Synchronicity! I just discovered that the date I shared my video “Lasting Happiness starts with EGO Awareness” on YouTube was May 10, 2011. Seven years later, I am delighted that we now have a day devoted to being more aware of our ego and enhance our skills to consciously choose the identity we showcase to the world.
In fact, my blog was originally titled EgoAwareness.Me, primarily to provide a reflective forum to focus our attention and notice the distinctions between our natural self vs. our mind-made self. After a few years, I changed its name to Mindful Choices to also showcase the benefits of living in a state of awareness and making choices independent of our fear, greed and ego.
While the ego is nothing to be vilified, we do need to keep tabs on it to make sure that the created identity that we try to project to the outside world does not become synonymous with who we really are. The old adage, “Fake it till you make it,” could easily be the setup for a perfect trap that misleads us. Getting carried away by our mind can prove to be very unhealthy in the long run. Being aware and acknowledging our ego for its role in motivating us to aspire to greater heights and accomplish feats that we otherwise may not have achieved is important. At the same time, it is also important to be aware of the intention behind every endeavor because, in the end, our peace of mind comes down to being at peace with our intentions, not our results.
During the past few years, I have always wondered about the role of ego in living a mindful life. While paying close attention to our feelings, emotions and sensations help us to strengthen our ability to be present with them, I found that it does not necessarily notice and differentiate between the identities that occupy our minds. In addition, I have come across several individuals who have been practicing mindfulness for years and still confess that they are unable to distinguish their egoic urge from their authentic intentions.
Personally, I am indebted to Eckhart Tolle for helping me clearly see the separation between my egoic self and my natural authentic self. Today, I can confidently attribute my feelings of being offended, frustrated or disappointed as a sign of failure only in terms of meeting the needs of my egoic self. Finding ways to recognize and acknowledge the situations where my ego takes charge has been extremely helpful in bringing peace and avoiding a lot of conflict and angst in my life.
Of the twenty plus true stories in my book, Beyond the PIG and the APE: Realizing Success and true Happiness, my favorite is the one titled Moving Mountains, a story about the birth of baby Fianna and her first Christmas with her adopted parents. The story, in a nutshell, revolves around a loving couple eager to become parents, a calm pregnant woman, and her attentive boyfriend, along with their families awaiting the birth of a baby girl, whom one nurse dubbed The Christmas Angel. It also includes a skilled and humane lawyer who drove several hours in a neck brace to work with officials from two states who overcame the two-week bureaucracy in two days so that this new baby could be home for Christmas.
The story highlights the beauty of possibility and potential for miracles when “people go outside themselves” and go beyond the confines of being run by their hidden influences and make their choices by transcending their need to feed or protect their egos.
I am grateful to all the individuals who have contributed to making this day possible and for observing World Ego Awareness Day in their own way, thereby raising the consciousness of humanity at this critical juncture in our existence. May we all learn joyfully from each other every day.
— Krishna Pendyala
Originally published at mindfulchoices.org