Self-Study and Journaling to help you on your path.
Ego often gets a bad rap. When we talk about ego (asmita) in yoga, we are referring to the ‘I’ that driven by ignorance, and usually lacks self-worth. It is the “I” that has to be better than, prove itself or thinks it stands above all others. This identity of ego is ingrained into our culture and is wrapped tightly into the American dream. I will refer to that ego as ‘lower self’.
Lower self is rooted in fear, the one that has been consciously and unconsciously striving for success. It often craves the feeling of worthiness, recognition, acknowledgement, love and acceptance. It is also the ‘I’ that searches for enlightenment or ‘Higher Self’. We need ego to propel us forward. Without it we never realize or have the motivation to move beyond our suffering, however great or small. Without ego, we would simply be content to sit on the couch and eat bon bons.
Ego helps us transcend lower self. So embrace ego and give it a hug. Here are two things to reflect on and do that might help:
- What can I do today to love, nurture and recognize how absolutely fabulous I am? These are things that are truly fun! This is not something that needs to be accomplished but things that you completely enjoy and bring you happiness. For me it might be dancing, hiking, painting, adventurous play, a card game with my kids, lunch and chatting with a dear friend, swimming, relaxing on the beach, etc. You get the idea right?
- When do I have the urge to do something to please someone else, earn recognition or seek approval? Ask yourself this question and upon realization, just STOP. Stop and ask yourself: Does this make me truly happy, care for me and allow me to feel good about myself? If not, then don’t do it. Vocalize your feelings in a kind and thoughtful way, and do what nurtures and feeds you.
Wishing you peace and blessings,