The other day while I was meditating, I literally observed a conversation in my mind between my ego and my true self.
wtf. That sounds crazy.
To break it down quickly (and broadly, and in my own interpretation, not necessarily in fact.):
The ego is all the facets of who you think you are and who you have created yourself to be. It's not an arrogance thing; the ego includes your conditioning, your beliefs, your world view, your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, the changing aspects of your mood and mental states, and any & everything else that makes you, you.
Your true self however, is the part of you that does not change. That's the you that God created exactly perfectly. That's the soul-level you. The absolute best and purest form of who you are at your core. It's your light, your goodness and your capacity to give and receive love.
Two very different (both awesome, valid and important to understand) sides of yourself. The goal of yoga or meditation or prayer or fasting or any other journey of growth and healing is to learn to identify the difference between those two and then rewire the brain to operate from the true you instead of the ego you.
It's not negating or killing the ego. It's more like, let the True You run the show and allow the Ego You to add a little extra pizzaz and sparkle.
The issue here is, the ego doesn't really want to give up the spotlight. The ego does not like it's cage rattled when it's used to be the star of the show.
Hence, time to rattle the cage.
I sat down to meditate with the intention of understanding why I struggle maintaining a regular and committed yoga practice.
The conversation went something like this: (paraphrasing here..)
True Self: Whats the deal with the yoga?
Ego Self: I don't know, I just don't feel like doing it. I don't think I need to do it....
I still meditate! (Sometimes...)
TS: Why do you think you don't need to do it?
ES: I dunno. (kicks the ground, sigh exhale)
TS: Let me ask you this, do you have mastery over your life?
ES: (radio silence.)
TS: Are you in complete control of your habits, patterns and behaviors?
ES: Well, not complete control, I suppose.
TS: Don't you think a committed yoga practice would help you gain mastery over every aspect of your life, especially over those things you don't feel like doing?
ES: I dunno, maybe.....
TS: Do you think that you will have the capacity to do all the grand things in life you desire to do if you lack the discipline to move your body for an hour a day?
ES: I guess not....
TS. ::mic drop::
Then, I felt crazzzzyyy sensations inside my body and something changed in my brain.
I looked into the depths of who I have created myself to be, and I saw all the excuses and BS that I have built my persona around.
I saw fear of failure and fear of success. I saw feelings of ineptitude and unworthiness. I saw justification of laziness that perpetuate inertia and stagnation.
But with all the love in my heart for myself and grace for everything I have endured and experienced up to this point, I finally got a clear understanding what mastery over your life actually means.
It doesn't mean depriving yourself.
It doesn't mean never indulging or being a straight arrow all the time.
It doesn't mean being a robot or a fun-sponge or Donna Downer.
But what it does mean is, not allowing the ego to make decisions on auto-pilot.
It means identifying and understanding cravings for food, alcohol, physical touch, laziness, or whatever else instead of just caving in to them all the time.
It means developing patterns of behavior that contribute to balance and harmony amongst the mind, body and soul.
It means having the capacity to bring your best self to every situation. Even and especially the tough ones.
I don't expect that my recent experiences will make a difference to you, honestly.
Most people will probably read this and not care to explore it any farther.
A lot of people probably won't even read this far, haha.
But if you've made it this far, I just want you to know that you are exactly and wonderfully perfect just as you are.
You are not broken and you do not need fixing.
(Please re-read those two statement for emphasis.)
However, the option for evolvement is always available to us as humans.
I'm sharing all this for my own growth more than anything. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Changing patterns of procrastination and shame. Marching forward with zeal toward my goals.
It would be way easier to just not do it. But I'm done with easy. I've traveled that road for far too long.
But I would love to hear where this lands with you. Even if it doesn't land at all.
I'm cheering for you.
Life is a dream.
I am simply a dreamer. <3
I'll write one more about this idea. Giving you the practical steps and things I am doing in my life to gain some sense of mastery over my life.
Also, considering doing a little Master of Me Challenge with anyone who wants to join a community of folks wanting to take some steps towards this lofty and moving target. Email me and let me know if you'd be keen to hear a bit more about that.