It can be tough sometimes to start something new or pick up where you left off at something… Often though, the challenge is merely a projection from the ego through a filter of fear, making the situation feel harder than it really is.
As I’ve begun getting back to my normal and more active routine after foot surgery, I’ve been struggling more than usual with my ego. As you can imagine, having limited use of one of your feet for any period of time is less than ideal; a circumstance I have done my best to take in stride over the past 12 weeks. During that time there were days where I'd like nothing more than to be able to be on my yoga mat enjoying a juicy flow class or be out for run, walk or bike ride but most days, simply making it down the stairs to the kitchen was exhausting. Some days it was maddening! But, as my foot has healed up and gotten stronger, I’ve been able to do more and more. I’ve now mostly returned to my normal routine and I thought this would leave me feeling happy for how far I've come in the healing journey. For the most part it did but then other times that crafty little voice in my head (ego) would show up, trying to rain on the progress parade. Some days it was really hard to tune that little guy out and this got me thinking about the thoughts, actions and choices that supported my inner light in its battle against ego.
1) Focus Your Thoughts On the Now
The ego is always focused on the past or future and/or expectations and this causes us to fret and worry, robbing of us the present moment. When you catch yourself leaving the present moment, silently (or out loud) say “Stop. I wish to come back to now”. Take a deep breathe in and exhale. Then, ask yourself “Can I do anything about this right now?” If the answer is no, then release it with your breathe. If the answer is yes, release the fret and worry and take action.
Keep healthy awareness on your expectations. When you feel frustrated or disappointed, ask your self if this is because of an expectation? Releasing what you think should happen creates opportunity for the unexpected and engage the flow. You'll be surprised how pleasantly surprised you'll be by this.
2) Take Action to Connect Within
When I notice my "little i" popping up more than usual, its a sign to connect with the light within. Meditating, a yoga class, and/or spending some time alone are all great actions that support connecting to your essence.
Keep in mind that you ego will resist these acts of connection, but push through. The brighter your inner light shines the harder it gets for the ego to succeed. Be aware of its resistance when it shows up but reaffirm that darkness cannot exist when there is light.
3) Choose Love. Choose Trust.
The ego can be pretty hard on us and deflate us, if we let it. Aspiring to be the best version of yourself is important as is holding yourself accountable but remember to be kind to yourself too. When ego presents fear, the light of love will push it away--choosing love can be as simple as accepting that you are human and that the ebbs and flows of the human experience are perfectly imperfect. Choose love and give yourself a break when you need to.
Also, whatever ego has you worrying over, remind yourself how far you've come, of everything you've faced, all the battles you have won, and all of the fears you've overcome before. Acknowledge that you've done just fine in the past dealing with whatever life has presented and choose to trust the knowing that you'll do just fine again... and again... and again.
So, next time you find yourself in an ego battle, I hope you'll remember these thoughts, actions and decisions and try them out for yourself. When my ego crept in and became an un-welcomed critic of my post-surgery progress, these were tools I used to identify the ego-invasion and stay in the light.
Using these tools is easier said than done- the concepts themselves are easy enough but doing them can be another story...but stick with it, even if it takes a while to master their use, its ok. You're learning and that's part of the journey. Even as you begin, know you have arrived.
love & light,