Ego is Not Your Friend

Your Ego is not Your Amigo“Ego is an image of yourself that gives you a sense of identity.”  – Eckhart Tolle

From the time you are born you start programing your Ego.

This comes from what you tell yourself about your emotional experiences or what others have told you throughout your life: parents, teachers, other relatives, friends, society – sometimes even complete strangers. These are things that have been said to or about you that you now accept as complete truth and then you live it.

If someone said you weren’t a very good student and you accepted that as truth, you become a bad student. If someone said you weren’t pretty, then you think you are not. The list goes on. You can’t sing, you’re too fat, you aren’t smart.

Ego takes over and reminds you of everything everyone has ever said to or about you. You accept this nonsense and get irritated or upset. This sets your mood and you go around beating yourself up mentally and emotionally.

This is how Ego stays in control and you get lost.

Or, you can get in control of Ego by taking a deep breath and listening to what you are saying, I mean really listen. Become aware of what kind of thoughts you are thinking, especially negative thoughts: irritation, anger, impatience and perhaps even some kind of sadness. Have these thoughts become a habit? Do you complain about yourself, how useless you are. If you start to hear these repetitive thoughts, then you will suddenly realize, “I’ve been thinking these same thoughts again and again almost every day without really knowing it.”

Becoming aware of these thoughts is your first step to change and minimizing the damage Ego can cause. When you recognize the voice in your head you are on your way to being more fully aware and more in control of  how you wish to live your life.

And the Ego begins to hold less power over you.

Affirmations Keep You Focused

HibiscusOne of my favorite things to keep me focused is affirmations. They keep me in my present moment and one of my clients told me they keep the boogie man away.

They can help you remain positive and open. Depending upon the affirmation, it trains your mind which in time changes your thinking to be more confident, abundant, happier and healthy. Remember my earlier post about creating your reality?

Here are a few of my favorite affirmations:

  • I see the abundance in all I do.
  • Loving others is easy when I love myself
  • I am successful in all I do
  • I release all fear and negativity
  • I am willing to let go
  • I experience love and happiness wherever I go
  • I love my body
  • Change is easy for me
  • I am safe in my environment
  • I choose to be successful
  • I am the creator of my own reality

I hope you have fun with these and they work for you. I would love to hear some of your affirmations in the comments section below.

Think Happy Thoughts

Let a series of happy thoughts run through your mind. They will show on your face.Happy thoughts are everywhere. The trick is to focus on them more than on television news, what people say to you, or someone getting mad at you on the road and flipping you off. You know, those every day crush-your-life-thoughts that keep building until you are either very mad at the world, yourself, or someone else.

I don’t know about you, but holding onto the negative thoughts thrown at me from every direction don’t necessarily do a thing for me. So I decided to start focusing on Happy Thoughts about 10 years ago. It is amazing how much happier I am and at peace.

Yes, there are times that I could handle things better, like someone else’s anger, or stupidity. But I’ve mostly kept my world happy. I am aware of what is going on I just don’t let it get to me as easily.

Here are some ways you can think happy:

  • Take more time in nature
  • Turn off your phone and computer
  • Take a moment for yourself; maybe stop for coffee instead of grabbing coffee and spilling it on yourself while driving
  • I like gardening, something about getting your hands in dirt that is calming
  • Take yourself to a movie
  • Create a space in your house or yard that is tranquil and sit there taking deep breaths
  • Get lost in a book
  • If you can go to a lake or river, creek or some type of water, water is very soothing and peaceful
  • Maybe you like to clean your house and then just enjoy it for the weekend

These are just some of the things either I do for myself or my clients have done. The most important thing to remember is that if you are not relaxed and enjoying your happy, you’re not doing the right thing for you.

I have named a few but I would love to get more ideas. What do you do to keep happy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Three Minute Meditation

balancing rocksWhy is meditation so important?

Meditation gets us out of our brain, it helps us to realize there is more to life than our preoccupation with the past or our fear of the future. It keeps us in the very present moment which is all we really have. When you meditate you free yourself from your mind that holds you in the past or the future or both, causing you to miss so much of your life.

Statements that indicate you might not be present? “Wow the kids grew up so fast”, “I can’t believe I am 40”, “I always wanted to go back to school, where did the time go?” Mediation gives you back that time and gives you clarity, awareness, and brings a lot of joy to your life.

The Three Minute Meditation

I like to start my students of mediation with one my mother taught me when I was very young.

Start by putting your finger on the right side of your nose and inhaling to the count of five, then hold to the count of five and then release to the count of five. Place your finger on the left side to repeat the process. Do this three times.

This is a great beginning meditation and it helps with stress. It is a quick way to center and focus. Most of all it is easy. I am not fussy about position or correct breathing, that can come in time.

Once you have gotten the hang of that you can find yourself some nice spa or Zen music to help create a quiet place in or around your home to sit quietly and breathe. You can also get a guided meditation CD if that helps.

