The evening darkness is coming early now as the sun sets in the mountains. I can no longer be in denial that Fall is on its way. I have noticed that my thoughts don't hang out in Fall, I go right to "oh no Winter is coming." Looks like I better change my thinking because Fall can be very enjoyable. This has been a hot summer with most days 90 or near 90 degrees. Cooler weather will be appreciated as long as it doesn’t get cold. The ice and snow is what I really wish would never happen because it means it is slippery for my bike riding and running on trails. It is beautiful here so even the snow isn’t bad for a day or two.
I was talking to a co-worker today and she was struggling with feeling under-appreciated and I could feel for her. This kind of work can be demanding and sometimes us human service professionals feel overlooked and under appreciated. Yes co-workers and clients can speak of gratitude and that feels good. Ultimately though appreciation for most work we do comes from inside. When we appreciate ourselves, our purposeful work, our satisfaction for doing what we want to do that can make us feel complete even when the outside world may forget to tell us how much we are valued.
Lately I have become more aware of the subtleness of the ego at work. I have found myself in moments of pure enjoyment in nature or simply appreciating some aspect of life and than a picture flashes on the screen on the inside of my forehead. That picture is an image of one of my screw-ups in life and it is placed there by my ego to take me away from the moment and put me into discomfort. The ego does that because it exists only when we hang out in the past or the future.
Ego’s don’t like the present moment because they realize they have little or no influence over our experience of the now. In the present we are fully into what is going on and often enjoying being in the company of who we are and those we love. Love, happiness, joy, peace, freedom, and awareness can only happen in the moment. We can’t love and be happy in the past or in the future. The ego prefers we worry about the future and obsess about the past. Why is this is the ego’s agenda? How come the ego is so uncomfortable with us enjoying the now?
I am unclear why this is except to say that our ego is more comfortable having us be uncomfortable. That means the ego can have us in fear or anger, which allows the ego to dictate our thoughts and run our life. Being in fear or other negative states of mind is how most people live and that is why so many are unhappy, angry and afraid. When the ego is in charge people become upset about life and have very few moment of joy.
The opposite of ego dominance is living moment to moment and enjoying the experiences of being fully present. Yes sometimes the present can seem challenging but in those challenges can come satisfaction, relief, or insight. Actually in the moment is the only place that love, peace and happiness occur naturally and we could say that all positive emotions arise effortlessly by being present.
I have gone off in several directions here. Let’s see if I can tie things together. If I appreciate the moment, I don’t have to worry about the coming of Winter. In the moment, my ego has much less power to crash the party of the present. Being in the moment and mindful gives me wonderful experiences of life that I can totally enjoy and appreciate.
If we find ourself in self-doubt, unappreciated, fearful, angry or upset, take a step away from the thinking mind and instead become present to the greater possibilities of the now.