This has come up for me lately in lots of different expressions. And when things are repeated numerous times in different forms I take it as a sign that I am supposed to pay attention and contemplate, think on, dwell, digest and then share to whomever might be interested in listening to my perspective.
If you’ve navigated the yoga world at all there are a few things that get thrown around harshly in my opinion, the ego as something that’s bad and is to be destroyed and then the mind being compared to a monkey in a negative light. I’ll unpack monkey mind another time, but you can relate a lot of my offering on the ego can serve the soul to the monkey mind. There are many offerings, poses, kriyas (sequence of actions to cleanse), meditations, breathing exercises to rid the body of the ego. To stomp and destroy. I’m stopping there because I always walked away when this conversation surfaced as deep down I felt this was a total misunderstanding & out of alignment with the concept of ahimsa which means non violent.
Alright in normal terms, well my sense of normal that is, I’ll keep it at there is lightness that is warm, supportive & expansive. The light elevates, uplifts and enhances. Then there is darkness, that slows down, conceals, hides, contracts and blinds. (Side note the light can blind you as well). But you see what I’m saying, they are opposites. Usually the light is considered good, the dark bad, but for me it is all divine and provides powerful clues to be in a strong relationship of living fully, aligned with the highest compassion and truth. You need both.
It’s easier to sleep at night, when it’s dark out, and sleep is so healing and nourishing to our being as long as we don’t spend all day in bed. But in our experience of life when we are in a dark place we tend to be lost, unmotivated, overwhelmed, beyond or means, depleted and in some level of pain. When we are our brightest, we are balanced, clear, focused, steady, motivated, adaptable, happy & experiencing great freedom. So if you had to choose, based on this explanation, where or how would you choose to live? Aligned and fueled by the light or dark?
The ego is part of who we are, it’s in our being kind of like our belly button. It plays a part to our functioning and ability to live in greater alignment, but like the belly button, doesn’t rule the functioning. Yes the belly button is an interesting example, but it’s a point that served a powerful purpose during one of the most miraculous times of your life, and now is just an expression on everyone’s body that’s just there reminding us that though the cord was cut we all are connected. What the ego will do is hid our light, encourage us to hid the light from others or take us into a pattern where we believe it’s ok to live with fear, instill fear, remain disconnected from our truth and suffer deeply from such ideas. Including fighting for what we feel is right and not allowing others to see it differently as long as no one is being harmed. You with me?
When we know this we can then check in and instead of putting the ego in excile we make it our friend. A good friend at that because it becomes a voice that no longer silently manipulates us but rather helps us monitor what’s fueling our choices. The ego can help us realize if everything we do is out of greed, or is it out of service. The ego becomes a good friend that can say yes feed more of the darkness, pain and violence into the world because who cares what is it all about anyway and no one notices me anyhow. And when that voice shows up, (this is just one example by the way), you’ve made it all about you and the ego declares victory. But if you do take note and you start to care the ego will make it difficult on you and feed your awareness with messages & visions of how your light and offering & presence doesn’t matter or a story that keeps you small and second guessing your worth. But then if you make an even stronger commitment to making the ego an ally, unifying and recognizing it’s a part of you then you are playing on the same team and can cooperate to make amazing things happen in your life & ultimately the world. It can help you recognize when you turn from your truth becoming disconnected from your soul & deep purpose which doesn’t just create pain internally it creates and inflicts pain on the people that you encounter, stranger or friend. It can return you to a life that flourishes keeping you grounded in your sacred essence. Yes, it becomes a guide that lets you know what you are choosing and if it’s all about you or if it’s about you as an expression of the light serving the greater good. This is going to complicate matters, the ego can also keep you from seeing your worth & significance telling you you are just supposed to sacrifice your light & essence. Which is impossible by the way. If you want to feed the hungry you’ll only be of service if you lead by example and be certain you are also being fed. But I’ll save that for another time. So ultimately when the negativity starts simply welcome more light and enjoy how you are using the ego to serve your soul.