Has it ever felt that there were two opposing forces inside of you, each pulling in opposite directions?
One, simply loves life and people, and is endlessly curious about exploring and experiencing the world. This “energy force” is ALIVE and free, creative, expressive, abundant and playful. This part of ourselves guides us calmly and adeptly through new and challenging experiences. It’s guidance doesn’t come from the “head’s thinking”, IT is much more powerful, wise, clear and knowing than the mind. Intuition, heart, inspiration, love, joy and peace are associated with this energy. When we access IT, we feel warmth, serenity, centered and connected to the world. Life flows. We’re fulfilled, fully self-expressed, and every moment IS a “magic moment”. When we live from this space, we KNOW — “all is well” and life is a joy.
I call this energy force “spirit” or soul. And, it’s always there for us to access.
The other “energy force” is more practical, cautious, judgmental, and protective. This force wants to look good for others, or at the very least, avoid looking bad. “It” likes to control, although pretends that it’s not. “It” views the world as a potentially harmful place, fears being hurt and exposed, thus remains separate, isolated and closed from others. It blames, criticizes, compares, and makes excuses. “Should” is one of its favorite words. This energy looks for answers from its mind…although often confuses “reality” from something “made-up”. Living isolated within the confines the body, “it” mostly just wants to be “safe” and “independent”.
I call this energy force “ego”. And, it too, is always there for us to access.
We’ve all experienced both of these forces in our life. As human beings, we need both to exist. Spirit is the “life force energy” that is about experiencing, creating, expressing and connecting in this world, while the ego is more like a “body guard” or “tour guide”. The Ego’s job is to keep the physical body safe, and guide your “spirit” through the journey of life. However, it often oversteps its duties and responsibilities.
Most people don’t realize the nature of these two individual forces, and continue to struggle between these two energies. Sometimes, it feels like we have split personalities, but rest assured this is part of the human design. The Ego is much more forceful when it comes to being in control, and thus plays a more dominant role in our lives…often suppressing our true Spirit. Spirit shows up sporadically for most, when we let our our “thinking minds” go, spend time in nature, engage in something creative, meditate or get desperate enough to seek assistance. Have you noticed, as soon as you “surrender” solutions appear? When you become more conscious about the nature of these forces, you can learn to access this all-knowing, wise and powerful force in your life more consistently. The result is a life with MORE peace, joy, love, abundance and creative flow and LESS stress, overwhelm, scarcity and fear.
DISTINGUISHING – Ego from SPIRIT
Since the Ego can be sneaky in it’s expression, it’s important to recognize its nature. I’ve included a list below of Ego characteristics and its “Spirit counterpart”. SEPARATION is the common theme to each word set below. The Ego strives to keep you separate from the world, separate in relationships and separate from your Spirit and its full self-expression, joy and inner peace. It does this through resistance, restriction, blaming, being self-righteous and fearful. The ego also expresses itself as “neediness”, which is a form of separating from self (separating from your power)…believing that YOU need something “over there” to complete you. The ego has many faces, all working to keep you “separate”.
- Separation vs. Connection
- Mind vs. Heart
- Victim vs. Taking Responsibility
- Excuses vs. Results
- SHOULDS vs. Inspiration
- Resistance vs. Acceptance
- Restricted vs. Freedom
- Confusion vs. Clarity
- Suppressed vs. Fully Self-Expressed
- Worry vs. Anticipation
- Stuck vs. Creativity
- Stressed vs. Peace
- Frustrated vs. Resourceful
- Protection vs. Vulnerable
- Fear vs. Love
- Laziness vs. Nurturing
- Doubt vs. Trust
- Scarcity vs. Abundance
- Shut-down vs. Open
- Shame vs. Acceptance
- Apprehension vs. Courageous
- Struggle vs. Flow
Take the first word in each pair. Perhaps you already recognize how familiar they are to you…as it is for most human beings. Imagine living your life predominantly from these states of being — a life of separation, “shoulds”, confusion, restriction, resistance, etc.? How would that feel? Yuck. Unfortunately, this is how 83% of the population lives (read Power vs. Force by David Hawkins)
Take the second word in each pair. Imagine living a life lived predominantly from these states of being? Joy, peace, love, creativity, freedom and full self-expression. While it’s not the norm of today, it is possible. Only 17% of the population access this way of being, and are still subject to the grips of the Ego.
