Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Taming The Ego Self

We tend to think of bumps in the road on our journey through life as what goes on outside of us. And, yes, those can be considered bumps--sometimes boulders. But the real ones are inside of us. It's not what's happening in life that does us in, but how we respond to it that does the damage. However, today we live such busy lives that many of us rarely take the time to check what's going on in there. We simply act.

Have you ever felt there are two of you inside? Well, one can be called the ego self and the other the Higher Self. Both are intrinsically good, and we function from both. But sometimes the ego self can make a real mess of things. Early on, it created a recipe for living with values, traits, beliefs, and everything connected with who we think we are and how the world works. And we follow this pattern, hoping it will get us where we want to go. This can be productive or destructive--probably some of both. When issues come up in our life, we tend to see what we're used to seeing without paying attention to how we're responding, and we sometimes set ourselves up for defeat.

When we come from our ego self in unawareness, the mountains we climb may seem too high. But when we allow our Higher Self to guide us, our way is more clear and peaceful. Those mountains will seem more like opportunities to work through and grow from rather than the struggles we knew in the past.

The ego can be your greatest strength or weakness, so it must be taught to listen and obey. It has been said that the ego should be the servant, not the master. Each of us can work on making this so. When you need help with any outer situation or inner turmoil of any kind, be willing to let go of any thought or feeling that is non-productive. Then go within and ask for what you need. Stop, and listen to the quiet voice inside. Your Higher Self will always answer with love, wisdom, guidance, peace and comfort.

Don't expect the ego to change willingly. It has a stubborn streak and may resist change. But, with practice, your ego self will learn to serve you well, with good resolutions on the outside and love and peace on the inside.

Happy traveling.

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

U Turns

Well, here I am totally unprepared to enter something in this blog that has been thought out ahead of time. And that's because my plans had to take a U turn. Ever been there? Ever had plans firmly in your head, and something popped up with, "Sorry, gotta go another way now?" In a case like this, you can sweat over it or change your direction. But you gotta choose which way to go.

Last night around 11 pm, I returned from visiting my son and family in Seattle. It was a most wonderful visit, one I look forward to each year, and each visit is a treasured memory. This one was especially great, because I spent my birthday with my kids. The last day there,we cancelled seeing the salmon come in on the ships, because we were too exhausted. Then I made the long trip home from Seattle to Florida, so I was then past being exhausted. All I wanted to do today was unpack, rest and think about a message for my blog. Well one was dumped in my lap when I spoke with a friend who's sick and in need of help. I didn't need to give it much thought. I just put my plans on hold and made my U turn. Now here I am at her house, and this is where I want to be right now.

We never know when something will pop up and change our direction, and sometimes a quick decision has to be made. At those times, we need to give each alternative the amount of consideration that's needed, make the decision and move on it. If you decide to shift gears, then so be it. But don't linger, fret, or moan about the plan you gave up. Let the other plan go until you can get back to it. Or let it go altogether. I'm at my friend's house now, and I can stew about not being home with my original plan or I can look for the good that can be done here, and find joy in this time.

When making decisions, the mind and heart need to be used together. The mind will give you alternatives, and the heart will give you insight and direction. Listen to both, and your way will be clear. I believe we are where we need to be at any given time, to find something we need or want, to help someone, or to learn something. Much of life is outside of our realm of consciousness, but it all matters. Listen carefully, and go with your flow.

Take the high road and find joy.

Marilyn

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reminders

Life is a series of lessons. We learn values, ideas, concepts, what works and what doesn't. But sometimes we forget what we've learned, and we find ourselves wondering why something isn't working out. We're faced with confusion, anxiety, depression or self-doubt. However, life has a way of bringing us reminders when we get caught up in false notions and lose sight of where we need to be.

When we're in some kind of pain we tend to forget everything but the pain. It may blind us to the truth of what we already know, and we may need to be reminded that we're not alone, there may be a better way to manage, help is available, we can overcome, maybe this is only temporary, or we're stronger than we think. Better insight can move us to a better place.

Usually, when I'm immersed in some kind of physical, mental or emotional turmoil, I will see, hear or read some gem of wisdom that jolts me back to reality, a truth I need to remember. Then my aha experience gives me the power I need to get back on track and re-focus to a place of coping and expanding on what I already knew all along, but had temporarily forgotten. When this happens, I'm back in a place of truth, and I feel stress lifting.

Recently, a comment on one of my blogs said that we are all spiritual beings at a different development stage. Thank you, Cristian, for that reminder. Yes, we're all on our journey through the human experience, and we don't always function from our spiritual self. We fall down sometimes, but there is that higher part of us inside that will lift us up and put us back on our path if we seek truth in the dark time, or simply when we just need a nudge in a better direction.

When any negative situation appears in your life, look past appearances, for there is a truth involved in every situation that will set you free from false assumptions. When you feel there is no answer, look for one. Reminders to a different way of thinking are there. And when you change your thinking, you change your life.

You're never really stuck. You just think you are sometimes.

Peace.

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Life Is...

Yesterday I spent the day at a hospital with a friend who had surgery. I've been in many hospitals for my own medical care or to support another person. But this experience made what I already knew more real to me. Each of us is unique, traveling our own individual journey through life, but at the same time part of the great whole that makes us the human race. It's kind of like each individual drop of water being part of the whole body we call the ocean.

While my friend was in surgery, I wandered through the halls and outside the building. I've always been a people-watcher, but yesterday I was more keenly aware of everyone and everything I came across. I saw people in wheelchairs or walking with canes while others walked straight and tall. I saw a nurse consoling a woman who was crying, and I noticed a beautiful little boy who was grinning at me. In fact, everyone I smiled at smiled back at me. I felt the patient's pain and heard their moans, while medical personnel saw to their daily duties. The contrasts were everywhere.

I found a concrete ledge outside and sat down. I took off my shoes and rested my bare feet on mother earth, while little ants scampered around as if they knew where they were going. The sun was warm, but there was a cool breeze under the big oak tree where I sat watching a black crow scrounging for his lunch in the dirt near by. Once in a while someone sat next to me. Some were happy. Some were not. But each had a story to tell--a unique story, yet part of all the stories you hear in a hospital setting.

As the day moved on, the hospital became a microcosm of the bigger world, and I became more increasingly aware of life and its many facets. We each know sadness and joy, pain and bliss, feast and famine, love and hate, lack and plenty, illness and health--everything in the human experience. And we're never alone in any of it. While we're going through something, another person somewhere else is going through the same thing in their own unique way. In our humanness, we're all a part of each other. How sad that we don't claim the ocean in which we swim. It's really quite a beautiful ocean in spite of the differences that we believe separate us.

I'm grateful for this hospital experience. It reminded me that I'm more than what I see in the mirror.

Love yourself. You're much more than you know.

Marilyn