Yesterday on my run up in the foothills on a warm day I was trying to be mindful of my thoughts. What I was reminded was how meditative running is because whether running trails or busy streets you have to pay attention to what is going on in front of you. In cities there are pedestrians, signals, cars, busses, and so much more. On trails the main barriers are rocks and trees that can trip you up or knock you in the head if your mind wanders for even a moment. Yet even in the midst of paying attention the mind wanders and often in no particular direction.
This got me curious about the content of the mind and how come things come up out of the blue. Sometimes this random content includes reruns of embarrassing moments or actions/behaviors I regret from my past. These random occurrences rarely are fond memories so I began to think these old flashbacks might be the trick of the ego-mind. Let me explain this idea.
The ego mind as I have mentioned before is not bad but sometimes it likes to make you and I feel not ok. The ego thrives when I am stumbling through life filled with self-doubt because then it is in charge. The more doubt and fear I have the more the ego-mind runs my life. These less functioning states are because I have lost touch with the present moment and with my higher nature, which puts the ego on the sidelines.
So now let me get more specific about my theory of ego and why it likes to trash my moment. I can be running along a beautiful stretch of trail and all of a sudden a memory will pop up and take me out of the moment. These memories as I stated earlier are often ones I would just as soon forget. The reason the ego tosses them into my thoughts is because it can derail the beauty of the moment and get be back under its control. The ego has no control if I am fully present to what I am doing. It is as if the ego throws gas on the fire of my contentment to keep me from feeling too good or positive.
Why would that be, is the question that comes to mind and my answer is because if I get too content, or in too much of a positive state than the ego’s role is greatly diminished as I am guided by my higher nature. Low self-esteem, self-doubt, and feeling undeserving are the workings of the ego mind in some mixed up view that I am better off when my ego is playing the role of my guardian/jailer.
This seems like a lot of words to explain that these ideas pop up out of the blue to keep me down in some misguided ego strategy. I suspect this it true because like myself, most of us are shadowed by self-doubt or feeling less than we should be, or not ok enough, or deserving enough etc which is all learned/conditioned suggestions. Feeling too good means you and I are slipping out of the norm of our thought patterns and the ego likes to keep things as they are.
Does this theory make sense to you? Have you noticed in time of joy or times of being present that old images appear and try to take you out of the moment? Maybe it is just my ego that is trying to sabotage my movement toward a more expansive and positive sense of self? But I doubt that because my work with others tells me we are often the hardest on ourselves.
If you find that the ego has slipped a negative mickey into moment of bliss, the best bet is to say thanks for keeping your eye out for me and then return to the joy of the now. The now is where everything is possible. The past or the future does not exist except in the ego-mind’s need to take us elsewhere. Have a good day by being present.
Peace Letter #92
Dear President Obama,
It appears to be time to see what is going on over at the Interior Department because it seems to be still run by the oil men of the Bush years. If government is not regulating to protect the nation then what is its purpose. Secretary Salazar is from my state but he seems more in the hands of Big Oil. If he doesn’t want to protect this country from the corporate interests he could go become a banker or lobbyist which would at least be more honest than shirking his duties as steward of our land.
The exterior department of war-making also needs to be tended too. Most of us cannot figure out why we are in a war in Afghanistan when there are many more things we could do to better our country. Maybe it is time for us to stop playing the Sheriff of the world? Please work for peace Mr. President.
Joseph Bernard, Ph.D.
Join me and send President Obama emails of support and encourage the end of war and the other dysfunctional ways of government at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact