I will say like any other game, it’s a process that takes practice to get better at overtime. It feels uncomfortable and awkward at first, but you’ll find yourself smiling and having a lot of fun once you start getting the hang of it.
I used to be a crastinator, that is until I turned pro. When I did, I noticed that no matter how hard I worked at any job I did, trying my best to be professional, I still had a hard time holding onto one. I got really good at making excuses for myself, playing on the sympathies of employers, raging at the obnoxious emphasis that society places on punctuality and deadlines, and staying unemployed, looking for a job that better-suited my preferred flexibility toward performance. Thanks Ego! It got me to focus on what I really wanted, despite the side-effects: I could do a lot of jobs, I could work really hard and be a good employee, but what really makes me happy is having a flexible schedule. That helped me find a career path that suits me.
I’m still a procrastinator and I’m still working on that, and that’s OK. I feel good about where I’m at and that I’m still trying my best as I’m experiencing this transformation. I still have my moments ~ I didn’t even feel like writing this blog today ~ I was supposed to post it by 6 a.m. this morning. But as my administrators are gracious to see past my shortcomings (or shall we say, delayed-comings), I can feel good about sharing with you all, put my best into it by focusing on that good feeling and hope that you’ve taken something valuable to experience for yourselves.
I’d love to know, as I know others would too, so please share and comment on what makes you a real superhuman by accepting and expressing as much as you can admit to yourself.
With an Ace up my sleeve for manual magicianry, the Love wielded unconditionally makes transitioning effortless alongside multilevel and lingual communication – of which I prefer calm quiet the most, since listening is the key that opens doors to anyone’s personal gain.