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How does your ego show up?

Episode 378
Wildly Successful Lifestyle

LISTEN TO: How does your ego show up?

Hi guys! Welcome to Episode 378 of the Wildly Successful Lifestyle podcast. Thanks for being here, it’s always nice to hang out with you.

There’s a quote I love, Ive talked about it before but I felt it was appropriate to todays episode….it’s by Rumi….Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Our precious new neighbors moved in and are figuring out the lay of the land and at one point he said, I notice the spotlight from the house next door is pointed directly at your windows, does that bother you? Have you talked to them about it…I laughed because I think I did a whole episode on this, but I laughed and I said at first it did but no we didn’t talk to them about it, we just took care of it on our end, by getting window treatments and now it’s no longer a problem so it’s no longer a problem. I thought that was a perfect example of changing yourself as opposed to trying to change the world. Handling things on our end so to speak. Whenever it’s possible, handle things on your end. It makes life really peaceful. When you require everyone else to change or do something different so that you feel better…well that’s the ego at work.

I did an episode it’s number 375 and the title was there you go, walking your monkey again. If you haven’t listened, give it a go.

I find myself more and more able to catch when I’m beginning to let my monkey brain, the one that creates all the problems for all of us, but I’m noticing it more and able to neutralize it.

Funny enough, a video I happened upon on youtube was about the monkey brain and someone at a seminar said “I didn’t come here for this..for this monkey business”. He was hoping to find relief from his thoughts. And the presenter asked “can you be at peace when the monkey business is there, when the monkey won’t go away?” Who is supporting the monkey? Who’s feeding it? What does it thrive on? Without the food, the monkey won’t stay around. So where’s the food and where is he getting it from? He proceeded to say the main monkey food is personal identity.…I do this, I am this, I like this, I don’t like this. I have this car or I took this vacation. This is the main food we feed the monkey brain.

He then told a story of how he lived in London years ago, London has always been a famous tourist city but one of the main attractions at the time was trafalgar square. The big thing at the time was having your picture made with the pigeons. There were so many because the locals had made a business of selling a little box of corn to tourists and they could put the corn on their head or shoulder and the pigeon would land and eat and you’d have your picture made but it became a huge problem for cleanliness. You can imagine. So finally they made a law no more feeding the pigeons. You could get arrested for feeding them. You couldn’t hurt them but you couldn’t feed them. Within two weeks the pigeons were gone. There were one or two that would pop in to see if there was any leftovers but quickly went away because there was no one to feed them.

Do you get that? We all have our inner guidance system, our true self, and we also have our ego…our personal identity. If we could just let go of constantly trying to feed our ego, we could slow things down. We need our ego to survive and thrive but it gets us in trouble when it’s running the show.

Someone sent me a message about Episode 375 and said I realize I just want my kids to be happy but I also realize I want them to be the happy that I want for them. What a beautiful acknowledgement. Just knowing that allows her to observe the thoughts and decisions she makes based on that knowing. Is she allowing herself to love them and let them also be exactly who they are or do they need to be what she hopes they would be in order for her to feel good and for her to think they are happy. It’s a good question that comes from the awareness of the thought in the first place.

Our ego is our personal identity. How we identify. When we look at the world through the filter of that identity….the world becomes quite small. We want to reinforce that identity, we don’t want it questioned or challenged. The ego isn’t necessarily our true self, it’s usually the messages we’ve picked up along the way from our parents, our teachers, our religion, our personal likes and dislikes, our friends….so much goes into our personal identity or our ego. And so many of our decisions are based on that identity. Big and small.

This past weekend, My mom baked cookies for our trip to fall creek falls. She baked two kinds. One I requested and the other is a family favorite. I requested chocolate oatmeal cookies, the no bake kind. They are my kryptonite. Once a year I request them from her. I think I’ve talked about them before. The other are the Mrs fields cookies which I can take or leave. My husband Eric loves cookies but he does not care for the no bake cookies, he usually won’t even eat one. I have to tell you I don’t understand for one minute how that’s possible. I try to understand, but I just don’t because to me that’s the only cookie in the world I can’t resist, so surely everyone else must at least kind of like it to, and I just want him to try one again because he’s surely mistaken, but he is certain he doesn’t like them and will not even try one again because he knows it’s not for him, he could take it or leave it.

We do this so much though with our friends and family. In order to find happiness you need to be like me because that is what makes me happy so of course it will make you happy too. That’s the ego needing to be validated and confirmed. Molly and I bought a tshirt a few years ago that we love love love from fall creek falls. My mom and dad were both looking for a tshirt at the same store where we got ours and so I showed theme the one we got and said you’ll love it!!!! You have yo get that one. To which my mom said I don’t want that tshirt. But my dad felt it and looked at it and said yeah, I like it I’ll get it. That made me happy and I also thought well my mom doesn’t have good taste in tshirts anyway. You see this is the ego and I 100% was aware of it as I’m showing them this shirt it was so interesting to be able to observe my thoughts in real time. Our ego, our personal identity is attached to everything we do if we allow ourselves to see that, and we observe it in real time..we start noticing the judgements we make of ourselves and others when we’re feeding it.

