Your ego is out to protect you. While this is often helpful, it can also serve to keep you small and constrained to a limited “comfort zone.” It does this, for example, by coming up with unfounded scary stories and excuses that stop you from steaming ahead and achieving your goals. These are often unconscious, automatic, habitual reactions arising out of conditioned experiences and beliefs.
Ego is sometimes defined as your self-image, the opinion that you have of yourself or how you see yourself. We use the word “ego” here to refer to identification with thoughts and emotions; an identification that in the extreme is like a dog following a scent automatically, instinctively, robotically, as if in a trance. More generally we can think of ego as being identified with our sense of self, our possessions, status and self-importance. It is closely tied with our sense of separation and deep need to be enough, accepted and valued. The needs of our ego – like security and social acceptance – are the reason why the feeling of not enough is a universal malady. The sense of a separate self keeps our seeming incompleteness and suffering in place.
We might almost say that loving your ego is like loving your “comfort zone,” where you feel safe, secure and protected, and unwilling to stretch yourself far outside of it. It’s alright to feel safe, secure and protected. Yet, the better you understand life, the greater your propensity to step out of ego and do spectacular things outside of your comfort zone. Why would you even want to do that? Because it will make you feel alive and accomplished, fuel your gratitude and stimulate “feel good” happy brain chemicals. It will help others too.
The stakes are high. Your happiness is tied to progress towards the achievement of worthwhile goals, to living your values, fulfilling essential needs and to contribution and service, participating fully in the game of life.
Stepping out of ego and into effortless awareness or mindful presence doesn’t mean playing life in a small way. You can be humble without being a wallflower. Stepping out of ego and into awareness, could be the greatest and most amazing adventure of your life. It’s a journey, or simply a switch, from a fragile, sensitive, separate self to oneness with life itself – tough, resilient and indestructible spirit. Throw your useless emotional “baggage” overboard! Consider exchanging your baggage for “BAGS.”
Breathe – gently notice your breath as you look around in a relaxed way
Animating Presence – get in touch with your appreciative awareness
Gratitude – see and sense the beauty around you without the ego-mind
Surrender to the sunshine of Source – and feel at one with life
Let’s just say be the flow. This is a powerful foundation to work from, especially compared to the alternative modus operandi of monkey mindthat draws on accumulated emotional and fearful baggage as a basis for choices, decisions and results. This is your life. This is your opportunity to upgrade your joy.
So, don’t be attached to your ego, (thought-identification), it just keeps you small, even if you have an important position and are financially successful, with many tangible assets. All we’re saying is that you will look and feel better without the weight of maintaining your ego-persona. Paradoxically, you will value yourself more than ever before and will learn to accept yourself completely. Recognize that you are a miracle and that you are an integral part of our amazing universe, along with everyone else. In contrast, maintaining one’s ego is hard work and places you on an emotional roller coaster.
You may think that the emotional lows are an acceptable sacrifice for the high emotional peaks. Yet, with your ego set aside, you can live in a state of peace, love, joy and gratitude as the flow, in the flow. You can focus on living your values and pursuing authentic, meaningful goals. The emotional roller coaster is no substitute for living with poise, equanimity and the joy of true presence.
Revel in your oneness with the cosmos, your authentic self, living values such as freedom and love; adventures and gratitude; and service in support of your purpose or mission. You might think of freedom, love and adventure as experiencing moments, the goodness or beauty of this world. And you might think of gratitude and service as giving to the world – and as you give you shall receive. “Your world” comprises the environments and experiences that you choose consciously, or which occur by default when no conscious choice is made.
Source: Peak Performance!! Awaken & Achieve available on Amazon
In Part 2 of this series we will show you how to break free from ego’s monkey mind, which is one of the most important lessons that you could ever learn. There is a path out of “the matrix” of society’s bonds involving materialism, social comparisons, and cultural environments like family and work.