I've been doing a lot of goal planning, learning about all that goes along with getting creative ideas up and running. I just got off the phone talking with the Small Business Administration, and as I was calling someone, this phrase came to mind:
"If you do nothing, you're guaranteed nothing." - Sherman R. Buck
One can have all the ideas and dreams in the world, and if you don't do anything to create them, there is no one to blame but self. One can sit around and mope or wait around for someone or something to come our way, but ultimately one could wait for a long time. Acting on inner ideas and intuitive hunches/nudges is better than sitting around waiting. This also applies to looking at one's current situation as it relates to emotional, physical, mental, sexual, spiritual issues with one's self or others in friendships, intimate relationships, co-workers, neighbors, etc.
Becoming aware that there is a problem is the most hardest part of this. Once you are aware of what you were once unaware of, then you can begin to address the problem; Easier said than done. But, it does get better if you begin to explore what the issue is and find appropriate information and assistance by someone who can be trusted to lead you towards a transformation of the issue. Ego will suggest otherwise, since that is why we are often unaware of the issue in the first place. So, here is some practical information to bring awareness to where the itch is you cannot seem to scratch. I have been working with watching my own ego for awhile now and have been making some incredible shifts of awareness and moving out of old patterns.
WATCH YOUR EGO
NOTICE WHERE IT TAKES YOU
This is something that most who teach meditation subscribe too. Watch your ego and just let it go. However, I've taken it a bit more further than that. It is nice to notice what is going on with the inner chatter, where one's thinking goes, and we can become so caught up in the thinking processes that we identify with them as if they are us. I am here to tell you that most of them are not who you really are. Many are prefabricated facades that we were taught as children on how to think, behave, react, etc.
SIGNS TO BE AWARE OF:
FEAR, ANGER, HATRED, RAGE, VIOLENCE, JEALOUSY, RESENTMENT, AVOIDANCE, PRESENCE OF ISMS (RACISM, SEXISM, AGEISM, HOMOPHOBIA, GENDER STEREOTYPES), TALKS YOU OUT OF BEING RESPONSE-ABLE, SHAME TACTICS OR GUILT TRIPS, DISEMPOWERMENT
Any time any one or more of these are present, you can be assured it is your ego diligently working to distract you away from being present. All of the above are future or past oriented in terms of outcomes. They also take you away from authentic being, which is to say being the natural expression of your soul, which emanates through the body. We are not our bodies, but we are in a symbiotic relationship with the divine vessel that houses the soul. As children we had access to the wholeness of our consciousness. We had total access to the right side of your brains, the non-linear side, where we could tap into the divine for support, guidance, joy, and connection with home. As we got older, we got distracted away from this non-linear aspect, and were systematically made to focus on external rules of truth and obedience to them. As we all know, habits are formed from repetitively repeating the same thing over and over till we do it without thinking about it. This is true of all dysfunctional behaviors. As children we had no choice usually, and you obeyed in order to not get hit, yelled at, intimidated, physically jerked around, forced to sit or stand in a corner, having a bar of soap jammed in your mouth, or to not have what little privileges we had revoked.
Over time children grow up into sleeping adults who are totally clueless of who they used to be. Our job is to remember who we are. Watching your ego can lead you right back to your authentic self. It is important to question what you think you know, who you think you are, and why things are the way they are. To not question them is to avoid one's response-ability. As children we learned to stop responding to our inner cues/truths. As adults who are now aware that things aren't working, it is time to begin noticing the inner thoughts going on. They are a mask created to distract us from the more subtle inner nuances of the authentic self and spirits who are trying to get our attention back home. Some of those thought processes are not yours at all. They are the products of psychic entities that exist in the various plans of consciousness. This may sound absurd, but I would ask you to think about this, since if you watch your thoughts going on right at this various moment as you read this, observe where those come from. Can you say for sure that those thoughts are exactly in your brain, in your head? How do you know? Who told you that was the case? Just because someone can do experiments on the brain and say that they probed one area and got a particular response, doesn't necessarily mean that is where our consciousness is.