We are self centered beings and without awareness, we can create a lot of drama and chaos in our life without knowing it. My friend acknowledging that the happiness she wanted for her kids was the one she envisioned not the one they envisioned. That’s a lot of awareness. Me watching myself in real time thinking my mom has bad taste because she doesn’t like the shirt I like is a good thing to notice because it’s so ego driven. Why can’t my mom like something other than me and also have good taste? She can and does of course.

Being the observer of our thoughts allows us to understand why we do the things we do, it also shows us why we treat people the way we treat them. My mom likes to quote scripture to me and I notice myself feeling irritated and kind of rolling my eyes internally but then I turn around and proceed to tell her what she should and should not eat. The ego thinks I am right and you are wrong. The true self knows you’re both right. I am what I am and you are what you are. And both are right because that’s what is. That’s the journey we are meant to take. If something isn’t right for me, it’s me that has to figure it out. The more someone else pushes their agenda on me the further I dig in. Like Eric with the no bake cookies, I literally begged him to want one but he won’t even try it probably because I’m so annoying about it.

The only person in this world for whom you are responsible for their happiness, is you and it had nothing to do with what someone else does or doesn’t do. It can’t because we are so fluid. Every single one of us. I might like chocolate oatmeal cookies today but a year from now my tastes may have changed and I may not like them at all. If I talked Eric into liking them, would I then talk him out of liking them? You see, we are fluid and if our ego needs or expects others to conform in order to be validated or feel seen….you’re in for a roller coaster. It’s our ego that expects external things to change so that we feel good and that is most certainly a roller coaster ride, and unpredictable one at that. If I thought ok, it’s not fair that my neighbors have a light that shines directly into our bedroom window at night, they must leave it off, and off I go to let them know how bothered I am, but they are equally bothered by having that part of their driveway not lit up so they refuse to change it which upsets me and they are upset because I said something, now we’ve created a problem, but instead we just close our roman shades at night and all is well. The more things you can fix on your end, the better, the more comfortable we get with the idea that we control one thing and that’s ourself, the better we are at getting creative with problem solving on our end. The ego says they should fix it, the true self asks “how do I solve this problem on my end”?

We are fluid beings with wildly diverse ideas. You can have different thoughts on religion or politics or food then me and it doesn’t have to be an attack on my identity. I can prefer a tshirt and someone else can think it’s boring and they won’t be wrong. You can raise your kids a certain way and it doesn’t mean one thing about the way someone else raises their kids. Our ego wants everyone to conform to our way of being, our true self accepts that that’s not possible and would be horrible anyway. The awareness that our ego is trying to run the show will keep us from allowing our ego to run the show. The more aware we are the less the ego needs.

Noticing is the first step. Awareness of your need for others to like the same things, or do the same things, or validate your feelings in some way…just being aware of those thoughts help them subside because a lot of times it’s unintentional thoughts that get us in trouble. You’re in charge of the ego. Did you know that? It’s something Ive recently learned. I am not my ego, you are not your ego. You have to slow the feeding way down to control it. The ego left on autopilot is full of unintentional thoughts, that’s when you’re making decisions from the monkey brain…that’s why noticing them is so powerful, because noticing them gets you working from your thinking brain, the logical brain where you control the thoughts and you control the ego, you decide what’s useful and not useful.

I used to just want want want. My brother in law calls it accurately “wantitis”. I thought that if I had this designer purse or this designer watch that I would finally feel worthy, that was my ego constantly needing external gratification, the ego is insatiable by the way. The more you feed it, the more it wants. Once I got that purse or that watch, it felt good for a week but then I just realized, man that feeling didn’t last long, it was so fleeting which makes you hungry for the next fix..what will give me that feeling again, and the next thing just gets more expensive. It’s never ending. I remember noticing in real time that I was doing it and also noticing how it wasn’t working. I still like designer stuff but I don’t need it. I don’t have to have a specific brand because I realized it was a bottomless pit and so I started working on the worthiness inside instead of outside and that worthiness, the internal worthiness, that one isn’t fleeting.

My challenge to you today is to notice how your ego shows up….Every human desires to live the best way they possibly can, the ego will interrupt that by never ending mind games. What does your ego need when it shows up? And do you know the difference between what your true self needs and what your ego wants. Maybe you need control of everything and resist change, that’s your ego at work….your true self will go with the flow instead of constantly battling for control. How do you show up when you’re being your true self vs showing up from your ego? Once you know that, it will help you know how much time you spend there. Which is powerful, because you control your ego which means you control how often your ego shows up…..Share this with 3 people who have a strong internal guidance system, I love you guys I will talk to you in a few days.

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