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I am a control freak. I admit it. It’s painful. It’s even a bit embarrassing as I teach people how to shift from living a life of self controlling to living a life of surrendering to soul. However, we teach what we most need to learn and in my case this is certainly true.
When asked to speak on a topic in front of an audience I never, ever merely show up. I prepare and prepare and prepare some more. My blogs? Written and rewritten. When setting forth on my recent journey to live in a new land, and start a new occupation, I not only created a plan A, but also plans B to Z – just in case (on plan J so was actually quite prescient). True, some of this originates from a place of authenticity – the desire to put my heart and soul into my life and my work. However, much of it emanates from fear: fear of failure, fear of unworthiness, fear of how others will or won’t re-act to my work.
And at the end of the day, there is a word that sums up this way of operating in the world and that is, ego.
CELEBRATING BIG EGOS
On the one hand ego gets a bad wrap. After all, clinically speaking, ego is our “self” as distinct, autonomous and functioning beings within the world. We need a sense of self to get out of bed in the morning, to be in relationships and to go out there and and make lasting contributions in the world. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the newest and biggest hospitals, which are often built by big donors with big bank accounts and even bigger egos. And in those big hospitals, big time surgeons operate with big time egos the size of that donors big time, ostentatious plaque.
I personally celebrate those big egos. Do you really want a surgeon that doesn’t think they are worthy, cream of the crop, the best of the best? “No nurse, you take the scalpel, who am I to make the cut?” are not words I want coming out of my surgeon’s mouth. Sometimes we westerners have got to stop self-flagellating over our competitive culture and desire to achieve. Last I checked Shirley Maclaine and her new age followers weren’t out there building new oncology treatment wings.
With that said, a life lived only through our ego is a recipe for disaster.
Ego, quickly slips from a healthy sense of self to a self that believes it is the source of it all. That surgeon can all too readily shift from, “I am the god of the O.R.” to “or am I God?” And that donor all too often believes that he is his bank account and his checkbook gives him the power of the Divine.
EGO’S SLIPPERY SLOPE
Yes, ego is important in helping motivate us, build lives and fix a broken world. However, most of us need an ego check. I know I certainly do. Because ego unchecked makes it impossible for anyone else, or anything else, namely God, to be present in our life. In the words of Wayne Dyer, “Ego is an acronym that stands for Edging God Out.”
That is exactly what I do each and every time I cross the line from consciously creating to crazily controlling. I simply Edge God Out of the picture. I’m in charge. I’m the boss. I’m the one who will make this happen and get the job done!
Look, the universe has operated for a few billion years without me. Other than the creation of the Blobfish, Plumbers Crack (also known as Buttocks Cleavage – it’s really a thing!) and Donald Trump’s hair ( it’s also really a thing), I’d say whomever is running the joint is doing a damn good job. Most of it makes works OK without me telling it what to do. The earth continues to spin on it’s access without me putting it on my daily todo list. And somehow, while I’m slacking (I mean sleeping), my breath keeps coursing through my lungs and my heart keeps pumping blood without me having to boss them around.
LESS IS MORE
The truth of the matter is that once the basics are covered, less is often more. The more I add to the talks, futz with the blogs or try to keep my daughter from talking to that pain-in-the-ass boy down the block, the worse it gets and the more she seems to want to talk to that little punk (I should drop a Blobfish into his Plumbers Crack).
However, there is a Source – a Source that forms mountains over millennia, assembles embryos into babies and keeps Donald Trump’s hair immoveable even at windy press conferences – truly magical stuff!. That Source isn’t me. That Source isn’t you. That Source isn’t president Trump (someone please explain that to him). That Source is the Source. And as soon as I remember that I ease up, I back off and I remember, as it has been said, that I am just a parenthesis in time.
I’ve come from Nowhere. I am now here. I return to Nowhere. And so do you. So let’s take a deep breath, sit back and surrender.
That’s right. Surrender.
I know this word is like kryptonite to the western way of being. But that is exactly what we need to you when we are trying too hard, when we are pushing too far and when we are controlling too much – which is pretty much most of the time.
When it’s not going. When it’s not flowing. When it’s not moving forward regardless of how much we are rowing, in the words of the poet Rumi, “Try something different. Surrender.”
Surrender to what is.
Surrender to what will be.
Surrender and accept.
Try something different, surrender and be free.
That my friends is how we will shift from Self to Soul.
That is how we will hear our Soul’s Calling.
That is how we will move forward on the path we were meant to walk, the path not of least resistance, but no resistance.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready to take that walk!