It is obvious when a person dies that their consciousness, their life force is no longer present. So, where did it go? And since it used to be there, at some point it kept the body animated until departing. My point here is that it was there and then it left, meaning that consciousness is not something physical, it is not the brain, not the body, but it is connected to it, using it as a network so to speak. Entertain this idea, for we are conditioned to think in very small circles of what is called critical thinking. I call this critical thinking in a box. We are not boxes, our bodies are not boxes either, since there are many who have experiences of feeling the infinite universe within their bodies. I personally have had this experience and was moved to tears by this back in a body movement class in 1998. It is said that the body is a microcosm of the universe, and I would agree with this statement based on my own experience. Other experiences during body work have repeated this phenomenon for me. When we can break out of the circular thinking we were taught, we can begin to explore other ideas, feelings, intuitive hunches to expand our consciousness back to where it used to be.
So, back to watching the ego. Pay attention to where it goes. When you get caught up in one of the things I outlined, realize your ego has distracted you into that particular mindset. At our core being as soul, we are not these things. We are peace, joy, bliss, ecstasy. It is ego that tells us that other external things are who we are and that those external things are more important than the inner essence from which we came from. Initially, it will take some time to become aware of when this occurs. As you become aware of them, it will take some time to train yourself to move your attention away from them, back into peace and calmness. This is the example a hurricane teaches us to be. When one is at the very center of the hurricane, it is completely calm. The periphery of the eye is the storm and the ego is the same way. It pulls our awareness away from this center out into the storm of those other psychical dimensions where psychic beings exist. This is what indigenous people called "The Trickster," along with other metaphors and archetypes. Clarissa Pinkola Estes talks about these in her book, "Women Who Run With Wolves." When you can begin to pull yourself back into your own center of calm, then you will stop reacting to ego thoughts.
When you can do this consistently, you will begin to hear the subtle spiritual connection to higher self, guardian angels, guides, and as I call them, Shakti/Shiva (or God/Goddess). It definitely takes time to discern what is ego and what is spirit. Doreen Virtue's book "Divine Guidance," has a list: True (Higher) Guidance and False (Lower/Ego) Guidance.
As time goes on and you begin to pay attention to the thought processes going on and what emotions are emoting, you can start to identify when your attention is being distracted to follow ego constructs. You will begin to be able to withdraw your attention and bring it back to your center and all the emotional charges will literally fall away into nothing, because that is exactly what it is; Nothing. Eckhart Tolle discusses how this process works in his book first book The Power Of Now, where there is this feedback mechanism, where the ego triggers a memory, usually fear based, and hooks the emotional energy connected to the memory, in order to get a person to keep focusing on the memory and the fear, so as to build up the negative energy to feed off of it. The ego stays in power via maintaining this negative energy. Think of negative energy as a negating effect, it negates our authentic power, which is positive/love based energy at our core. This is how the distraction occurs, in effect bleeding off our power so one becomes dis-empowered. When one does not get distracted, then the build up of negative energies cannot occur and ego loses power. I will say emphatically, that what doesn't get fed is the ego mechanism and those entities that input negative thoughts.
Bernard de Montreal's book "Beyond The Mind," is an excellent read about this. Unfortunately the book is no longer in print, but it can be found in used bookstores and through used bookstores on the internet. An example that Bernard gives deals with one we are all too familiar with in the cities, where one can see an alcoholic talking or yelling to something that is not there. At times we can see them flailing their arms as to force whatever it is away. Bernard discusses this phenomenon as psychic entities that are harassing the victim. His belief is that eventually we will come to see alcoholism as predominantly caused by these psychic entities. I have witnessed this phenomenon and the alcoholic is truly being harassed by something unseen. Culturally we have been led to believe they are just crazy, but the more I look at the world, the more I see how insane those are who profess to believe they are sane as they go about polluting the air, water, and soil, destroying the environment, waging wars, being consumed by greed, and craving after power. Who decides what crazy is? I have experienced such psychic intrusions from other entities, beings, and from those who are earth bound.
What is discerning about this is much of the pain and suffering comes from being distracted and disconnected. If one begins to contemplate on the sort of dysfunctional things that occur in the world, the incredible ugliness, and violence at all levels, then one has to begin to wonder about this dark stuff. Jungian perspectives offer some insight, but I don't believe it is the complete picture, the complete story, the complete whole of which each of us is but a part. It would be convenient and sort of cocky to imply that we are all God/Goddess, but we aren't; we can only be part of god/goddess with a lower case g, where all the small g's together in the entire Universe are God/Goddess in their wholeness. And one could also see this as being a-part (apart). When we are apart from the whole or separated or disconnected or distracted, then we are madness, meaning when disconnected from our direct connection, the other connection to the dark enters. There's more to this than I have time to write, but in many traditions it is said that a portal opened letting in the dark/evil and that it must be resealed again and again over the eons of eternity.