Mediation takes practice. It isn’t easy at first and that is why so many people give up, but keep practicing and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

I hope you try meditating. It feels wonderful and life seems to go much better when I am focused, aware and happy.

Create Your Own Reality

You create your realityYou have been creating your reality since you were born, but you might have just forgotten it. You might have started believing what others said when they told you were wrong or you couldn’t. You forgot to listen to yourself and what you wanted.

Your thoughts help create your reality. Have you ever woken up in a bad mood? Have you noticed that it seems like everything goes wrong? It seems like it is all downhill from there, right? Or maybe you get up in the morning and you are feeling great! Life is good and everything is going your way.

You are creating your reality by either staying mad and creating chaos or staying happy and creating harmony. You are the creator of your own future and there are two ways to go about it: consciously or unconsciously.

I have a client that had a slight tremor in his hand and the doctor told him he had uncontrollable tremors but it could be controlled with medication. But he was convinced that the doctor was keeping the worst news from him so he went home and started to do research and convinced himself he had Parkinson’s. He now sits around convincing himself it is getting worse, and soon he won’t be able to work, that he has maybe 10 good years left before he can no longer function.  I have watched him go from having a small tremor in his hand to watching his whole body tremble six months’ time. He won’t listen to anything positive and just says nobody knows what they are talking about including the doctor.  He has created a reality that he somehow feels okay with.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my daughter decided to move to Seattle from Northern Arizona just after college and I have never seen anything so remarkable and fun to watch. She had never even been to Seattle before, but she started doing research, telling people she was moving, and visualizing what it would be like to live there. Two weeks before she planned to leave, she still hadn’t saved as much money as she wanted, she still didn’t have a job, and she had no place to live, but that didn’t stop her. She just knew that everything was going to work out. Three days before she left, a close friend of mine wrote her a check, giving her just enough to move. She rented a moving van and she and her best friend drove to Seattle with no specific destination in mind. They parked the truck, rented a car, and miraculously found her an apartment on Labor Day weekend. She had unpacked and moved in within six hours of finding her new home and received a job offer the next day.

See? Your thoughts are your creation.

It is amazing what you can create when you are consciously aware of your thoughts and your visualizations. But it takes insight, patience, constant attention, and daydreaming; you have to believe in what you want.

You’ve got to visualize, see yourself doing what you want to do, feel it, fantasize about it, and make it as real as you can.

I recommend two good books on this subject if you are interested and want to get started: Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

So basically what I am saying is, go for it!

Journaling Can Be Helpful

Journaling is healingI have to be honest with you, I hate writing. And I used to really hate journaling. But when you go to counseling, your therapist usually wants you to journal because journaling helps you sort things out.

Writing  is like breathing, it is a way of absorbing an experience. It’s one of the most profound ways to express our self in life and it is a great window into ourselves. Sometimes you just feel antsy. You know something bothers you but you just can’t pin point it. Writing it down can help you figure it out.

At least there is no right or wrong way to begin, you just start jotting down your insights or feelings. Write anytime you feel like it. You can write down random thoughts or observations about yourself. You can keep track of your dreams if you want to. You can write about some of the emotions that are coming up for you at that time, maybe anger or sadness; happiness or hope.

You could also start by exploring your memories, personal image, sensitive times, or maybe you could start with your daily thoughts.

He are a few prompts and story lines you could use to get started:

I want change________  in my life.

I am afraid of________

I want to give up___________________ in my life.

I am afraid of change because ________

I am unhappy because _______

I wish my life was________________

I am sad  today because _______

I am so happy today because _____

Once you catch on the thoughts and emotions will begin to flow more freely and when they do you’ll feel more empowered. You’ll know yourself more. And you’ll begin to have a better understanding of what makes you tick.

What I found is “seeing is believing”. I realized I was much more honest with myself when I wrote it down, and I could go back and re-read it and change my thoughts or my belief about something or someone.

Don’t be afraid to write your feelings down. It’s one of the best things you can do to take care of yourself.

Forget Regret

Erase RegretHow many times have you carried around a burden from a mistake you might have made years ago? As if it is not enough that the world seems to beat you up, you beat yourself up too.

That’s regret!

It’s important that you move past those perceived mistakes by looking at the situation with an objective mind. What was it you think you could have done in that situation? How would you have acted differently? Is it guilt that still drives you? Or do you truly think you would have turned out differently?

Hindsight is 20/20, right? It is always easier, knowing what you know now, to second guess how you would have handled things differently, but when you were in that situation, you may have had no way of knowing what the outcome would be. You need to really look at the situation and see what your real responsibility was. Most of the time, there really wasn’t anything you could have done to change the outcome of that moment.

So once you recognize the burden, how do you release it? You can start with some simple affirmations:

I am always safe taking chances, moving forward.

I love the opportunity to take chances to move forward in my life.

It is safe for me to move forward and take risks.

It is easy to take one step forward at a time.

I can move through this with grace and ease. The Universe always gives me what I need at the time.

Forgiving yourself is the first step to forgetting regret and making the change to become a healthier you.