Disclaimer: this nugget of self-love knowledge is coming from my personal experience. I am undertaking Life Coaching & NLP but not qualified… yet! So just take this post as some free, fun, loving suggestions from your ol’ pal Betsy. Thank you for reading!
Pssst. Your Ego is showing.
We all have an Ego. It’s the mind’s tool for making snap judgements at a skin-deep level, a weapon and a shield for our self-esteem. The Ego says, “I am different and separate from you, from nature, from Source, and I must protect myself before I allow you to see me authentically”. The Ego says “I must look like them, but I must also be unique, and better”. The Ego says “that belongs to me, not you”, “I’m right, you’re wrong”. The Ego tries to persuade you that you will be happy when you have x, achieve y and are loved by z. The Ego craves material goods, high societal status and acceptance. In these Ego-led notions of quality of life, you are severing the cord that connects you to true peace, to All, Mother Nature, thus the loving animal instinct retreats. The result is a mass production of straight-faced, solitary creatures, rushing through the day with the primary aim of getting to bed that night with their self-esteem intact.
Whilst we can’t escape or eliminate the Ego, spawning from the evolution of our neocortex, the “self-awareness” part of the brain, we can certainly form a much healthier relationship with her/him/them/it (I will refer to the Ego as female due to my relationship with my own).
So, here’s what I learned. The first step to releasing anxiety of the self and returning to a place of authenticity is by calling Ego-thoughts by their true name. Every time you have a negative thought directed at yourself or others, every time you believe you need something outside of your true self to be happy (a job, a lover, a dress, a thinner body, etc), every time you find yourself in an unresourceful state – jealousy, self-shaming, competitiveness, shallow judgement, anger, etc – catch it in the moment and make an internal note that this unnecessary energy is the Ego talking. “Oh, why hello Ego!”
By identifying the feeling as coming from the Ego, you direct your thought processes from your Higher Self, or Soul. For the less New Age readers out there, you’re sending a message to your unconscious mind – the place where the deepest and most effective transformations take root – that you are above and unattached to the bad feeling. The negative vibes are stripped of their former threatening stance, as you observe them from a more objective and forgiving place.
Next, upon calling the Ego out, give her a loving pat on the shoulder and send her on her way. I like to say (internally, unless I’m in a safe space to look like a lunatic), “thank you Ego, that’ll do”. By doing so, you send a further instruction to the unconscious mind that the feeling is impermanent, unwanted, forgiven and officially renounced. The unconscious mind will log this instruction, and the more you do this, the deeper the internal shift. This is the source of all of your habits, and this practice is a chance to break an unhelpful habit and replace it with something wonderful.
The unconscious mind is a powerful ally who will serve you in everything you ask of it, but you must be clear, certain, and positive in your instructions. Fun fact: the unconscious mind does not appropriately digest negative expressions such as “do not” or “I don’t want”. For example, don’t think about a purple pig… what did you just do? See what I mean? So if you lament about how much you don’t want the Ego running the show all day long, the unconscious mind won’t compute, and the positive outcome won’t manifest itself anytime soon. Better to say “I want to lead from my Higher Self,” or clearer still, “unconscious mind, my Soul is in charge today.”
In short, by exposing the Ego and demoting her to a subordinate position every time she makes an appearance (and I mean every time), the Ego gradually diminishes into a small, user-friendly fraction of your character. She wants to be there, so no feeling sorry for her either!
It is the simplest and arguably the most powerful lesson I’ve learned since my expedition of the self. And all the leading authors in New Age spirituality preach what we can consider to be this historic religious teaching. The late Dr Wayne Dyer, Sonia Choquette, Gabby Bernstein, Deepak Chopra, these wonderful Souls have brought this important message into a thriving mainstream Mind Body Spirit industry. I talk about it now with the hope that it reaches those on the very edge of the fence between psychology and spirituality, in an accessible capacity.
Even the greatest Zen-masters have regular dealings with their Egos. It’s part of being human. The trick is nipping the negativity in the bud before it takes hold. It requires practice and forgiveness to find the right balance, as with any lifestyle change. It’s taken me about six months to make a habit of Ego-spotting, but I have come so far in the transition.
Aside from the obvious outcome – a loving attitude towards self and others – I have seen several benefits to this practice on an external and unconscious (spiritual) level. Externally, I laugh more, I look after my health, I care about others more than I care about what I look like, I make sensible choices and play without hesitation, to name just a few qualities. Unconscious outcomes manifest as pleasant dreams, powerful intuitive moments and overall internal quiet. And the greatest outcome of all is the permanent, default feeling of peace, love and security. That is, I lead a life from my Higher Self, my Soul.
So next time you get a vibe that doesn’t come from a place of love, catch it, identify it for what it truly is – your Ego – and lovingly let her go with unconditional forgiveness. You deserve this.
In honour of Dr Wayne Dyer, one of the greatest teachers of the Ego, let me end this post with one of his quotes:
Peace, love and happy Ego-spotting ❤