CULTIVATING Connection with Spirit
How can we access “spirit” so that it naturally becomes the dominant energy force in our lives? How can we maximize the peace, joy and flow in our lives? Below are 7 Keys to get started.
- Get Present. When we’re truly in the present moment, we have great access to Spirit. When we’re focused on the past, feelings of regret, pain and turmoil can overtake us, cutting us off from Spirit. When we’re focused on the future, we often get distracted in feelings of worry, hope and fear. starving our energies from creating NOW. It is in the “present moment” where we find peace, joy and connection to Spirit.
- Choose High Vibrations – Consciously choosing high vibration states, such as peace, joy, love, appreciation, generosity and other “good feelings” strengthens connection to Spirit, and deflate the Ego. Anyone that teaches about manifesting abundance always emphasize the focus on “good feeling states”. Like attracts like. The book “Power vs. Force” quantifies energetic qualities on a scale of 1 to 1000. In addition to empowering emotional states, you can raise your energetic vibration through movement and exercise, drinking water, practicing random acts of kindness, meditation, laughing, spending time in nature and contributing to others. David Hawkins second book “The Eye of the I” also talks about additional ways to cultivate higher energy states.
- Take Responsibility through Conscious Choices – Our Egos like to play “victim”, and lead you to believe that you’re not powerful or at choice in the matter. Drama. Drama. Drama. No matter what the circumstance, there is always a powerful, responsible choice available. What do you need to ask for? What do you need to let go of? Whose help could you request? What’s the next step you could take? What is your ultimate outcome? When you take responsible action, you are “responding to Spirit”. Don’t be a victim, make a conscious new choice.
- Radically reduce “thought”. For most people, this is a tough one. Our human ego-dominated minds like to run non-stop. Many of us assume that “thinking” is intelligence. But, are you doing the “thinking”, or is “it” thinking you? Even the most intelligent minds must ultimately learn to break free of “thought”, finding stillness — because this is where true freedom lies. It is only in the “stillness” of mind where a different type of “thought” appears and our connection to Spirit comes alive. Eckhart Tolle, author of “Power of Now” was asked what his greatest accomplishment in life was…and his answer, “radically reducing the thoughts in my mind”
- Humility – Ego is about being right, criticizing, judging and making others wrong. Stepping into “humility” is the fastest way to release the ego’s grip. (read “The Eye of the I”). Admitting critical, judging or self-righteous behavior is liberating. Stepping into “not knowing” is more powerful than “being right”. Read the article on “Humility” from Soulfully Living Issue #25.
- Listen to Spirit – In my Mastermind Group, we explored, “How do you tell the difference between the “spirit voice” and the “ego voice”?”. Simply put, the ego voice is almost always associated with feelings of angst, resistance, doubt, fear, questioning, guilt and confusion. Spirit’s voice is clear, wise, knowing, precise and brings peace, more often serves your Greater Good.
SOULFUL CHALLENGE: One of my favorite practices is to “just act on Spirit’s voice”. Throughout the day, consciously listen for Spirit to guide your decisions. Clear your head, ask for guidance, and LISTEN. Then, act. It’s important to act quickly, before your Ego can jump in and start analyzing Spirit’s request. Just trust and go with it. If Spirit doesn’t respond immediately with direction, just wait. An answer will show up. Then – act. Try this for ONE WEEK. Every time I make this conscious commitment, I’m amazed at where Spirit leads me. Often it doesn’t make sense in the moment, but then becomes clear later. The gifts are incredible. Try this!
- Commit to the Process – To cultivate a deeper relationship to Spirit, and radically reduce the control of Ego in your life is a process. Life gets in the way. You’ll notice yourself getting stuck, being fearful, resisting life, and blaming others. But, as you deepen your commitment to the process, you will find you’re able to recognize the destructive and unconscious patterns in your life more quickly, and make responsible, conscious choices to take empowering action.