Tag Archives: ego

My Love of Fear

Yoga was finished and it was time to get to work.  I sit down at my desk to begin.

You’ve been procrastinating all day, a voice in my mind says, You should already have this done by now!

I can feel the tension in my neck crawling down my back.  My breath is shallow.

I take a deep breath and stretch my arms over my head thinking, believing and hoping that will release the tension.

I feel a little better, so I put my arms down and start to focus on work.

You haven’t done shit today, the voice continues, you woke up, ate breakfast, did yoga and that’s it.  You’re pathetic.

I then open the document of my project and start getting to work.

This shit is terrible.  What makes you think that’s good enough?  Work harder!

I look back over what I had written down.  Rereading it from the top.  Maybe if I word it this way it could be better somehow?  Or maybe I can add a little bit more here.

Nobody is going to like that shit.  It’s not good enough.  You’re not good enough.

My neck became even more tense and I suddenly found myself debilitated.  Completely unable to work.  Completely unable to focus.

I get up to walk around feeling “off” and not sure what more I needed to do to get past this critical inner voice that’s loaded in fear.  I did yoga, I meditated, I’ve moved around like a billion frigging times already… what more needs to happen to kick this thing?

I stop trying to fight it so I make myself a smoothie and pop in my earbuds to listen to a lecture by my mentor Gabby Bernstein.  I had heard this lecture several times before but maybe, someway, somehow I was going to hear something that would help me get out of this funk.

A half hour later and the first recorded lecture was over.

See now you just wasted another 30 minutes when you could be working, the voice says.

Oh just shut up already, I think back to it as my neck tenses up and I hit the play button on the next 30 minute talk.

She’s not even talking about what you’re dealing with right now, the voice says.

This time I ignore it and continue to keep listening to the talk.

About mid-way through the talk Gabby mentioned that before she does a talk she will say a prayer asking for the highest spirit of truth and compassion to speak through her talk.  She said that in doing this, it helps her get out of her fear-based ego and back into love.

Upon hearing that, I quickly say that prayer for myself in my mind.  I start to notice my neck muscles starting to relax, my jaw not quite as tight, and I feel much more calm and centered.

I paused the talk and then I had a thought, Jen, you were trying to fight the block.  You were trying to fight the fear, but that doesn’t work because you were fighting fear with fear in your mind.  You can’t push fear away.  Fear can only truly dissipate when you love it, because love is what heals.

FearDissipate

Click to Tweet: Fear can only truly dissipate when you love it because love is what heals @jenilyn8705 

There are so many times where coaches, writers, and teachers talk about how we need to be fearless.

“Bust through the blocks”

“Overcome your fear”

“Live fearlessly”

On the surface the words can seem to be implying that fear is bad and that we must abolish it.  However, by holding onto the idea that we have to abolish fear in itself can make us even more stuck.  It can create a war of fear-based dialogue inside our minds.

You’re not good enough.

Oh go away.

Nobody is going to want to read that.

Leave me alone!

What we need to do instead is to recognize the fear-based thoughts and give it love.  Notice the thought and let it be.  Don’t attach to it or respond.  Just let it be. 

If it comes up again wanting more attention, just give it some love.  Pray for it.  Tell it that you love it. 

After all, those thoughts are just wounded parts of you and, just like you do, they deserve a lot of love and care.

How to Deal When Your Partner Isn’t as Spiritual As You

I have a confession to make.

Somewhere around 4 to 5 months into my most recent relationship I seriously considered breaking it off.  The whole dynamic of me being the “spiritual one” and him not being spiritual — well, at all — just wasn’t quite working for me.  How could we make it work when we couldn’t see eye to eye?

So I wanted to breakup.  End it.  Be done with it.

This decision of potentially ending this relationship made me quite distressed so I started discussing it with various coaches and counselors.

“Well, that really depends…”

“Yeah, I think you’re ready for this relationship to end… “

“It sounds like you’re stuck in this place and you’re ready for a change…”

… I would hear them say.

Though this advice resonated with me on some level, it still didn’t feel quite “right” to me.  So I decided to do nothing and continued on with the relationship, despite continuing to feel troubled by this whole “I’m spiritual and he’s not” thing.

Then one day I was listening to a mentor of mine giving a talk about relationships and someone had told her, “I’m so frustrated.  My boyfriend isn’t nearly as spiritual as me”.  With those words I perked up and leaned in closer, giving this exchange my full attention.  “How do I deal when my boyfriend isn’t as spiritual as me?” she asked.

My mentor looked at her with her piercing brown eyes and said…

“You gotta worry about your own side of the street, honey”.

“You’re only in control of yourself”, she continued, “and he is on his own spiritual path.  All you can do is to do the spiritual work yourself, be the light and he will gradually come to his own understanding in his own way and on his own time”. 

I was immediately skeptical.  How on earth is that going to work?, I thought to myself.  This guy wants to get into religious and spiritual debates with me.  He isn’t out to understand and accept — he’s only out to “win” his point. 

But despite these thoughts, there was a sense, a voice deep down in the core of my being that said, “Just do it and you’ll see”. 

And so I did just that. 

I stopped worry about him and started working on myself.  I started meditating daily.  I began reading more spiritual texts.  I started to really implement the work into my life.

I never once preached my beliefs  to him or share with him anything that he didn’t already express some interest or curiosity in.  And if he wanted to debate religion and spirituality I simply set a boundary stating that I didn’t want to talk about it.

