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Taming the Ego While Increasing Our Mindfulness

What a wonderful gift to give ourselves for 2020, however, how does one do that? Admittedly, I struggle with this more than I’d like to admit. In my search for helpful practices, I found a helpful article by Amy Jirsa, a master herbalist and yoga teacher, on mbgmindfullness.

What exactly is the challenging part of the ego? It’s that little voice inside of us that is the source of worry, anxiety and suffering. The ego is what keeps us locked away in our own little world, separated from the present moment or mindfulness by inspiring fear, self-judgment and judgment of others. Ego helps us with survival so it is essential, but when it oversteps it’s boundaries, takes over, it prevents our own higher guidance from calling the shots.
Let’s think about the source of any of our anxieties. I’m going to bet (and I’m not a gambling woman) a lot of them have to do with future issues (i.e. “if I don’t get this raise, then…” or “what if I never meet someone…” or, even, “what will I wear to the…”). But here’s the secret, the future does not exist anywhere but in our mind. Thinking of time vertically instead of linearly is helpful. The future above, the past below, and the present in front of you. Stand strong in the light in each and every moment and your future will line up perfectly.
All these future events we’re worrying about? They truly don’t exist. Here’s the deal, maybe we won’t get that promotion. What happens then? Well, realistically, we’ll deal with it in the moment just like we’ve always dealt with any challenge. Projecting and worrying is a waste of our energy. When we find ourselves projecting we need to ask ourselves the following question: can I do anything about this right now? If the answer is no, then stop worrying.Worrying is meditating on what you don’t want. You actually can draw to you what you fear, Listen to our breath and allow it to bring us into the moment. Let’s do something that brings us joy. If the answer is yes, then stop worrying (and get busy).
And the same thing applies to the past. The ego loves to keep us trapped there—rehashing old hurts, perceived mistakes, old regrets. Realistically, what good do these obsessions do? Hey, we’ve done the best we could. Time to move on. Forgive the control that the negative situation had over our ability to have peace and the ability to move forward in a healthy way,

So, how do we free ourselves from this ego? It ain’t easy–the concepts are–just not the doing part. The moment you think you have it figured out, you’re suddenly anxious again, projecting forward or back, building fear upon fear until the present moment is so far gone that you have no idea what you did that day. The ego thrives on separating us from the present moment.
Amy recommends the following 3 step as a proven approach. She states that she’s definitely not free from worry or anxiety, but at least now she has the tools to identify it and move on. So here we go:
1. Choose Love: In the words of Gabrielle Bernstein, a spiritual and motivational speaker, “Whenever you’re afraid, it’s proof that you’ve turned your back on love and chosen to have faith in the ego.” In her philosophy, love is the only emotion. Fear is an illusion. Gabrielle says as soon as you have a fearful or anxious thought, tell yourself, “love did not create this thought, and so it is not real.” You’ll have a whole new perspective on your situation. It’s amazing how solutions suddenly occur once you’re no longer trapped in the fear/anxiety loop. Love is the highest vibration especially unconditional love and truly can conquer all.
2. Never Complain: Complaining keeps us locked in negativity. Think about it–who wants to hang out with someone who complains as their pastime? Not me. Amy says–why complain even to yourself? This is the source from which self-disgust, self-hatred, and self-sabotage — and the ego loves it, this self-imposed separation. Try it for a week, and see what happens. See how life opens up. When you indulge in negative emotions you lower your vibration and draw more negativity.It is ok to feel it for the moment, then remember to be your own best friend, not worst enemy.
3. If All Else Fails, Just Be Grateful: It’s hard to be down and out while also feeling gratitude which helps diminish the ego. This whole practice of dissolving ego is like one big detox so there can be anger challenges along the way. So when the anger strikes just grab a piece of paper and begin writing down all the things for which you are grateful. This is your one small step back toward your path. Gratitude even for small things counts, and helpful whenever you feel down as well.
And lastly, Amy states: “Working on yourself in this way can be exhausting, I know. But don’t think you have to do it all at once; don’t feel like you’ve failed if you have a fearful or anxious thought. That striving for perfection? What do you think that is? Yep. Ego. The ego wants a destination and it wants to get there. Right now. We are all created in God’s image and one with God which is pure love.There is no separation. That is an illusion. The ego tries to edge God out. The work you’re doing here is a journey and it’s a journey taken in very small, manageable steps. Let each step be a destination of its own, if that’s what drives you. Each breath, each moment, each movement you make is your destination. Even as you begin, know you have already arrived.” I love this!
Happy 2020!
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