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Archive for February, 2015

The Ego Train….All Aboard!

Choo Choo – All aboard…..the Ego Train is crowded but has room for anyone who wants to join!

I remember thinking that the world of Yoga would be free from the Ego Train passengers. This practice of deep introspection surely attracts people who practice daily self contemplation and growth, and have little interest in the “look at me world”, right?

Disclaimer: I love Yoga and everything it truly represents. The deep practice has taught me so much. Lots of physical benefits, sure, but so much more than that. Through meditation and being still enough to listen and actually get to know myself, I’ve learned some of the bigger, life changing lessons. One of the biggest is the power of the ego…mine in particular.

It’s there, that ego – and always will be. It’s a human characteristic that signifies a person’s sense of self-esteem, or self-importance. In its’ truest form, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the ego. But just like anything else, when it becomes disproportionate to its’ necessity, it can cause problems.

I work very hard to keep mine in check. The simplest way? I live in gratitude. I try to avoid ideas of entitlement and pride. I try to stay in the mindset of being blessed and humble. The minute a grandiose thought starts swarming through my head, I stop and say….”Nope, I’m grateful for this and humbled by it.” And then I try to meditate on that as much as possible. Am I perfect at this? Absolutely not! It’s a work in progress, but one I’m very committed to.

Unaccepting judgment is a major bi-product of the inflated ego. Judgment in and of itself is simply the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions, but when judgment takes us to a place of not accepting the ideas of others, it becomes a negative energy source.

We all do it, myself included. We see or hear things that don’t resonate with our own thoughts or belief systems and we decide them to be wrong. We often decide the person carrying the message to be wrong, or even the enemy.

And so, social media has become quite the breeding ground for over inflated egos and unaccepting judgment. Now, I know…it sounds like I am judging social media right now (as I use it to express my thoughts), but I am not. I am a fan of social media. As an introvert, it is my preferred method of communication. I love reading other blogs and seeing people’s posts. After awhile, a lot of insight can be gained about a person’s character – and I love getting to know people.

I am often baffled though. So many “ambassadors of Yoga” have such harsh and absolute messages. So many messages that root from ego and even hate are followed up with a picture of the author meditating in meadow. I just can’t understand the mixed message. So please, if I ever send a message of hate or judgment and follow it with, “Namaste” – call me out on it!

Yoga and being an ambassador of Yoga has different meanings to different people and that is beautiful. My hope is that each of us can keep our message straight. Endless pictures in handstands and arm balances does not necessarily equate to characteristics of love, compassion and acceptance. They may just be symbolic of a self-disciplined physical practice, which is certainly admirable. But to make the generalization that someone in a handstand is a deeply rooted Yogi, may be a reach. Not to say that the “serial selfie” does not embody the deep spiritual characteristics, it is just important to remember that the nectar of our fruit is much deeper than the skin.

“To thine own self be true.” I just hope that at least in my case, thine own self is the same person displayed to others, both in person and through social media. That ego train is getting full and moving quickly, so I think I will take a deep breath, and just walk.