Is Your Ego Running Your Life?

The mindfulness exercise I shared with you yesterday is simple but not easy.  The ego in the form of thoughts or emotions wants to keep you from being quiet.  Our egos very much dislikes being in the present, in the now.   In the now the ego has no power because our higher wisdom is what guides us.  The past and the future are the places the ego wants us to focus on because then it is running our show.   When we are focused on the past, we easily get caught up in what wasn’t ok, what we learned to fear or dislike, how we would handle things differently etc.

When focused on the future we miss out on the opportunities in the moment.  The ego feels more powerful planning to control tomorrow.  Future focus keeps us from enjoy that life we have now.  Many of us hold off the pleasures and joys of life with the thought that waiting is better.  This false idea of many of us is when we get certain things (the right partner, job, income, car, house, and friends) life will finally get to be like we want it to be.   This is the restless ego that is never satisfied and makes our lives a mess of unhappiness.

So we don’t want to let the ego win this battle.  Return to the mindful awareness of the rising and falling of the chest as the breath flows through us.  This practice and other mindful practices make the ego powerless because you are in the moment.  Over time the ego will shrink and you will be much happier.   

Signs the ego is running you:  
•    You fight to be right
•    You really are concerned about what people think about you
•    You need the approval of others
•    You feel you are better than others
•    You hate to lose in competition
•    You get angry when things aren’t going well
•    You don’t let people get close
•    You find yourself anxious often
•    You have rigidity in your thinking
•    You don’ like to be questioned
•    You feel entitled
•    You often blame others
•    You spend a lot of time complaining
•    You need alcohol or drugs to make your life feel ok
•    You don’t have many friends
•    You have trouble being in relationships
•    You have little or no peace of mind
•    You lack compassion
•    You dislike or make fun of people who are kind or humble
•    You use sarcasm as your method of humor
•    You find yourself restless and impatient often
•    You have lots of fears
•    You prefer the past to the present

Yes some of these may fit you but don’t worry.  Instead turn yourself into an experiment and find out what part your ego plays in shaping your life’s experiences.  The more you find out, the more aware you will be.  The more aware you are, the better you will be at changing the parts of you that are getting in your way.  

The opposite of an ego driven life is one in which you are comfortable with yourself, you appreciate the moment and you find lots of joy in life.   Have a week where you ego becomes less powerful and your sense of self is one of appreciating and purposeful expression in the now.