I just focused on myself and did my own thing.

And over time, something amazing happened…

We started meditating together.

We started going to yoga classes together.

He started asking me about some of the books I was reading.

Somehow, miraculously, he became more open and accepting.

And you know what else?

Gradually the arguments became fewer and fewer.  And we became closer and closer.

Our love deepened and we somehow became more comfortable with each other and more in love than we were before.

Our relationship progressed to a whole new level.  A level that neither one of us have ever experienced with another person before.

All because I decided to completely focus on working on myself and not him.

So how did I do it and how can you do it if you’re in this situation as well?  Here’s a few tips:

1.  Recognize that the whole “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality is nothing but your ego. 

So when you catch yourself getting into that frame of thinking, just recognize it and let it go.

2.  Set boundaries.

If you see your partner getting into the whole “you’re right I’m wrong” mentality, then set a boundary with them.  Say something like, “Honey I love you, but because I love you I don’t think we should be talking about this right now” and walk away or go in the other room. 

3.  Be the light. 

Like Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  Do the spiritual work that you need to do for yourself and, over time, maybe your partner will start to wonder, Hey!  What is she doing for herself?  Cause it seems to work.  I better check this out. 

BeTheChangeYouWant

Click to Tweet: “Be the change you want to see in the world” ~ Gandhi via @jenilyn8705

And if they don’t, so what?  It doesn’t matter because all that matters at the end of the day is that you are being a channel for your own inner transformation — and that makes all the difference.

In the comments below, share with me one thing that you are going to commit to doing on a regular basis so that you can be “the change you wish to see”.

Why We Struggle to Be Happy

I started therapy a little over a month ago.

I started going again for a few reasons:

1.  I was feeling kind of extra stressed over a few aspects in my life and I felt it’d be good to have a “sounding board”

2.  I found myself in a period where I’m wanting to look a little bit deeper at my own stuff.

3.  I’m required to have an X amount of therapy hours for my graduate program — PLUS this therapist that I found happens to be licensed, which means = I can earn hours towards my own MFT licensure.

Up until this past week, most of our sessions had been pretty “introductory” in nature.  You know, the classic story of “this is what my upbringing was like, this is my history, this is where I currently am in my life, etc. etc.” that can feel oh-so too often repeated if you’ve gone to therapy more than once or twice in your life.

Fortunately, this week happened to be the first session where some real therapy could actually start taking place.  And I was excited cause, frankly, I had felt like it was talking way too long to really get things going.

There was one problem though… I had nothing to talk about!  In the previous weeks I always came in stressed about something — something with work, something with school, something with roommates, something about my health, something about my relationship, and so on.  But this week everything was perfectly fine.  It was as if all problems either melted away or, there were problems, but I was generally apathetic or emotionally unaffected by it.

So what did I talk about?  Well, I did what do best at in therapy — I ramble.  I began talking about any random thing that had been going through in the past week.

As I rambled about whatever, my therapist would interject occasionally with a comment like, “So it looks like everything is going really great right now!” that was then followed up with comments like “That is so exciting!” and “That’s wonderful!”

You would think that with the way I was talking about everything I was excited, satisfied, and, well… happy.  But I wasn’t and, instead, whenever she made a comment like that I typically responded with something like, “Well yeah… except for this cough that I have.”

When the session was over and I was driving home I thought to myself, “Isn’t that funny?  She’s telling me how everything I’m saying looks wonderful and great and here I am trying to find things to be stressed about.”  It was something that I was completely unaware of!

And you know what?  We all do this!  Whenever life is actually “going right” we can find ourselves caught up in still trying to find and focus on the things that are “wrong”.

The reasons for this I see as kind of two-fold.

In one way, the reason that we find ourselves focusing on all the things that are “wrong” is because we are stuck in our habit of focusing on what is wrong.  If we are constantly focused on what isn’t good and what needs to change, then we train our brains to focus on the bad rather than to notice and enjoy what is good.

In another regard, we can also be struggling to truly accept what is good.  Our ego has us so caught-up in all of the problems and struggles that life presents to us that it is hard for us to truly see and enjoy the good.  It’s hard for us to really be positive because it’s almost like our ego has us “addicted” to the negative.

Regardless of the exact reasoning, it’s possible to get ourselves out of this focus on the negative and to really start being positive with just some conscious effort.  Here are some tips:

#1 Reflect every day by asking yourself the questions of…

How is everything in my life right now?  What is good?  What is “not-so-great”?  Am I really enjoying and being happy for the things that are good?

#2 Strive to find the good even in the “bad”.

Are you frustrated about your finances cause you’re barely making ends meet?  Then rather than get even more frustrated when a bill comes in, be joyful for it!  Are you frustrated that it’s snowing heavily outside so it takes even longer to drive home?  Be happy that you are in a place that has all 4 seasons!

#3 Be more positive!

Give the lady with a cute necklace standing in line behind you a compliment.  Smile at the people at the Post Office and ask them how there day is (despite the line being a bit too long).  Take the time to look at the sunrise or sunset and find the beauty in it.  Find the joy in the little things — and allow your inner joy to shine.

InnerJoy

Click to Tweet: Find the joy in the little things — and allow your inner joy to shine! via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

In the comments below, list at least 3 positive things that are happening in your life right now!